Straw steps in to save Jade’s wedding night
Fiancé’s bail conditions eased after intervention by the Justice Secretary
Saturday 21 February 2009
The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has personally intervened to allow the terminally ill celebrity Jade Goody to spend her wedding night with her new husband.
Ms Goody, who has been diagnosed with cancer, faced the prospect of sleeping alone after her marriage tomorrow because her fiancé is on bail, having been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for assaulting a 16-year-old boy with a golf club.
The groom, Jack Tweed, had his appeal for an easing of bail conditions rejected on Thursday. Yesterday, however, Mr Straw ordered the Ministry of Justice to review the conditions after revealing he had “enormous sympathy” for 27-year-old Goody and admired her “extraordinary courage”. He later sanctioned an order allowing Tweed, 21, to stay at the reception venue until 3pm on Monday rather than return to his mother’s home by 7pm tomorrow.
“It is crucial that offenders are treated equally within the rules regardless of the publicity surrounding their case,” Mr Straw said, “but I was satisfied that it was reasonable to allow this.”
The development was the latest in an increasingly bizarre circus being played out before television cameras and the paparazzi. A publicity blitz will ensure Goody raises funds to safeguard the future of her children, Bobby, five, and Freddie, three. Her publicist, Max Clifford, said she was “absolutely thrilled” at Mr Straw’s decision, which will ensure “a dream finish to her dream day”.
Gordon Brown backed the decision, the Prime Minister saying during a constituency visit to Fife: “I think everybody is sad at the tragedy that has befallen Jade Goody. Everyone who suffers cancer has the thoughts of me and, I think, the whole country over what they’ve got to go through.”
A series of media deals look certain to raise Goody at least £1m. OK! bought exclusive pictures of the wedding for a fee of £700,000. The magazine will split its coverage over the next two issues, beginning on Tuesday. Living TV, which has a deal with Goody dating back to before her cancer was diagnosed, will broadcast footage of the wedding in a one-off documentary. The existing deal is thought to be worth around £200,000.
The former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has also brokered a television interview with Goody, which is likely to be incorporated into his new ITV chat show.
Three hundred guests will attend the £1.5m marriage ceremony at Down Hall, in Hatfield Heath, Hertfordshire, tomorrow evening. Ms Goody will wear a £3,500 dress designed by Manuel Mota and donated by Mohamed al-Fayed, delivered to the Royal Marsden hospital in Chelsea on Thursday. The dress includes a pouch for painkillers.
The ceremony will be conducted by Bishop Jonathan Blake, sources say, of the independent London-based Open Episcopal Church. He was in the news last week after being arrested for photographing his children on a rooftop. He took the pictures as part of a school challenge for pupils to be pictured in the most unusual place reading a book. The clergyman, who visited Jade and Jack at her home on Wednesday, is considering legal action against the police.
Ms Goody acquired fame as a vociferous contestant on the Channel 4 programme Big Brother in 2002. Last August, she appeared briefly on an Indian version of the show, only to be told live on air that she had cervical cancer. That cancer has now spread, apparently giving her weeks to live. Mr Clifford said yesterday a special foundation will be set up to oversee the education of Ms Goody’s children and that his client has been taking comfort in the Bible.
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...