MAIN CLAIM: The world's least successful tribute to the gentle art of the face lift. The living, breathing, suing tribal mask that is Jocelyne Wildenstein is primarily known for her surgically stretched countenance, her pre-divorce claim that she can't make toast, and now her flamboyant, mud-slinging, gun-toting divorce from art-dealing, horse- racing tycoon Alex Wildenstein. Ever a tabloid favourite, her picture frequently printed to make us all feel a lot better about our appearances, this week, alongside Madonna, she stars in Vanity Fair.

APPEARANCE: See our protagonist's main claim to fame, above. Big cat of all-purpose, Disney-jungle-predator appearance, standing back-thrust of jet engine. Eartha Kitt meets Joan Rivers meets Michael Jackson meets Ivana Trump meets defenceless feral furry animal yanked up by scruff of the neck and punched in the mouth.

PAST IMPERFECT: In September 1997, Jocelyne arrived with a brace of bodyguards in the middle of the night to see her husband at the family's Manhattan town house, as you do. Jocelyne claims Alec appeared clad in a towel and levelled a 9mm semi-automatic at her, while a naked blonde woman was espied in the bed chamber. Alec disagrees on several points. Next stop: divorce.

SKIN DEEP: French-born Jocelyne, Bride of Wildenstein, 52, fell in love with Alec W. in Kenya 20 years ago, while they waited for a big cat, and Alec made his kill. Does this seem at all significant, readers? Bridie, as we may affectionately term the unusual one, had already spent a decade exploring the dark continent. On rumours that she had also earned her crust as a courtesan, our heroine has the following to offer: "Really? Well, they have to try to find something against me."

AFRICAN QUEEN: Jocelyne has always been happiest at Ol Jogi, the Wildenstein ranch with two tigers living in a bullet-proof glass cave. Celebrity query: why do ageing glamour girls with tight faces tend to go all jungle? See Tippi Hedren, Stefanie Powers, Goldie Hawn, Joan Collins for glossy jeep safari/posing with big cats in colonial outpost photos.

FAME PROSPECTS: "She was thinking that she could fix her face like a piece of furniture. Skin does not work that way," cautions Alec. Lesson: more surgery equals more tabloid fame. Otherwise, a line of jungle prints for Grattans could be just the ticket. And there are, well, specialist model agencies.

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