Story-Murdering Editor Tale Haunts In Touch

Perhaps Complex magazine missed the juicier side of the FBI's dirty editor investigation: the tabloid editor in question may have been taking bribes to kill stories, not just promote them, according to one former coworker. An English editor based out of In Touch's New Jersey headquarters was, starting four years ago, widely rumored among In Touch staff to have accepted bribes on a regular basis, particularly from a fellow Brit working as a high-profile publicist to a collection of ditzy celebrities. Staff were particularly "horrified" when the editor accepted a rumored $10,000 payment to kill a story involving Jennifer Lopez after her breakup with Ben Affleck, the former colleague said. Though this editor was based on the East Coast, his story helps show why the FBI would be interested in the former In Touch West Coast-based editor on whom speculation has centered.

As In Touch's publisher has pointed out, publicists would have little reason to bribe a West Coast editor for cover treatment, as the original report from Complex had it. In Touch selects photos and paparazzi out of New Jersey.

But if the goal was to kill a story, instead of promote it? In that case, bribing a West Coast editor sounds perfectly plausible, especially for a publicist who has already had luck with a different editor in the same company.

The FBI, who are said to be working former In Touch staff in Los Angeles, could be looking at the New Jersey editor as well: he eventually jetted out to Los Angeles to work for a different celebrity magazine, the source said.