Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Is Hewitt really whoring out his baby?
Lleyton Hewitt is not a poor man. Not by any stretch of the imagination. According to his Wiki page, he has earned more than $18-million in prize money. That does not include the gazillions he gets paid to endorse products that his fans are enticed to purchase. For instance, not long after the start of his pro career, Hewitt reportedly signed a five-year, $30-million contract with sports giant, Nike. He also has lucrative endorsements deals with Yonex.
Away from his tennis-related deals, Hewitt has also been known to promote Valiant Furniture and a brand of toilet paper named Sorbent. It was the toilet paper deal that first had me wondering if there was nothing this man would not do for money. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with promoting toilet-paper per se. But in general, the folks that you see squeezing the Charmin’ tend to be has-been TV stars happy for the paycheck. As far as I am aware, Hewitt has not at any point in his career been desperate for money. So you had to scratch your head and ask why he was selling toilet-paper.
The decision was incomprehensible in part because Hewitt is married to a woman named Bec Cartwright who herself has earned a pretty decent income as a TV soap-star. Between them both, they are probably set financially for life – barring some grotesque mismanagement of their funds. In fact, Hewitt is so rich he can more than likely afford to take care of you, me, and every member of his family.
You want to know how wealthy Lleyton Hewitt is? He’s so wealthy that he apparently once paid $3.2 million for a waterfront property in his home town of Adelaide. Before that, he supposedly paid $8.325 million for a penthouse apartment in one of the most expensive buildings in Melbourne. He also owns property in Nassau, Bahamas, where he resides for a portion of the year. Let me re-state my point – Lleyton Hewitt is apparently not hurting for money.
So if someone had told me that Hewitt was capable of sinking to an even lower low than shilling for a toilet-paper company, I would have said that they were out of their minds. I know that Hewitt has a reputation as an ass-wipe, but surely promoting said ass-wiping is as low as he could get? Surely this man has, as a result of the butt-picking criticism, managed to consider trying to retain what little dignity he has left? Apparently I was wrong.
Lleyton and his brittle-blonde wife gave birth to a daughter this past weekend. This was their third child. Lleyton apparently proposed to Bec in March 2005 after a brief six-week courtship right on the heels of his break-up with Kim Clijsters. Bec gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Mia Rebecca, in November 2005. (You do the math.) Bec delivered their second child, a son named Cruz Lleyton, in December 2008. And this past weekend she sent forth their third child, another girl, into the world.
Bec and Lleyton seemed to experience no difficulty naming their first two children. But they decided to team up with a service called “Text A Star” to charge fans $2 a message for the privilege of finding out the name of the Hewitt’s third baby. Bec and Hewitt plan to publicly announce the baby’s name later this week – via multiple texts sent out to their fans everywhere. For $2, you too can be part of the in-group, the first to know the baby’s name. And if say even one million people sign up for this jackassery, Hewitt and Bec would have pocketed some easy money.
Except that some fans are up in the arms over the audacity of this man to charge them for information that will soon be in the public domain. I mean really, what could be so special about a baby’s name that anyone would be willing to pay to find it out? Besides, this lame strategy smacks of two things, both of which are completely distasteful. The first of course is the frank whoring out of an innocent baby. Who puts that kind of karma on a baby’s head days after she enters the world? The second is the disgusting exploitation of trusting fans. Really, selling them toilet-paper is so much more honest in hindsight.
Hewitt and his wife have responded to this criticism by posting the following statement on his website: “Some sections of the media have as usual found it opportune to place some spin on reality by suggesting we have taken this approach just to make money. Certain media people believe that are the only ones who should have an exclusive. In this instance we made a decision that my fans deserve to know first, and the general public second. That's what we have done and just look at how many of the media have reported it. I've always assured my fans that they'd be the 1st to know on Text a Star and that's why I am part of such a great program, as I can send it straight from my mobile directly to theirs.”
Earth to greedy Hewitt and to your equally stupid wife: If you want your fans to know first, send them a free text with the information. You pay the cost. After all, you can definitely afford it. But as a fan of tennis, I see no benefit to anyone finding out the name of your baby minutes before the rest of the world does. This is nothing but financial exploitation using the lowest form of ass-wipery imaginable.