Finke tells Gawker she doesn't have that lady's “mouthlines”; we agree
There it is. The Daily's alleged photo of Nikki Finke, the elusive Hollywood blogger, published in Thursday's edition of the iPad newspaper.
But after legal threats and a week-long standoff with Deadline's founder, the paper has failed to deliver the goods.
In short: it ain't her.
As TheWrap first reported, Finke and News Corp. have been battling over publication of the photo, which Finke says is not her.
Finke refused to talk to TheWrap ("I have given comment to other people, but I won't comment to you people," she said when we called.)
However, Finke told Gawker: "I don't have those very pronounced mouthlines. I never wear industrial strength make-up (especially not blood-red lipstick). I don't own gaudy jewelry. I wear my hair different now. Etc."
TheWrap's editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman has known Finke for years and agreed that the woman pictured is not Finke.
For its part, The Daily hedges its bets, asking in the headline "Is This the Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood?" (According to a Daily insider, the publication's lawyers required that kind of tone if the photo couldn't be sufficiently verified.)
Finke — whose last known available photo is a black and white glamour shot taken for an unpublished book — carefully avoids public appearances and is known to rarely leave her apartment.
But, The Daily says "one intrepid photographer recently captured this image of a blond woman who exited Finke's building and [sic] behind the wheel of a peppermint green Toyota Yaris."
Though what Finke looks like now has become the subject of intense speculation in Hollywood, TheWrap obtained a photo of the blogger when she was a student at Wellesley in the 1970s (above).
What Finke looks like now has become the subject of such curiosity that Gawker once put out a $1,000 reward for a photo of her.
To maintain her privacy, Finke hunkered down in a war of attrition against The Daily in an effort to prevent the iPad newspaper from publishing its photo.
Entertainment editor Richard Johnson declined to elaborate on the sting operation that intended — but apparently failed — to capture an image of the elusive blogger.
"The story speaks for itself," Johnson told TheWrap.
As for Hunter Walker, The Daily reporter who snapped the picture and who has been trying to capture photographic evidence of the blogger for months, he used Finke's trademark phrase to celebrate the picture's publication.
"I would tell everybody that I toldja!, but I don't think I'm allowed to say toldja!," Walker tweeted.
Unfortunately, it looks like it's Walker who got told.
Sharon Waxman contributed to this story