New Dating Trend: Why Stars Hook Up With Agents
By Deborah Schoeneman Posted Mar 17th 2010 01:00PM
E! broke the news that Britney Spears and agent Jason Trawick, who she's been dating since last summer, have split. Mistake!
Ever since Spears started dating Trawick, her agent at William Morris Endeavor (WME), she's been looking better than ever. Her hair is back to its original color, there's been nary a vag shot of her getting out of a car or any public meltdowns. Lately, Spears has been looking downright classy -- except she still chain smokes, but no one's perfect.
Trawick was a major improvement from her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, a former backup dancer turned contestant on VH1's 'Celebrity Fit Club.' And remember the crazy eyes on her most recent ex -- that weird paparazzi guy, Adnan Ghalib -- who was totally with her just out of love?
But Britney's not the only starlet to get cozy with her agent.
For the past few months, Hollywood's been buzzing about Reese Witherspoon dating Creative Artists Agency (CAA) agent Jim Toth, a handsome man around town who was once engaged to a model. Toth doesn't personally represent Witherspoon, but she is represented by his power agency. (He reps top-tier talent like Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Tobey Maguire.) Lately, Witherspoon and Toth have been spotted dining at romantic Italian restaurants in LA, including Pace and Locanda Verde. There's no question about who's the star in this relationship -- unlike her last one, with a certain leading man named Jake Gyllenhaal.
Perhaps Witherspoon was inspired by fellow Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, who shacked up with her CAA agent, John Campisi, after leaving her actor husband, Chad Lowe. Campisi no longer works directly for Swank; he represents Award-winning writers and directors like 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner and director David O. Russell. It's hardly a secret that Swank needs a little extra agency love after her last star vehicle, 'Amelia,' tanked last year. Perhaps her recently-landed role in 'Betty Anne Waters' had something to do with her attentive boyfriend?
A well-respected talent agent at one of the top three firms in LA says that a starlet dating her agent could benefit her career because agents tend to work 24-7 -- but it's rarely a good coupling. "Your career is based on how much your client works, so distracting them from work is not necessarily where you want to go," says the agent, who requested anonymity for job protection. "It's usually just a business relationship."
While Alyssa Milano did marry CAA agent David Bugliari at his family's home in NJ last summer, she's repped by another agent at CAA. They may very well be the first starlet/agent to close deal.
Let's hope it lasts.
The top agent said the client/agent relationship could really sour post break-up, like Spears' may. "I don't know what it's like after the relationships fall apart," said the agent, adding that while there's no official company policy about not dating clients, it's customary to inform a superior if the situation arises.
Stars dating agents is a trend that could end badly for the agency, particularly now that WME and CAA are in a full blown poaching war for top talent. But for now, it looks like guys in suits are the "it" accessory for starlets, right up there with the newest Balenciaga bag. Maybe it's the recession, but starlets seem to be find something hot about a guy with a steady paycheck whose job it is to help them earn the most money.
Are you listening, Lindsay Lohan?
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