Over the years, celebrity sightings have been commonplace at Los Angeles Lakers games, with Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Denzel Washington making regular appearances at Staples Center. Across the Atlantic Ocean, catching an important tennis match at the All England Club is arguably the closest thing to a celebrity sports scene.
On Sunday, with Scottish star Andy Murray facing Milos Raonic of Canada in the Wimbledon final, one particular celebrity couple in the stands piqued the interest of star gazers. Actor Bradley Cooper was seated with his girlfriend Irina Shayk, and cameras caught the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model wiping tears while Cooper appeared irritated.
I think Bradley Cooper is in a fight. pic.twitter.com/yKSSXs10mC
— Micah Hart (@MicahHart) July 10, 2016
The result was a tabloid firestorm with gossip of the couple breaking up. It may not have helped that Cooper’s former girlfriend Suki Waterhouse was just a few seats away and Shayk’s thoughts may have been on ex-boyfriend Cristiano Ronaldo, who was about to suit up for Portugal’s soccer match against France in the Euro 2016 final. As far as celebrity moments caught on camera go, this one seemed kind of high on the list.
TMZ would come to the rescue Monday, finding a source that claimed Shayk’s eyes were actually irritated by pollen. The dour demeanor of Cooper was attributed to him talking to former tennis great Stefan Edberg, who was seated on the other side of Shayk.
Well, glad that was all straightened out, right?
The lesson here might be that Wimbledon may be the best hot spot for celebrity sightings when the NBA season is over. There is enough time between points for cameras to catch faces in the stands, and viewers can get tired of seeing tennis players’ families reacting on each ace and winner.
When combined with the British media pouncing on any sign of a story, the relatively quiet period for sports in early July and tennis in need of a ratings bump, Wimbledon seems like an obvious setting for celebrities’ publicists to exploit.
Spotting famous people at Wimbledon isn’t exactly new, but it usually doesn’t generate the same type of interest as Laker games, with ubiquitous reality stars Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton grabbing attention when sitting courtside. In previous years, Wimbledon was mostly confined to British celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham, Gerard Butler, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Anna Wintour, as well as the Duchess of Cambridge Cate Middleton and Prince William.
This wasn’t the first time Bradley has been spotted at Wimbledon. The 41-year-old actor and Waterhouse had attended matches in 2014.