It's every tabloid editors' dream come true: secret snapshots of a Hollywood It Girl canoodling with a man who is not her equally famous and fawned-over boyfriend.
Fantasy became reality last month when images of Kristen Stewart kissing her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders materialized, appearing online and in the pages of Us Weekly. And though both issued public apologies following the indiscretion, Stewart has since retreated from the public amid a barrage of tawdry headlines and rampant speculation about her future with "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson.
Few understand the fishbowl of fame and fortune quite like Stewart's "Panic Room" co-star Jodie Foster, who began her acting career at the tender age of 3. The Oscar winner penned an impassioned essay for The Daily Beast, defending young stars in general and Stewart specifically.
When MTV News caught up with Foster at the 2012 Movie Awards, she had nothing but praise for Stewart, saying, "I'm just so proud to see what an amazing lady she's turned into."
"In 2001, I spent 5 months with Kristen Stewart on the set of 'Panic Room' mostly holed up in a space the size of a Manhattan closet," Foster wrote in the essay. "We talked and laughed for hours, sharing spontaneous mysteries and venting our boredom. I grew to love that kid. She turned 11 during our shoot and on her birthday I organized a mariachi band to serenade her at the taco bar while she blew out her candles. She begrudgingly danced around a sombrero with me but soon rushed off to a basketball game with the grip and electric departments."
Foster went on to recall a conversation with Stewart's mother in which she wondered whether Stewart could be dissuaded from the oft-fickle acting profession. Clearly, she couldn't.
The 49-year-old admits freely, however, that if she had grown up in the age of the 24/7 news cycle, she surely wouldn't have lasted long.
"I've said it before and I will say it again: if I were a young actor today I would quit before I started," she wrote. "If I had to grow up in this media culture, I don't think I could survive it emotionally. I would only hope that someone who loved me, really loved me, would put their arm around me and lead me away to safety."
And, perhaps, it is now Foster who puts her arm around Stewart, leading her to a safer place — at least metaphorically — offering these final words:
"My mother had a saying that she doled out after every small injustice, every heartbreak, every moment of abject suffering. 'This too shall pass.' God, I hated that phrase. It always seemed so banal and out of touch, like she was telling me my pain was irrelevant. Now it just seems quaint, but oddly true ... Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And, yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps. You survive. Hopefully in the process you don't lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and — finally — the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don't let them take that away from you."
Would you defend Kristen Stewart in the midst of the media attention? Discuss in the comments!