Watching Brief: With Sven and Ulrika, the Mirror Had the Dream Exclusive. but Its Editor, with His New Serious Agenda, Used the Story in a Way That Looked as Though He Didn't Believe It. (Columns)

Article excerpt

When Ulrika Jonsson, via a "close friend", asked her sometime lover (and long-time partner of someone else) Seven-Goran Eriksson "What kind of man are you?", she already had the answer. Ulrika thinks he's "a lying cad", the close friend said, through a national newspaper.

Which left us wondering just one thing. What kind of woman are you, Ulrika?

Let's start with a successful, wealthy, beautiful one. We might have added intelligent, except her behaviour of late would somewhat undermine that.

There cannot be a person alive in this country who doesn't know that Sven is with Nancy -- ball-master loves ball-breaker. After Tone and Cherie, David and Posh, Liz and Phil, they are this country's best-known couple.

So just what kind of woman pursues a man who is publicly and obviously happily partnered, sleeps with him a few times, then allows her "close friends" to slag him off when he refuses to pack his Louis Vuitton luggage and [pounds sterling]3m-a-year salary and move in with her?

If Sven's a cad, what does that make Ulrika? A cadette, perhaps?

The queen of cleavage who downs pints as greedily as other women's men has the temerity to cry foul. Surely we have reached the point in the emancipation of women when a thirtysomething, independently wealthy, consenting female cannot come over all despoiled victim because a man she chose to sleep with chose not to leave his long-term partner?

Yet all this was ruthlessly played out for the benefit of the media. Turning up at Stamford Bridge on the day after news of the affair broke, when she knew Sven and the world's cameras would be there, was one PR stunt too far. (And talking of PR, was it my imagination or was that Simon Astaire, the PR millionaire who was briefly linked to Ulrika, photographed with Nancy on page 3 of Tuesday's Daily Mirror?)

For the woman who thinks lying low is a new sexual position, Ulrika could hardly have done more to flaunt her relationship, her ultimatums or her pain. She joins a long list of women -- including Princess Diana, Liz Hurley and Patsy Kensit -- who don't understand the notion of private lives.

And to think that Ulrika had finally won the public's precarious sympathy after nursing her sick daughter Bo through a series of heart operations when her former partner had left her, literally, holding the baby. …