Media Darling: Elaine (Lainey) Lui

Lainey isn’t looking to impress anyone. Especially celebrities. The eTalk reporter and scribe of the immensely popular celebrity gossip blog,, does what she does for one reason – to provide a gossip education to the Canadian public.

The Toronto-born, self-proclaimed gossip maven got into the gossip game in a very roundabout way. What started as an email to two friends grew to a website with millions of readers from around the world, making it a leading international celebrity gossip source. As friends told friends about Lainey’s non-sycophantic email updates, she received so many requests to get on her mailing list that her server crashed.

Recognizing Lainey’s talent, eTalk made her part of their team of experts in 2006. Lainey also regularly shares her gossip updates with CTV News Vancouver and CTV News Channel, and is called upon as a celebrity expert by media outlets across North America, including and the Los Angeles Times.

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario majoring in French and History, Lainey lives in Vancouver with her husband and beagles. She is a consultant for Covenant House, which offers shelter and services for homeless youth.


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Never. I came into media by accident after starting my blog. When I was very young, I wanted to be a professional mah-jong player. Like my ma and all her friends. Before I started gossiping, I was a professional fundraiser – for higher education at The University Of British Columbia and in support of at-risk youth at Covenant House Vancouver. My goal was to eventually run a non-profit organization. Now I talk shit about celebrities for a living. I guess I got the job I deserve.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
In a home that I own. (I currently rent.)

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be willing to do the shitty work. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”. Nobody likes an entry level know-it-all.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Grantland, Dlisted, Oh No They Didn’tThe Daily ShowDeadline, Color Lines and Gawker.
Best interview you’ve ever had?

Dustin Hoffman – he risked missing his flight and went over 5 minutes just to make sure I called him my “best”. Also, he tried to set me up with his son.

Joaquin Phoenix – his nicotine craving kicked in after the third question. Was practically lighting the cigarette while pushing me out the door.

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
From my mother – don’t let your hair cover your forehead.

What rule(s) do you live your life by? 
1. See above re: forehead and hair
2. Don’t cry at work
3. Avoid using the word “slut”
4. Never order seven dishes at a meal (very bad Chinese Feng shui)
5. Don’t live in a house where the staircase faces the front door
6. Don’t expect to be complimented on doing your job

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros? 
Give people second chances and proofread your emails.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins. 
It was one of my first red carpet assignments for eTalk. I was nervous about the interviews and totally overwhelmed. I fumbled through my chat with the first celebrity who stopped for me. I can’t remember the celebrity but I can remember the publicist coming back around, seeing me flustered and disappointed, asking me if I wanted another go, and bringing the celebrity over to me again. It was a kindness I’ll never forget.

I hate?
Chicken. Fan fiction.

I love?
My ma.

The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam.

Best place on earth?
 The casino.

Dinner guest?
J.K. Rowling.

My ma.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)? 
PGA Tour.

Pool or ocean? 
How close is the ocean to the washroom and shower? It has to be accessible within two minutes. I have a small bladder.

Voicemail or email? 
Email me and I’ll call you back.