Last week, we investigated one of the stranger celebrity conspiracy theories: That Katie Holmes had used a secret entrance to the Whole Foods in Chelsea, Manhattan to evade paparazzi after filing for divorce against Tom Cruise. Over the weekend, we learned something that might unsettle some of our readers: The conspiracy is completely true. Katie Holmes did have a secret entrance to the Chelsea Whole Foods available only to her. Our outré theory about how exactly she gained access to the entrance, however, was not entirely correct. Here’s how she did it.
Our initial hunch—based on our amateur reading of the building’s blueprints—was that Holmes, with 6-year-old Suri in tow, had entered the grocer via a small cellar, used by Whole Foods and its sister boutique Whole Body, situated directly beneath her apartment complex’s lobby. Here’s a sketch of the route Holmes and Suri would have taken in this scenario (where the red circle is the unlocked door in Whole Body on the ground floor, and the arrow is the door in the corner of the Whole Foods produce section):
This theory was… complex. Though it had the benefit of exempting Holmes from making any extra arrangements with the building’s management, our theory also required her to physically exit her apartment complex and enter Whole Body to eventually access Whole Foods. In an email to Gawker, a municipal engineer in New York City argued this premise was too complex:
I usually don’t like to comment on articles, but I felt like you over complicated your Whole Foods theory. Based on my review of the plans, there is a door between the cellar level employee area and the cellar level corridor of the Mercantile building. Ms. Holmes probably went through this door and never had to step outside. … If [the door is] alarmed, someone has keys to it. Ms. Holmes just had to make nice with the building superintendent or a maintenance worker at Whole Foods. It seems more plausible then sneaking into Whole Body just to get into Whole Foods.
Here’s what this route would look like (in which the circle represents the bank of elevators in the Mercantile’s basement, right across from the door leading to the cellar):
The main problem with this theory is that the door in question, when I briefly encountered it while navigating the cellar, appeared to be locked down and equipped with a serious-looking alarm; using it would be something of an ordeal, even for a celebrity. Another concern would be leaks: Stories of celebrities who ask for special treatment, no matter how trivial, inevitably wind up in the inboxes of gossip reporters. It’s the nature of the business.
But say Holmes was willing to take this risk. How would I prove, either totally or beyond reasonable doubt, that she had used this particular door? I was contemplating how much effort I wanted to invest in resolving this question, late on Friday afternoon, when I received an email from a long-time resident of The Chelsea Mercantile:
I’ve lived in the Mercantile since [redacted] and have it on excellent authority that there is indeed a way to enter Whole Foods from the basement of the building. Now, I haven’t entered that way myself, but a very good source with the building tells me that it is possible. The source … claims it’s only possible with permission from Whole Foods, and that it only happened once. Source confirms that person was Ms. Holmes. Says Whole Foods, for whatever reason, did not want to set a precedent and so didn’t continue the practice.
This resident later supplied more information about their source—a knowledgeable member of the building’s management, it turns out—and emphasized that no other individual besides Holmes has ever been allowed, before or since, to use the same cellar door.
I have no real reason to distrust this person, who supplied their real name and whose residency I confirmed through independent channels. Representatives for Katie Holmes, Whole Foods, and The Chelsea Mercantile did not attempt to dispute this person’s account, either. (They didn’t return my emails.) I am reasonably certain, then, that the westernmost door of the cellar used by Whole Foods and Whole Body is the same door Katie Holmes used to access Whole Foods in secret.
Let’s pause for a moment and think about what this means. It means, of course, that the baffled paparazzi were on to something—Holmes did have a way of entering the Whole Foods without having to go outside. It also means that the Whole Foods employee who denied the existence of a special entrance to an Observer reporter was somehow unaware of the special entrance. That, or he was lying through his teeth. Given the fact that Holmes had to traverse the cellar—where plenty of Whole Foods employees were likely to encounter her, her daughter, and their entourage—it’s hard to see how the existence of Holmes’ special door would have escaped those employees’ notice.
Also: It was all true. The paps were right. Whole Foods knew. The Chelsea Mercantile knew. Katie Holmes knew (of course she knew). Everybody, except the public and Tom Cruise, knew about her hidden entrance to Whole Foods. And they kept it a secret for years.
Everybody was in on it.
The best thing about conspiracy theories isn’t the joy of inventing them, discussing them, debunking them. The best thing about conspiracy theories is that, sometimes, they turn out to be true.
