Gwyneth Paltrow: In the ’90s, you could ‘do cocaine and not get caught’

Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the coolest It Girls in the 1990s. It was all about Gwyneth, Winona and Kate Moss. There were others, but those were the Big Three. They were impossibly chic – not that they cared – and they dated the coolest guys at the time (many of whom turned out to be giant losers). You get the point: Gwyneth was cool and popular. Paparazzi trailed her. The tabloids loved her. But it was still the ‘90s – she could still have a private life, she could still go to parties and hook up with randos and do rails in the club bathroom.

Gwyneth Paltrow was living the high life in the 1990s. The Goop founder reflected on the raucous decade that benefited from a society without cellphone cameras and social media, meaning she and other people could get away with illicit activities.

“It was great. I mean, talk about doing cocaine and not getting caught!” Paltrow said on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” Monday, laughing. “Like, you could just be at a bar and be, like, having fun, dance on a table, you could — no camera phones, especially in New York. Interestingly enough, there were no paparazzi,” she continued. “You could stumble out of a bar and go home with some rando and no one would know.”

[From Page Six]

Eh, she was trailed by paparazzi, but maybe she’s saying that it didn’t happen that often in New York, which is possible. I remember when she was with Brad Pitt, there were always paparazzi photos of her in LA. Maybe she always disappeared in the crowd a lot easier in NYC. But yeah… everything has changed for celebrities, but for regular old people too. I have no idea what it’s like for the peeps in their early 20s now – are they going to clubs, doing blow, picking up a rando and nothing ever gets documented on their phones or their friends’ phones? I mean…?? (And yes, Gwyneth did coke. Of course she did!)

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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47 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow: In the ’90s, you could ‘do cocaine and not get caught’”

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  1. matthew says:

    Gwyneth did a LOT of coke

    • Annaloo. says:

      I don’t this she was ever cool , she was just Brad Pitt’s girlfriend which promised the world’s curiosity.I think Gwyneth is too caught up in trying to be cool and popular still. For all her talk of feminist agency, she’s still shilling moisturizer and skinniness to women as her business model and CAN’T STOP THE NAME DROPPING AND HUMBLEBRAGGING

  2. Snuffles says:

    Well, New Yorkers tend to not give fuck, so it’s probably because no one was calling the paps on them. And these days, celebrities often call the paps on themselves. I’ve mentioned before, I used to live in LA and saw celebrities in the wild all the time doing everyday stuff and no paps were around and no one was bothering them. When I did see paps it was usually in the Sunset strip around the clubs. And that one time I saw Britney getting swarmed.

    I think there are more anti paparazzi laws these days too. But these days with social media, a regular person can take a picture and sell a picture.

    • Lolo86lf says:

      They would only call the paps on themselves when they plan not to party hardy with drugs.

    • DeniseMich says:

      True NYers aren’t as impressed by celebrities.

      Everyone knew Ed Burns was cheating on Turlington. He would go to specific bars, not exclusive, and hookup with Randos.

      It was the 90s,we all did it in NYC even celebs.

      • thinking says:

        Wait, what -Ed Burns has cheated on Christy Turlington? This is interesting gossip…

      • Lorelei says:

        @Thinking, I didn’t know this either! @DeniseMich, do go on…

        As for Gwyneth — she was stalked a lot by paps in NYC, especially when she was with Chris Martin. I briefly lived not too far from them and there were always at least a few paps planted outside their townhouse, and there are tons of candids of her. (I used to love her and her clothes back then so I actually paid attention, lol)

      • nutella toast says:

        I thought Ed Burns and Christy didn’t even meet until 2000?

      • Lux says:

        I’m so surprised that Turlington didn’t dump his cheating butt and went on to build a full life with him. He was known for his love of strippers too. I always wonder how these marriages remain intact because c’mon, she’s Christy and who the heck is Ed Burns? I saw him in one movie and his whiny, nasal voice annoyed the crap out of me, so never again.

      • D says:

        Ed Burns wasn’t dating Christy Turlington in the 90s, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t cheat on her. They broke up before getting back together and married.

