Freelance journalist Ben Westhoff (pictured top left), 30, who writes for the Village Voice, New York magazine’s Vulture blog and the LA Weekly, has found an odd way to amuse himself in his spare time. He posts entries on his blog that falsely purport to be written by former Sex and the City actor John Corbett (pictured bottom left).
In his most recent posting under Corbett’s byline on Wednesday titled "Hold On To Your Hats", Westhoff wrote an extended post accusing Sex and the City creator Darren Star of editing Corbett out of the forthcoming Sex and the City movie directed by Michael Patrick King.
Westhoff, writing as Corbett, went so far as to invent a phony role played by Corbett’s character, Aidan, in the SATC movie – in which his character saves the life of a subway jumper, and is invited by former flame Carrie Bradshaw for coffee. As Corbett, Westhoff then claims that Star (the movie’s executive producer) forced King to remove him from the finished film.
Westhoff-as-Corbett then threatens to reveal the entire plot of the movie on the Internet unless Star restores his role.
"…I am fucking pissed, nonetheless, because I cleared a big WHOLE in my schedule to do this shit, even passed up a part on Bones. And that’s why I’ve decided to give Darren an ultimative and say that if he doesn’t put me back in there, I’m going to spoil the whole movie. That’s righty. I’m going to give out ALL the plot ALL over the internet, including right here at my bro-dawg Ben’s site the Healthiest Mutherfucking Pimp in Park Slope."
That’s a reference to Westhoff’s blog, “The Healthiest Man in Park Slope,” where Westhoff has been posting as Corbett, off and on, for more than two weeks.
"It’s not John Corbett. It’s me posting as John Corbett," the Hoboken, New Jersey-based Westhoff acknowledged in a telephone interview.
Westhoff began by introducing "Corbett" and then Corbett prefaced the item by explaining he had asked Westhoff "for a chance to take over his little site for a day because I got to get something off my chest."
Steve Lovett, the Los Angeles-based manager for the actual John Corbett, said Corbett is "not a blogger" and denied that his client had actually written the item. "The facts aren’t true, either," Lovett said of Westhoff’s scenario which pitted the saccharine-voiced actor against producer Darren Star.
Westhoff admits that he does not know Corbett, and said the popularity of a similar parody he wrote this about rapper Lil Wayne and actor Zac Efron for the OC Weekly in Los Angeles, inspired him to continue experimenting with satire. "This is in that tradition. It’s kind of a satirical, Onion-style, kind of ongoing series of those kind of parodies about John Corbett, but more about pop culture in general."
Was Westhoff concerned whether the actual John Corbett might not appreciate Westhoff’s misrepresentation of his opinions?
"I think the odds of [Corbett] stumbling across it are slim, but if he did, I would like to think that he’d find it funny."