The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Senior wraps Arun choice in a sari

London, April 29: A photograph has been published of Elizabeth Hurley, looking lovelier than she has ever done before, in a burnt ochre and gold zari sari.

“She’ll wed Indian love after dad gives her a special sari,” is the disclosure in a weekend report in the News of the World.

The “dad” in question is Vinod Nayar, father of her boyfriend, Arun, who has apparently confirmed that his son and Hurley would get married as soon as his divorce comes through.

He is quoted as telling friends at a Mumbai party: “Yes, they are getting married as soon as his divorce comes through. Elizabeth is a lovely woman and makes my son Arun very happy.”

He added: “We were delighted to have her stay with us last month. She was very charming and delightful. The whole family approves of her and we all enjoyed her stay over here.”

As a going-away present, Nayar senior showed typical Indian generosity and gave his would be daughter-in-law “valuable heirlooms and two hand-stitched zari saris, each worth £5,000”, according to the paper.

The photograph of Hurley is not of her actually wearing the sari but “how the Austin Powers star Liz would look in a zari sari”. With photographic manipulation, it is today possible to achieve such visual tricks.

Certainly, she looks a lot more elegant than if she were to wear a sari-like adaptation of the famous Versace dress, held together with 24 gold safety pins, that Hurley famously wore to a film premiere when she was still going out with Hugh Grant. This outfit has also been visually created for readers.

Nayar senior, who seems to have accepted Hurley rather more warmly than his mother — Kailash Nayar is said to have refused to meet the actress — also said: “When Liz was leaving to go back to the UK, we gave her some jewellery and zari saris which were specially hand-stitched. All a father ever wants is for his son to be happy and Arun has told me he is enjoying life with Elizabeth.”

For the purpose of explaining Indian culture to its readers, the paper states: “It is an Indian tradition for the father to buy his son’s bride a zari sari, woven with strands of pure gold and nine yards long. It is the father’s way of showing he approves of and will sanction the marriage.”

The Nayar family appears to have accepted that Arun’s first marriage to Italian-born Valentina Pedroni is beyond rescue.

Hurley and Arun are behaving like a couple. They were in the UK at the weekend, and attended a friend’s wedding in Knepp Castle, West Sussex. He, as usual, wore a Nehru jacket, she a printed skirt and matching blouse with full-length sleeves —demure by her standards.

Not every aspect of her personality is pleasing, though. Another report today reveals she was foul-mouthed when she travelled first class on Monday from Gatwick, London, to Barbados, but had problems getting an upgrade on British Airways for Arun who was accompanying her.

“Liz, the face of Estee Lauder, was booked on a £5,816 ticket to fly first class on a Boeing 777 but businessman Arun, 37, was travelling on an Air Miles ticket in less luxurious club class,” discloses the Daily Mirror.

“Do you know who I am'” the actress said. “I bloody demand that he’s upgraded. Don’t you know he’s a millionaire' I’m always flying on British Airways so you’d better pull your bloody finger out.”

When stunned staff refused to budge, Liz, 37, made a huge show of passionately kissing Arun. Then she complained to the airline’s Special Services department which, after a long delay, found Arun a seat.

After the heated row, a witness said: “Liz went really mad at the staff. She was a complete diva, expecting it would be a formality for her boyfriend to be upgraded. It was shocking to watch. I thought she was more down to earth.”

An airport source added: “When she realised nothing would change, Liz began snogging Arun. It was comical and went on for ages. She must have thought it might make a difference. Eventually a first-class seat was found for Arun. It was a real hassle for staff. They were distinctly unimpressed with Liz’s behaviour.”

Arun was still unable to sit next to Hurley, who was travelling with her one-year-old son Damian. A nanny travelled in club class.

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