Once upon a time, Gwyneth Paltrow and Martha Stewart were gal pals. (We promise! Look at the photo above, from 2011.) But now, where there once was friendship, all that remains is shade. Ever since Paltrow’s lifestyle brand goop started gaining momentum, Stewart — arguably the queen of lifestyle — hasn’t been pleased. Is it possible Stewart feels her old friend is barking up her territory (and might even be jealous)?
All oven mitts are off when it comes to these two Hollywood titans. Let’s take a stroll through the blonde duo’s friendship — if you can call it that — and figure out just where it all went wrong.
Pre-Fall 2013: The Honeymoon Stage
Before the first shots were fired, Paltrow and Stewart had your standard Hollywood friendship. In the aforementioned photo, the two looked pretty chummy at a party for Paltrow’s 2011 cookbook My Father’s Daughter. The Shakespeare in Love actress isn’t shy to high-profile friendships; she’s been spotted toying around with Madonna and Beyoncé among others. It is only fitting she set her prospects on the one-woman empire that is Stewart.
Fall 2013: Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!
Paltrow launched goop in 2008, but it only started gaining mainstream popularity within the last few years. The first sign there was trouble in paradise for Paltrow and Stewart was in an interview Stewart did for Bloomberg TV last fall. When asked what Stewart thought of Paltrow’s goop, the homemaking icon gave a rather — erm — curt response. “I haven’t eaten at Gwyneth’s house, and I’ve never seen how she lives,” Stewart explained to Bloomberg. “But if she is authentic, all the better. I mean, I certainly hope she is. She really wants to be part of the lifestyle business. … Gwyneth, for example, has a book on the bestseller list. She must be doing something right. She’s a charming, pretty person who has a feeling for lifestyle. She wants to be a lifestyle arbiter. Fine. Good. I think I started this whole category of lifestyle.” Oooh, that last remark! Did it just get a little icy in here?
September 2014: Stewart Comes for Paltrow’s Bread and Butter
Things were relatively calm on the Paltrow-Stewart feud for about a year, but the fireworks started popping last month. In an interview with Net-a-Porter magazine, Stewart criticized Paltrow’s foray into lifestyle again, and something that cut a little deeper: her acting. “She just needs to be quiet,” Stewart said. “She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.” We appreciate Stewart’s cockiness almost as much as her delicious cake recipes.
October 2014: Paltrow Pounces Back
Paltrow did an interview at the 16th annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Dana Point, Calif., where she was asked about Stewart’s biting comments. Paltrow remained cool as a sarcastic cucumber, saying, “No one has ever said anything bad about me before, so I’m shocked and devastated. I’ll try to recover.” She continued, “I’m so psyched that she sees us as competition.” Paltrow got a little shady when asked a general question about dealing with people criticizing her.“I think that when anybody criticizes anyone, it really is revealing more about where they are in time and space as opposed to where you are in time and space,” Paltrow explained. A dig at Stewart? Possibly.
October 2014: There’s a New (goop) Sheriff in Town
Paltrow kept the hits coming last week: She hired Martha Stewart Living’s former CEO Lisa Gersh to take over goop. In some by-association shade, Us Weekly reports Gersh, an admitted “fan since [goop’s] launch,” praised her new boss with some interesting word choices. “I’ve admired the inimitable voice and style Gwyneth has infused into Goop, and the business she’s built. It’s rare to work with such an inspired founder and a digitally native company, a brand that thinks digitally from an organic point-of-view and successfully fuses content and revenue-generating retail.” An “inspired” founder? Props to Paltrow for hiring someone else to deliver a cutting insult!
October/November 2014: Coupling Cuts DeepWhen Paltrow announced she and husband of 10 years Chris Martin were separating, the Oscar-winning actress used a unique term to describe their latest venture: “conscious uncoupling.” And now (surprise!) the same phrase appears in the November 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living in an article about pie-filling ideas, this time as “conscious coupling.” To add insult to injury, take a look at the first paragraph of the article:
Every Thanksgiving table should be blessed with the presence of a long-married pair who bring out the best in each other, are completely enamored despite their differences, and leave every other guest thinking, I’ll have what they’re having. Our holiday pies honor such so there’s a pleasant mix of textures and flavors in every bite. No matter how you slice partnerships, each spotlighting the perfect marriage of crust and filling these six irresistible desserts, there is a whole lot to love.
Hmmm, is Stewart still talking about pies? We’re sure Paltrow lost her appetite after reading this overt shade. This one might have gone a little too far.
When it comes to the game of lifestyle shade-throwing, whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments below.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]