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Opinion
Scotland on Sunday
Sun 19 Oct 2003
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Hutton and designer Gere

THIS WEEK

Jeremy Watson

BOY meets girl again - after 23 years. When we last saw Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton together they were grappling together on the set of American Gigolo after shedding their Giorgio Armani outfits.

Last week, they put them back on to launch a retrospective of the great fashion designer’s clothes, which have adorned the rich and famous for the last three decades.

It’s all part of the rebirth of fashion as art. Norman Rosenthal, "curator" of the exhibition at the esteemed Royal Academy of Arts in London, said: "I am famous for saying that over my dead body would I do a fashion exhibition. But here we see a great artist and one that has transformed all our lives, whether we wear his clothes or not."

I’m an ‘or not’, purely on grounds of cost rather than aesthetic taste. But I am tempted to save up having witnessed how good Mr Gere, 54, who played a male prostitute in the film, and Ms Hutton, 60, yes 60, look in their Armani togs.

Prince is text king

ANOTHER ageing lothario back in the headlines is Prince Andrew, whom, it was breathlessly reported, had ditched his recent C-List dalliances for an A-List beauty.

The lucky lady is 30-year-old businesswoman Amanda Stavely, 13 years the Prince’s junior, the daughter of a millionaire Yorkshire landowner and a hotel and conference operator who made her own first million bucks by the age of 24.

Apparently they have been inseparable all year. He calls her "darling", she calls him "babe". They see each other at least three times a week.

But how do we do know that the relationship is really serious and that Fergie should be getting worried?

"The two regularly text each other," intoned the newspaper, which outed the courting couple and went on to predict their impending nuptials. With commitment like that, it’s only a matter of time before the Prince waltzes down the aisle for a second time.

Scourge of daughters

THE Prince had two daughters with Sarah Ferguson, so, as scientists told us last week, it was almost inevitable he would divorce.

American boffins, after studying millions of families, found that parental splits were more common if children were all female.

Fathers prefer boys to such an extent that if they only had girls, they were more likely to leave their wife or partner.

It’s called the "Henry VIII syndrome" after the 16th-century English king who divorced his first wife and had his second executed after they bore him daughters.

The researchers from the University of Rochester, in New York State, say if sons are around, dad is more likely to stay to provide a role model. He may even have an ally, whereas daughters gang up with their mother.

The real reason for fatherly walk-outs is obvious. Three women clogging up the bathroom every morning is simply intolerable.

Repulsed by divorce

DIVORCE is also briefly crossing the mind of Catherine Zeta-Jones, the Welsh actress who met and married Michael Douglas, her very own Hollywood superstar. "I find divorces repulsive," she told an interviewer. "I will never get divorced, never."

Usually the cue for an instant announcement of a separation in showbiz circles, but Zeta-Jones has tradition on her side.

"It’s in the genes," she said. "Look at the other stars who have come from my area. Tom Jones has been married to Linda for 47 years despite having lots of affairs, and Richard Burton never really got over Elizabeth Taylor."

What better role models could you wish for?

Just in case, Zeta-Jones has a little agreement in which Douglas, who was a serial cheater on his first wife while in the grip of sex addiction, pays her £1m for every year they have been together and £3m for every affair.

A friend says Douglas is behaving himself. "He hasn’t looked at another woman since he met Catherine and he has every intention of staying faithful to her forever."

Well, I’m reassured.

Where are the men?

FULL marks to upmystreet.com, a community website, which performed a very useful public service for the Bridget Jones generation.

In a survey which should surely be replicated in Scotland, it found out the towns where young men vastly outnumber young women.

Bridgnorth in Shropshire and Rutland, England’s smallest county, came second and third. Top for unattached males was Richmond in North Yorkshire.

Sadly the women of Richmond were bemused. "If there are plenty of men in Richmond, we haven’t seen them," said one female regular in a town centre pub. "You get nicer men in Harrogate. They are richer there and you get the actors from Emmerdale."

It was left to local MP William Hague - remember him? - to solve the mystery. The Richmond area takes in one of the largest army garrisons in Britain. Sadly for those tempted to take the next train to North Yorkshire, they are usually confined to barracks.



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