News, Culture & Society

The utter vacuity of celebrity couples renewing their vows

Power vow-renewal: Guy Oseary and wife Michelle

Guy who? Exactly. Guy Oseary is a Hollywood Mr Big, the manager and agent behind a galaxy of stars. Unknown to millions, his is the name on no one’s lips outside a small circle of A-list talent.

Until this week, when he and his wife renewed their vows under the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

As an illustration of ostentation, of his power and reach, it was an incomparable triumph.

A highly-plumaged muster of clients and friends including Bono, P. Diddy, Matthew McConaughey, Dakota Johnson and Sacha Baron Cohen had trekked all the way to Brazil to join the celebrations. 

Even Madonna had to put on a hat to watch Oseary renew his wedding vows under a chuppah.

A Jewish Kabbalah ceremony held under the shadow of perhaps the most famous Christian statue in the world? Nobody minded the anomaly, if anyone even noticed.

After all, the relatively new concept of vow-renewing has no basis in religion, no legal significance and no traditional liturgy or rituals of its own. Essentially meaningless and frivolous, you just make it up as you go along.

Do you double-take this personage you have been hitched to for a decade or so in return for a nice party, some new household gifts and the upgrading of your crockery cupboard?

I do, I do, I do!

Oseary actually married Brazilian model Michelle Alves in 2006. They have four children together and what appears to be a stable, loving relationship. So why bother with all this malarkey?

Status, of course.

Vow-renewing is not really about love, but prestige and appearance.

On a scale such as this, it’s also about impressing your friends and establishing superiority — dazzling one-upmanship complete with canapes, strewn rose petals and U2 playing at the reception. It is about private pledges significantly cheapened by the desire to make them public.

But mostly it is about couples out-coupling other couples. Look at us! Look what we have together! We are so much better than you. We have endured.

One wonders how multi-divorced attendees such as Madonna and actress Demi Moore must have felt, watching loved-up Guy and Michelle wallowing in the syrup of their romance.

A little bit broken inside, I would imagine.

Pity poor Demi, whose ex-husband Ashton Kutcher played a vital part in the proceedings: a double blow to her ego.

Perhaps she took comfort in the fact that even while vow-renewals are on the rise — in celebrity land and on Civvy Street — they remain a fabricated piece of chichi nonsense.

Vow-renewals don’t require an officiant, a binding document or a rubber stamp. They might be fun for the couple involved, but they are morally weightless, an empty bit of revelry masquerading as a significant event. Something that has cachet on Instagram, but nowhere else.

I can see why celebrity couples are tempted. Prolonging the story arc of a marketable marriage is clearly good for business.

Sir Rod Stewart and his third wife Penny Lancaster renewed their wedding vows over the summer — ‘sharing’ the celebration with Hello! magazine.

Vow-renewals are tacky events that glamour model Katie Price or participants on TV reality shows such as Real Housewives Of Orange County are always doing.

Then ordinary folks see glamour in all this, and they start doing it, too. Destination weddings are bad enough, must we now prepare ourselves for destination wedding vow-renewals?

Those kidults Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon renewed their vows five times — at Disneyland, in the Maldives, in Las Vegas, at the top of the Eiffel Tower and once in hospital — before ending their marriage. Yes, those renewals really did have spiritual depth, didn’t they? 

The Beckhams renewed their vows last year, a totally private event at home, with only six guests. And yet somehow we all know about it — isn’t that strange? Perhaps because David revealed all in a radio interview.

‘We stay together because we love each other and we have four children,’ he said. That was a few months before his name was linked with party-girl Lady Mary Charteris, since when Posh has been looking even more miserable than usual.

Perhaps vow-renewal is nothing more than emotional scaffolding for some couples. Underneath the flamboyance and the narcissism, perhaps they are doing it to convince themselves, not others, of the strength of the relationship.

OK. But whatever the reason and no matter how big the celebration, please don’t invite me.

Malthe claims that she was raped by the Hollywood mogul in 2008 at the Sanderson Hotel in London, following the BAFTA Awards

Malthe claims that she was raped by the Hollywood mogul in 2008 at the Sanderson Hotel in London, following the BAFTA Awards

A little less of the noble suffering, please 

Natassia Malthe is the latest actress to come forward and accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape. This brings the total number of rape claims to nine, alongside dozens of accusations of sexual assault.

Malthe claims that she was raped by the Hollywood mogul in 2008 at the Sanderson Hotel in London, following the BAFTA Awards.

The details of her alleged attack are ghastly and follow the pattern of all the other assaults made public. The man is a beast, a predator, a danger to women.

