THE DOWN LOW
The Fab Photo
Fri. January 21, 2005 12:00 AM
by David Viggiano
ChicagoPride.com has posted literally thousands of pictures since it first started chronicling gay events with slide show presentations. Of all those pictures posted over the past few years, an innocent shot of a shirtless hunk at a nightclub has become part of a huge controversy surrounding the new season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette”.
In episode two, Hometown girl Jen Schefft , narrowed the playing field to eight suitors. The Internet is buzzing with speculation that one of the suitors, a Frenchman named Fabrice , is gay.
One of ChicagoPride.com’s more popular slideshows is “2004 Hotties” a retrospective of buff, brawny men, taken by photographer David Ouano at various events and nightclubs over the past year. One of the pictures taken at Sound-Bar during a gay-friendly event is of a cute, smiling, shirtless man that’s titled “Fabrice of Paris”. But even before this picture was discovered, accusations were flying around the Internet. It all began when the Reality T.V. Show Web site, TVGasm.com posted an email sent to the site that said, “one of the new suitors (fabrice) is gay, and an actor – I went on a few dates with him a while ago. plus now he has a boyfriend.” That opened a flood gate of Google geeks searching the Internet for proof to support the accusation.
In addition to the photo posted on ChicagoPride.com, realitytvworld.com is reporting that Fabrice has personal profiles on bigmuscle.com and friendster.com.
This story now has a life of its own, with the many other outlets reporting the rumors including the Chicago Sun-Times and E!online.com. ChicagoPride.com and "the photo" received mentions in People Magazine and US Weekly.
ABC issued its standard no comment, but commercials are now running for the next Bachelorette episode that features Fabrice saying he has a confession to make. This should help the sagging ratings the show is producing this year. Some are speculating that Fabrice is a mole who’s reporting to Jen. We’ll just have to watch to find out!
"The Bachelorette" airs on Monday nights at 8:00pm on ABC.