Rob Shuter: John Mayer ‘used to march’ Jennifer Aniston in front of the paps


NY Magazine has an interview with Rob Shuter, a former celebrity publicist and media strategist for people like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson and more. This interview has so many interesting pieces of information, it’s kind of crazy. The first part – which CB referenced in a Batfleck story earlier – is Shuter explaining what Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s media strategy is and how both of them are working the press. Then he spills some tea on J.Lo, Jessica Simpson and more.

When J.Lo & Ben Affleck broke up: “I probably can’t give you specifics about Jennifer, but I can say that when she broke up with Ben, it was carefully thought through. Not the breakup — they make the decisions by themselves. We’re not their marriage counselors. I’m not her friend, I’m not even her hairdresser. Publicists who think they’re friends with celebrities make a terrible mistake. We’re paid professionals who handle getting messages out.

Jennifer Lopez repeats lovers, so she might repeat something with Affleck: “Jennifer, historically, has had a pattern of going back to past romances. She dated Marc, she broke up with him, she fell head over heels with Ben Affleck, and then when they broke up, she ran back to the arms of Marc, and within months they’re married. Would it surprise me if they talk to each other? They’ve got each other’s emails and phone numbers. Would it surprise me if someone reached out, in the same way that regular people do? I’d send a text or an email saying, “Gosh, I read in the newspaper, I’m pretty sorry.” I think Jennifer will be fascinating to watch, because clearly she’s still with Casper Smart. But if there was a photograph of Jen and Ben together, that just happened to hit the same weekend that his movie came out? I think the paparazzi would explode. They were a gorgeous couple who played into the attention. They gave us a lot of access to photograph them. When he was on a boat, rubbing cream on her fantastic bottom? That’s why those two exploded in the press.

Staging photos: “If you have a reality star who enjoys attention, you handle it very differently. You’ll stage photo ops. You’ll stage the paparazzi when they’re walking down the street looking very sad, wearing black. Even Princess Diana was not above this. She went to the most romantic building in the world, the Taj Mahal, and cried on a bench by herself in front of the press.

Publicists tell the paps where to be: “It’s totally overt, to the point where you tell them the time to be there. “She’ll be in Central Park, wearing black, sitting on a bench, and she’ll be there for ten minutes. Fine, see you at 12:01.”

On John Mayer: “I think we’ve learned now that nobody likes the press as much as John Mayer does. The only time we ever got to see Jennifer Aniston out was when she was dating him, and he used to march her from La Esquina to his apartment, and that was for blocks. That girl never, ever gave photographs, and suddenly there’s literally a marching press corps that’s following her down the street.

[From NY Magazine]

There’s so much more, and I’m also enjoying his thoughts about the Kardashians and Taylor Swift and the fading exclusivity of celebrity too, but I might save those comments for another post. The stuff about Aniston is especially interesting to me because I remember exactly how strangely public that relationship with John Mayer was. It was 2008 and Angelina Jolie was pregnant again (with twins) and it felt like Aniston was going a little bit crazy trying to compete for attention. But Shuter makes it sound like it was mostly on Mayer, that he was pursuing the limelight and strutting Aniston around. Hm. As for the J.Lo and Affleck thing – I think he’s right in that Jennifer Lopez would be “up” for going back to Affleck, but I don’t see him being up for it.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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53 Responses to “Rob Shuter: John Mayer ‘used to march’ Jennifer Aniston in front of the paps”

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  1. Elyse says:

    It’s so crazy to think how manipulative celebrities can be with the press. You think they hate the attention and are above it, but really they are the ones pushing their image through. Sometimes the public can be so naive, including me.

    • Cleo says:

      I’m side-eyeing that tea from Rob Schuster. He had a column on Popsugar forever which was well known to be in Aniston’s PR flack’s (Stephen Huvane’s) back pocket. Schuter dropped so many paid for missiles on the Jolie Pitts and coddled Aniston to an absurd degree.

      One of the most obvious ‘Angie is evil,’ columns he wrote debuted a few days before Thanksgiving 2008, Angie had just had the twins and Aniston had been dumped again by John Mayer – it was abt how Angelina, the devil, hated America and hated Thanksgiving. It was also used to debut Aniston’s newfound bestie (and then, new Huvane stable mate) Chelsea Handler and discuss how they were good Americans spending Thanksgiving together.

      As we all know that marked the beginning of the long era of bizarre random Handler attacks (reportedly marching orders per Huvane) on Angelina.

      Schuter was a big part of that.

      No one can huvane and aniston weren’t solely behind some of those mayer photo-ops when the twins were due and when Angie debuted her big belly at Cannes. They were in a public pool, and in restaurants…and she was dropping his name on Oprah and in all the lady mags…did Mayer force her to do that as well?

      Schuter must still be on huvanes payroll. He needs to have a seat. Lol

    • BangersandMash says:


      By why did he have to bash Lady Di??? She did that Taj Mahal sit down with flare and grace. And I (naive public) took it all in and cried with her. She was the original and the best.

      And Brad’s agent on some, “They’ll be out with the little kid on the beach for about 30 minutes, she’s gonna be in black… Yes, yes. Namibia. Yeah…. I don’t care, make it!!!! Ok, see you saturday at 12pm.”

      • M.A.F. says:

        He didn’t bash Lady Di. People have been saying for years that she used the media just like everyone else, she played the game.

      • Emma - The JP Lover says:

        @BangersandMash, who wrote: “And Brad’s agent on some, “They’ll be out with the little kid on the beach for about 30 minutes, she’s gonna be in black… Yes, yes. Namibia. Yeah…. I don’t care, make it!!!! Ok, see you saturday at 12pm.”

        How in the world did you manage to make this passage: “Publicists tell the paps where to be: “It’s totally overt, to the point where you tell them the time to be there. “She’ll be in Central Park, wearing black, sitting on a bench, and she’ll be there for ten minutes. Fine, see you at 12:01.” … all about the Jolie-Pitts?

    • Nuna says:

      I think it’s a two-way thing for some: manage it or have it manage you. Others resist it very successfully and do only what they need to do (Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon) for films. Some people’s entire careers are based on managing publicity.

      • lisa2 says:

        really.. if you google Sandra and Louis you are going to find Thousands of pictures of them all over.. same with Matt. Just because gossip sites and mags don’t purchase those pictures doesn’t mean they don’t exist.. so are Matt and Sandra calling the paps to give the time and place of where they are.. because there are pics of them at airports, parks, walking to the store. So again is she and Matt calling and tipping them off or are they held to a different standard because the pictures of them are not money making ones.

  2. Meaghan says:

    Iduno, I’m going to read further but so far what was quoted here, it isn’t anything new that most everyone already guessed about celebs and the pap’s. I was hoping for juicy tidbits, but nope. It seems like its about time for a juicy scandal!

  3. Chinoiserie says:

    That thing about Meyer does not suprise me since he sound really unlikeable person.

    • Nuna says:

      But I think Jennifer Aniston probably encouraged it. She wanted to counter the Brangelina mania. Remember the Vanity Fair interview she did? I doubt he could have forced her to march down the street for a pap stroll with him if she didn’t want it. She was much more notorious/infamous than he was anyway, at that stage.

  4. Luca76 says:

    Interesting read!

  5. minx says:

    None of this really surprises me. They they want to cultivate their images, which are big business.
    That picture of Aniston must have been before her second nose job–you know, the “deviated septum” one.

  6. Maya says:

    Hallelujah – finally Jennifee Aniston’s PR manipulations have been exposed.

    The exact quote is: Jennifer Aniston. She’s like a stealth bomber. As long as I’ve been doing this, you never get pictures of Jen unless she wants you to.

    Many of us have been saying for years that Jennifer is the PR manipulations Queen and that everything she does is staged.

    • Damn says:

      No one is a bigger manipulator of the media than Jolie and Pitt.
      All celebs who have pap pics are famewhoring. Unless they are at some film premiere or film festival I don’t buy it that they are chased by the paps. They all call them.

      • Maya says:

        I am sorry but did you not see the video last week of Angelina & co arriving at the airport? More than paps it was normal people who were taking the pictures.

