Actually, to hear the tabloids tell it—it's finished brewing. Now it's just steeped. Now, this isn't the first time their marriage has been hit with rumors of infidelity, but the sheer force of this round of ammunition brought by the tabloids is certainly stronger than anything they've come under fire for before.
As it happens, the usual suspects have all devoted covers to the saga: Star, In Touch Weekly, Life and Style, Us Weekly and even People have delved into the seemingly indefatigable rumor that the couple is, at the very least, temporarily separated in the wake of Kutcher allegedly straying while in San Diego the night of Sept. 23—incidentally, the couple's sixth wedding anniversary.
So why does this particular batch of rumors seem to be sticking?
Well, let's just say Demi and Ashton's relative silence on the matter hasn't exactly proven golden. While they certainly may be attempting to take the high road in this private matter, it's a slightly atypical response given their usual aptitude to tweet out reactions to any and everything in their daily life. (Demi, after all, has shown no qualms about tweeting out topless shots of herself on a somewhat regular basis—not exactly the moves of someone eschewing the spotlight or hiding their private life.) That they're doing so now has struck some as noteworthy.
Then there's the photos. Whether or not anything untoward happened, they do at least serve as proof that Ashton spent his wedding anniversary away from his wife Demi.
Star magazine published the photos in its current issue of Ashton with Sara Leal, the girl he allegedly hooked up with last month, and several other blondes at Fluxx nightclub. However, none of the shots show anything remotely close to indecent behavior.
Though Leal hasn't come forward with a story—she has, however, reportedly lawyered up—her friends haven't shown the same discretion, with one of her so-called pals Brooke Yancy tweeting just a week after the alleged incident, "Can't believe my friend Sara leal slept with Ashton kutcher and is now selling the story for $250,000." (The tweet, posted under the name Bkyancy, has since been removed.)
Meanwhile, Life and Style has taken a different tactic, claiming via an anonymous family friend that the duo's allegedly strained relationship had fallen apart weeks before the supposed cheating incident, and that Ashton has since moved out of their shared pad.
Possibly backing those rumors—or, conversely, proving that Leal is simply a longtime pal, photos have even surfaced of Ashton and Sara leaving the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood back in June.
Meanwhile, People has sources claiming that the duo's marriage—which they describe as "flexible"—is indeed strained, but notes that while the couple has separated for now, there has been no talk of divorce or plans for a formal split.
One thing that can't be denied: since the rumors have surfaced, Ashton and Demi have still been spotted together, albeit not overly frequently: Moore attended a Two and a Half Men party at Chuck Lorre's house in support of her husband on Sept. 19, and just last week the couple entered the Kabbalah Centre together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.
Otherwise, though, the couple has been doing their best to stay under the radar, with Ashton simply tweeting last month two not-so-cryptic messages:
"When you ASSUME to know that which you know nothing of you make an ASS out of U and ME," he wrote Sept. 29, the same day he posted a link to Public Enemy's "Don't Believe the Hype."
Unfortunately, the tabloids don't appear to have heeded those words.