Vintage £7.99 (239pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Celebrity, By Marina Hyde
Friday 05 March 2010
The phenomena explored here include: Jude Law's personal mission in 2007 to bring peace to Afghanistan ("Obviously the situation was too complicated for us to sit down with the Taliban"); Pete Doherty's cat Tinkerbell taken into care when cocaine was discovered in its bloodstream; Madonna's charity event Raising Malawi, where the $800 Gucci bag given to each guest was coincidentally equal to the per capita GDP of Malawi.
Described with razor-sharp wit, Hyde's glorious assemblage of celeb fatuities would be sensational satire if it were fiction. Only it isn't.
It would be hard to invent Demi Moore's advocacy of "leech therapy" ("They aren't just swamp leeches," she said. "We are talking about highly trained medical leeches") or Anne Hathaway's infatuation with an altruistic boyfriend ("One of the most untouted aphrodisiacs in the world is charity work"), who is now in federal prison after pleading guilty to real estate fraud.
Exploring Planet Celeb, Hyde explains that rehab can be used to treat a surprising range of ailments, including "being anti-Semitic and a misogynist" (both amply displayed by Mel Gibson in a Malibu police station) and "having sore feet".
This form of martyrdom was suffered by Aerosmith's Steve Tyler who checked himself into rehab for "foot repair": "I needed a safe environment to recuperate where I could get back on my feet.
"There's a new album to record, then another tour." Hyde adds, "Bunions permitting."
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