Us Weekly Beats TMZ on Eva Longoria-Tony Parker Split

Incident provides window into the frantic, semantics-hinged celebrity media mill

On Tuesday afternoon, TMZ posted a story claiming that Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, and that Parker — point guard for the San Antonio Spurs — had filed for divorce in Texas the day before.

Within an hour, TMZ pulled that story and posted another one: “Eva Longoria & Tony Parker … not divorcing."

TMZ explained the series of events:

Two clerks at the Bexar County Courthouse in Texas had told us the case was filed and sealed by a family law judge. But Eva's rep tells us Tony did not file and does not even have a divorce lawyer. Another clerk at the courthouse now tells us she's in charge of sealed cases and says no such case has crossed her desk.

Then, on Wednesday, Us Weekly fired off a press releasing touting an “exclusive” cover story proclaiming that Longoria had split from Parker — and reporting that while no divorce case had been filed, she wants one.

The reason? What else — text messages:

Multiple sources tell Us Weekly that Longoria Parker recently discovered that her husband has been exchanging personal texts with a mutual female friend for nearly a year – hundreds in just one month.

She plans to file for divorce soon, sources tell Us.

By "soon," it appears Longoria meant Wednesday morning. So who got the scoop on her divorce filing? TMZ? Us?

No, People magazine did:

Three years after a storybook wedding in a European castle, Eva Longoria filed for divorce Wednesday from basketball star Tony Parker. The Desperate Housewives star's documents were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court just one day after her rep denied that Parker had done the same in a Texas court. The cause of the split wasn't immediately revealed. But this past week the couple have been rocked with infidelity rumors, with claims that Tony has been unfaithful.

TMZ then posted its own story on Longoria's filing — with "EXCLUSIVE DETAILS" — but were forced to cite People.

The incident provides a brief window into the frantic, semantics-hinged celebrity media mill. And it was a rare misstep for TMZ. They had the story of the split, but got hung up on the filing and were forced to retract it — opening the door for Us and People.

Sorry, Harvey. You got beat on a crossover.