Metropolitan life: WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS?; NO 4: KOO STARK

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Main Claim: The Duke of York - the only halfway hunky royal member. The prince and the showgirl spawned a thousand tired headlines with their 1982 relationship. For Kathleen "Koo" Stark, American one-time starlet, this was a real coup. To her credit, she never spilled the beans.

Mum's the Word: This season's tummy bump is trendier than the Westwood bustle. Along with Madonna, Melanie Griffith, and any media babe worth her paparazzi, Koo Stark is pregnant. At age 40, she's going it alone and has refused to name the father. "My whole menstrual cycle seemed upset," she explained upon discovering her surprise condition. This has inspired a rather enjoyable guessing game. "Because I'm not married, I'm aware there will be speculation surrounding the father of this child." Is this a love that dare not speak its name?

Appearance: Ageing doll. Farmyard cat who got the cream. Jane Seymour before Hollywood had its way.

Sidekicks: Prince Andrew. Formerly married to Green Shield stamp heir Tim Jefferies, the man who recently split with model Elle MacPherson. This year, Koo was linked with American banker Warren Walker.

Past Imperfect: Koo came to London at age 14, played a bridesmaid in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and is now a photographer. A 1992 survey included her among Britain's 250 richest women. Her divorce settlement, libel payments and photography have all helped. Lives in a discreet Chelsea house.

House of Windsor: Frankly, the former "film star" may have made a better wife than that blabbermouth Sloane. Koo's never betrayed Randy Andy, she's prettier than Fergie, and she doesn't have huge debts, or freckles. The girl was even invited to Andy and Ferg's inexplicable tenth wedding anniversary party. She was reported to have sat beside her former boyfriend, talked, laughed and danced to with him. "My friendship with the Duke is one that has lasted through everything," says Koo.

Media Babe: "I feel strongly this is a private matter," says Koo of her pregnancy. She would have had a good deal more privacy if she hadn't talked to Hello! and posed for photos holding her bump and showing us her yoga positions. She has already consulted the Dalai Lama on childbirth, and favours acupuncture over epidurals.

Fame Prospects: Fair to middling, since Koo is usually reclusive. Unless, of course, the father happens to be someone very, very well known indeed ...