After complaints over a cover featuring LeAnn Rimes escalated into a back-and-forth of apology and defense, Shape magazine editor-in-chief Valerie Latona will step down from her position, Keith Kelly reports. Tara Craft — beauty and fashion director at Star, which like Shape is owned by American Media — will take over for her.
Latona became embroiled in controversy last month when she placed country star LeAnn Rimes on the magazine’s cover wearing a bold red bikini. Many wrote to Latona infuriated; for LeAnn to show that much skin and don a red bikini after admitting to an affair — with her TV movie co-star, no less! — flaunted her adultery to an offensive extent. At this point, someone with a habit of making strained literary references would make a connection to Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter. But that’s not neceessary.
Anyway, Latona called the cover a “terrible mistake” in an email responding to the complaints. Rimes did not take kindly to this and canceled her appearance at an AMI party, even as Latona attempted to retract her statements.
“As I have always said to Shape‘s readers, it’s important to take risks in life and try new things, and now I’m taking my own advice and heading off into my next adventure,” Latona said in a statement.