The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Liz the star turns entrepreneur at 40

London, April 6: Elizabeth Hurley wears a ring on her right hand; it's from Arun Nayar, her boyfriend of the past two years.

The clanking gold Rolex on her left wrist was a birthday present from Steve Bing, her ex-lover and the father of her three-year-old son, Damian. And the black leather sofa that she's lying on is in the South Kensington office of Hugh Grant, whom she first met 18 years ago and to whom she still speaks regularly. Together with Damian, whom she has just dropped off at nursery school, these are the most important men in her life, and she thinks they probably always will be.

As she approaches her 40th birthday next month, she is moving from Hurley the model/actor/film producer to Hurley the entrepreneur. Elizabeth Hurley Beach, her own collection of bikinis, tops and summer dresses, will soon be available at exclusive department stores in New York, London, Sydney and Moscow.

For 15 years, Elizabeth Hurley has been a British celeb. Media attention is just part of her daily life now. Ever since she started dropping Damian at school, the number of dads also dropping off their toddlers has risen sharply. Elizabeth enjoys such male flattery, texting the news about the voyeuristic fathers to a friend. What she cannot stand is the doorstepping press.

'It was particularly tough, when I was pregnant, to be stalked. And I don't like it at all when I'm with Damian and men follow and get much too close. That's the only thing that upsets me.'

What about tabloid reports that Arun has been down on bended knee' 'No, I'm not engaged, but we are extremely happy together. Don't believe everything that gets printed ' and don't forget that for 15 years with Hugh, according to the papers, I was always pregnant, engaged or whatever.'

The future looks bright. Elizabeth may become a bikini billionaire. She is in love with Arun and enjoying motherhood. Aren't you supposed to be having a midlife crisis at 40' How about plastic surgery' She laughs. 'No, but I think I am ready for it.'

The truth is that Elizabeth is too busy with her new business. 'It's really all Richard Branson's fault,' she says. 'I was on Necker Island for a fashion shoot and even as he was lying back in a hammock, he was on the phone, doing deals, managing his empire. But then I thought I am never going to have even a holiday home, let alone an island, unless I start a business that I can do without disrupting Damian's school days.'

Her friendship with and loyalty to Grant, however, remains unaltered. 'I love Hugh. I absolutely adore him. We speak every single day. He's my best friend; he's like family. We're absolutely aware that we both have other people in our lives. We're respectful and sensitive to that. But it would be absurd not to talk to him.'

Elizabeth's downtime is spent on her 400-acre Gloucestershire farm. A plus about life outside London is that she feels safer. 'If we ever want to go naked doing handstands, we can. We're not ducking out of the window and whispering in case there are microphones outside the room. We have a wonderful, normal life.'

She is going to turn her farm 100 per cent organic. 'Life's all pretty good at the moment,' she says.

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