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Needless to say he kept his mouth tightly shut about gay Hollywood affairs.

But the “scandal press,” exemplified by Confidential magazine (whose infamy makes its name resonate even half a century after its demise) was another story.

In the wake of Hudson's passing, with his “private life” at last officially made part of “polite” parlance in and out of show biz, a sense that Hudson's brand of marital charade was common in Hollywood has emerged. And was it any more the rule—or the exception—anywhere else?

“I don't think Rock Hudson went to Universal and said 'Hey I'm gay you've gotta find me a broad to cover it up,'” veteran publicist Howard Bragman remarks.

But this seems unlikely as all that Confidential would have been able to supply would have been the testimony of ex-boyfriends or the word of co-workers.

But that didn't happen because Hudson was well-liked by his peers and left no trail of embittered ex-loves behind him.

Nowadays it would be more the manager or press rep. The problem in Hollywood is you don't know who's real to begin with.

That's why there was all this snickering about 'Bennifer'.” “Bennifer,” as more than one Hollywood wag has dubbed it, refers to the inordinately hyped alliance of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, two far-from-publicity-shy actors whose cancellation of a ceaselessly-promoted marriage in the wake of the unmitigated disaster of Gigli—the romantic comedy-drama that was supposed to have rendered them the postmodern Bogart and Bacall—was one of the biggest entertainment stories of 2003.Please add a one-time donation to help fund our most urgent campaigns to fight discrimination and expand LGBTQ rights.Remember, 100% of your purchase fuels the fight for LGBTQ equality and makes you an active member of the Human Rights Campaign.“He's always out with a new movie beauty in the columns—and I happen to believe it's true.” Come again? “Pretty Boy” was commonly understood in show business circles as “polite” slang for “fag.” Earl Wilson quite obviously knew the truth about Rock Hudson.But he was praising him for playing the game”—the charade of straightness then (and happily to a somewhat lesser degree now), demanded of gays and lesbians both in and out of show business.And so Hudson, who had by then appeared only such routine “programmers” as Horizons West and The Golden Blade, was chatting up veteran columnist Earl Wilson.