"I don't want Deuxmoi to be just me," the woman behind the celebrity-gossip Instagram account says. "That's one of the reasons I want to stay anonymous"
In a dazzling downtown hotel suite with glittering views across the city, a glamorous woman is nursing a glass of champagne and trying desperately to become both better known to her assembled guests — while also maintaining total anonymity.
“Hi,” she says as various reporters arrive to the suite. “I’m Deux.”
It’s not her real name, of course, but for the woman who runs the pseudonymous Instagram gossip account Deuxmoi, standing in this room in full view of others and chatting openly about her life running the cultural phenomenon is as close to a full-blown unmasking as she’s going to offer.
When the Instagram account Deuxmoi first launched — over a decade ago, as a page devoted to fashion news and trends — it gained only a modest following and eventually fell dormant. Then, in March 2020, with the pandemic in full swing, the account’s founder decided to update it while bored one night with a random request: “DM me any celeb stories (first or secondhand) that you’re willing to share and I’ll post.”
She assumed she’d get a few responses about D-listers. Instead, an item about a reader’s encounter with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill landed in her inbox which she dutifully put online. More stories followed: her DMs were soon flooded with everything from banal celebrity sightings to detailed insider information about break-ups, hook-ups, and feuds.
Three months after its relaunch, Deuxmoi had 400,000 followers; today, it boasts over 2 million devoted fans, with info coming in from Manhattan to Melbourne. All the while, the person behind the account has done her best to remain unknown to the masses (so much so that at one point, based on my own background in celebrity journalism, more than one person asked me if I was Deuxmoi. To which I always replied: Don’t I wish).
Those in the know practically speak their own Deuxmoi language: from references to Carbone and Via Carota (restaurants known for their celeb clientele that make frequent appearances on Deuxmoi’s Instagram stories) to their devotion to the Sunday Spotted feature (in which a cavalcade of celebrity sightings from the past week appear) to the constant request from tipsters when a new item is sent in: “Anon pls.”
It’s essentially an inside joke — and an unnecessary one — as requesting anonymity from Deux Moi is never required: “I never reveal who sends me info,” Deux says. “I even delete the juicier text threads and emails so if I’m ever hacked, people won’t know who sends me stuff.”
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That phrase — Anon Pls. — helped spark what Deux the woman hopes is a harbinger for Deuxmoi the account: off-shoots into merchandise (sweats and hoodies often emblazoned with “Anon Pls”) to Anon Pls., the novel released last year by Harper Collins and now out in paperback. It's been purchased by HBO to be turned into a one-hour drama series. “The book is one big blind item, really,” Deux says. “Everything in there has some loose connection to my reality.”
There are even more extensions — Reveal Moi, an account devoted to reader guesses about Deuxmoi blind items; the podcasts Deux U and Deux Me After Dark; and a subscriber-only paid newsletter that offers deeper insider knowledge.
Deux says she keeps this all running almost single-handedly save for two administrative assistants— a task made somewhat easier by the fact that she essentially reposts information as it reaches her, with frequent disclaimers that posts “have not been independently confirmed” and that the account “does not claim any information published is based in fact.” (She does have a lawyer on retainer, as well.)
Still, serving as a real-life Gossip Girl is not something she wants to continue to do on her own.
“I want to get away from having Deuxmoi be me — I want it to be a brand,” she says. “I don’t want to be Deuxmoi, or I don’t want Deuxmoi to be just me, I should say. That’s one of the reasons I want to stay anonymous, because I don’t want this to ever be associated with me.”
Of course, that means one of the most buzzed-about media personalities in NYC at the moment can’t exactly enjoy the trappings of her fame. Making a dinner reservation at Carbone as “Deuxmoi” isn’t really an option.
But that’s just fine with Deux herself, who admits to sometimes being paranoid that celebs will suss out her identity. “I started having, like, little panic attacks when friends would say, ‘Let’s go to this restaurant,’ if I knew that certain celebs would be there,” she recalls. “I was convinced they would somehow figure it out.”
Other sources of stress abound: In addition to trying to expand her empire, there is the everyday chore of feeding the beast she’s created. “All those Sunday Spotteds nearly kill me sometimes, just going through all of those DMs, all the screenshot-ing and cutting and pasting. I do all of that by myself. And when I don’t post them right away, I definitely hear about it.”
She hears about plenty of other things too, as celebrities with notoriously rabid fanbases occasionally take their frustrations out on her inbox. She notes Chris Evans and Taylor Swift have particularly intense followers, but her current battle involves the army of Harry Styles worshippers who turned on her after she posted that Styles had shaved his head.
“Oh my God, my DMs were his stans just ripping me apart, like, ‘It isn’t true, you’re wrong, take it back.’ They were relentless.” When a picture of a newly shorn Styles finally surfaced, Deux felt vindicated but weary: “I was like, ‘Great, can you all just leave me alone now?’”
That doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.
“Just the fact that I’ve been here for so long tonight, for this many hours, is something,” she says taking one more sip of champagne. “It means I’ll have DMs that are like: ‘Where are you? Why haven’t you posted? Are you OK?’ So, I guess its time to get back to work.”
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