Liz Hurley and Shane Warne – True love or publicity gimmick?
Sydney: It’s been some time now, but Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne’s ‘very public’ love story doesn’t seem to leave the spotlight or the front pages even for a moment – but some are left wondering – is it true love or just a cheap publicity gimmick?
Warne and Hurley have been very vocal about their mutual affection for each other on Twitter, for the rest of the world to see.
"That’s what was so extraordinary about it - just how open they were in their tweeting," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Fiona McIntosh, the founding editor of Grazia and now a columnist for the London-based Sunday Mirror, as saying.
McIntosh added that Warne and Hurley seemed to be completely unaffected by with the ongoing phone-tapping scandal – where some stars jealously guard their privacy, these two don’t seem to care at all.
"Maybe they were carried away in the first flash of love. That’s what I’m not sure about - if it was a strategy or not,” she said.
Then mid-December saw a complete silence over Twitter but when Hurley got her new parrot Ping-Pong, Warne tweeted, "I’m getting jealous of ping pong! Think it’s time you left ping pong alone for a while & come visit me in Australia."
And when she did, the media world was abuzz with activity yet again. It seemed that what had begun as something quite ambiguous and haphazard was now being formalised as a media strategy.
Surprisingly, Hurley has been very private about her life – whether it was ex boyfriend Hugh Grant’s encounter with prostitute Divine Brown or her court case for picture agencies who snapped her, Grant and new husband Arun Nayar while they were on holiday.
"It’s a way of beating [journalists] at their own game. By tweeting, you’re taking power from the journalist. The biggest bugbear to [celebrities] are stories which are damaging and possibly false. But this way, you eliminate that,” says publicist Max Clifford.
Sam Delaney - Heat’s editor until last year – gives another reason.
When celebrities reveal intimate details on Twitter, a la Warne and Hurley, "you think: ``This is amazing. We’re getting insights into all the dirty laundry our readers want to know about. Oh, but so are our readers."``
As a result, he says, "you’re left being an amalgam of stuff that is already out there. Rather like The Week magazine, but for celebrity news."
But he argues, saying, “People will always enjoy seeing a story printed bigger, and delivered with humour and a bit of editorial comment.”
But the microblogging site seems to have worked wonders for the couple.
Hurley’s Twitter following has almost doubled - from 50,000 in December to over 90,000 now - while the new account she set up last week for her pet Ping Pong has already attracted over 3500 subscribers.
Sadly, her relationship with Warne hasn’t been so successful. ‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’ Hurley tweeted at the end of what turned out to be a disastrous trip to Australia. "Remember, love is like a rollercoaster ride - sometimes it’s exhilarating but sometimes u feel sick and want to get off."