This is Illuminati Month on Black Bag, in which Gawker locks itself in the woodshed and breaks out the red yarn to explore its favorite conspiracy theories. Email or gchat the author: firstname.lastname@example.org PGP key + fingerprint Photo credit: Splash, City of New York Department of Buildings
I watched the HBO expose “Going Clear” on Scientology yesterday. I’m not 100% sure this was used exclusively for evading paparizi.
Same here, after seeing that documentary I agree 100%. I bet there were Scientology “Squirrel Squaders” climbing all over the produce, clinging to the side of the building, hiding under cars, etc. waiting for their chance to lunge out at her.
Here’s a link to a petition to the White House to remove their tax exempt status:
Man, I have such mad respect for both her and Nicole Kidman, they must have gone through hell.
How was that Doc? I am thinking of watching it once I get home after work. (Thank god for my sister’s HBO go account & sharing it with me lulz)
This used to be my Whole Foods*, and I remember when the whole divorce thing broke and she moved into Chelsea Mercantile that there were some SUVs that seemed suddenly always to be parked across the street, and thinking to myself “MY GOD, SCIENTOLOGISTS, RUN INSIDE, RUN RUN HIDE BEHIND THE KOMBUCHA.”
I can see why she’d want a secret entrance, is what I’m saying.
*(“mine” as in where I shopped. I do not own Whole Foods.)
I really liked it. I have seen a couple about Scientology in my time, but this does a good job of giving history, facts and testimonies that aren’t just done for dramatic kicks. These people legitimately went through these things and are interested in putting it out there.
It also does a good job of outlining specific people and their histories with the org instead of just “church defector”.
Awesome. I had a run in with someone from their church once, in a hot tub with my GF at the time. He basically was saying it was hard finding a good date his age (late 40s) so he started going to church and towards the very end he asked if I knew about L. Ron Hubbard and I just looked him straight in the eye and laughed.
I am into spiritual shit but I cannot pick one religion that works for me on a Tuesday then pick the opposite one on Wednesday. So I try to personally stay out of it.
I was really into the Jamestown stuff and also Heaven’s Gate because (in my opinion) cults and religion are no different than the Nazis of the 20s and 30s in terms of pushing their ideals on others. Def going to watch it tonight!!!
I thought the same thing. It must be HORRIBLE being famous, and then trying to just SHOP like the normal’s do… I KNOW she was in front of me in Wisconsin. I was going to the check out, on a Sunday in June, it was very HOT outside, and this woman, on the tall side maybe 5foot 9 got in front of me. I noticed her crocs first, navy blue, and she had a sun dress on… but what I noticed next was her HAIR.. she had the perfect what I call a FRENCH TWIST hair do.. and it was nice, so I said something to the effect. I was WAITING for her to finish, with her PLASTIC, and then I was looking at the magazines,,, Katie Holmes was on the front COVER and I think it was People Magazine,,, and she turned around and thanked me for the compliment, and I even had the magazine in my hand, and all I saw was her petite face, and her soft spoken voice… and I said, **YOU LOOK EXACTLY LIKE KATIE HOLMES**and she turned back and said the the cashier, HURRY,I have to leave now…. and I was NOT going to ALERT any of the crazy shoppers at all… I was in SHOCK,,, but it was very brief… and she hurried out, and as I was coming out the door, she ZINGED out in a flash little white sports car… Well, that was a very UNUSUAL Sunday for me, and it will probably never happen again.. I guess the bottom line is, FAMOUS people just want a LIFE of their own… and it kinda does SUCK… money to me, can BUY alot of things, but HAPPINESS is part of it, but PRIVACY isn’t…. and OLDIE of a FAN….
I feel like there is a fantastic message just waiting to be decoded in the emphasized words….does French twist count as one word or two in an encryption context? Would that depend on whether it is hyphenated?
If only we could also prove that the moon isn’t real, this would be an extra amazing month for Gawker.com.
You and me Dayna, one day…
not sure what the big deal is with this. it was just as beneficial to the store to have her come in secretly as it was to her, as i’m sure the staff didn’t want to deal with the crazy, often dangerous paps being outside or inside their store.
not sure what the big deal is with this
NOT SURE WHAT THE BIG DEAL IS WITH THIS.
WHAT THE BIG DEAL IS.
If you don’t think that JK did some of the bravest, most important journalism of our time right here you can GTFO.
you have no idea how badly i needed the guffaw you got out of me just now! thanks!
And she’d have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!
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