Thr first photographs of Damian Charles Hurley, offspring of a supermodel mum and a millionaire dad (possibly), were expected to secure the biggest celebrity publishing deal in history yesterday.
Elizabeth Hurley may be having problems with Steve Bing, who has ungallantly questioned his paternity of the child, but appeared close to winning a fortune from OK! magazine as a compensation prize. OK! was rumoured to have bid close to £1.5m for the first pictures of the baby, born on Thursday.
Damian was likely to be a celebrity anyway, but interest in Ms Hurley's pregnancy jumped after Mr Bing, an American film producer, claimed his relationship with her had not been "exclusive" and disputed he was the father.
OK! is owned by Richard Desmond, the proprietor of Express Newspapers and the Daily Star, who would benefit from immediate syndication rights to any photos and interview. Mr Desmond is thought to have been helped in negotiations by his friend Tim Jeffries, a millionaire socialite who is close to Ms Hurley.
If he succeeds, it would not be the first time Mr Desmond has paid well to secure a deal. He paid the footballer David Beckham and the singer Victoria Adams £1m for their wedding and around £1.2m when the actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones married.
Ms Hurley, 36, announced she was pregnant in November and named Mr Bing as the father. She began dating the multimillionaire, who has a reputation as a playboy, soon after splitting from the actor Hugh Grant. But the model and actress was stunned when Mr Bing issued a public statement casting doubt on whether the baby was his.
"Ms Hurley and I were not in an exclusive relationship. It is her choice to be a single mother," he said. Ms Hurley said she was "deeply distraught" and that they were together when she found she was pregnant.
An industry source said Hello magazine appeared to have dropped out weeks ago because of the money involved. But interest from overseas magazines meant OK! had not finalised a deal yet.
A spokeswoman for OK! said no deal had been confirmed . "But OK! is always in the market with a view to delivering exclusives," she said.Reuse content