Cosmo jostle with Johansson

BATD ON Dec 16, 2008 AT 2:31 pm

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

British Cosmopolitan is blaming the furor over the allegedly fabricated quotes attributed to Scarlett Johansson in its January issue on an interview the magazine bought from an agency journalist. The actress features on the magazine’s cover, along with the cover line, “Scarlett: ‘Why I HAD to get married!’ ” while the interview inside includes several quotes relating to her marriage to actor Ryan Reynolds.

However, Johansson’s publicist described the quotes in which the actress discusses her marriage as “wholly fabricated.” “Ms. Johansson has at no point granted U.K. Cosmopolitan an interview, and she has never discussed her personal relationships with the publication,” her PR said.

On Monday, British Cosmo’s publisher, Natmags, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Magazines, said the title published the agency journalist’s quotes in “good faith.” “U.K. Cosmopolitan is taking the complaints by Ms. Johansson’s publicist seriously and is investigating the matter further,” the company said.

Scarlett and husband Ryan

Scarlett and husband Ryan

Cosmopolitan attributes the story to Rebecca Winters Keegan — who carried out an interview with Johansson for the August issue of American Cosmopolitan — and an “additional interview” with Francesca Williams. Johansson’s publicist said Monday that “Francesca Williams” turned out to be a pseudonym, and that the additional interview was said to have been carried out at a Los Angeles press junket for the film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” on Aug. 4. Johansson’s publicist said that at that point, the actress wasn’t married.

He added Johansson is seeking legal advice while the magazine investigates the interview and that if the actress does decide to file a libel suit, she would donate any damages to charity.

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