The first time I met Ghislaine Maxwell was back in the mid-Eighties. She was the fabulously rich and sophisticated daughter of mighty media mogul Robert Maxwell, wafting in and out of the parties he held at his Mirror offices in London.
I was a humble executive on the launch of his newspaper The London Daily News. She flew in by private helicopter, I got the Tube. She was dripping in designer clothes and diamonds, I was draped in Topshop.
Only three years separated us, and I remember there was much to admire about her elegance, her sense of confidence and entitlement, and her extravagant bearing which was remarkable even during the hedonistic Eighties.
Mostly when I encountered Ghislaine, she was always clinging adoringly to Daddy. No one quite knew what she actually did, except look gorgeous, be funny and adorn Daddy’s parties to which the rich and influential flocked like flies.
The first time I met Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured with Jeffrey Epstein) was back in the mid-Eighties. She was the sophisticated daughter of mighty media mogul Robert Maxwell, wafting in and out of the parties he held at his Mirror offices in London
As we now know, her gift for graceful hosting and ingratiating herself with the wealthy and powerful would become her trademark and continue throughout her life.
‘Captain’ Bob Maxwell, paraded her like a prized possession. He creepily named his yacht after her — she was the youngest of his nine children. Never has the description daddy’s girl been more apposite. But then, he fell to his death off his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, and it emerged his empire was built on smoke and mirrors and that he’d monstrously plundered the Mirror pension funds to fuel the lavish lifestyle to which a shattered Ghislaine had become accustomed.
Did that other monster, paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, become her new father figure, showering her with the wealth she’d been taught by Captain Bob was her right? It’s emerged she had £18 million in 15 bank accounts.
Was this tainted money, and the status it bestowed, so important to her that she forwent all moral scruples, grooming girls for him to abuse in return for it and even taking part in the abuse herself?
Only time will tell whether the hideous charge sheet against her is true. But what we do know — and this is in no sense an attempt to exonerate her — is that daddy’s girl Ghislaine worshipped her lying, cheating, bullying psychopath of a father.
And that his grotesque influence could well explain why she became the world’s most hunted woman.
Tragic lesson of NHS deaths
The 2009 picture of Rhiannon Davies holding her newborn daughter Kate six hours before she died is heartbreaking enough. But to then learn an inquest found the baby’s death at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital was ‘avoidable’, makes Rhiannon’s agony impossible to imagine.
An inquest into the death of Rhiannon Davies’s newborn daughter Kate’s death at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital was ‘avoidable’ (both pictured in 2009)
Dozens of babies and mums died there between 1979 and 2017 amid major failings, yet it has taken 40 years for a full investigation to begin.
That’s what happens when we treat our NHS as a sacred cow.
Maureen Lipman, 74, says: ‘My face might be descending slightly south, but I honestly think that all the young men around me think I’m 36 — that I’m a ‘slightly older’ woman — because that’s how I feel.’
To her credit, Maureen added: ‘My nature is to make people laugh.’
- To the irrepressible Pamela Anderson, reclining in bed on her tummy with a glass of champers to cheer us all up, and providing the perfect pose for all of us struggling with selfies, desperately trying to conceal our Covid tummies.
- To BBC Radio 5 Live’s coronavirus stand-in Adrian Chiles who, despite being one of their cleverest broadcasters, still can’t get a daily daytime slot — probably as he’s committed the unpardonable sin at the Beeb of being white, male, straight and middle-aged.
- And a shout down to the idiots who drafted the new rules for our churches opening tomorrow — and insisted on ‘disposable hymn sheets’, when they’ve already banned us from singing hymns.
An Elle of a fib!
Posing in a bikini on the cover of Red magazine, supermodel Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson, 56, says she doesn’t worry about ageing or how she looks.
‘I’m much more interested in my wellbeing. Wellness enables people to exude confidence and charisma. It’s this inner vitality that people find attractive,’ she says.
Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson, 56, says she doesn’t worry about ageing or how she looks but instead is ‘much more interested’ in her wellbeing
Only a woman in her mid-50s who still looks smoking hot could utter such nonsense.
If confidence and charisma were all it took to grace the cover of a glamour magazine in your 50s, our much-loved blonde Vanessa Feltz would be on it tomorrow.
Psychologists reveal that those who binge-watch disaster movies, where the world collapses amid a terrifying threat to humanity, are better equipped to survive pandemics like Covid- 19.
Given I have now seen almost all the 32 Godzilla movies from 1954 to 2019, some of them more than once, I too have learnt when to run and what to stockpile. ‘We think people are learning vicariously what to buy,’ the researchers said, ‘with the exception of toilet paper.’
With Leicester in lockdown today on ‘Super Saturday’, police are worried about how to rumble residents who head for pubs in nearby Nottingham.
Surely all they need to do is get landlords to play Leicester City’s anthem Leicester Till I Die — then boot out anyone who sings it?
Talking about her searingly honest book Fat Cow, Fat Chance — which we serialised in the Mail and in which she describes how she resorted to bariatric surgery — Jenni Murray had some advice for the body-positive movement.
Jenni Murray (above) had some advice for the body-positive movement when talking about her searingly honest book Fat Cow, Fat Chance
‘I hate fat-shaming, but I know how dangerous being desperately obese can be. I want those young women who are very brave about their obesity to understand what it’s like when you are in your 60s and you can’t get around and you get type-2 diabetes.’
Well done, Jenni. Even daring to offer kindly advice to the body-positive gals takes guts.
- Nicola Sturgeon has done all she can to thwart Britain’s tourist industry from reopening, even saying English visitors could be quarantined when entering Scotland. Tourism contributes £6 billion to the Scottish economy, with more than half of that from UK visitors. Talk about shooting yourself in the sporran.
- After being sacked for retweeting anti-Semitic views, Labour’s former education spokesman Rebecca Long-Bailey said she ‘never meant to hurt anyone’. Having supported militant teachers’ unions blocking pupils going back to school, shouldn’t she now start apologising to the kids, especially those from poorer backgrounds?
Announcing his New Deal, Boris Johnson aligned himself with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who rescued America after the Great Depression.
Surely that’s where the similarity ends. Unlike Boris, Roosevelt was paralysed from the waist down.
Having arguably been the most suave, sexual 007 in four movies, Pierce Brosnan says once you’ve played Bond it defines you for ever.
Love Brosnan as I do — I do, I do, I do, I do — it’s not true. His appalling singing in Mamma Mia! banished all memories . . . for ever.
Pierce Brosnan says once you’ve played Bond it defines you for ever. But it is not true for Brosnan, as his ‘appalling’ singing in Mamma Mia! banished all memories . . . for ever
Family Fortunes host Vernon Kay says lockdown has made his marriage to Strictly’s Tess Daly stronger than ever because they’ve had time to reconnect.
Nothing to do with the fact that with the missus in the house 24/7, it’s more difficult to sneak off for a spot of sexting with a glamour model . . .
Kate was great, Meghan!
How sad the Duchess of Sussex felt ‘unprotected’ by the Royal Family while pregnant with Archie. Did she not realise we were overjoyed Harry was becoming a dad with the wife he loved and we were so happy she seemed blooming?
Poor Kate, her sister-in-law, had a far more challenging time during her pregnancies. She was lambasted for failing to turn up to royal engagements when, unknown to us, she was suffering with such violent morning sickness that she was hospitalised.
Yet Kate never complained — instead, she transformed herself into the royals’ greatest asset.