Angelina’s '£115m ego bath'

Hollywood appears to be in two minds over Angelina Jolie.


Is Angelina Jolie a saint or a sinner? The Daily Mail'sJan Moir is confused. About ten years ago, the Hollywood star and former "bad girl" reinvented herself as a saviour of the weak and oppressed.

Now she has been fted by the likes of William Hague and is noted "for arranging her fondant features into a consecrated vision of beauty and compassion at every opportunity".

And whatever we might think of her, it's undeniable that she has harnessed her star power for worthy causes, which she didn't and doesn't have to do.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

But if it all seems a bit too good to be true, that's because it is, says Moir. This week, a leaked email exchange between Sony studio executives gave us a tantalising glimpse of how this "paragon of good works" is regarded in Hollywood.

Jolie is described as "a minimally talented spoilt brat" and a woman with "a rampaging spoilt ego". She is accused in this exchange of turning a massive film project Cleopatra, in which she wants to star alongside her husband, Brad Pitt, and all her children into a "£115m ego bath".

The emails, as Moir says, don't reflect well on the executives who wrote them, but is Jolie as "preposterous" as they make her sound? "Perhaps," says Moir. "Most Hollywood stars are. After steaming and sweating in the sauna of fame for too long, they just cannot help themselves."

Now sad phones are cool kit

The Daily Telegraph's Jane Shilling was walking through London's Greenwich Park, texting her son, when "an urchin popped out of the undergrowth. That's a very sad phone, missus,' he said, pointing a derisive finger at my ancient flip-up Nokia".

Shilling replied that she was a "middle-aged lady It is meant to be a sad phone!" Over the years, her friends and family have continually chided her to abandon the Nokia and buy an iPhone, and she always tells them she will, soon.

Like everyone else, she's seduced by the iPhone's "beauty and versatility". Yet she hangs on to her Nokia, and now she's discovered that the likes of Rihanna and Anna Wintour ("the cool-as-permafrost editor-in-chief of American Vogue") are also spurning smartphones and continuing to embrace these "vintage" handsets. "For the red carpet crowd, the charm of the retro phone resides in its stalwart uncommunicativeness."

A phone that does nothing except text and call is a phone "that can't be hacked for naked pictures that you sent to your boyfriend". They "do not tweet or engage with the cloud".

I, too, still hang on to my old Nokia, though not for very glamorous reasons. I don't want to be pursued everywhere by emails, or take photos, or listen to the radio on the train.

But although I will probably soon give in and buy an iPhone, for the moment, as Shilling says, "it's strangely gratifying" to find one's old phone included alongside knitting and taxidermy "in the gallery of stuff that is, inexplicably, cool".

Tabloid money: Britain is a bankrupt offering to buy everyone drinks

"The £12bn we spend on foreign aid would be easier to justify if we did not have to borrow every billion before we give it away," says Tony Parsons in The Sun.

"While we are borrowing £19bn a year, our country is like a bankrupt man offering to buy drinks for everyone in the house. The British are the most generous people in the world. We respond to every crisis on the planet with a big heart and an open wallet. But foreign aid is gesture politics by politicians desperate to prove they are caring human beings."

Hayley Parsons is happily married, has a coupleof children and has just sold her GoCompare websitefor £44m, making her one of the richest women inBritain. When asked about the challenges of beinga woman in business, the 41-year-old replied: "I think some women become transfixed by the glass ceiling'.

I've always thought that if you believe there is a glass ceiling, you'll spend your life on the floor looking up at it'". "Hear, bloody, hear," says Jane Moorein The Sun.

"Hayley left school after her GCSEs and started work in an insurance firm, making teaand doing admin. She then worked in sales at Admiral Insurance and helped set up the comparison website before quitting to start her own. Shortly afterwards her husband gave up his job to look after their two children so she could concentrate on GoCompare."

So "she started at the bottom and worked hersocks off... If Hayley is now kicking her stilettoheels, the next government should sign her up pronto as Secretary of State for Business". She has more to teach us about life than most career politicians.