        Gwyneth would be hounded by paps when she lived in the West Village, but not all the time and they tended to just sit outside her townhouse and wait for her. I don’t think she was hounded while out at night. I lived around the corner and saw her screaming at a group of photographers following her down West 4th. I felt badly for her.

    • trillion says:

      I grew up in Malibu (70’s) and it was tacitly understood that you just do not approach celebrities, who were all over the place constantly. Oh how times have changed.

  3. Lolo86lf says:

    I feel like the 1990’s are a far away haze. I was in my 20’s back then and it makes me feel old now. I just cannot picture Gwen doing lines in some bathroom at a party.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Same! I turned twenty in the late 90’s and it seems like it was several lifetimes ago. I remember my dad getting a cell phone (one of those grey Motorola bricks) and being fascinated by the idea that people could reach me even if I wasn’t home. It is true that we had a bit more privacy back then, so I do see her point though I can’t really relate hahaha.

  4. ELX says:

    She dodged that BP bullet tho.’

  5. Steph says:

    To quote you from yesterday she is “aggressively fine.”

  6. smegmoria says:

    Have you ever had sex on cocaine?

  7. SarahCS says:

    Their matching hairstyles still absolutely kills me every time I see pics. I know he morphed into every woman he was in a relationship with but this might have been the (visible) peak. Loser.

  8. Thinking says:

    I think she might have only been trailed by paparazzi when she was with Brad Pitt.

    After they broke up, I could see people not caring as much.

    Unless you were JFK Jr., with everyone trying to figure out who you were dating, I could see paparazzi not taking as much interest in photographing you. The purpose of the photo is to make money, and in that case I could see her generating less interest post-Brad Pitt.

    When she was with Chris Martin and they’d be photographed coming out of a doctor‘s office, I assumed they called the paps themselves.

    I also think the more invasive photographs seem to take place in European destinations, not NYC. Whenever nude photos are taken or someone is caught having an affair like that guy from The Crown, these private moments seem to be caught elsewhere.

  9. crogirl says:

    Oh please she is not in the same category as Kate and Winona. Those two made it on their own.

    And she has never been cool. Gwyneth is just supremely uncool and annoying nepobaby and Harvey bullied people to get her an oscar.

    • Prairiegirl says:


    • Lionel says:

      Thank you! The only reason she interested me in the 90s was because I couldn’t figure out how she could be such a terrible actress and get so much press. Now we know it was Harvey.

  10. Emily_C says:

    Winona’s the only one who was ever actually cool. Gwyneth was always the epitome of UNcool. Kate Moss, well, it depended on what you thought of heroin chic.

    You can still do cocaine and not get caught. If you’re rich enough, you can do anything and not get caught.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yes. This is absolutely the first thing I thought lol.

      • New.Here says:

        Samesies. She was really pretty and a nepo baby before there were nepo babies, but cool?


    • A says:

      I just the other day saw a relatively recent picture of Lily James, Billy Piper and a few others in a park, having a picnic, and James quite clearly snorted something. Maybe you have to be a little more discreet this side of the Atlantic but I can’t imagine it’s much different for celebs wherever they go.

  11. JMoney says:

    I work with gen z and to answer your question a good percentage (there are exceptions obvs) of them do not partake in hookup culture. There are studies currently being done but a strong theory is that since many of them have a good relationship with their parents (notably dad) they don’t feel the need to be sexually promiscuous. Plus drinks and clubs are expensive now so many can’t afford to do so and those that do wear chucks and sneakers to clubs now (high heels are dated now).

    • manda says:

      It seems like gen z is more sheltered, maybe? The ones that I know (friends’ children who are late teens and early 20s) all seem incapable of doing random things, like, dealing with making a doctor’s appointment or just living their lives without reaching out to their parents multiple times daily. And while I am sure there is still drug abuse, there is also NOT a lot of smoking and/or drug use, it seems, amongst them. We joke they are a bunch of goody-goodies, but obviously the focus on a healthy lifestyle early is really good for them

    • Kirsten says:

      I don’t know what the study is, but it’s not great to assert that healthy parent/child relationships lead to less promiscuity — that implies that it’s immoral to be highly sexually active, and that only people with some sort of psychological issue or trauma want to have sex a lot or with multiple people.