        Plus you never get pictures of Angelina & Brad other than at airports, doing humanitarian work and some children’s store.

        So no matter what you say – Brangelina is the most famous couple in the world and their pictures will be taken by the paps and the public.

      • Nick says:

        or or – ALL CELEBRITIES ARE! Why when one in the triangle is brought up, the other ones have to be brought up comparison? It is so damn old.

      • Peggy says:

        Why would Angie and Brad need to call the
        Papz, when they’re outside their gate 24/7.
        You see them when they’re promoting a movie or at the airport, they never go on talk shows or do magazine interviews for skin care or hair extensions, otherwise known as nothing to promote.
        By the way Rob Shuter is as believable as a unicorn.

      • darkdove says:

        everyone is more interested in them, than boring Aniston hipocrit who later cries about the press not leaving her alone she is expose that is all.

      • Cleo says:

        Just because Jolie and Pitt are bigger movie stars and more famous, that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten that way by manipulating celebrity press and riding coattails like J-Anis.

        She is well known for manipulating media based on her own self esteem issues, bitterness and passive aggressive ways.

        Not saying Jolie and Pitt don’t use their fame and media attention – but its for GOOD, like building AIDS clinics in Ethiopia or rebuilding NOLA, NOT because they’re eaten up with jealousy and feel they have to go sobbing for sympathy as the woman scorned one day and airing their azz out in Mexico with someone that seems to be a boyfriend the next, just because their exes are pregnant with the most beautiful woman in the world.

        See the diff? LOL

      • V4Real says:

        So it’s the publicist who calls the paps as oppose to the celeb, ok, got it.

        On another note IMO none of the celebs mentioned here are above calling paps. I love AJ but even she’s not above this. I believe Aniston does it as well.

      • Lana says:

        Actually Aniston is the biggest pr whore of them all. Who can forget when she was with that Vince Vaughn guy and walked to the pap haven called The Ivy with a diamond ring on her wedding ring finger and no bra wither nipples really iced and a huge grin on her face and walk through the front door of The Ivy at peak lunch hour and straight through the back? VV dumped her soon after since she made it look like she was engaged. Who can blame him? She also talks about her ex Brad every chance she gets and brought up a dead ex for an Oscar sympathy ploy. Aniston is the master manipulator and no one, absolutely no one, is better than her at it.

      • msw says:

        I cannot believe anyone still cares about thus stupid love triangle.

      • ataylor says:

        As far as the airport pictures, at LAX there is a permanent pap beat at several terminals, especially Terminals 4, 7 and 8 — where most celebs arrive. I’ve been there quite frequently and there is never a time when there isn’t a small army of paps there. Never. There are, at least, THE ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM of 2-3 paps permanently stationed there.

    • Cleo says:

      OK, so he is admitting to her and her PR flacks manips. Lol I was getting ready to say..who does he think he’s kidding?? Lol

    • Andrea1 says:

      Maya your obvious dislike of Jennifer Aniston is getting the better of you I honestly think you should tone it down. You don’t have to be negative about her all the time.
      And obviously the triangle will never die… I think some people should take a break from celebitchy… Just like I did!

      • Lilian says:

        I was thinking it. Glad u said it @andrea1. This post borders on hate for people u don’t know.

      • Maya says:

        Umm I just pointed out that finally what I have been saying about Jennifer and her PR games have been exposed.

        I didn’t bring in the triangle at all so why accuse me of doing that?

        A person replied to my comment and I replied back pointing out the flaw in their argument.

        At the end of the day – if people have problems with my comments – they can just ignore it. I disagree with lots of people here and I stopped a long time ago to write any replies. These days I only reply to comments I agree with and comments specifically meant to me.

      • Andrea1 says:

        @Lilian thanks a lot! Its gotten out of hand and its So crazy.. So sorry to say but It makes Me wonder if some people actually have life outside CB.. So much time is spent going back and forth about someone you don’t know personally.
        @Maya I wasn’t referring to you when I said you brought up the triangle but obviously the person who replied your comment did So because he/she knows you’re always negative about Jen and because you’re a fan of brad and Angie… I’m a fan of the jolie pitt but I don’t feel the need to defend them neither do I feel the need to constantly bash Jen.
        The back and forth is crazy.. Urrrgh!

