Naomi Campbell arrived for her court appearance in New York last week to face charges of assault in a white mink poncho and jewelled Louis Vuitton sunglasses - go for it girl! Not for Naomi the cloth overcoat, scraped-back hair and slap-free face of the humble victim. Her style has always been sassy, self-centred, utterly confident. Remember the sharply cut pinstriped trouser suit and waistcoat she wore to her libel trial, with a crisp white shirt and bags of bling? Naomi is a brilliant role model for the creators of our favourite television trash, Footballers' Wives. So it was a bit unnerving the other night to turn from a scene in the new series of FW in which two female stars were whacking the living daylights out of each other to a news bulletin with the story of Miss Campbell's latest bout of anger mismanagement.
It seems that her housekeeper had fallen foul of her demanding boss, who accused her of stealing the pair of jeans she needed to wear on The Oprah Winfrey Show. A fight ensued. Miss Campbell is alleged to have clouted her employee around the head with a mobile phone, resulting in an injury requiring several stitches. Miss Campbell is due in court next on 27 June - and I am sure couturiers will be queuing up to offer free outfits for an appearance that will make front pages around the world.
Footballers' Wives has specialised in depicting women as scheming creatures who loathe members of their own sex almost as much as they despise and pity most men. Joan Collins's appearance as an "international magazine editor", Eva De Wolffe, with a string of toy boys in tow makes for hilarious viewing. She seems to live in a palace full of Grecian columns and tinkling fountains, all designed to take your attention away from the second-division squirrel that's landed on her head masquerading as a hairstyle. Her make-up, even when having a massage, is of the kabuki-theatre variety.
Eva's love slave, Paulo, has turned out to be a facially deformed Brazilian slum dweller she adopted, had cosmetically enhanced, and then bonked. All ends in tears when the other Queen of Mean, Tanya (who has been through more husbands than even I have), decides she fancies Paulo. Joan explodes into a tantrum and batters Paulo with a gardening rake, then throttles Tanya to near-death. All this makes for wonderfully relaxing viewing, but there is an underlying nastiness running through the current series of Footballers' Wives. Am I the only female viewer fed up with scenes in which women beat each other to a pulp at the drop of a hat? I know it is all supposed to be harmless satire. But when we have life imitating fantasy in the form of the sad story of Naomi, it gives you cause for thought.
Six years ago, Miss Campbell pleaded guilty to hitting her assistant with a mobile phone during a tantrum. Since then she is said to have attended anger-management classes. In the real world, most violence against women takes place in the home, and is unreported. Victims of domestic violence are too frightened to go to the police - and their numbers run into the thousands. They probably even watch Footballers' Wives for a spot of fantasy fun. But it would be good if the writers of such an influential programme could accept that constantly beaming out negative images of women trashing each other ignores a real problem.
Within the confines of the kitchen, and the bedroom, anger is something we all need to learn to control. A high-profile case like that of Naomi Campbell merely highlights how brutalised some women have become when anyone crosses their path. TV has made this style of tantrum acceptable entertainment, a normal response. In the real world, when partners hit each other at home, when men hit women who refuse to accede to their sexual demands, it isn't entertaining but a sign that we lack the ability to step back, listen, compromise. But that's not telly drama, is it?
I had a rather full helping of unofficial Dave
A new "official" portrait of David Cameron by the acclaimed photographer Jane Bown has been unveiled and is being distributed to all Tory associations throughout the land in time for the local elections in May. Taken from a flatteringly high angle, it shows Cameron with tousled hair and a firm jaw line, sporting a dark, open-necked shirt and an enigmatic smile.
It hints at approachable informality, in striking contrast to previous Tory leaders such as Maggie Thatcher, with her armour-like suits and steely stare. But, hang on a minute, is this the same white-faced dough boy I spotted eating supper and quaffing champagne with Sun editor Rebekah Wade in trendy London restaurant Luciano last week?
From my vantage point at the Robbie Williams memorial table (he'd sat in my chair only the previous Saturday) I was appalled to see Cameron remove his perfectly acceptable dark suit jacket to reveal a horrible billowing white shirt that barely concealed a spreading midriff. Then, he took off his tie and stuffed it in his pocket, and spent the next hour or so waving his hands in the air lecturing Ms Wade about Tory loans and his commitment to eco-friendly policies.
Ms Wade was dressed formally in a black tailored frock, appropriate attire for someone in charge of a large organisation. Flabby Dave, on the other hand, looked like a radiator salesman in town for a jolly. His hair was suspiciously solidly dark - a little bit of a rinse might have eliminated those stray grey hairs.
He gave me a wonderful smile as he departed - I obviously represent an uncommitted voter and, after the latest polls, he certainly needs all of them.
Low blow: Don't follow Asda's bankrupt philosophy
On Friday, Asda opened a store in Northampton alongside existing low-cost outlets Iceland and Aldi, marking a depressing new phase in retailing. The new Asda Essentials chain is designed to push prices even lower, with stock consisting mostly of own-brand merchandise. Six more are planned by the year end. Asda already pays rock-bottom prices to its suppliers and demands cash in return for promotions. Shoppers beware - do you want British farmers, small businesses and local retailers to go bankrupt? The choice is ours.
Young at art: Rising stars beat the Turner Prize any day
I thoroughly recommend the new Beck's Futures exhibition at London's ICA galleries, an entertaining show by 13 young artists competing for this major art prize. My favourite piece is a brilliant assembly of memorabilia for the legendary German punk band Lustfaust by Jamie Shovlin. It took me quite a while to realise that it was a hilarious practical joke. I also loved Bedwyr Williams's display of all the size 13 shoes he's ever worn. The talent on show here certainly makes the Tate's Turner Prize look rather staid in comparison.
Crown jewels: A royal lifestyle hangs heavy on Camilla
The Duchess of Cornwall is supposed to have spent £17,000 on her wardrobe for her short tour of the Middle East and India. She could do with spending half that on a PR person to keep such figures out of the press. Am I the only one sick to death of seeing that three-stranded pearl necklace with whopping diamond flung around her neck at every formal occasion? She was said to be exhausted by her schedule - possibly because this charming woman has never done a day's paid work in her life.Reuse content