Cannes has been swarming with primadonnas, as it does during the film festival. The preposterous Mariah Carey, however, was in a league of her own.
She has a very good voice, it is true, but she spares no expense in pampering it. When she arrived at the Hotel Martinez she refused to speak at check-in, according to Alison Boshoff in the Daily Mail. Instead, 'her people' let it be known that her suite had to be at a specific temperature far warmer than the rest of the hotel because she thinks heat is good for her vocal cords. She also insists on having her bed surrounded with humidifiers to improve the quality of the air she breathes.
No wonder she suffers from insomnia and sometimes doesn't get to sleep until dawn: the racket from half a dozen humidifiers blasting away all night must be almost intolerable.
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As for her bedroom: this had to be specially decorated for her with Hello Kitty tat "the cutesy Japanese cartoon brand beloved of eight-year-old girls". Apparently, twee images of white cats make her feel at home.
The pop singer, who is worth around £142m and can earn up to £1m for an hour-long performance, took over the best part of an entire floor of the Hotel Martinez, with her own grand suite complete with Jacuzzi on the balcony and costing £4,500 a night, and a further set of rooms for £11,000 a night, including a room to house her wardrobe and size-four shoes.
She has a 15-strong entourage, says Boshoff, among them an assistant who follows her with wet wipes to clean her hands after she touches anything, and another who "prances in her wake" with a glass of warm water and a straw. The water has to be kept at just above room temperature to help her voice. Five bodyguards are always in attendance, surrounding her when she ventures out and shouting "Miss Carey coming through!" and "Make way for Mariah!"
Given how annoying she is, I'm not surprised she needs bodyguards. Her world, as someone close to her told the Daily Mail, is "exactly the one a 12-year-old girl would order if she had unlimited funds at her disposal". But Mariah Carey isn't 12. She's almost 40.
Millionaire turns vigilante
Sometimes blowing it is a matter of principle. When millionaire businessman Jeremy Taylor, 38, took off in his helicopter for a business trip he noticed his gates were open and a white van was speeding away from his home in Binham, north Norfolk. A thief had broken into his yard.
Taylor followed the van as it moved along country roads, while his mother and sister joined in the chase in cars and reported the van's licence-plate number to the police. The burglar was arrested and later given a conditional discharge after admitting stealing firewood, diesel cans and a tractor battery.
The chase cost Taylor £2,500 in fuel, according to The Daily Telegraph, much more than the cost of the stolen goods, but he said it was the "principle" that was important. "I am annoyed he got away with a slap on the wrist," he added.
Tabloid money... EU corruption puts our MPs' antics in perspective
"If you think our greedy MPs are up to their snouts in taxpayers' money, just look what their cousins are up to in Brussels," says The Sun. Free meals, free travel, free dental treatment. "They even get free mudbaths lovely jubbly for freeloading fat cats." That's on top of their "whopping" salary of £83,282, taxed at only 15%.
"Then there is the £260 per day attendance allowance, famously known as SOSO "sign on and sod off". Yet for the few hours that they do put in they are entitled to claim almost £36,778 a year in food and booze plus hundreds of thousands more for office costs and staff allowances often paid to spouses and family members."
The perks are so generous that in this "cesspit of corruption", MEPs are often millionaires after just one five-year term. "And what do we get in return? An avalanche of meddling directives dictating the way we live, eat, work and go about our business."
"Low expenses can mean lazy MPs, but Labour's Laura Moffatt is a rare hero," says Fraser Nelson in the News of the World. "Her 'second home' is a camp bed in her office and she has her majority (just 37 votes) tattooed to remind her."
"A couple are on the run after a bank accidentally put £3.9m into their account," says the Daily Mirror. Leo Gao and his girlfriend, Cara Young, applied for a £3,900 overdraft when the filling station they part own in New Zealand went into receivership. Their bank, Westpac, mistakenly credited their business acccount with £3.9m.
The couple are believed to have withdrawn up to £2.4m before vanishing, possibly to China or Korea, and police have now launched an international manhunt. With that amount of money the best places to start looking might be luxury cruise ships and five-star hotels, says the Daily Mirror.
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