Dec. 6, 2008 -- 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.
Britney Spears vs. Kevin Federline
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)
Jennifer Aniston vs. Angelina Jolie
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: * * * *
Rosie O'Donnell vs. Barbara Walters
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.
Fallout factor: Moderate. The women have "public tiffs, but in the end, they do care about each other and respect having the other one around to have a public feud with," Goodson says.
Incendiary scale: * *
Taylor Swift vs. Joe Jonas
The feud: Swift appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show last month and she told the comedian she was shocked at how quickly she was dumped by the Jonas Brother. "I looked at the call log -- it was like 27 seconds. That's got to be a record." She continued to talk about the split on the Internet and in interviews. "That's why we broke up -- because he met (new girlfriend Camilla Belle), she told The Tennessean on the red carpet at the Country Music Association Awards Nov. 12. Jonas, however, remained mum until last month, when he responded on his MySpace page. "Phone calls can only last as long as the person on the other end of the line is willing to talk," he wrote. "The only difference in this conversation was that I shared something the other person did not want to hear."
The status: Extinguished. "It was a fun few weeks for everyone to follow, but we shouldn't let the fallout last longer than the relationship did," Goodson advises. "She'll bounce back with another cute boy before we know it."
Fallout factor: Minimal. "They should be able to be friends in the future. If they can't laugh about this really soon, then what can they laugh at?" Goodson says.
Incendiary scale: *
Hulk Hogan vs. Linda Hogan
The feud: In divorce papers, Linda asked for half of the couple's nearly $10 million in assets. She also began dating then-19-year-old Charley Hill, who attended high school with her children. The Hogans had been married 24 years and in 2005 filmed the VH1 reality series "Hogan Knows Best." "This is the classic curse of the reality show: bringing your family into the public spotlight, and then tragedy hits, and you just disintegrate," Goodson says." Last month, Linda asked a judge for more money in addition to her monthly alimony payments of $40,000.
The status: Five-alarm fire. In addition to Linda's plea for more cash, Hill alleged that Hulk was stalking him. Hill filed for a restraining order against the wrestler in November, which a judge rejected.
Fallout factor: Severe. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight in this messy divorce. "It's sad because The Hulk was such an icon, and now he's just crumbling a little bit before all of his fans' eyes," Goodson says.
Incendiary scale: * * * * *