CATHERINE Zeta-Jones was branded a "trophy wife" yesterday by a senior European official, who attacked Michael Douglas’s endorsement of the United Nations millennium development goals campaign.
Elizabeth Holt, the European Commission’s representative in Scotland, reacted with anger to a TV advertising campaign video shown to the conference which featured Douglas endorsing the millennium goals.
The film star said that the United Nations’ goals - which include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education and gender equality - were agreed in 2000, the same year that he married the Welsh actress.
The star of Fatal Attraction, who invited Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, to his New York wedding, said that he had then committed himself to the campaign.
But during a question-and-answer session in the Holyrood debating chamber, Ms Holt told Sahil Shetty, the UN millennium development goals campaign director, that she thought Douglas’s appearance detracted from the message of the video.
She said: "Michael Douglas had to get his trophy wife into it. I thought that the Michael Douglas point was wasted."
Speaking later, Ms Holt said: "We should be very careful about getting celebrities in these campaigns - all we heard about was his trophy wife and not much about the millennium goals.
"After 600 years of slavery there must been hundreds of black American celebrities - and even a few black women celebrities - who they could have used to endorse this campaign.
"It was very silly of them to use Michael Douglas, and there was a huge contrast between him and the picture painted for us here today by Bob Geldof’s moving words."