Yasmin, La Vie En Rose
interview: Monica Mosca
It seems that little Amber Rose has solved all of her famous daddy's problems after a period of sentimental and professional crisis. "Marrying a top model is a risk; I was jealous of her success, my band has just split up. Then the baby arrived, and all my problems faded away."
They met each other thanks to a picture. To be precise, he saw her on the cover of a fashion magazine and was literally struck by her beauty. As it happens in the best fairy tales, he looked for her all over the world, he found her, he courted her (quite shortly) and brought her to the altar.
On the 27th of December, 1985, at the town hall of Oxford, England, thousands of teenagers all around the world saw their love dream going to pieces: their idol, Simon John Charles Le Bon, Duran Duranís leader, married, most unexpectedly, the gorgeous Anglo-Iranian model Yasmin Parvenah.
Today, four years after their wedding and millions of records sold, Simon and Yasmin have become the happy parents of Amber Rose, born on the 25th of August at 10:39 a.m. at St. Johnís Hospital in London.
"I assisted Yasmin through the delivery," the star declared. "I knew she was scared and needed my support; but I was scared as well, so I held her hand without watching what was going on. Luckily everything was fine in the end: Yasmin is the most precious thing Iíve got, I wanted with all my heart to see her happy and perfectly safe."
Amber Rose, who resembles her beautiful mum in her colouring at least, has settled the painful crisis her dad was going through. After marrying Yasmin, the English starís popularity experienced a hard blow. Moreover, to make this difficult psychological moment even harder, Duran Duran split up and reformed as a trio, since two members left, after a long troubled period.
"The crisis began just after the marriage," Le Bon told us. "I remember Yasmin was on the covers of more than 40 fashion magazines from all over the world at that time. Reporters and designers celebrated her as the most beautiful woman on earth: all of a sudden I realised that I wasnít a sex symbol anymore, but that role belonged instead to my wife. I knew that marrying Iíd have lost a consistent share of my fans, but at that time I didnít care, and I tried not to think about it."
In short, a rather contrasted union, the one between Simon and Yasmin. Also because Simon, under that bully appearance, hides a sensitive soul and a traditional mentality, something quite surprising for a pop star so openly beyond the rules.
"Iím really proud of Yasmin and of her success," Simon adds, "but I still canít convince myself sheís completely mine. Iím still struggling to conquer her. I grew up with the idea that, within a married couple, the wife has to do the washing up while the husband has to go to work; and in my own family I had to face a very different situation and almost opposite roles. Yasmin can earn and work much more than I do, so I had to strive not to suffer because of it and to create a way of living that allows us to be happy and proud of each other."
Mrs Le Bon, 23 years old, born of an Iranian father and an English mother, is a real beauty. Slim, naturally elegant, big dark eyes and an enchanting smile, she recently robbed her colleague Jerry Hall, Mick Jaggerís wife, of the title of "best paid top model of the world." For each catwalk show she gets at least 5 million lire while for a working day on a photographic set she gets 30 million lire. Sheís Calvin Kleinís favourite top model.
The malignant say that the precious Yasmin accepted to give Simon an heir for a good deal of money, the equivalent of nine monthsí wages. Obviously an innuendo: first of all because Yasmin kept on working while she could, secondly because Amber Rose arrived after two desired pregnancies ended in tragic miscarriages.
Summer 1986: Simon Le Bon takes part with his sailing boat, baptised "Drum," in the Whitbread Round the World, one of the most prestigious competitions of international sailing. Yasmin stays at home: she is pregnant and such an adventure is not suitable to her conditions. But on the 11th of August, the Drum capsizes in the icy cold waters of Ireland: Simon and his crew remain trapped under deck and are rescued only by a hairís breadth. Yasminís baby, instead, is not safe: The fright has proved itself fatal for the top-model, and she suffers the first spontaneous miscarriage. (webmaster note: the capsizing was on August 11 1985 in the Fastnet and not the Whitbread, so there was obviously some miscommunication in this interview. Yasmin wasn't pregnant in summer 1985.)
