Marlise Kast: The Truth Behind Tabloid Media
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CBN.com Marlise Kast, was 21-years-old when she graduated from college and moved to LA to share a condo with her older sister, Heidi. Using her sister’s student code to access the UCLA job board, Marlise saw an ad that Globe magazine was hiring celebrity reporters. [At the time, tabloids were getting bad press because Princess Diana had just been killed in an automobile accident involving the paparazzi.]
Marlise spontaneously sent in her resume and a week later got a call to interview with the magazine. Marlise, whose father is a minister, soon realized she would have to separate herself emotionally from her stories.
“Celebrities had to become products rather than individuals,” says Marlise. “I had to break down the righteous walls that had formed my spiritual edifice. This enticing new position was twisting my morals.”
Born and raised in a house of integrity, Marlise was now willing to lie and assume false identities to advance her career.
“I kept telling myself, It’s just a job, right? This is not about moral convictions,” says Marlise.
When none of her fellow reporters could get into William Shatner’s wedding, Marlise volunteered, and complete with wine glass and high-heel stilettos, pretended to be drunk by squatting in some bushes outside of the wedding tent. Oddly enough, security spotted her and escorted her back to the tent thinking she was a tipsy wedding guest. Blending into the small crowd of 50 guests was difficult but she did, and even came face to face with the Star Trek legend. Surprisingly Marlise managed to get pictures to publish the story.
Once in order to get information on Jodie Foster, one of Hollywood’s most private celebrities, Marlise took a neighbor’s cat into the same vet where Jodie was spotted with her dog a few days earlier. At the time, Jodie was pregnant but the identity of the father was unknown. After Jodie gave birth, Marlise used a floral arrangement as a decoy to make her way to the nurses’ station and even paused at the doorway to try to overhear anything that could be included in a story. Ultimately, Marlise was forced to rely on other sources to fill in the gaps.
Impressed with her willingness to get the story, editors pushed her to other assignments that seemed impossible to complete. With time, Marlise became indispensable to the tabloids. She became aggressive and loved the challenge.
Over the next three years, Marlise would break more than 200 stories, becoming the youngest tabloid journalist to penetrate the Hollywood scene.
“This job was the ultimate lure for an adrenaline junkie,” says Marlise. “For Globe, I was prepared to jeopardize my morals….and somehow justify it all through the use of my pen.”
Eventually Marlise’s life of lies and deception took a toll on her emotionally. She started having doubts about what she was doing and realized that some of her stories were hurting real people. When a photo came in about Madonna gaining weight, Marlise was reluctant to write a story. She felt like the photo had been stretched which made it appear that Madonna had put on 20 pounds. Marlise was instructed to write the story, and she did.
When Marlise went home that night, she was incredibly sad. She stayed awake drawing, painting and writing in her journal. Marlise spent days in her office and nights under the covers crying herself to sleep. It was her first exposure to depression.When the Globe was bought out by the owners of Star and The National Enquirer in 2000, Marlise felt like it was a good time to break free from her career. One night when Marlise told her sister that she wanted to quit the tabloids, Heidi pulled out a Bible and gave it to her sister. Marlise idly flipped it open to Job where her eyes fell on the words, "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I
have no rest, but only turmoil."
The following morning, Marlise typed out a letter of resignation. She took a job as a nanny for one of Switzerland’s most influential families, but her passions for travel and writing led her to become a freelance journalist.
Marlise took a 13-month surfing and snowboarding expedition through 28 countries. After returning from her trip, Marlise’s mother encouraged her to develop her journals into a memoir. Marlise says it wasn’t one thing in particular that made her see the light, but it was a process for her to return to her faith in Christ.
“It was a gradual quest,” says Marlise. “Eventually it came to a point where it was God or nothing else.”
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