The fighting words are flowing among some of Hollywood's biggest stars. But which spats are harmless and which are bound to be played out in the public sphere for years to come? USA TODAY asks PopSugar blogger Molly Goodson to decode the feuds.
The feud: In the Dec. 11 issue of Rolling Stone, Spears reveals that son Sean Preston, 3, uses profanity, blaming it on ex-husband Federline. In Spears' MTV documentary, "For the Record," she says that Federline spent more time on his music career than with her. Federline responds in the latest issue of People, saying "I didn't give her an ultimatum, but I was trying to work stuff out … and she didn't even talk to me or anything and went behind my back and filed (for divorce)."
The status: Reignited -- for now. The dust has settled in their custody battle, but their public digs at each other may be more about publicity than poisonous posturing. "The things they say are pretty civil," Goodson says. "I don't think either one of them dislikes each other."
Fallout factor: Minor. "The hard part is over, which was the initial custody battle, and hopefully now, (they start) working their way back to having equal parts in their boy's lives," Goodson says.
Incendiary scale: * * * (out of five)
The feud: Aniston opened up about her ex Brad Pitt and Jolie in the December issue of Vogue, calling Jolie "uncool" for admitting in a January 2007 Vogue article that she couldn't wait to get to work each day on the "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" set with the then-married Pitt. Jolie also admitted in an October New York Times article that she was glad for the Smith experience, especially for her children. "Not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love." But for her part, Aniston expressed disappointment in the way Vogue handled her story. "I was just surprised that Vogue would go so tabloid. I was bummed. But you almost expect it," she says in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly.
The status: Reignited. All parties involved have moved on, but the public remains riveted. "It's a constant topic of conversation and a constant argument between friends. Everyone's obsessed with it," Goodson says
Fallout factor: Long-lasting. The fascination with the Jolie-Pitt clan and Aniston's love life ensure that this feud won't fade away. "It will be one of the long-standing Hollywood stories of our time. It'll be what people remember 30 years from now," Goodson says.
Incendiary scale: * * * *
The feud: While promoting her recent variety show, O'Donnell accused Walters of creating a veneer of chumminess on the set of "The View." "I'm not saying they loathe each other, but the fact of the matter is there was not a lot of camaraderie off camera," she said. Walters snapped back the next day on-air: "There are some people who have done this show, and then for years feel they have to dump on it, maybe for publicity, and that not only hurts me, but I resent it." O'Donnell didn't seem to be fazed by Walters' comments, however. She told USA TODAY a few days later, "I didn't see that until it was on YouTube, truthfully. I didn't watch it live. You know. It's a hard thing."
The status: Smoldering. "They're saying the same things over and over again until people can't care as much anymore," Goodson says.