Last week, we reported on celebrity chef Todd English ditching his bride at the altar, and the bridal party spinning their story to the Post. Forget the "maybe." It was total spin, to prepare for battle: pre-nups and abuse allegations.
After Erica Wang gets stood up at the altar by Todd English last Saturday for their wedding, there's a huge celebration. We get a tip about how much fun the bridal party had at the reception for someone who just got stood up, the Post wrote a story on it that required two bylines, and we questioned the bridal registry naming the wedding for June instead of October.
So: what happened?
According to the Post, English promised his bride-to-be a big wedding after she gave up her life to be with Todd and travel with him. They didn't fight often, but when they did, English would leave for days at a time. Three weeks before the wedding, when they were getting their rehearsal pictures taken in Central Park—and wedding insiders know the great joke there—things looked great. Wang even helpfully provided the Post with those photos. Even the week before the wedding: Wang visits English in Tampa, and things are fine. She leaves, and doesn't hear from him for six days. At 1PM on their wedding day, he calls her, tells her it's off, and hangs up. The next time she hears from him is when she's presented with a bill for half the wedding, is having her credit cards canceled, and is being told to move out. "Reports surface" that English was out partying in South Beach with other women the night of the wedding.
English gave the New York Post a different story, via statement:
I am deeply saddened and remorseful for the cancellation of the wedding and any embarrassment that it caused to Erica, her family, my family and our friends. It was never intended this way, but our relationship has not been positive for some time." After saying Wang had hit and wounded him during a fight and tore up a prenup agreement, the statement added: "As sad and painful this has been for me and I am sure for her, we are better off alone rather than together. I wish Erica well."
Wang told the Post in response to English's statement that she never hit him, that the pre-nup was Draconian, and that he never presented her with another one.
Now. Let's cut the shit:
- Erica Wang and company start looking to spin press in their direction sometime last week in preparation for a scandal. They know things aren't going well. Maybe it was the day of the wedding. Maybe earlier.
- They get some Post reporters to come to their reception with the promise of an exclusive when this thing blows up.
- They tip off a few other outlets (like us) to it to see if they'll sniff around.
- And here we are.
But here's the thing: we've been told from a very, very good source that most if not all of English's closest friends and family were very well aware of the fact that he wasn't going to show long before the fact.
In fact, plenty of Todd's friends or family didn't even bother coming to New York, because they were so aware of it not actually happening. So the reports that "surfaced" of Todd partying in South Beach shouldn't be much of a surprise, whether they were planted or true. In that light, the spin that started last week isn't shocking either.
A few other things. Note how the Post quotes all of English's statement to them except the most interesting part:
...our relationship has not been positive for some time." After saying Wang had hit and wounded him during a fight and tore up a prenup agreement, the statement added: "As sad and painful this has..."
What? Now we only have only more questions.
What the hell did Todd English say about Erica Wang abusing him? And what'd he have to say to the supposedly scorched-earth prenup Wang told the Post was "so ludicrous and offensive," exactly? How bad were these fights if English was going away for days at a time between them, and why would Wang expect anything different out of their last week?
I think this story's been plotted out for a while. English knew it was over, didn't want it to explode, and he's got enough lawyers and money to make it go away without too much fuss. She saw it coming, too, maybe even in Tampa. She wanted to walk away with something more than a party, so she hits up the press. But now that she's run the press lines out, he's maybe pissed off and billing her for the bullshit. Just my theory.
Wedding conspiracies: they happen.
Inside Todd English's canceled wedding [NYP]
[Photo via Gary Gershoff/Getty Images]