Back in Los Angeles after a work trip to Brazil, Ashton Kutcher will return to the set of "Two and a Half Men" on Tuesday. The sitcom actor has stayed silent when it comes to the hospitalization of his estranged wife, Demi Moore, but could his tacit tactics hurt his career?
"He was working in Brazil, shooting an ad campaign when the news broke that Demi had been hospitalized," a friend of the actor's tells me. "Maybe updating his Twitter account with a picture of himself, surfing the streets of Sao Paulo in the pouring rain, and not mentioning Demi at all wasn't the smartest move but ... they have separated. What was he supposed to do?"
Demi and Ashton announced they were divorcing in November after six years of marriage, shortly after reports of Ashton's alleged infidelity surfaced. Insiders say the resulting tabloid attention, coupled with his seemingly callous response to Demi's health crisis, could do long-term damage to his future in show business.
"It's simply insensitive for Ashton to be out partying while Demi is in the hospital," said Ronn Torossian, CEO of public relations firm 5WPR and author of "For Immediate Release." "Their public personas are so intermingled -- the images of them in love etched in our minds -- it's just completely unnecessary and won't score him any points at all."
However, not everyone agrees. Veteran publicist and manager Howard Bragman (who does not represent Ashton) tells me, "Ashton was not partying. Incorrect. Ashton is doing just fine."