| The Daily Mail picture of Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar
London, Feb. 16: When the Daily Mail newspaper of London goes after a story, it really goes after a story. But are Liz Hurley, Britain’s golden girl, and Arun Nayar, an Indian whose existence had previously escaped the world’s attention, really in love'
Or — this cynical question really needs to be asked given the lady’s track record — is this simply another ploy by a failed actress to stay in the news'
The latest report in the Daily Mail, headlined “Liz laps up a little loving attention”, shows a youngish Indian, badly in need of a visit to the barber’s, landing a soft kiss on Hurley’s forehead. Her expression suggests that, yes, the couple are very much in love.
“Her satisfied smile says this is exactly where she wants to be,” begins the Mail report.
“Snug in her boyfriend’s embrace, Elizabeth Hurley is enjoying every moment of her new romance,” it continues.
It adds: “Businessman Arun Nayar seemed equally enamoured as he planted a tender kiss on her forehead. He is the first serious boyfriend since she broke up with American millionaire Steve Bing, the father of her son.”
So, who was looking after the child while his mother was out with Nayar'
Worry not for the Mail provides the reassuring answer: “Damian, 10 months, was left for a day’s visiting with his aunt Kate, as his mummy enjoyed a little quality time with the latest man in her life.”
They had lunch at Drones restaurant in Belgravia, south-west London, and then strolled down the street before driving off to nearby Blakes Hotel. They emerged three hours later and then drove off again in Hurley’s Mercedes.
As for Nayar’s wife, the Italian model, Valentina Pedroni, she “returned to her native Milan four months ago amid arguments over his hopes for a child and her dislike of living in Bombay”.
How serious is the new relationship' Again, the Mail has the answer: “Mr Nayar is now said to be planning a trip to Bombay to introduce Miss Hurley to his family.”
Incidentally, Hurley can produce evidence she is not a gold digger. She can probably latch on to a man wealthier than Nayar, whose assets have not been revealed.
She turned down an offer from Bing, who at first refused to accept he was the father of their child, of £100,000 a year until Damian was 18. The money, said Hurley, was “not wanted or welcome”.
Hurley captured the imagination of the tabloid press when she wore a revealing Versace dress, just about held together with safety pins, at the 1994 premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring her then boyfriend Hugh Grant. The couple split in May, 2000, after 13 years together, but seem to get on better these days as platonic friends.
A woman commentator once wrote about Hurley: “For a long time, I resented almost everything about her. She launched her career, if self-promotion counts as a vocation, by wearing that dress held together by 24 safety pins, thereby spitting on every working woman’s ambition to be taken seriously. She was confirmed as nothing but a shameless show-off whose only skill was working a red carpet.”
But there was a good word for Hurley: “As a working single parent, she’s an example to us all. From the moment he was conceived, Damian Charles Hurley was destined to grow up differently. Instead of mourning the absence of a father figure, she found Damian six godfathers — married and single, straight and gay.”
Has she now found for Damian a father — a stepfather'
The knowledgeable doubt it. Nayar, they suggest, may be going to Mumbai, if only crying to his mother.