People: Bardot bares her claws as Loren turns to furs

THE FUR is flying around Sophia Loren following the actress' signing of a promotional contract with Annabella, an Italian fur-coat company, to model its products in newspaper and magazine advertisements.

In an open letter to Loren, Brigitte Bardot accused her acting contemporary of selling her name and her image 'to the most despicable of all advertising: promotion of furs'. It is, said Bardot, 'degrading, repugnant, lamentable and unworthy to accept money stained with the blood of animals'. Loren, added France's leading animal- rights campaigner, should boycott 'this abominable trade' and 'never forget that wearing a fur is wearing a cemetery on your back'.

Loren, on holiday, has not responded, but Annabella had warned her of possible protests.

ANOTHER prominent friend of animals, Paul McCartney, may end up with a furry face after returning a razor, shaving cream and other products to the Gillette company to protest against the use of animals in product testing.

In a letter to the company, the musician said he was sending back all Gillette products in his home and demanded a refund, which he said he would donate to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal-rights organisation.

'As a friend of animals, I am not only unsatisfied but outraged,' McCartney wrote. 'When Gillette modernises its testing practices and abolishes animal testing . . . I'll happily buy your products again.'

THE Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, has dropped a lawsuit against the weekly Nouvelle Observateur over last week's cover photograph showing him leaping over a turnstile on the Metro underground. The magazine apologised for using the photo and the words 'Cheaters in France' to illustrate the results of a poll. The picture had been taken 18 years ago, in the presence of Metro officials, 'as a joke'.

ANOTHER humbling experience for John McEnroe. The former tennis star and his McBand served up a rock performance that went over like a double fault. The band, performing Rolling Stones and Nirvana songs, got a lukewarm reception at a nightclub in Santa Margherita Ligure, the first stop on a two-week tour of Italy.

'In sports you can win or lose,' a philosophical McEnroe told La Repubblica. 'On stage it's different, because you can get results somewhere in the middle. I'm not afraid. This time I know I'm not the best.'

(Photograph omitted)