The girl who broke Lucian Freud’s heart

Geordie Greig's new book explores the artist's passionate love affair with a married woman.

As you'd expect, Geordie Greig's book on Lucian Freud devotes a great deal of space to the artist's appetite for women. The Greek sculptor Vassilakis Takis, who knew him well, estimated he had at least 500 lovers altogether, though never committed himself to any single woman for long.

Freud's attitude to women was affected by his strained relationship with his mother, who doted on him excessively, and by what Greig calls "the most blistering affair" of his life. This was with "a dark-haired, brown-eyed Siren" called Lorna Wishart.

Eleven years his senior, and married to an extremely tolerant husband, she had been the mistress of Laurie Lee for five years when Lucien met her. Then 19, and an impecunious artist, he was captivated.

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She was "very, very wild, without any inhibitions or social conventions", he said. She would dive naked into lakes, paint landscapes by moonlight and use glow-worms to light lanterns.

Freud's "bitter rivalry" with Laurie Lee over Lorna culminated in a physical fight at a bus stop in Piccadilly, says Greig in an extract from his book in The Times. Freud won the fight and, eventually, the woman though the affair ended when Lorna found love letters from a young actress in Freud's studio. She became hysterical and decided to dump him.

Determined to win her back, "Lucian grabbed a gun and headed down to her marital home in Sussex". There was a showdown in a cabbage patch, during which he threatened to shoot either himself or her if she didn't agree to come back, says Greig, though in the end he merely fired the gun in the air.

Later, he reappeared on a large white horse, riding bareback and making the horse rear up, in a "wildly dramatic gesture", in front of her house. But Lorna was adamant.

"Lucian was genuinely in love with her, but she never went back to him," according to his friend and fellow artist John Craxton. "He said to me: I'm never, ever going to love a woman more than she loves me,' and I don't think he ever did again."

Nick Clegg's normal' life

In his lengthy speech to the Lib Dem conference a speech "humid with self-satisfaction", according to the Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts Nick Clegg congratulated himself on keeping his life in balance.

"Miriam and I," he said, "chose not to live behind government battlements in Whitehall, so we live in the same home we've been in for some years. We try very hard to keep our family life normal and private."

"Normal? That's interesting," says Jan Moir, also in the Daily Mail. In fact, the Cleggs live a life "of astounding privilege and wealth, in a lovely home in a much-sought-after area of London. No wonder they didn't want to move into a grotty apartment in the centre of town."

Their Putney house is worth at least £1.6m, a sum well beyond the reach of most normal people'. Then there are the "regular we're all in it together' skiing holidays at their family chalet in the luxurious Swiss ski resort of Klosters". Don't be fooled, says Moir. The Cleggs "want for nothing and never have".

Tabloid money: Jeremy Clarkson MP? Not a chance

"It all started in the pub," says Jeremy Clarkson in The Sun. "I mentioned to friends I was born and brought up in Doncaster North" and someone suggested I stand against Ed Miliband in the next election. "So we decided to send a tweet saying I was thinking of doing just that." Things got out of hand.

"Ladbrokes started offering odds. Polls were held." Has everyone "taken leave of their senses"? As the host of the popular motoring show Top Gear, "I'm paid a great deal of money to drive other people's very expensive cars round corners while shouting. It's not that difficult. Then, once in a while, I'm driven in a Mercedes to Heathrow where, in a wine-soaked stupor, I'm whisked off to some exotic part of the world to drive round yet more corners."

Compare the life of our MPs. "After reading in the papers about how horrible they are, they must go to see people in their constituency about various problems. So while I'm tearing round the Alps in a Ferrari, they're listening to Mrs Miggins explain how there are cockroaches living in her daughter's forehead. And that the drains at No. 42 are blocked again If they so much as nibble on a taxpayer's biscuit, they get sacked... I'd rather chisel fat from Doncaster's sewage system than be its MP."

"Privatisation. Definition: public companies sold off to become more efficient and more answerable to customers," says Fiona Phillips in the Daily Mirror. "This is a myth, born out... by a Which? survey grading customer satisfaction with the UK's top 100 companies.... npower, BT, EDF Energy, British Gas and E.ON", which would have been publicly owned pre-1980s' Tory government and now feature in the Top 10 Worst. To them profit is more important than service and shareholders more important than customers. "That is the true definition of privatisation."