In the world of celebrity nudity, the dong shot has long been the rarest of commodities. The penis — unique in form and uniquely telling about he who possesses it — has long been the white whale of celebrity sightings. That is, until Justin Bieber started flashing his white whale on beaches worldwide. Mere days after Orlando Bloom’s recent full-frontal paparazzi incident, Justin Bieber appeared in his second full-frontal paparazzi shoot. Were Bieber’s pictures designed to prompt side-by-side size comparisons with longtime romantic-rival Bloom? How much control does a celebrity have over his dick pics? And how much money do they make? We called our favorite former celebrity publicist, Rob Shuter of Naughty Gossip, for answers.
I want to talk about the rise of the celebrity penis full-frontal. I don’t think I’ve seen it before.
No, and I think that’s because times have changed. God bless Kim Kardashian and sex tapes and the cover of Paper magazine! She really changed the rules for women, and now the men are catching up.
Justin Bieber went full-frontal for the paparazzi recently, just days after Orlando Bloom was photographed naked on an Italian beach with Katy Perry. Do you think that was a coincidence?
I think that those two have beef. They almost had a fight once because of Miranda Kerr.
Right, the beginning of their romantic rivalry.
And I think Justin likes us knowing that he has a big penis. He’s not shy and it’s not the first time it’s happened. He wasn’t caught in a backyard, he wasn’t caught in a changing room or a locker room.
What struck me about Bieber’s most recent pictures is that he’s in a remote jungle in Hawaii. How could a paparazzo follow him and his Instagram-hottie friends there without anyone noticing?
Exactly. I think it’s really suspicious, too. When I saw those pictures, and the quality of them, they didn’t look like they were taken with some supersonic telephoto lens. If I was a betting guy — and I don’t have any evidence for this — but if I was betting, I think they wanted those pictures out. Had it been on the Copacabana beach in Rio, sure, someone would take a photograph. But in the jungle? I think it’s very, very suspicious.
I think Justin’s look is a bit more staged [than Orlando’s]. They were a little bit more, dare I say, romantic. It felt like an Annie Leibovitz shoot. The other thing that made me suspicious of Bieber is that there was only, like, two or three of them. Now if I was a paparazzi, or a photographer in the woods, I would click 400 photographs. With Orlando there was a ton of photographs. Every time he moved to the left or the right there was another photograph. Someone clearly had a lens and just: click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click. There’s a series of photographs. But Bieber? There’s, like, three.
What does that suggest? That he planned it and did photo approvals?
Yeah, that he approved it, and that he probably tipped them off. When I worked with Jessica Simpson, Joe Simpson was the photographer that took the pictures half the time.
Oh my goodness. Did he get photo credits?
Yes, he was that vain. He even wanted photo credits. If you look in the margins of Us Weekly when Jessica was in a bikini anywhere, the photo credit said Joe Simpson. [Edit: Joe recently reinvented himself as a professional photographer. His his first gallery show was in May.]
Okay, so I just googled Justin’s Hawaii pictures again, and the Daily News lists the photo agency but not the photographer.
See, now that’s another thing they can do. Joe Simpson used to give his pictures to WireImage and they would distribute them. You don’t have to be a staff photographer for WireImage to distribute through them. Brad and Angie distributed pictures of their baby through Getty, I think, but it wasn’t a Getty photographer. I think it was Brad who took them.
Have you ever had a client who wanted the paparazzi to catch them naked?
I have not. I once worked with a client — I can’t tell you the name — but he had some, not full-frontal, but certainly racy photos taken by the paparazzi. He ended up buying them himself, to stop them from coming out.
How did that process work?
Before they’re sold to a magazine, the photo agency gets in touch with the publicists, the managers, and then the client. In that case, he can actually buy the pictures himself.
How much do you think Orlando would have paid, if he’d wanted to buy his photos himself?
I think they’d want $50,000 or $60,000, because that’s probably what they’d make by selling them through a wire.
