In mid-December, one of the hottest spots to be seen in New York City was the Deuxmoi holiday party in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The fête featured tiny cucumbers stuffed with imitation crab, ears on the wall adorned with sparkly earrings, and appearances by "Real Housewives of New York City" star Leah McSweeney, comedian Ziwe, influencer Sophia Culpo, and Miriam Haart from "My Unorthodox Life" ... just to name a few. But as for who hosted this extravaganza? Their identity remains anonymous.
That’s right. The person who was throwing the party — someone who may or may not have been there the entire night — was unknown. Guests stomped around looking for the modern day Gossip Girl, asking strangers, “Are you Deuxmoi?”
No one said yes.
So ... what is Deuxmoi?
Deuxmoi is an Instagram account that skewers the media and Hollywood with salacious pieces of reader-submitted celebrity gossip. Some posts are blind items — where details are revealed, but the celebs’ identities are not — while others disclose full stories but keep the submitter’s identity veiled. And sometimes, it's both.
Going viral at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the account now boasts 1.3 million followers and has completely transformed the celebrity news industry. So much so that even Adele is worried her name will appear in one of Deuxmoi's black-and-white Instagram stories.
“A lot of people were like, ‘Oh, my God, congratulations! You made it! Adele knows who you are!’ I just laugh. I love everyone’s reaction more than my own,” the person behind Deuxmoi — yes, the person — shared in a phone interview with TODAY.
“Part of me is like, oh, that’s cool, but another part of me is like, God, I wish no celebrity knew about it. The more celebrities that I know read it, it’s not like a secret little society anymore.”
The voice on the phone belongs to a woman — and only that much did she confirm. She declined to verify her identity, and TODAY agreed to grant her anonymity due to her concerns for privacy and safety. But one can imagine what a person with the keys to all of Hollywood’s biggest secrets might be like. She sounds like she could be in her late-20s or early-30s. She might live in Manhattan, and maybe even grew up outside the city. She comes across as a down-to-earth girl’s girl, but also someone who wants to find their way into that swanky New York Fashion Week after party.
This is all just speculation, of course. Whoever she is, Deuxmoi (we’ll use her moniker for this article) is very serious about keeping her name shrouded in secrecy.
‘The floodgates opened’
The Deuxmoi Instagram account launched in 2013 and was initially linked to a blog of the same name, which means “two me” in French. Originally a lifestyle site, it featured "interviews with interesting people," gift guides and celeb fashion inspiration boards. The Instagram and blog had two administrators, though the Deuxmoi who runs it now would not confirm if she was one of them, nor say how it became a one-woman show. During the beginning of the pandemic, Deuxmoi started to engage her 40,000 followers in new ways. One day, she posted an innocent callout: “Send in any experiences you’ve had with a celebrity.”
“It became what it is today purely by accident,” Deuxmoi explained. “Literally crowdsourcing out of boredom. Not really even knowing if any of the audience had any experience with celebrities, but I learned quickly that many people have had experiences with celebrities and want to share them. At that point, it was just anecdotes. It wasn’t really current information, because it couldn’t be current information, because everyone was locked at home.”
Once the normals started coming out of lockdown, so did the famouses. Sure, they may have been hiding behind face masks, but sightings and new encounters started pouring in, inspiring a new age and purpose for the account. Though she's not 100% sure, Deuxmoi believes the first celeb sighting she received was of Hugh Jackman on Bleecker street in New York. And from there...
“The floodgates opened,” she said. “I didn’t even say send me celebrity sightings. One person thought of it, and then it just caught on.”
Deuxmoi adds that this happens often; she often isn't the one with the viral ideas. Community sourcing will inspire other followers to follow suit and share their experiences in certain ways.
“Now, people expect it to always be current information, leaks and tips — they want to know what’s going on currently,” she said. “They look at it as a news source, but that was never the intention. ... It was meant to be a way to get to know your favorite celeb better outside of a PR-spin perspective."
Hundreds of submissions a day are shared with her via Instagram direct message or a through a website submission form. Often, information shared on the account is confirmed to be true days or weeks later in the news cycle. From Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes’ breakup to Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde dating, Kim and Kanye's separation, and top secret details about Taylor Swift’s newest music video, it's now commonplace to hear a juicy tidbit first on Deuxmoi’s page.
Speaking with her, Deuxmoi's language maintains a certain level of expertise, like a person who works in media or public relations during the day. She says this is also a false conceived notion, but one she is totally OK with. “I think it’s flattering that people think I work in media or that I’m a publicist, or that I work for a magazine, because I have no formal training in this whatsoever,” she said. “I’m totally just using my instincts. So if it seems that I’m a professional, that’s a compliment.”
The Instagram account, which is verified by the social media platform, has popped up in the crosshairs of celebs and their teams. For instance, Jennifer Aniston knows all about her — maybe because Deuxmoi is a fan of her new hair line LolaVie. InStyle magazine asked the "Friends" star about the account during an interview, and since then, she has both commented on and tagged the account.
