Review of the year: Gossip

Sex! Drugs! Nannies! Kiss-and-tells of yesteryear come back with a bang

We've come to expect rather a lot of sex scandals. I blame The Spectator: before last year, footballers, soap stars and the occasional bonking politician was about as good as it got. Then along came Kimberley Fortier, Boris Johnson, David Blunkett, and a series of randy sidekicks you couldn't make up and, suddenly, everyday "kiss and tells" seem rather tame by comparison.

This is a shame because it made 2005 feel like a poor vintage for gossip. But the reverse is true. And the most notable fallen celebrities came in twos: Jude and Sienna; Kate and Pete; Wayne and Colleen. If you enjoy seeing beautiful couples knocked off their perches, they made it a year to remember.

Let us start, then, with Jude Law and Sienna Miller. He is one of Britain's most bankable stars; she's one of our most ambitious young actresses. They met on the set of Alfie, and by summer 2004 were officially an item. Last Christmas, they announced their impossibly glamorous engagement.

By the summer, Miller may perhaps have been given to reflect that things were going too swimmingly. Law might boast matinée idol looks and bucketloads of charm, but he's also got a roving eye. In 2003, there were rumours of an affair with Nicole Kidman on the set of Cold Mountain; both parties denied any improper relationship. In January, the News of the World accused Law of wife-swapping sessions with former spouse Sadie Frost. Again, he claimed otherwise.

Yet nothing can have really prepared Miller for the front page of the Sunday Mirror on 17 July. It contained the testimony of Daisy Wright, the former nanny of Law's children, who had been removed from her post by Frost earlier in the year for bonking the boss. One of Frost's children had discovered Daddy in flagrante with Nanny early one morning.

Sensibly, Wright had kept a diary of the fling, describing how Law seduced her following a concert in New Orleans in March. "We kissed and kissed for what seemed like ages," she recalled. "The next thing I know, we are dragging each other upstairs and ripping off each other's clothes." It was restrained stuff, as these things go, but still a bit much for Miller, who was appearing in a West End production of As You Like It. She dispensed with her engagement ring and made tearful appearances at the stage door. Law, for his part, issued a public apology saying he was "deeply ashamed and upset".

The plot thickened. First, Miller was said to have sought comfort in the arms of Daniel Craig (the new James Bond). Then it was reported that she was pregnant with Law's child. Again, a spokesman denied both.

All this, though, was nothing but a warm-up for the downfall of Kate Moss and Pete Doherty. On paper, they were always a volatile mix: one a superstar model with the world at her elegant feet; the other a Byronic rocker better known for taking drugs than making music. Both are walking advertisements for so-called heroin chic.

But Moss didn't just look like a habitual drug-taker. She was one, too. In 2004, the model had successfully sued the Sunday Mirror for allegations that she'd collapsed during a cocaine binge. In September 2005, its sister paper was offered a video of Moss snorting cocaine at a west London recording studio. As they say in the trade: Gotcha!

The side-effects were immediate. In a fit of piety, several companies - among them Chanel, H&M and Burberry - announced that they were dropping Moss from lucrative campaigns. The Met Policechief, Sir Ian Blair, announced an investigation into the affair. Cops raided the recording studio, but have yet to interview Moss, as she's barely been in the UK since their inquiry began.

The fallen supermodel, for her part, issued the obligatory apology. "I accept that there are...personal issues that I need to address, and have started taking the difficult...steps to resolve them," she said. That meant rehab. Moss decamped to the Meadows, a clinic in Arizona where Elle Macpherson and Whitney Houston have paid £2,000 a night to sort out their lives. She was cut off from the outside world for 30 nights.

Later, aides were photographed moving Moss's possessions from north London to the Cotswolds. The woman herself decamped to New York, and ordered Doherty to attend the Meadows, too. He discharged himself after just four days. "Cocaine Kate", as she is now affectionately known, accordingly discharged him from duties as her boyfriend.

And so to the final contender for controversialist of the year: Wayne Rooney. England's great football hope made headlines in 2004 for consorting with a Liverpudlian prostitute known as the "Auld Slapper". But 2005 held even more delights.

Off the pitch, young Rooney and his fiancée, Colleen McLoughlin, are remarkable. She boasts the lavish shopping habits of a Scouse Imelda Marcos; he's got the libido of a young George Best. Throw a nightclub into the mix and you've a recipe for disaster.

In March, Rooney was accused of assaulting a student in a Manchester bar. The allegation was later withdrawn. In April, he took legal action against The Sun over claims that he'd slapped Colleen at a Cheshire club, Brasingamens. Rooney's spokesman admitted a public row, but denied any fisticuffs.

In November, The Sun got its hands on CCTV footage from the Odyssey nightclub in Manchester showing Rooney consorting with a brunette, Emily Fountain. Rooney was pictured covering the camera lens for six minutes before leaving the room smiling.

Rooney initially claimed to have been giving the girl an autograph, but even he doesn't take six minutes to sign a piece of paper. Later, he admitted kissing, but denied further transgressions. Colleen was pictured in tears at her parents' home; a subsequent column for Closer magazine discussed avian flu, the war in Iraq and shopping. Details of her troubled love life were conspicuously absent.

Thankfully, all three of this year's major celebrity scandals ended happily. Law and Miller have sorted out their differences, and are aiming to get married late next year. Rooney has now been forgiven by McLoughlin, and their big date is pencilled in for after the World Cup. Moss, meanwhile, is off drugs and back in demand. She was recently named the new £1.2m "face" of Virgin Mobile.

It's a funny old world where heroes are knocked down only to be reinstated as icons a few weeks later. But that was 2005. Perhaps, then, this must go down as the year Britain rediscovered the short-lived pleasure of the celebrity stitch-up. We love them, knock them down, and build them up again.

And if one is to set this in a cultural context, then, for sheer ruthlessness of the tabloid "stings" it was like being back in the merciless 1980s. Celebs were betrayed by grainy photos or breathless interviews to red-top assassins. By way of icing on this cake of nostalgia, we even managed a Royal wedding. But that's another story.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone