Belfast Telegraph

Mariel Hemingway urges manager of grandfather's famous home to escape Irma

Hurricane Irma's destruction in the Caribbean has left Rihanna heartbroken.

Actress Mariel Hemingway is urging the 72-year-old custodian of her writer grandfather's Key West home in Florida to reconsider her plans to ride out Hurricane Irma.

The Manhattan star tells TMZ Hemingway Home manager Jacqui Sands' plans to protect the cats that roam around beloved late author Ernest Hemingway's former home as the historic storm approaches is noble, but she should put her life first.

"I think it's heartbreaking and absolutely wonderful that she's trying to take care of the cats," Mariel tells the outlet. "I think you're a wonderful and admirable person for trying to stay there and save the cats, but ultimately, it's just a house.

"Save the cats, get all the cats in the car and take off, but I just think it's a rough deal (to stay). We don't want to lose things we treasure but at the same time you gotta protect your life.

"It's gotta be frightening to be there by yourself."

The actress fears Sands is taking one of her grandfather's famous quotes too literally: "I think of my grandfather's quote: 'Courage is grace under pressure', but I think that's taking it a bit far."

Weather experts expect the historic storm to batter Florida this weekend and the Hemingway Home, where the author wrote A Farewell to Arms and The Snows of Kilimanjaro is almost certainly going to be a casualty of the hurricane.

Meanwhile, Rihanna's thoughts are with those in the eye of the storm and her fellow Caribbean natives who have already experienced the power of Irma.

"My family is safe, Barbados is very safe right now, but it breaks my heart to see what is happening in the rest of the Caribbean, my neighbouring islands," she tells Extra. "You feel helpless when it’s a natural disaster. You have no control and these are islands that I have been to and love... It's so sad."

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