      • Carmen says:

        Actually, I think Maya was just stating the obvious.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        A-freaking-men, Andrea!

        @Maya, If you think the Jolie-Pitts have gotten to where they are without some media manipulation of their own, you’re a lost cause.

    • Luna says:

      Exactly like the jolie-pitt. They do the same thing. We never get a picture of them if they dont want to

      • Absolutely says:

        And you notice that all the pics they let out are either of them being the best parents ever! Or the greatest humanitarians ever! Those 2 have PR geniuses working for them.

  7. Damn says:

    And yet fans all over comments section swear up and down that their favourites would never ever call the paps but of course the others do it. They all do it.

    • Bridget says:

      Ha! But don’t you know, the cameras are just waiting, because (fill in the blank) is really that in-demand?

      Though the one place I’ll actually believe that about is the LA airport. Apparently a lot of folks that work for the airport/airlines will call in tips about who’s on flight manifests.

  8. Mean Hannah says:

    Wow! He must have retired or has another source of income, because as a publicist, the number one rule is protect your clients, past and current. You don’t dish, ever! I have two past clients who were terrible to me and they are awful people (beloved for their huge heart and generosity) but I would never tell, even though I don’t do PR anymore.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I am so happy it was said that they are paid to do a job and not be their friend. I quit my last job for that reason and it was made hell for me because I did not spend hours not giving a damn about what X thought of me. You can still be a pro and not stroke egos.

  10. Cali says:

    Is this Rob Shuter of Naughty But Nice Rob? Ugh. That’s all I’ll say.

  11. lisa2 says:

    I don’t have a problem with celebs having a say in how they are viewed in the public. When you think of the times pictures are taken and used to write negative stories; I don’t blame a celebrity from maybe not going out of their way to be photographed together or whatever to counter what has been said and run with. That being the case just because some pap gets a picture of a celebrity doesn’t always mean they were called.

    and celebrities being caught coming out of an airport and being called famewhores for it.. really dumb.. that LA airport has paps there all the time. I saw the video of Brad/Angie family walking to their care. How else were they suppose to leave. There are not Underground tunnels at that airport.

  12. CK says:

    Oh lord, a CB thread that mentions both Aniston and the Jolie-Pitts. I don’t know if I should head out for my sanity or grab some popcorn and wine and prepare for the comment section sh*t show.

    • lisa2 says:

      Not sure why they should be mentioned..they were not mentioned in the article. And at this point neither of them has a Publicist.

      *** But back to the topic.. I think Jennifer Aniston was very much in love with John Mayer. She never talks about him at all. But I sense that she really wanted him and she hasn’t looked that happy and involved with anyone else. I mean she would travel all over to be with him. I believe he was just that that deeply committed to her.

  13. Elly says:

    not really a story here. We all know celebs stage photos and make pap walks when new movies come out or just to save their public image when they divorce, have affairs or whatever. Stars nowadays are fabricated brands.

  14. Twink says:

    JLo and Ben were so hot together, it was insane.

  15. Anon says:

    I think and have for quite awhile now that even John and Katy use each other always. It’s easy to go back to when they need publicity as there doing now. Katy uses John as much as John uses Katy. All you have to do is review there history.

    I’m definatley interested in hearing more from Rob sometimes he is a pain in the butt but not mean

  16. I don’t doubt that Mayer is the one who arranged for these photo-ops…..but Jennifer was a willing participant. There’s no way, at her age, with her experience, and the PR guy that she has….that after the first few times (if she wasn’t told before, at all, which I doubt) Jennifer didn’t know. So she may have wanted the press too (to show that she’s in love and happy, etc) or she may have just gone along with it, to make Mayer happy. But he didn’t make her do anything.

  17. Ramona Q. says:

    La Esquina is catty corner to John Mayer’s old apartment. That walk didn’t last “for blocks.”

  18. Frank Gallagher says:

    Ben will hit it and quit it with jlo. Jennifer Aniston was the best thing that ever happened to John Maher and he blew it.