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Six degrees

Rachael Barker

 

Rocketman Elton John will be touching down in Hong Kong for a December 4 concert at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Born Reginald Dwight, John cherry-picked his stage name from members of his original band, although his middle name, “Hercules”, was pilfered from that of the horse in the 1960s British sitcom Steptoe and Son. While battling drug addiction, John once tried to end it all. “I tried to commit suicide one day,” he said. “I turned on the gas and left all the windows open. It was … very Woody Allen” …

 

The New York neurotic, who in 1995 was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 sexiest stars in film history, suffers from neuroses such as entomophobia (insects), heliophobia (sunshine), demophobia (crowds) and thanatophobia (death), and is terrified of hotel bathrooms. Although he disdains Oscar ceremonies, the Academy has been kind to his work, with last year’s Midnight in Paris earning four nominations and one statuette, and providing the film debut of France’s then first lady, Carla Bruni …

 

Bruni, who was voted France’s most irritating celebrity in a 2010 poll by VSD magazine, wasn’t kidding when she said she was “easily bored with monogamy”. The former model was one of the many women Mick Jagger prised from the arm of Eric Clapton. Jagger’s wife, Jerry Hall, pleaded with Bruni to end the affair for the sake of their three children, but the car-tyre heiress continued to see the singer until he broke her heart. Bruni consoled herself with a fling with a crown prince of Yugoslavia before moving on to American real-estate tycoon Donald Trump …

 

Trump, having grown tired of Bruni’s attempts to make him dump his fiancée, said she “became a pain in the a**”. “In the end, Carla became a woman who’s very difficult to even like,” he said. Years later, Trump came to the conclusion that “it really doesn’t matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful  piece of a**”. Trump considers himself an authority on beauty, being the owner of the Miss Universe Organisation. Contrary to popular opinion, however, Trump once remarked, “I just don’t find her attractive” while not tipping his hat at one Angelina Jolie …

 

Not the last word in cheerful, Jolie’s tattoos include: the Japanese sign for death; the quote, “A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages”; and “Quod me nutrit me destruit” (Latin for “what nourishes me also destroys me”). The actress – who, incidentally, dated Jagger after Bruni – also collects knives and has a fascination with mortuary science. Fortunately, not all outspoken Republicans are repelled by her. A newspaper piece under Jolie’s byline about Iraq was praised for making “more sense than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama”, by radio talk-show polemicist Rush Limbaugh … 

 

Limbaugh is one of the highest earners in the United States media industry, having signed an eight-year contract in 2008 for US$400 million. We’re not sure how Jolie would have responded to his claim that “feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society”, but it’s unlikely she  would have approved of him urging a black caller to his show to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back”. The talk-show host’s rants about gay marriage and  the Aids epidemic hit the headlines again in 2008, after his fourth wedding, illustrating the hypocrisy of Limbaugh’s choice of entertainer: Aids activist Elton John.

 

 

 

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