Newspaper planned to ‘out’ Rebel Wilson before she could do it on her own terms

Rebel Wilson with Ramona Agruma

Rebel Wilson fans are furious after the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that it had planned to publish information about the actor’s relationship before she was able to come out herself.

On Thursday (9 June), the Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids star announced her relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma in an Instagram.

She shared a photo of herself with her partner, and wrote: “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess.”

Fans were overjoyed that she had decided to come out, but on Saturday (11 June), Sydney Morning Herald columnist Andrew Hornery revealed that the newspaper had been planning to tell the world about Wilson’s relationship before she was able to herself.

In an opinion piece, Hornery wrote: “In a perfect world, ‘outing’ same-sex celebrity relationships should be a redundant concept in 2022. Love is love, right?

“As Rebel Wilson knows, we do not live in a perfect world.

“So, it was an abundance of caution and respect that this media outlet emailed Rebel Wilson’s representatives on Thursday morning, giving her two days to comment on her new relationship with another woman, LA leisure wear designer Ramona Agruma, before publishing a single word.”

Hornery described giving the actor advance warning about the piece as a “big mistake”, and said that by coming out on her own terms, Wilson had “gazumped the story”.

“Her choice to ignore our discreet, genuine and honest queries was, in our view, underwhelming,” he added.

The piece was met with immediate backlash, with journalist Chris Scullion tweeting: “F**king shameful by the Sydney Morning Herald. Acting like they were being generous by giving Rebel Wilson a two-day deadline to come out before outing her themselves, then getting arsey because she called their bluff against her will.

“Never has @SMH been a more accurate username.”

He added that the newspaper was “pretending they were being ethical after already confirming they were planning to out her”.

The Great British Bake Off‘s Michael Chakraverty told the Sydney Morning Herald: “You should be ashamed of yourselves. Threatening to out someone and then being cross that they chose to do it themselves? Despicable.”

“It’s pretty clear that Rebel Wilson was forced to come out, likely earlier than she wanted to,” said writer Dana Piccoli.

“This sort of outing used to happen a lot in the 80s and early 90s. It was atrocious then, and atrocious now.”

The Sydney Morning Herald denied “outing” Wilson.

Bevan Shields, editor of the newspaper, told PinkNews in a statement: “To say that the Herald ‘outed’ Rebel Wilson is wrong.

“Our weekly Private Sydney celebrity column asked Wilson if she wished to comment about her new partner. We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man.

“Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked the questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response. We made no decision about whether or what to publish, and our decision about what to do would have been informed by any response Wilson supplied.

“Wilson made the decision to publicly disclose her new partner – who had been a feature of her social media accounts for months. We wish them both well.”

PinkNews has approached representatives for Rebel Wilson for comment.