‘I need to trust who I am talking to’
Media scrutiny — maybe jealousy? — has also grown over the last two years. Numerous outlets — from The New York Times to Bustle — have profiled the account. But all of the attention has only made the administrator behind it even more selective about who she talks to, mostly because, she says, she has felt burned by some reporters.
"It's because I understand how everything 'works' now," she wrote to us via DM. "I need to trust who I am talking to."
With a follower count that continues to grow, how does one deal with the mounting pressure, especially now that the stars themselves and the media are following along, watching her every move?
“I don’t put pressure on myself, because that’s never what I intended the account to be,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting the experiences and the stories that I posted to get back to the celebrities.
“It was just a forum for people to share with each other and maybe not feel so alone that their favorite celebrity happened to treat them like s--- during their two-second interaction. So the fact that these things are getting back to the celebrity is wild, because I never thought that would happen in a million years.”
Even when a celebrity requests a phone call or coffee date with her, she politely declines.
“If any celebrity reads this article, as much as I love you, I don’t trust a celebrity for s---,” Deuxmoi said. “I would never give up something like my anonymity to have lunch with a celebrity. There are people that I’ve met through Instagram that I think are so cool, and I’m like ‘Damn, in real life, we would be friends.’ But I can’t risk it.”
“They look at it as a news source, but that was never the intention ... It was meant to be a way to get to know your favorite celeb better outside of a PR-spin perspective."
But in a fast-moving digital world where anonymity is key, where do ethics come into play?
“Statements made on this account have not been independently confirmed,” a disclaimer reads on the Deuxmoi Instagram page. “This account does not claim any information published is based in fact.”
So no, Deuxmoi is not vetting or verifying the information she shares. But one thing she does strive for is fairness.
“People think I work with certain celebrities on posting information, or their PR teams,” she said. “That’s the furthest from the truth on how the account is actually run.”
There is, however, some code of conduct — or rules if you will.
"I want to make it known as the account grew that I felt the responsibility to not post certain things," she said. "I don't want to go on record saying I've never posted these things. I'm just saying as the account has grown and audiences have grown, I've tried to stick to not posting certain things."
Staying in the shadows
From hosting events to releasing her own coveted merch line, Deuxmoi has more followers and possibly more social acumen than some of the celebs she’s exposing. So what happens when the one trolling the famous becomes famous herself?
“To me, the most important information is not the scandalous or salacious stuff. It’s the people that are nice to the waitress, nice to the hotel concierge, or tip their driver well.”
“I go to a job where nobody knows this is what I do,” she said. “So for a big portion of my day, I’m interacting with people that have no idea that this is going on. I can’t really go to events. I can’t meet celebrities. Any perk that would come from running this account, I can’t partake in, which is fine with me. I’m totally satisfied. I’m totally content with my normal, non-Instagram life. I don’t need any of that.”
Above all else, Deuxmoi is fine staying in the shadows, mostly because she always wants this account to be for the people on the outside.
This ethos may be working. A follower recently bought a Deuxmoi sweatshirt and promised to wear it on a Hollywood set they were working on as a crew member. Why? So that everyone “behaved themselves” knowing Deuxmoi was watching.
“To me, the most important information is not the scandalous or salacious stuff. It's the people that are nice to the waitress, nice to the hotel concierge, or tip their driver well,” she shared. “People have made fun of me, saying the s--- that I sometimes post is mundane. 'Why do we care about this?' But it takes a certain person that does care about it, and I'm that type of person.”
The rules of Deuxmoi
Her main rules:
She doesn’t post about medical issues, rehab, Alcoholics Anonymous, or celebrity children who are minors. She also doesn’t break news of deaths or share stories that involve a celeb’s closeted sexuality. “Even if it’s bisexuality, homosexuality, whatever their sexual preferences...if they have not talked about it publicly, I won’t post it.”
The most shocking tip that ended up being true:
The craziest fans:
Jost, Harry Styles and Chris Evans all come to mind. “Chris Evans has been been around forever but currently has this crazy fanbase. Like, the ladies are obsessed with him. He was one of the first (celebs) that I very quickly found out had a huge, wild fanbase.”
Her biggest regret:
“I felt really bad recently after posting something about Lana Del Rey that wasn’t true, and I found out she got really upset about it.”
In tandem with the release of Del Rey’s most recent album, Deuxmoi shared an account that the singer freaked out in a Target after she discovered employees put her album out on store shelves before its official release date. “It’s so ridiculous, but she was really sweet about it, and I just felt really bad. I want to go on record saying it was 100% not true. The person who sent it in really fought to the end lying about it being true, and then finally admitted they made it up.”
The words she blocks out:
Many are curse words or slurs. She also blocks out drugs, sexual information or euphemisms for body parts.
The nicest celebs:
Styles, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian West, Julianne Moore, Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves and Hugh Jackman. “The Hugh Jackman stories I received (about) him interacting with people in an elevator ... for being such a big celebrity it’s like, God, this guy definitely has a heart of gold.”
Her response when celebs ask her to take down items:
Yes — she usually will. “I’m not going to be a jerk. It doesn’t make a difference to me. Most of the time it’s not the salacious stuff that names them, so I’ll take it down.”