As an entertainment journalist, I have a keener interest in showbiz scandals than most.
Sure, you may be interested in Jordyn Woods being accused of kissing Tristan Thompson, but did you schedule your tube journeys to make sure you didn’t miss Jordyn on Red Table Talk? Do you still have Coleen Rooney’s Twitter on alert since WAGatha Christie?
I just love showbiz gossip. So much so, that a celeb story from the last 10 years is what I will be thinking about on my deathbed. (Sorry, family and friends).
I am, of course, talking about that fateful night in 2014, when Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange Knowles entered a lift and Solange proceeded to beat the s*** out of her brother-in-law.
Liftgate is undoubtedly the best showbiz story of the decade. It’s an incident that enthralled the world and one that we will never quite know the full story of.
For those of you who somehow missed it – and for that, I pity you – it all centres around the Met Gala on 4 May 2014, which had the theme Charles James: Beyond Fashion.
Beyonce was looking ravishing in a sheer black Givenchy dress with a beaded headpiece, her husband Jay Z looked slick in a white tux jacket and black bow tie, and Solange was glowing in a quirky Phillip Lim dress.
All was going well… that is, until the Knowles-Carters headed to the Standard Hotel for an after-party, and entered the lift at the hotel.
CCTV footage from inside the lift, which was leaked to TMZ, saw Solange viciously attacking her brother-in-law, all while Beyonce stood by and watched.
The trio emerged from the lift with Jay Z looking shell-shocked, and when the footage leaked on 12 May (it was sold by a hotel employee who was later fired), the world went wild, speculating about what had happened. Did Jay cheat? How did Solange find out? Why did Bey say nothing?
Beyonce released a rare statement on the matter, saying: ‘As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident.
‘But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred.
‘They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologised to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.’
Beyonce later referenced the incident on the Flawless remix, singing: ‘Of course, sometimes s*** go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.’
And Jay Z said in 2017: ‘We’ve always had a great relationship. I fought my brothers and argued with my brothers my whole life. It just so happens, who we are, these things go into a different space. But it ain’t nothing.’
So that’s that, right? Wrong. We were never told what happened in that lift, and we never found out. We probably never will.
In a world where social media gives everything away and barely any celeb mystery remains unsolved (not while PI Coleen Rooney is on the case, anyway), it is truly impressive that the Carters and Knowles family’s secret was never made public.
At the time, it was speculated that Solange had seen Jay Z chatting to Rachel Roy – a woman who was later accused of being Becky with the good hair, which Roy denied. And we know that Jay did cheat, with the rapper admitting so on his album 4:44. We know that Beyonce utterly dragged her husband on Lemonade, telling him to ‘call Becky with the good hair’ and warning ‘If you try this s*** again, you gon’ lose your wife’.
But even knowing that infidelity occurred between the couple, we still don’t know what made Solange launch that attack on her brother-in-law in the lift.
As a journalist, my job is to uncover what is going on. And I always want to know the ins and outs of every scandal. But while I would sell my soul to the devil for the audio of that lift incident (don’t lie, you would too), the mystery is what makes Liftgate so good.
Three of music’s biggest stars having a regular family barney at one of the glitziest events in the world, and a few months later it’s all brushed under the carpet with no careers or reputations harmed… and we will never know the details.
When we live at a time when celebs are basically live-tweeting their divorces and we can snoop around houses via Instagram, Liftgate feels like a celebrity story from a different era, although it was just five years ago. It’s the perfect showbiz scandal.
And if there is a heaven, I know that when I get there, I will be greated with a pair of headphones and the CCTV footage from the Standard Hotel.
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