For a few short hours this morning, celebrity gossip hounds were confronted with the slight possibility that Alex Rodriguez and Katie Homes might be dating. The two, after all, are both recently single, and 2021 has somehow already given us odder celebrity pairings so far. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, really.
As it turns out, however, the story was just a case of Hall of Fame- (or Hall of Shame, depending on your point of view) grade clickbait. The pair have never even met each other.
It was the website of British tabloid The Daily Mail that first sounded the alarm bells, by declaring “Alex Rodriguez keeps it casual in a white T-shirt as he leaves Katie Holmes’ apartment building.” To be fair, the story did say, “It’s unclear who the retired athlete was visiting,” but the insinuation was clear. The story did go on to chronicle Rodriguez’s recent split from Jennifer Lopez, and Holmes’s own split from restauranteur Emilio Vitolo Jr.
But the suggestion of a Kate-Rod pairing did seem fishy from the start, and not just because that potential couple name just sounds off.
For starters, other major celebrity gossip players, including Page Six, TMZ, and People, had not previously caught wind of the pair possibly dating and had nothing to add to the story immediately. The rumors hadn’t even crossed the path of the increasingly notorious crowd-sourced celebrity gossip clearing house Instagram account DeuxMoi. If a rumor hasn’t been on DeuxMoi, is it even a rumor at all?
As anyone familiar with Manhattan real estate could tell you, the happenstance of A-Rod being spotted at Holmes’s apartment building doesn’t necessarily mean anything of great substance, either. Manhattan is the most densely populated portion of the United States, and, as the very definition of “apartment building” suggests, several people live in them. As it goes, rich and famous New Yorkers tend to often live in the same buildings as other rich and famous New Yorkers. Rodriguez could have been there for any old reason.
Enter Page Six, which quickly cleared up the confusion: Rodriguez is not dating Holmes, but he was exploring the possibility of becoming her neighbor.
Following his split from Jennifer Lopez, the former Yankees slugger has been in New York searching for a new apartment. (Apparently, he needs a little distance from Miami, where he was living while dating Lopez.) That hunt happened to lead him to check out a unit in Holmes’s building.
Holmes’s representatives also clarified that “They have never even met.”
Like anyone searching for an apartment in New York, Rodriguez’s hunt is likely to be a long and painful one. As a bold-faced name, it’s also quite likely he’ll end up looking at units in buildings in which other bold-faced names also live. It does not mean, necessarily, he is dating any of his possible future neighbors.
The entire saga was not about how weird and random it is to date in New York City, but, rather, how much weirder it is to hunt for an apartment here. Perhaps it’s also a reminder that, despite how odd celebrity gossip is shaping up to be in 2021, don’t believe every insinuation you see. Just because Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have reunited does not mean anything is happening between them, romantically speaking.