“The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties,” said Oscar Wilde.

Oh, yes, but Christmas is upon us and we don’t want to be thinking about things of such cynical nature.


Here’s some nostalgia. Back in 1990, I was in the world’s newspapers quite a lot because I had latched onto the hem of Ivana Trump’s garment without meaning to. At the time, The Donald was trying to get rid of her and go his merry way. I liked the scoops I was getting and I recall feeling very sorry for Ivana, who had become a true American success story herself through study, assimilation, ambition and clawing her way to the top in a hot marriage.

Nowadays, the Trumps are still “big” in New York with Donald a TV personality and his daughter, Ivanka, marrying well and being an icon of business success, and the Trump sons also minding their manners.

As for Ivana – these days the blonde bombshell sportswoman, formerly of Czechoslovakia, is big, big, big in Spain. She was there recently in Seville at the invitation of something called Sicab (an international organization related to the raising of Spanish horses) where people go to buy thoroughbreds. Bo DerekCharlton HestonSophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale have been Sicab guests in the past.

Ivana was guest of honor with many Spanish VIPS at the Alfonso XIII Hotel in Seville. (This is where Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz have been staying while they film “Knight & Day” and run down the streets escaping bulls.)

Where is the hot item in all of this? Well, Tom Cruise did insist that the hotel make other guests be very quiet so as not to disturb his rest and it is said he had his room repainted all in white, insisting it helps him to concentrate.


Will Simon Cowell, king of all he surveys, go East? Probably not. The Chinese Ambassador to Great Britain, one Fu Ying, arrived in London, claiming she is a diehard fan of Simon’s TV talent show contest.

But the ambassador said there were doubts that Cowell, 50, could appear in China as leader of his show, for “He is too old.” The Ambassador added, “While there is great respect for the old in China, television there is dominated by the young – you know, the ones who use mobile phones and things like that.”


Would you like to see the Christmas card from a very rich and beautiful woman who once shoved aside her glamour, her jewels and her comforts and actually sledded in the Alaskan Iditarod herself? Yes, Marylou Whitney, the doyenne who practically runs the town of Saratoga, did that and now has sent out this as a Christmas card. Here she whips her horse on to victory.


F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote many assessments of American culture, but his most famous quote is one we see frequently. And it’s a quote that has been disproved time and time again: “There are no second acts in American lives.”

The latest example of a rich second act is the one set by the adorable Sandra Bullock. She came to real stardom in 1994’s “Speed,” where she was quirky, spunky, and quite great looking – not easily classified. She was unique – a leading lady with a bit of edge.

She made some excellent movies – “A Time to Kill” and “The Net” – but her career became a kind of up and down thing. For every “Hope Floats” or “Miss Congeniality,” there have been others less good – “Murder by Numbers” or the sequel to “Speed,” etc.