But in our dimension’s timeline—whether it’s the darkest one is obviously not for this column to say—dear Sadie has struck out on her own, and maintained uninterrupted public notoriety with nothing but the sweat of her brow, a string of dalliances with foppish pretty boys, and regular vacations in the company of Kate Moss and the world’s paparazzi. That the raven-haired 47-year-old, whose only noteworthy acting role was in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula twenty years ago, has pulled this off is not so much remarkable as gloomily axiomatic of British society, where possessing any actual talent—outside of a gift for concisely obliterating the dreams of talent show entrants, which is God’s work—is nowadays an impediment to top-echelon fame.
It was thus a matter of crushing disappointment to the nation’s tireless documentarians of extravagance when the divorce settlement paid to his second wife Irina, the mother of five of his children, which had promised to be the biggest in history, only just squeaked into the top five. Irina accepted $300 million, which Roman had completely forgotten was in the pocket of those jeans anyway.
As Putin controversially returns as Russian President, I profile his close pal Roman Abramovich, the multi-billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club and defendant in the world’s biggest private litigation battle.
Permit me to set the scene: Britain, spring of 2011. Her Majesty’s subjects were enjoying the warmest April for 350 years while psyching themselves up for the looming nuptials of Kate and Wills, little aware that in an office in Wapping, the Sun’s Gary O’Shea—single-handedly playing Woodward and Bernstein’s roles in the historic proceedings—was preparing to eclipse Royal Wedding fever with the bombshell that “lovestruck” Imogen had been “romping” in a “string of luxury hotels” with a “married Premier League star,” sometimes—and sports fans are cautioned to reach for the smelling salts for this next bit—just before key games.
Readers of a prudish disposition—and I know there are many of you—will be relieved to hear that in each month’s portrait, Amy’s modesty is fully maintained with bits of lace or fabric; as she often mentions, elegance and refinement are her bywords. “I didn’t do it because I wanted to get them out all the time,” she has said of her decision to acquire silicone implants, “I just thought it would be nice to show a little bit of cleavage…I love modeling underwear and bikinis but the classy side.” (Whether posing for a tabloid newspaper with nothing but crystals between oneself and a chilly draft quite qualifies as classy is a gray area into which your columnist demurs to wade, especially since the malevolent octogenarian Countesses who ran her Swiss finishing school neglected to cover The Etiquette of Vajazzle Display.)
What with the sex scandals, the fondness for classical allusions, and the irrepressible wisecracking, Mayor Bloomberg’s London counterpart is what you might politely call a politico in the European tradition—so naturally it’s time for him to take his rightful place alongside Jordan et al in my Awl guide to the most important UK celebs.