Oscar's Wild; He's Battled Depression, Drugs and Alcohol, Tried to Take His Own Life, and Had a Mrs Robinson-Style Fling - So Why Is OSCAR HUMPHRIES Dame Edna's Model Son?

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Oscar's Wild; He's Battled Depression, Drugs and Alcohol, Tried to Take His Own Life, and Had a Mrs Robinson-Style Fling - So Why Is OSCAR HUMPHRIES Dame Edna's Model Son?


Byline: RACHAEL LLOYD

Oscar Humphries, the handsome 22-year-old son of Dame Edna Everage star Barry Humphries, is under pressure.

The new darling of the Sydney social scene has been hired to take centre stage at a fashion show and has only weeks to sculpt himself into a catwalk Adonis. 'I said to my trainer, "Turn me into this," and slipped him a picture of Brad Pitt in the movie Fight Club. I only train once a week, so I'm not sure whether that's going to happen. Still, my trainer motivates me and, when I do slump into the gym, still clutching my latte, it's a good feeling. In London, I'd be walking my dog in the drizzle.' In fact, judging by Oscar's past form, doing something as blameless as pulling a dog through the rain would have been an absurdly optimistic goal. He fled to Australia last November in an attempt to close a painful period of his life, variously involving depression, drug and alcohol addiction, the loss of most of his trust fund, an unsuitable relationship and a failed suicide attempt. In Britain, he became a byword for filial excess, the son spectacularly unable to cope with his father's fame, who plunged into a very public cycle of self-destruction.

Only now, relaxing in the Sydney sunshine, is he grasping just how isolated and consumed by self-loathing he had become. 'I do battle manic depression.

But I take Prozac and I'm fine. What happened was a cry for help. In the way that people do, I tried to find ways to relieve my unhappiness. In the end you go with what works, and in my case what worked was cocaine. I felt secure, popular, you know - bulletproof. I felt nothing could harm me.'

Predictably enough, he was wrong. On Christmas Day 2002, he tried to take his life, with pills washed down with gin. 'It wasn't premeditated. I just thought, "I don't like these feelings." I remembered how I used to deal with them by abusing drugs and I did the same thing. I took a load of antidepressants. I didn't want to do it. You are acting against your better judgement. But at the same time you think, "How can I get out of this situation?"' After his recovery, Oscar punished himself further by embarking on an affair with 37-yearold Tamara Mellon, multimillionaire boss of Jimmy Choo shoes. Although she was married to U.S. oil fortune heir Matthew Mellon II, the relationship was in trouble when she became involved with Oscar in the summer of 2003.

The fallout was spectacular. Amid a welter of stories pondering why a woman as savvy as Tamara would choose to become involved with a boy eager for a profile at seemingly any cost, Oscar wrote about the affair himself.

Without naming her, he compared the dalliance to The Graduate and said she made all the running. He wrote: 'She looked me in the eyes and said, simply, "I really like you and I want you to come home with me." I thought, "This woman clearly needs a man, but I'm just a boy." But she knew what she wanted - and how to get it. What could I do? I took the plunge and was led to her bedroom.' Tamara finally admitted, rather meanly, 'I did have an affair with Oscar, but it was just a brief fling that meant nothing. Oscar used me as a vehicle to sensationalise an article at my expense. He's young and impressionable and wants a career as a journalist. I understand that's why he did what he did.' Today, Oscar is adamant he will not continue the slanging match, saying, 'The stuff about Tamara and I was completely blown out of proportion. I really admire Tamara, she's great. I would never wreck a marriage. I wouldn't dream of it.' With his father's track record, you can hardly-blame him. Barry has been married four times, and Oscar's early years were affected by the pain of his mother. Barry and beautiful artist Diane Millstead divorced when Oscar was six. It was not amicable - Humphries left Diane for Lizzi Spender, daughter of revered British poet Sir Stephen Spender. Diane was evidently shattered by the break-up, portraying Barry as a chronic womaniser and implying he was trying to conceal his financial assets to avoid paying her a fair divorce settlement.

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Oscar's Wild; He's Battled Depression, Drugs and Alcohol, Tried to Take His Own Life, and Had a Mrs Robinson-Style Fling - So Why Is OSCAR HUMPHRIES Dame Edna's Model Son?
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