"I lost my second baby after 20 weeks," Yasmin recalls. "It happened last year, and it has been a terrible blow for us. I was already convinced I could get to the end of the pregnancy without problems. I had read a lot of books on the 'profession of mum' and I had already bought the cradle and the babyís clothes. Therefore, when I found out I was pregnant again, I didnít make any projects, and I didnít stop working either on the catwalk or on the photographic sets. I tried not to think about it. Another disillusionment would have been unbearable to me."
Instead everything was fine this time: Amber was born in time, perfectly healthy, and with a nice forelock of black hair upright on her dollís head.
"I had contrasting feelings at the idea of becoming a father," Simon told us, "because I didnít want to grow up. Instead I realised that the arrival of the baby made me feel like a baby myself, so all my fears vanished. When we were certain that Yasmin would successfully complete the pregnancy, I started dreaming, rather often, about my childhood: I was running carelessly, wearing my school uniform: it was a clear symptom of my reluctance to get old."
Le Bonís house, worth six billion lire, located in London in Knightsbridgeís quarter, now enjoys a new guest. Sure, Simon who was once nicknamed "the dolphin" because of his presumed sexual insatiability (dolphins are said to have sex 15 times a day!) now will be forced to focus on something new to capture his fansí hearts. Among napkins and feeding bottles the sex symbol image doesnít work anymore.
We asked an opinion about the "new" Simon Le Bon from Clizia Gurrado, who, four years ago, was one of Simonís most passionate fans. She even wrote, at the age of 16, a nice little book entitled "Iíll get married to Simon Le Bon." Sold by newsagents, the young writerís diary-love profession soon became a publishing success and was transformed into a movie.
In short, from pop star to dad all dedicated to his family - is Simon Le Bon still an idol?
"Personally I donít like him," answers Clizia, "not because he is married and has a baby, but because now I like Depeche Mode, and I donít like Duran Duran anymore. What do I know of his wife? Not much: I know sheís a very pretty top-model. About the baby (Iíve found just now that her name is Amber Rose), all I can say is that sheíll certainly become a beautiful girl: with those parents itís the least she can do."
Disappointing, but unavoidable: those who were Simon Le Bonís fans in 1983 today are all in their twenties, study at university or even work. If they still look at the family affairs of their idol they do so with a conceited attitude and keep their distance.
"When I saw Amber Rose for the first time," Simon pointed out, "she shocked me: she was completely blue and I thought she would have died shortly afterwards. I didnít know that itís normal for some babies to breathe with difficulty right after their birth. I was surprised by the fact that it was a girl: I donít know why, but during the pregnancy Yasmin and I referred to it as our boy. We didnít expect a girl." Yasmin began to feel the first contractions on Friday morning (25th August). Then, she and Simon had their lunch in a Chinese restaurant and then calmly went back home, prepared the port-enfant and reached the clinic by car. A curiosity: Amber Rose was born exactly on the day Yasmin had fixed a photographic session to have some shots of her pregnancy.
Simon and Yasmin say that they will be understanding parents, not too strict, that they will favour their girlís inclinations and they will allow her to make those mistakes necessary to build up experience. "Weíll only protect her from hypocrisy and false emotions," Yasmin declares. "Today growing up itís difficult for a baby, in particular for one like her surrounded by stupid flatterers and stars of any kind. I want my daughter to be flexible and ready to judge, strong and able to master events".
The newly arrived has opened her fatherís eyes onto the serious problems of ecology. "For the first time in my life I realised that thereís someone who totally depends on me," Simon said to the English press. "Iím responsible of my daughterís future. Iím really worried about seasí pollution and the destruction of forests. If the people of the world donít start doing something now, theyíll waste the whole world. We are all part of a complex chain that is difficult to repair once it's completely broken."
Sting too is engaged in a battle to save the rainforest right now, and heís a sex-symbol: what if the "green" and quite sly Simon had found the way to capture new flocks of fans?