‘I’m never writing a break-up album again,’ Adele declared to Vogue magazine in 2012 after the release of her tormented broken heart laden second album 21. ‘I’m done with being a bitter witch.’
Expanding on this theme, she told U.S. TV show 60 Minutes at the time: “I’m madly in love and I don’t want to be like, ‘Babe, I’m sorry, we’ve got to break up. I’ve got a new album to deliver.'”
The person she was talking about was her then-boyfriend, Simon Konecki.
They had a child together that same year, a son named Angelo, and went on to be married.
But in 2019, reportedly just a few months after finally tying the knot, they got divorced.
And Adele’s now produced another break-up album, 30, in which, to borrow her own description, she strays back into the territory of being a ‘bitter witch.’
The behavior of the London-born singer with the goddess voice is straight from the Meghan and Harry playbook, right down to invading her own privacy to America’s foremost TV therapist, Oprah Winfrey.
Adele crossed a line by exposing her young son’s innermost feelings to public scrutiny in such a soul-baring, intimate way. (Above: Adele with her son Angelo in 2015)
‘Complacency is the worst trait to have,’ she lambasts Konecki in the song Woman Like Me.
‘Are you crazy? It is so sad a man like you could be so lazy. All you do is complain about decisions you make. How can I help lift you if you refuse to activate? Now some other man will get the love I have for you. Cos you don’t care.’
Aside from Adele going back on her word not to do another break-up album, and her vow not to be a ‘bitter witch’, there’s also the curious movable feast of her privacy.
When the couple split up, the star’s spokesman announced: ‘Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. ‘As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.’
Turns out there was going to be a lot of ‘further comment’ about the marriage, in fact, a whole album full of it.
And I can just imagine the wails of outrage that would have burst from that fabulous set of pipes if anyone in the media had trashed her husband as a complacent, lazy and uncaring man.
Of course, all this hypocrisy is par for the course with today’s over-sharing celebrities who love to reveal every prurient detail of their lives for commercial gain, whilst simultaneously demanding ‘privacy.’
In fact, Adele’s behavior is straight from the Meghan and Harry playbook, right down to invading her own privacy to America’s foremost TV therapist, Oprah Winfrey.
However, it’s one thing to flog one’s own privacy in such a shamelessly two-faced fashion, but quite another to flog your child’s, too.
In another of the album tracks, entitled My Little Love, Adele includes audio voice note recordings from incredibly intimate conversations with her son in which he tries to stop her crying during as her short-lived marriage unravels.
When the couple split up, the star’s spokesman announced: ‘Adele and her partner [Simon Konecki seen left] have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. ‘As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.’
‘I’m so sorry if what I’ve done makes you feel sad,’ you hear her say. ‘Tell me you love me.’
To which Angelo, then just seven years old, replies: ‘I love you, one million per cent. I feel like you like me too.’
Adele continues in the tearful recordings: ‘You know Mummy doesn’t like anyone else like I like you, right? Mummy’s been having a lot of big feelings lately, I’m confused, and I don’t know what I’m doing… I love your dad because he gave you to me… I’ve had a bad day, I’m very anxious… I feel very paranoid, stressed, and I’m hungover which never helps. I feel like today is the first day since I left him that I actually feel lonely, and I never do. I just feel really lonely and frightened, and I’m worried I might feel like this a lot.’
Then she sings to Angelo: ‘I know you feel lost, it’s my fault completely. Mama’s got to learn, teach me.’
This is the same Adele who went to court to protect her son’s privacy when he was just one, winning him a substantial five-figure sum in damages over paparazzi photographs that Angelo was too young to know had even been taken.
‘It is a matter of profound sadness that many of his milestone moments were photographed and published worldwide expressly against his family’s wishes,’ her solicitor Jenny Afia told the court.
‘Adele and Simon never encourage such photos. Quite the opposite. The parents’ view is that these images were of routine, everyday family occasions which the paparazzi has no right to intrude upon, profit from and file away in picture libraries for future reference and use.’
Fair enough, you might think, although my wider view of paparazzi photos of celebrity kids is that they should be off limits unless the celebrities constantly post photos of their kids on social media.
But how does Adele’s determined battle to seek privacy for her son sit with her now using him in such a shameless way to flog her album?
Not easily, I would suggest.
In an interview this week, Adele admitted that when he’s older, she knows Angelo ‘will be furious’ with her for upending his life.
She means by divorcing his dad.
But has she given a moment’s thought to how Angelo might feel when he grows up to have had his agonizing conversations with his sobbing mum about her decision to dump his dad broadcast to the world?
Adele says her therapist suggested she tape their chats to have a record of what she said in the difficult conversations.
Did that therapist also suggest it would be a good idea to stick those conversations on an actual record that will sell millions of copies?
I suspect not.
Let me make one thing clear: I like Adele.
Adele admitted that when he’s older, she knows her son Angelo ‘will be furious’ with her for upending his life. (Above: Adele performs in ‘One Night Only’ special, revealing her first new material in six years)
In an increasingly tribal toxic world where it’s imperative to be 100% for or against a public figure on pain of social media cancellation, I would definitely park myself into the ‘pro’ category when it comes to the London-born singer with the goddess voice.
She’s always struck me as having a raw authenticity about her that’s so rare in the often-shallow environment of show business.
We’re not natural bedfellows, not least due to the fact we support the two most implacably opposed football teams in England, North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur (her) and Arsenal (me).
But when I was waging a rather lonely campaign against gun control at CNN, she told one of my colleagues on air: ‘Tell Piers to keep doing what he’s doing. He knows what I’m talking about.’
I did, and I was grateful for her support which was brave because it could have damaged her appeal in middle America where gun ownership is a hotly defended issue.
So, I think Adele’s a gutsy, honest young woman with a brilliant voice, and I’ve no doubt this album will be a massive hit.
Indeed, I will buy it myself when it’s released on Friday.
But she’s crossed a line by exposing her young son’s innermost feelings to public scrutiny in such a soul-baring, intimate way.
And worse, she’s done it for attention, money, and sales.
Sorry, Adele – but I find that shameful, and given all your pleas for privacy, horribly hypocritical.