I HAD several thoughts when I saw those photos of Dominic West and his wife, Catherine FitzGerald, hugging and kissing outside the home they share with their four children.
Given the publication of pictures this week of Dominic and his co-star Lily James nuzzling in Rome, rarely has the phrase “protesting too much” seemed so apt.
It’s impossible to know what is happening behind the scenes.
One could suggest many theories but on seeing both sets of photos I wonder whether she accepts the fact that being married to a Hollywood star places certain demands on a marriage, like others in her position. But of course, the only people who have the answer to that are the couple themselves.
This may explain Catherine’s willingness to play ball for the stomach-churning photo call — and her awkward smile because she had been humiliated by his actions. It is all a bit . . . murky.
Before Catherine saw the photos of her husband snuggling up to his younger co-star, she said she was sure the relationship was platonic and told a newspaper that he and Lily were just “really good friends”.
Then a friend arrived at the West home in Wiltshire and told reporters Catherine was “shocked and devastated” and that: “She thought they had a good marriage and now it’s probably over.”
The pal went on: “The two of them need to speak but at the moment she’s lost for words.”
But then — baffling to you and me — after Dominic jetted in from Rome he and Catherine put on that very public display for the cameras outside their home to try to show just how hunky dory their marriage is. He kissed and embraced her with an annoying and smarmy cat-that-got-the-cream smile — very embarrassing for everyone concerned.
The truth is that all marriages are different and we don’t all have to conform. Look at Phillip Schofield and his wife Stephanie, who enjoyed 27 years of what sounds like a strong marriage.
Steph has quietly supported him throughout his immensely successful career and his realisation that he was gay, letting his story come out to the world only when he was ready. And being there for him in the meantime, without a word to anyone. So dignified.
Then this week you hear about the strange goings-on with Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey. They divorced in 2008 and he gave her £25million — before they rekindled the romance in 2016.
It all seemed terribly romantic, but it is now a disaster. She has married another man behind his back and Phil has accused her of hiring armed guards to hold his £25million Miami mansion “hostage” while demanding more millions from him.
He says Orianne is preparing to release information unless he pays her a “preposterous amount of money” and claims the guards are patrolling his property to make sure he cannot take it back.
Putting up with it
One thing is for sure: Being married to an A-list celebrity is not like any marriage we mere mortals are part of.
And maybe that is something Catherine has been aware of right from the beginning.
Is there an unwritten rule that when a woman marries a celebrity, the marriage will be anything but conventional?
Many star marriages in the past hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both had some high-profile, ahem, indiscretions.
Some have continued to smile for the cameras throughout, while others haven’t managed to keep it together.
Maybe when you get together with a celebrity you know that conventionality is not always going to be part of the deal, and if you still want to marry them, you end up putting up with it — and accepting all the benefits that life in the public eye can bring, as well as the downsides.
Dominic certainly has Catherine’s support
None of us will truly know what goes on behind the scenes — or in the bedroom. But thinking about it, I realise that trust, respect and support are the three pillars of any successful long-term marriage, and without those we are in trouble.
One thing is for sure — Dominic certainly has Catherine’s support.
She demonstrated that by coming outside at 10.30am to get him off the hook.
But I am sure that behind those posh, closed doors there won’t be much respect coming from her right now.
And I don’t blame her.
Jealous of Liz
OH this weather. This rain. That, plus new lockdown regulations, means this was not the best week for some of us.
So, frankly, my main emotion was jealousy when looking at Elizabeth Hurley’s Instagram shot of herself in the Maldives.
That beautiful tropical backdrop with the Indian Ocean behind her and Liz in one of her trademark plunging black swimsuits – making it impossible to believe that she is 55.
I felt a bit better when I realised it was a throwback shot and she isn’t actually in the Maldives now. But, hands up, I’m still jealous of her body.
Tickled pink at Madge
I’VE made no secret over the years of my admiration for Madonna and her “couldn’t-care-less-what-you-think” attitude.
But also her ability to completely reinvent herself.
Her latest “new thing” is the Instagram photos of her looking bloody amazing – with pink hair.
Women in their 60s aren’t supposed to have pink hair.
Nor are they supposed to date men who are considerably younger. Or still be touring, singing and doing raunchy dance routines that would be too athletic for a woman half her age.
I love Madonna’s “I do what I damn please” approach – and her continual reminders that she simply will not grow old gracefully in the way that so many people seem to demand.
Although I think having pink hair at the age of 62 is as graceful as it gets.
Good for her.
Space lad is world class
EVERY so often you read something that makes you realise that some people are truly extraordinary.
Like the 12-year-old boy who is about to make history as the youngest student ever to study aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, US.
Caleb Anderson is likely to be granted a place at the prestigious university this autumn after stunning administrators with his “advanced knowledge and his ability to assess and retain complex information”.
Massive congratulations to him and I hope he achieves all his hopes and dreams – even though it’s hard for most of us to relate to.
When I was 12 I was more interested in roller-skating and smoking behind the bike sheds.
It's sheer bliss for green Ed
I’VE heard many stories over the years that have endeared me to Ed Sheeran, but the fact that he has spent tens of thousands of pounds to build his own forest on his £3.7million Suffolk estate makes me think even more of him.
For a start, the point of the trees is to make his estate more sustainable. But also, in a lockdown world, having your own pub, swimming pool, hot tub, orchard, walled kitchen garden, greenhouses, an underground cinema, a gym, a recording studio, a wildlife pond and an area for goats, sheep and chickens on the estate sounds . . . perfect.
All they need is a hairdresser, and they never need to go out.
PADDY McGUINNESS made me laugh this week with a tweet, reminding us that he and his wife (and mother of his three children) Christine are just like the rest of us.
The comedian, 47, tweeted: “Anyone ever had an argument with their wife and won? Asking for a friend. #undefeatable.”
It reminds me of an interview I once saw of a couple married for 70 years.
When the husband was asked what the secret of a happy marriage was, he said: “Two words, ‘Yes, dear’.”
Kids face debt burden
THERE is no denying that this pandemic has left our country stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand we must support people who need to stay home if they have symptoms, and the furlough scheme was, of course, the right thing to do.
If the Government tells people to stay indoors rather than go to work, they need to provide them with the means to continue to eat and pay rent. But, on the other hand, the news this week that families face paying an extra £125 a month in tax within five years to stop Government debt spiralling out of control is alarming to say the least.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that borrowing due to the coronavirus pandemic is already set to hit levels not seen outside the two world wars. It warned that unless the UK is “lucky”, there will be a “price to pay” in the form of tax increases of more than £42billion a year during the middle of this decade.
The question we have all been asking ever since the “money tree” provided seemingly limitless cash to much of the population during lockdown is: Who the hell is going to pay for this?
And now the answer is being revealed. The people who are really going to pay for all this is likely to be our children.
Have we saved one generation and cursed another?
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