After a week’s penance in a sex addiction clinic, he is now claiming to be ‘cured’, but is still acting like a man who believes that he is a victim, too — and has done nothing wrong. Through his lawyers he has denied that he took part in any non-consensual sexual intercourse.

But battle lines are being drawn. Lawyers are preparing cases against Weinstein and there is a possibility he could end up behind bars. Might that really happen?

There is a mountain of evidence against him, but much of it will be swiftly dismissed by the courts. One of the actresses who accused Weinstein of rape went on to have a consensual sexual relationship with him.

As for Natassia Malthe, she opened her bedroom door to him in the middle of the night. And after he allegedly raped her, she began to train with dance and voice lessons for a role in one of his films. She even agreed to meet him again, but says that she left when it became clear he wanted her to join him in a threesome.

There are victims of rape out there, women unconnected with Weinstein, who must look upon all this with incredulity. These are women who did not agree to meet their rapist again, for cocktails and contract talks, but who went through rape suite procedures and who gave evidence in court.

Instead of reporting his actions, a great number of Weinstein women stayed silent for the good of their careers.

By taking a job or hush money, they not only tacitly condoned his behaviour, they allowed others to suffer as well. And that doesn’t make you a heroine — it makes you an enabler, someone who wanted fame above all.

Of course, I don’t blame any of them: Weinstein is the guilty party here.

Yet there are moments when I wish they would dial down that air of noble suffering and daring valour, just a notch.

At a press conference, Natassia talked of how she was speaking out now so that ‘my three-year-old little boy understands how to respect and treat women, and for countless little girls that should never experience what I went through and for all the women that came before me and after me trying to succeed in Hollywood’.

Very noble, I’m sure. But Natassia, where were you when all the women who came after you needed you most?

Tourist information centres are on the endangered list. No wonder! I have hardly ever been in one where the staff haven’t been rude, dozy, on the phone to friends or keen to press a sheaf of useless leaflets into my hands to get rid of me before closing for a three-hour lunch. 

And no, sorry, they can’t recommend a hotel or restaurant — it’s against the rules.

Gah. No wonder we all take our chances online instead.

Louise Redknapp admits she had the perfect life ¿ a handsome husband, beautiful children, no money worries

Louise Redknapp admits she had the perfect life — a handsome husband, beautiful children, no money worries

What IS Louise looking for?

Louise Redknapp admits she had the perfect life — a handsome husband, beautiful children, no money worries.

Yet the 42-year-old mother-of-two says she has lost herself during her 20-year marriage and now wants time on her own. Her husband, ex-footballer Jamie Redknapp, is left struggling to understand and wondering what he did wrong.

The spark of singer Louise’s unhappiness was kindled into a firestorm when she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing last year. The influence of her fellow contestant and new best friend, Daisy Lowe, is said to be a significant factor. Daisy is free, single and 14 years younger than Louise.

What is it that this ultimate yummy-mummy wants? She doesn’t know, but I do — she wants to be young again. And that is the one thing she cannot have.

Some might say Mrs Redknapp is being brave. Others that she is being selfish, because so many other lives are involved in her decisions.

If every husband or wife acted upon such inchoate feelings of dissatisfaction and missed opportunity, there would be no marriages left.

I hope Louise locates whatever it is she is looking for, but I suspect she won’t find it hanging out with larky Daisy.

Kilts are in – at any cost 

My goodness. Scotland is having a moment — and for once it’s not because Nicola Sturgeon is trying to establish international border controls in Troon.

Burberry has launched its autumn collection featuring a riot of gorgeous tartans: trenchcoats, trews, kilts and tote bags — I love them all, even if it is hilarious to see solemn style-watchers describe tartan as ‘fashion forward’. 

Jenna Coleman and Vicky McClure wearing a blouse and kilt combo of the type thousands of us were forced into for Scottish dance classes

Jenna Coleman and Vicky McClure wearing a blouse and kilt combo of the type thousands of us were forced into for Scottish dance classes

Never mind that Scottish regiments have worn it for hundreds of years. Or that thousands of us were forced into exactly the blouse and kilt combo worn by actresses Jenna Coleman and Vicky McClure for Scottish dancing classes.

TV presenter Maya Jama’s trews are exactly the sort worn by proud Scottish soldiers everywhere — although not at £600 a pair; are you mad? We all know that, when it comes to money, Burberry charges like the Light Brigade.

Even the totes, which look like those our grannies used to carry home the mince, cost £1,300. A total joke, darling, but I still want one. 


Find local lawyers and law firms at