air (one's) dirty linen in public

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air (one's) dirty linen in public

To discuss very private, personal matters, especially that which may be embarrassing, in public or with other people. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I just wish he wouldn't air his dirty linen in public like that. People have an unnatural fixation on the personal lives of celebrities, but I don't see why they should be expected to air their dirty linen in public.
See also: air, dirty, linen, public

air one's dirty linen in public

 and wash one's dirty linen in public
Fig. to discuss private or embarrassing matters in public, especially when quarreling. (This linen refers to sheets and tablecloths or other soiled cloth.) They are arguing again. Why must they always air their dirty linen in public? She will talk to anyone about her problems. Why does she wash her dirty linen in public?
See also: air, dirty, linen, public
References in periodicals archive ?
The marriage meltdown has so concerned legal mandarins, they are set to push through legislation forcing couples to consider mediation - where they are helped to agree between themselves thorny issues such as asset splitting and child access - rather than air dirty linen in courts.