      • TheVolvesSeidr says:

        I agree @Kirsten. Like how does your relationship w/ your parents factor in to how high your sex drive is? Totally unrelated I’d think.

    • Emily_C says:

      That just sounds like Gen X. There were breathless articles about how terrible it was that we were serially monogamous and looked forward to eventually getting married and NOT DIVORCING. Also high heels and shit? No way, totally tryhard, uncomfortable, and just ick.

      These things are cyclical. And there’s nothing wrong with having a lot of sexual partners, if that’s what you want. Plus there has been and still is Covid.

  12. Reborn Rich says:

    So many black men and women imprisoned for another form of cocaine. So very very unfair.

  13. Peanut Butter says:

    @Reborn Rich, so very true. And so many POC jailed for marijuana, along with no small number of lower-income whites. But you’d never see a well-connected Gwyneth or other white princess or prince among them 😔

  14. Emmi says:

    Err, a LOT of people still do mounts of coke without getting caught. Especially people in finance etc. There are cities whose water has ridiculous levels. LOL I guess she is now a that age where you want to convince everyone that you were the last cool generation? Fine. If she must.

  15. AmyB says:

    I graduated college in 1991, and I’m so grateful to have grown up during the Gen X generation without social media. My first cell phone was in my late 20s I think?

    Gwenyth definitely has a point – celebrities these days have zero privacy. And of course, she did coke LOL

  16. Frippery says:

    I think one of the obvious biggest differences is the immediacy and diversity of news and gossip outlets these days. There is less chance to kill or bury a story about a blonde actress coked out of her gourd in the ladies room when 20 people have pictures of it on Instagram within hours, and tabloids or gossip Twitter or the very best celebrity gossip blog can have the story up and out the next day.

  17. Kate says:

    I’m not a NORMAL celebrity I’m a COOL celebrity

    • Anonymous says:

      She heard Harry admit to doing cocaine and now she wants to jump on the bandwagon because she thinks it’s cool.

      Her relationship with Brad Pitt DEFINITELY put her on the map. The pap coverage was insane then (albeit pre-Bennifer) and the press coverage that their publicists arranged was A LOT. No social media, etc. so there was only so much entertainment. Somebody wanted to make her cool, whether she was or not.

      That said, seems like she was able become BFFs with Pitt, Madonna, Beyoncé, RDJ, she’s kissing up to the Kardashians now-so maybe she’s “cool enough” at first blush/for a while, until people tire of her or she gets on the outs with them (or they decide to keep her at arms length). For the rest of the world, if they only get her in smaller doses, she might still seem cool to them? IDK.

      • Annaloo. says:

        She is always claiming to be first about things, she’s not. She appropriates heavily from Asia, and doesn’t do her homework for who ACTUALLY did the thing first culturally in the USA THANK (First tv interracial kiss was not your dad, Gwynnie, it was Star trek. Also people were doing yoga and wearing Dolce & Gabbana before you too)

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s really irresponsible of her to say this in this day and age. Unlike Harry, whose message was along the lines of “ hey I did this when I was a literal kid because I was traumatized and looking to change how I feel and I didn’t like it and it wasn’t a good thing to turn to drugs”, she’s saying something along the lines of “hey we could do this as adults partying and it was so great because no one could catch us back then, tee hee!’. She’s glamorizing something that’s deadly and dangerous anyway, but SUPER DEADLY in 2023, with how much fentanyl is mixed in with cocaine. MOST DEFINITELY NOT COOL GWYNETH!!! Keep it to yourself when you’re bragging to your friends in private- (which is still lame and dangerous, especially if their kids overhear and think it’s harmless and glamorous.).

        I wish everyone positive vibes with good energy to cleanse this nonsense.

  18. AppleCart says:

    I danced with the white devil in the 90’s and it was pretty easy to get. And no one blinked an eye at 3 girls in the bathroom at a club lol. But then someone I was close to. Did so much coke it literally ate their heart. And they needed a heart transplant. It scared me right off it for good. Though I did get a dirty look from my Dentist about my gums.

  19. Thinking says:

    A lot of celebrities died from drug overdoses in the nineties.

    Maybe they didn’t get “caught” but people were aware of who was doing drugs.