Anyone who's ever suffered at the hands of a lustful narcissist can permit themselves a quiet smile today. Celebrity golfer Greg Norman and his new wife, tennis champion Chris Evert, have split after 15 months of marriage.
When they first got together, Norman's ex-wife of 25 years, Laura Andrassy (who was awarded £63m after their acrimonious divorce), labelled the couple "narcissistic people" who wed "in the throes of lust".
It seems she has a point. Despite a fairytale £500,000 wedding in the Bahamas, where they exchanged vows at sunset, the two A-list sportstars, both 54, were seemingly incapable of pulling off the most basic tenets of domestic life. Neither would move five minutes down the road to the other's house, so they lived separately for most of their marriage. And the step-children bickered. According to Andrassy, her son and daughter (26-year-old Morgan and Greg, 23) "did not like Evert at all".
There's something wonderfully reassuring about a Power Couple unravelling. With billions in the bank, it's not like they have to worry about the mortgage. Or getting the cat to the vet before 8am. Or picking up supper from Tesco Metro on a particularly fraught evening commute.
Of course it must have all seemed so passionate and romantic when they were having the affair of the century. Two golden, super-fit Amazons trapped in unrewarding relationships.
Celebrities are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. As the chef Rick Stein confessed last week about his own marriage breakdown: "One of the problems with anybody getting famous is that their opportunities increase, their horizons broaden – and there's a lot of temptation out there."
But you know B-list people are useful in a marriage. They don't compete, they listen, they pick your trousers off the bedroom floor, and you only need to prioritise one career. When shoe designer Patrick Cox split from journalist Tyler Brule, he is said to have observed. "There's only room for one famous person in a relationship." Two power-crazed icons do not make for great pillow talk.
I'll admit I've never warmed to Norman and Evert. They come across as cold, single-minded and arrogant. Evert boasted they would stay together for the rest of their lives. "Both of us have lived long enough to know what we're doing." But the classic mistake they made is they forgot they were middle-aged. They'd been out in the sun a bit too long. There's something very funny about ageing people (hairline receding, blonde highlights a bit too brassy) conducting their lives like Romeo and Juliet. Of course we all love the great Late Love stories. The success of Nora Ephron's film Julie and Julia lies in the wonderfully nuanced relationship between Meryl Streep's 6ft, deep-voiced matron and teeny, balding Stanley Tucci. It breaks your heart to see two eccentrics finally find each other.
But when you meet late – it's not all about you. There are other life stories to consider. It's time to have a little grace. This was Norman's second marriage and Evert's third. And if you've got four houses to choose from, that's at least two too many. My only sadness about the Evert-Norman meltdown is they clearly deserved each other. This wasn't a love affair, it was a corporate merger.Reuse content