Real people: Why are they famous? Valerie Campbell

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Main Claim: Naomi. In an unusual - some might say novel - turn of events in the annals of unwarranted fame, Valerie Campbell is famous for the fruit of her loins rather than for her flashy progenitors (see the Ivanka Trump school of celebrity) or her notorious partner (please study the Emma Noble method). Valerie Campbell, model, is fairly famous- ish in a back-pages-of-Hello! sort of way for being the mother of a thoroughgoing international superstar, namely the one and only Naomi Campbell, supermodel. This, however, is a notion that irritates our heroine no end. "It's more of a hindrance than a help. I've never wanted to live off Naomi's name," asserts the mother-of-Naomi in this week's Daily Mail. Just like certain Trumps, Carlings, Jaggers and Lennons, then.

Appearance: World-weary kitten. West Indian Scarlett O'Hara. Slightly older distant cousin of Naomi Campbell. Prettiest girl in the school in triumphal reunion mode.

Fame Game: In the tradition of the famous-for-being-famous, you jump on the bandwagon, you disguise the wheels, slag it off, and protest too much; or you spend a tortured lifetime attempting to prove your superiority. "You hear of children finding it difficult to get on in life because they have famous parents, but with me it was the other way round," says Valerie. But would her party-going activities, ducal friendships, and quadragenarian modelling career be of quite such interest if it weren't for association with a certain supermodel? Fame? Easy bloody peasy, readers. Wear a few safety pins and date Hugh Grant. Or produce an aesthetically perfect cocktail of DNA, wait a few years, and watch the results.

Family Values: Raised a Jehovah's Witness, Valerie Campbell left school at 15, and was pregnant at 18 by a man she refuses to name, bringing up Naomi in Streatham, South London. Valerie left her infant with her family while she went out to make a living, dancing as a showgirl with a group called Exotica. She made many sacrifices, even selling her house to pay precocious Naomi's Italia Conti stage school fees. She then married a businessman, became pregnant with her son Pierre, separated, and modelled. Her eternal independence and strength have seen her through rough times, single parenthood twice, and true poverty. Now her daughter earns an estimated pounds 1.3 million or more a year and lives in a Manhattan penthouse. That, and possible brushes with mother-in-lawhood to Robert de Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Adam Clayton and Mike Tyson make the Campbell story a fully blown rags-to-riches saga.

Fame Prospects: Mothers can become grandmothers. Young Pierre show signs of the legendary genetic legacy. And Valerie's a Campbell. There's always, well, modelling.

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