Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Vicky Pryce, Tamara Mellon and Mia Farrow show revenge is a dish best served... by a woman

Tamara: sticking the stiletto in

The old adage, oft repeated in terrible action films and spy thrillers that you see on satellite channels late at night, is that revenge is a dish best served cold.

Of course, I can see the appeal. Few enough of us, I strongly suspect, have a highly toxic riposte – or, indeed, a military-grade flame-thrower – to hand exactly when we need one.

I can well remember a colleague's partner attacking a love rival with, of all things, a soap dispenser once upon a time and, many, many years later – more than I care to remember, if truth be told – I remain decidedly impressed by her quick thinking.

My own approach to matters revengeful, for what it is worth, has always been, frankly, quite rubbish. Oh, yes, of course, I have a mental ledger of those people who have sinned greviously against me – and, yes, I admit I have spent too many 3am moments tossing and turning, thinking how I could best pay back the worst offenders.

But, come on; really, who in the normal run of things has the energy for such a sustained campaign of comeuppance?

It now turns out that so-called 'alpha females' – these are the women who are already used to getting up early in the morning to rock their industries and raise their families – do.

We now know from the telly and the newspapers that economist and ex-con Vicky Pryce went properly nuclear when her cheating excuse for a husband, Chris Huhne, mogged off with his aide, resulting, inter alia, in wrecked political careers all around, a family torn asunder and custodial prison sentences.

Now that she is on the other side of the prison walls, though, her post-scandal poise – writing Prisonomics, a part-memoir, part-investigation of the impact of prison on economics, donating the proceeds to charity, emerging altogether tougher, wiser and tight-lipped on her former marriage – seems utterly serene.

Ms Pryce's revenge rampage seems to have made her even more impressive (and the woman has held mega-jobs, speaks four languages and has five children) than before.

Or take Tamara Mellon OBE. The glamazon business woman and the multi-millionaire backer of Jimmy Choo shoes is also proving that high-profile revenge is big for autumn/winter 2013.

Mellon's new book, In My Shoes: A Memoir, is, if truth be told, from start to finish, one massive up yours to her dear mother, ex-husband, financial backers and, indeed, anyone else who didn't toe the Tamara line.

Her way of dealing with a psycho mum/junkie ex/blood-sucking venture capitalists? Stick it to them in print, then give charmingly calm interviews about the whole shebang. While, all the while, still making two fortunes in fashion.

I wouldn't take her on, but, my God, she is exhilarating in her joined-up approach to enemy emasculation.

And then there's Mia Farrow. Actress of a generation, play girl, style icon, mother of biological, adopted and fostered children. And avenging angel of revenge.

Many, many years after Woody Allen betrayed her with her adopted daughter (a situation which I still find too horrible to try to process), she dropped a bomb this month in Vanity Fair by saying that the father of her son, Ronan, is "possibly" Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, rather than poor old Allen.

Wow. Talk about keeping your powder dry. These women are revenge goddesses.

But I'm still quite glad that I am a mere mortal in the getting-back game.

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