Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Moonie Tunes

Koreans are being featured in the news with alarming frequency of late, but not just because of  missile-launching dictators like Lil’ Kim. The South Korean snatching her share of headlines has much better dress sense.

Seventy-year-old Hak Ja Han became Sun Myung Moon’s second wife in 1960. Reverend Moon, also referred to as True Father, was the founder of a multi-billion dollar brainwashing business known as the Unification Church. He died last year leaving Mrs. Moon, or True Mother, in charge of his entire empire and its Storm Troupers.

Unlike Reverend Moon, True Mother has not spent a handful of years behind U.S. bars for tax evasion. However, her son recently accused her of committing euthanasia on his father during a boardroom ‘cosmic ceremony’.  The altercation created such a stir, that Mama Moonie fired Little Moonie then and there and ordered her acolytes to stay well away from him. Let’s face it: every family has its share of secrets, and vying for an empire under the glare of ten children would give any mother her fair share of gray hair…

The Unification Church was founded in Seoul in 1954. Seven years later, it made headlines performing a mass wedding with 33 couples. The sum rose to 45,000 in 2009. Nowadays, couples of different nationalities, many who do not even speak the same language, are being paired off with complete strangers. Those who cannot physically be in the stadium tie the knot via a satellite link.

This month, True Mother Moonie preformed a mass wedding ceremony for approximately 3,500 couples, with another 24,000 saying their I dos via video link. 

A petition has been launched over Facebook requesting that True Mother re-write the prestigious Xerox Sales Training course. It also calls for Hak Ja Han to donate 99.9% of the Moonie millions to mental institutions across the globe--starting with the immediate restraint and treatment of  South Korea's neighbour, Lil’ Kim—plus, en masse emergency brain restructuring of the entire Moonie population.

Of course, it would save me a pretty penny to have my children marry Moonie-style. But in the current economic climate, I choose to support small businesses...So hand me a pen!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Thorny Rose

This week’s hot-off-the-press Hebug is Derek Rose, formerly known as Jonathan Ketterman. He is not a musician nor has he entered the witness protection programme under an assumed name. Mr. Rose’s claim to fame, or possibly ‘desired’ claim to fame, is through the 33 year old’s past association with Ms. Tamara Ecclestone.

The socialite, model and presenter’s father is none other than the billionaire Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone. His financial resources and Facebook friends surpass Mr. Rose’s. Bernie’s connections know people who know people who know people, and so on…But Mr. Rose isn’t looking over his shoulder. After all, the desired fee in question only amounts to £200,000 a mere speck of dust in the bottomless Eccclestone coffers.

Derek and Tamara dated when she was 17; some accounts claim the couple were engaged. But when Ms. Ecclestone cheated on him, he returned fire by selling the story in 2002 for £10,000.

It is alleged that Rose has teamed up with his 20-year-old media student friend, Jakir Uddin, to threaten Ms. Ecclestone with exposing intimate details of their time together twelve years ago.

Tamara’s agent testified in court that both men emailed her claiming that one of the biggest UK tabloids had made ex-lover Rose a ‘life-changing offer’ in exchange for his kiss-and-tell account.

Though Rose agreed to do a short film with Mr. Uddin about his relationship with the socialite, he asserts that he did not want it to come out into the public domain.  He also claims that he was shocked when Uddin later contacted him to say he wanted to sell the exposé to the press.

Meanwhile, the police found a box labeled ‘Tamara’ bursting with press clippings and holiday photographs of the pair at his London home. Rose says he keeps the box so that he can tell his future grandchildren he dated the heiress.

Between court hearings, tough cookie Tamara has become engaged to Jay Rutland, who last year was banned by the Financial Services Authority, which found he used inside information to boost sales of shares, and ‘watered down’ warnings about the risks to investors. Seven months earlier, the 29 year-old broke up with a 41 year-old businessman when he got caught on a sex tape.

