Who is Victoria Hearst, the heiress hellbent on covering up 'Cosmo'?

Elena Scotti/FUSION

Cosmopolitan is not a lifestyle magazine for women. No, no, no. It's a smutty, pornographic, erotic tabloid whose prominent place in supermarket aisles is corrupting our children at this very moment! At least that's what Victoria Hearst believes. Since April, the granddaughter of publishing titan William Randolph Hearst has been fighting to hide the magazine from the innocent eyes of tweens by adding "blinders" to the front covers (you know, like they do with porn mags).

Last week, Hearst's campaign, run in conjunction with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, saw some progress. Both Rite Aid and Food Lion have reportedly given in and will be covering up the mags, so that young people aren't exposed to headlines like "21 Naughty Sex Tips" and "Wind proof hairstyles."


Ironically, it's Hearst's own family that publishes Cosmo, though she—a religious conservative—has nothing to do with the Hearst company. Which made us wonder: Who is Victoria Hearst? Why does she hate a magazine that presumably helped make her family rich? And what would Jesus do?

Here are six notable things about the heiress:

1. Victoria became a born-again Christian after a bad relationship with a "bad" man 

In the mid-1990s, Hearst was dating and "having pre-marital sex" with a man, she told The 700 Club. The relationship didn't go so well, she said, and ultimately, "he made me so miserable I gave my life to Christ." Hearst became a born-again Christian following their breakup and never looked back. (No word on whether Cosmo's sex tips played a role.)


2. God told her to go to Colorado and teach jazz dance

Once Hearst found God, the big man himself began talking to her. According to interviews, in 1997, the Lord told her to told her to move to Colorado, where she owned a vacation house, and teach an after-school jazz dance program. So she did.


3. Her original dream was to be an actress / singer / dancer

Before devoting her life to God, Hearst originally wanted to devote her life to fame. According to the heiress, her dream was to be an actress, singer, and dancer—or as her bio says, "a triple threat." She took years of dance, voice, and acting classes. She even worked as a part-time mime, lived in Los Angeles, and had a featured role on an episode of General Hospital. But this path didn't work out for her. According to her bio, "God had other plans for Victoria’s life."


4. She speaks Japanese

Hearst first visited Japan in 1979 with her mother on a big trip to "the Orient" (her words) and fell in love with the country and culture. She then decided to learn Japanese and even had a role on a Japanese TV show, speaking both languages. Pretty impressive.


She's also very active with philanthropic work in Japan, working to bring Jesus to the nation. As she told The 700 Club, the "Japanese love Christians, they haven't been poisoned against us yet."

5. She's the sister of Patty Hearst

If you didn't put it together, Victoria has a sister named Patty Hearst, who became infamous in the '70s when she was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left-wing extremist group. Hearst spent 19 months in captivity, eventually joining the group in their criminal acts, including robbing banks. She was later arrested and convicted for her crimes and spent years in jail. She was eventually pardoned by President Bill Clinton.  Her family always maintained she was an innocent victim.


6. She runs a ministry

Today, Hearst runs a ministry in Colorado called "Praise Him Ministries," which she founded in 2001. According to interviews, the Lord instructed Hearst to use her inheritance from her father's death to purchase a 10,000 square foot building in Ridgeway, Colorado in order to build the ministry. And you thought her campaign against Cosmo was her only mission!


Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.

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