When a witness in a court is said to have thanked his glamorous Brazilian lover by email for "her delicious P", I don't think he was referring to a takeaway pizza or potted shrimps. Last week the staid atmosphere of the Old Bailey was considerably enlivened by the eye-catching outfits sported daily by Miss Roselane Driza, a curvaceous and extrovert Brazilian who once cleaned for two judges and even the offices of the Lord Chancellor. Dressed in anything from gold vests to blue jewelled shoes, Ms Driza acted as if she were turning up at the Oscars, blowing kisses. In all my years of hiring and entreating cleaning ladies to please please vacuum under the bed and iron my T-shirts, Street-Porter Towers has never been graced by anyone as hot to trot as Roselane. She looks more used to wrapping her limbs around something far more pulsating than a broom. Perhaps she practises shining the silver in ways that I can't write about in a Sunday newspaper. I think the words "elbow grease" have a new meaning in the context of rumbustious Roselane.
But she's not starring in a movie or a reality show: Ms Driza is facing serious criminal charges. She is accused of blackmailing one of her employers, who turns out to be an asylum and immigration judge granted anonymity and known only as I. Judge I, who seems uncomfortable with his unfamiliar place in the witness box, alleges that Roselane demanded £20,000 from him, and threatened to pass on to his superiors two videos of him having sex with two women. One was another senior immigration judge, a woman known only as J. Miss J is now conducting an affair with yet another judge, who is married, with children, but who has left his wife.
Originally Judges J and I lived together, and Ms Driza was happy to mop and polish their home (even though she had lost her appeal to remain in the UK). After the judges' relationship ended, they remained friends. Eventually, though, Judge J sacked Driza, who then started a secret affair with Judge I. It was obviously more than a series of tea dances and polite dinners, because soon he was sending her emails describing her as "chilli-hot stuff" and another about her "P hair", suggesting she should "clean shave it". On Boxing Day 2004, Miss J arrived at his flat to discover he was in bed with the cleaner. Even though he threw out Ms Driza, he resumed bonking her, letting her stay in his bachelor pad. And though he had taken Judge I on holiday to Thailand, he took the cleaner to the Isle of Wight.
There is no doubt that Judge J, who is guilty of no crime other than having a dubious taste in men, is entitled to her anonymity, but it does seem totally unfair that Ms Driza (still presumed innocent until proved guilty) is under the full glare of the media spotlight, while the man who accuses her can duck under the blanket of secrecy. Not that his former Brazilian bombshell seems to be shrinking from the flashbulbs - quite frankly, if I were still a telly executive I'd be giving dreary old Aggie and her mate the heave-ho and installing Ms Driza to host a new series of How Clean Is Your House?, undertaking chores while dancing to a salsa band. Ratings guaranteed. Meanwhile, let's ponder how some senior members of the judicial system spend their spare time - and you thought they were out of touch with the real world. If I were an asylum-seeker, I'm not sure I would be keen to appear in front of a judge who'd barely slept the night before, busily tasting his lover's delicious P - whatever that might be.
The truth behind the war between Karl and Yves
At fashion shows in London last week, the hot subject wasn't size 0 models or whether Kate Moss was worth millions as Topshop's new designer, but a new book entitled The Beautiful Fall, by Alicia Drake (published by Bloomsbury). From Michael Roberts (Vanity Fair) to Suzy Menkes (Herald Tribune), all the heavy hitters have already read it, my dears. The book is thoroughly entertaining, unpicking the fashion scene in Paris in the 1970s, cataloguing the rivalry between the two giants who dominated everything with their very different courts, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves St Laurent.
It's worth it for the pictures of the old "fat" Lagerfeld, before his major diet which dumped a trunkload of kilos. What's amazing is how Lagerfeld in particular has airbrushed certain truths out of his life in his quest to become the world's most powerful designer, while Yves St Laurent, a tortured, unstable true genius, has retired out of the limelight he always loathed.
The research is impressive: Drake reveals that Lagerfeld grew up in a four-bedroomed house in Germany, not quite the small chateau he'd have us believe. Starting with the student riots of 1968 and ending with the shadow of Aids, this is an important social history.
Art's sake: You can hardly hang a Cook with a Turner
Beryl Cook executes charming paintings of jolly fat ladies, posters and cards of which sell in their millions. Should popularity guarantee you a place in the Tate, along with Turner, Constable and Tracey Emin? Sorry, no.
Cook's supporters are miffed that now the Tate has opened up its accounts for public inspection, we discover that it paid £22,300 for a piece by the respected Italian artist Piero Manzoni, consisting of tins of his own excrement. Not a problem for me - Surrealists from Man Ray to Duchamp exhibited urinals and fur teacups back in the 1920s. Joseph Beuys incorporated dogsleds and Cornelia Parker wooden sheds in their work. All are iconic artists of their time. Sadly, Cook's oeuvre is cosy but historically inconsequential - it might liven up the living room but is a feeble version of the superb French artist Fernand Léger or our own Stanley Spencer.
History lite Michael Sheen, with shades of Boy George
Over the past year Michael Sheen has made an impact with his uncanny portrayals of Tony Blair in 'The Deal' on television and now 'The Queen' in the cinema. Last Thursday saw the opening episode of the BBC1 series 'Ancient Rome: the Rise and Fall of an Empire', with Sheen as the thoroughly bonkers Nero. He came over as a kohl-eyed tyrant bankrupting the most powerful city at that moment in history with grandiose building plans, while forcing his ruling body to sit through interminable entertainments in which he took the starring role.
This was history-lite, with little attempt to explain how the Romans acquired their empire or what gods they worshipped - fundamental to understanding the outrage when Nero looted all to fund his big artistic dreams. Did his monuments and statues have any merit? How did Roman government work? Sheen seemed more like a demented Leigh Bowery crossed with Boy George than an all-powerful ruler. How did his power work? More questions than answers, I'm afraid.Reuse content