You know, the same day Orlando Bloom’s naked pictures were published, August 3, he was photographed playing with Katy Perry’s boobs in the ocean. I was trying to calculate the time zones, to see if it was before or after the photos went public. But he probably knew before they went up?
Yes, he would have known. Before any magazine printed them, they would have called for comment, so he definitely would have known.
That makes me like him more! He has a sense of humor. Even the penis pictures are hilarious — he climbed rocks spread-eagle with his dick out.
What I know about Orlando from friends and sources is that he’s a pretty hippie, laid-back, sort of nudist type of guy. I think he’s very free with nature. He’s comfortable in his own skin. I don’t think he was necessarily flashing that thing around to get attention, like Bieber. Orlando is the guy who just doesn’t care. Katy is in a bathing suit, but he couldn’t care less. His dick is there on her shoulder. And you know, he hasn’t threatened any lawsuits. No one’s had legal letters telling us to take the photos down. Orlando’s like, “Fuck, you saw my dick. Who cares?”
It seems like every time a paparazzi full-frontal happens, the original uncensored photos end up on Twitter. How does that happen?
Well, when they’re sent to the photo agency, when they’re sent to the publication, you get the original picture. So the original photograph also exists on the server at the Daily News, which I’m sure gets emailed to friends and family and everybody else. And the agencies sell photos to different territories, too. If you sell it to someone in France, for instance, the rules may be more liberal than ours. French outlets, I think, can run naked images. All it takes is one person on Twitter in Paris to put that picture up, and boom, it’s gone.
Do you think Bieber’s first dick pic, the one in Bora Bora taken by someone on a boat with a telephoto lens, was staged?
No, I think that one wasn’t. [The photos] have a grainy quality, and for Justin to have set that up would’ve been so difficult. I think somebody in Bora Bora knew the house he was in and caught him. Those are more like the Kate Middleton pictures that were taken from two miles away. My sources told me that he was going to sue, until they saw what a positive impact the photos had. Then they didn’t care. And now Bieber’s learnt himself a lesson. Celebrities learn very quickly. Once celebrities know how to get attention, they go back to the same well over and over and over again. Kim Kardashian? It’s nakedness. Donald Trump? It’s saying something outrageous.
So we should expect to see more of Bieber’s dick?
More and more. It’s going to get to the point where we’re almost bored of Bieber’s willy. As for other stars out there now — if you’re well-endowed or if you even have a decent dick you feel good about and your album is coming out this week and nobody cares? Well, I’d get myself to Jones Beach. It’s much easier than doing a junket for ten hours to talk about a CD. Why, look at Lenny Kravitz. That was the best thing to happen to Lenny. I hadn’t spoken about or thought about him in five years, and suddenly I was watching that video on a loop.
You can even edit them. One of the celebrities I worked with — and I didn’t know this until I saw her do it — but she had a password to WireImage. They gave her a password as if she were, like, a member of WireImage’s staff. They would upload the pictures they took of her, after she tipped them off, and then she would go on with a password and delete ones where she didn’t like her cheeks, or her boobs, or her hair. Now someone as powerful as Bieber, he could have passwords to all of the sites. Or his manager, Scooter, probably.
Another interesting thing about those recent pictures of Bieber, is that there are three different sizes on the internet. I’ll send you the picture. When I was looking at them to post on Naughty Gossip, I was like, “Oh my goodness. He looks much bigger in this picture.” Then I put all three next to each and other, and realized: Somebody’s Photoshopped two of these and leaked them. I had to go back to the Bora Bora pictures to see which one was the real him.
Wow. Although if you’re staging a dick pic, you can also stage how your dick looks.
Yes. Fluff. No cold bathtubs.
I do want to say for the record, and please repeat it to any male celebrities you know: Whenever any of them wants to show his penis, I promise to say nice things about it. There will always be at least one member of the press complimenting that penis, both as a means for encouraging more penises, and because I really do—
I’m sorry to cut you off, Maureen, but I’ve got to take another call.
—believe that all penises are special. Good-bye!
This interview has been edited and condensed.