Between the allegations, the dirty laundry and the price break down of Ms Ecclestone’s court outfits the press is having a field day.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Fashionista to Fugitive

The month of February continues to throw up HEBUGS for closer inspection under the microscope…Joel Barlow, however, is anything but relic arm candy: this New Zealand specimen is a ‘fashionista’ if there ever was one. The thirty-seven year-old’s Louis Vuitton collection alone ranks as the biggest collection in the Southern Hemisphere!

Mr. Barlow dropped from being featured in Queensland’s 50 Most Stylish List to being written up as the state’s most wanted man, a dubious distinction few can claim.

Executive Hohepa Morehu-Barlow worked in the finance division of the Community Services Branch at Queensland health. He managed to siphon off around £10 million from the department’s coffers over a three-year period. Though audited twice, the Hebug left no clear evidence of his crime.

It was not until $11 million Aussie dollars did a walk-about in the space of a fortnight, in December 2011, that the authorities began their manhunt in earnest.

The duplicitous stylista even posed as a Tahitian prince in an effort to elevate his status in Australian society. Suave and slippery, he lead the lifestyle of the rich and famous, accepting every invitation and favour he could get his greedy, manicured hands on. His riverside apartment alone recently sold for £3.68 million. On the walls hung works painted by notable Australian painters Arthur Boyd, Brett Whiteley and John Olsen.

The con artist’s hoard of luxury items is to be auctioned off 10 March in Brisbane, should you care to attend. 

His ‘unearned’ stash is comprised of 1,000 items of luxury goods, furniture, jewellery, electrical items, books, artwork, curios, etc. But the more unusual pieces listed include a £62,000 Hermes saddle, a 19th century naval hat, a grand piano, a £16,000 bottle of French cognac and a sizeable range of luxury clothing and accessories. Did I forget to mention a fake crown and replica robots?

Approximately £7 million of the anticipated sales have already been earmarked for key causes in hopes of repairing the local damage to health services caused by lax standards and a fugitive fashionista.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Hebug and the Siren

Every summer, the Spaniards are privy to a ‘culebrón del verano’, or summer scoop. This year, however, the juiciest piece of gossip has hit the press early. Both are multi-millionaires. Both are hot-blooded. 

The key figure is not only Italian she is one of the few surviving silver-screen icons: La Splendida, La Lollo, and 1960s sex symbol, Gina Lollobrigida.

The cause of her fury comes in the manly shape of her ex-boy friend, fifty-one year old Javier Rigau y Rafolis, 34-years her junior.

The couple met in Monte Carlo in 1986 and have been dating every since. They made plans to wed in 2006, but apparently postponed their plans for the following year because Javier did not like ‘the heat of the spotlight’. Interestingly, those intentions fell overboard as well. Not surprisingly, their relationship has remained on less-than-smooth seas ever since.

But according to Javier, the couple married in 2010 by proxy - at her request – in Barcelona so as to avoid publicity. Gina claims to have found a document attesting to this on the Internet and that her wedded state is news to her. Indignant, she has lashed out and refers to her ex-lover a circling vulture.

The key witness to the mystery ceremony is a 72 year old  long standing family friend of the groom’s. The woman expressed surprised when Gina claimed to have no recollection of her, despite the shot of the two standing side by side, plus another one of the movie-star bearing an signed inscription that reads “To Pilar, the proxy, with much kindness". 

The property developer swears he did not trick La Splendida into signing a power of attorney only to carry out a secret wedding without her knowledge in order to inherit her £35 million fortune. He even mentions signing a pre-nup agreement or two in spite of a recently leaked video of him saying that he has never been married.

Okay, so Gina may not remember every single name and detail of every event at the drop of a hat. Who does even in their forties or in their fifties? What I do have very clear is that the Spanish economy remains in the  toilette (sadly).

I have the dubious distinction of meeting Lollobrigida’s son at a rare social; his all-boys boarding school sat about a mile away from mine, safely ensconced in a hamlet bordered by vineyards and overlooking a Lac Leman. Almost every girl in school secretly fancied Milko not only because of his good looks, but because he sang and played the guitar beautifully.

With one party threatening to sue for defamation and the other for fraud, I know where I am placing my bets.