Photos of Jemima and Imran Khan Having Sex
Booth, Lauren, New Statesman (1996)
I, too, gawped at the photos of Jemima and Imran Khan having sex
At a seminar in the suitably "starry" Sugar Reef restaurant in central London, journalism students and wealthy lawyers debated the question: "Should celebrities have their privacy protected?" The panel had been carefully assembled to allow representatives from the various camps to have their say. So Toby Young masterfully played his role as irritable and irascible celebrity interviewer. Max Clifford was the epitome of the go-between, making clients money by selling stories to editors who don't care what the truth is. A human rights barrister and a media lawyer also perched venerably on a platform above the 200-strong audience.
I had been called at the last moment to talk about the experience of being both "in the press" and "of the press".
"Am I the sort of celebrity speaker, then?" I asked hopefully. "Yes, Lauren, of course you are," came the soothing reply. Because that's the bugger about having been photographed on red carpets and invited to drinks with Lenny Henry and the Prince's Trust: you miss the "status" and the attention once your trivial stardom begins to wane.
Ahh, the memory of my friends' faces in the glare of flashbulbs as we sashayed into the Met Bar with a Brookside "star". The shallow bliss of standing next to Joanna Lumley at an auction, both of us waving champagne flutes and saying "sweetie" to the cameras. These days, such moments seem to me as sweet, as unhealthy and as tempting as a box of Belgian chocolates. Still, this nostalgia for fame gone by is very much hindsight, and during the debate I fought for the rights of Sara Cox et al to flash their nipples in lads' mags for cash, but to sue editors who sought to reveal their bits without a financial agreement.
"Celebrities have the right to say no," I chanted, waiting a little too long for a smattering of applause that failed to materialise -- this, after all, was a room full of wannabe hacks and legal eagles. …