Simon Le Bon: Now I Have a Lover, Amber
Amore 1 March 1990

interview: Patrizia Violi
translated by Francesca

"At last, after two spontaneous miscarriages, Yasmin gave birth to our beautiful Amber. I'm head over heels in love with her. Since the day of her birth, I've been living the most beautiful days of my life." The renowned voice of Duran Duran is living an extraordinary period which reflects quite positively on his artistic career. "My wife and I have been married for five years and we've overcome our moments of crisis: now we love each other more and more. We want to give our baby a lot of brothers and sisters as soon as possible. Our dream is a big, big family."

London. February

"My speciality is giving Amber her baths. She loves water and while I'm washing her, she smiles and lisps happily, and I behold her tenderly; I'm the luckiest father in the world!"

Simon Le Bon, 31, the famous lead singer of Duran Duran, talks about his experience as a father, exclusively for our readers. He is really excited and almost on the verge of tears while he describes the amazing sensations he went through during little Amber's first months of life. A pretty little face lighted by a pair of big blue eyes and framed by thick brown hair, the baby is about to reach an important "milestone": next Sunday, the 25th, she will be six months old. Undoubtedly she inherited the best qualities from both her parents: her father's eyes and the features of her mother, Yasmin Parvenah, 24, the famous Anglo-Iranian top model, considered one of the most charming women in the world.

"Amber's birth has made me extraordinarily happy," says Yasmin, holding in her arms the little baby who sleeps peacefully, her mouth half-closed. "It was a dream come true; after two miscarriages, I thought I couldn't have any children. We both love kids very much and five years ago, just after our marriage, we decided to have a baby as soon as possible. We married on the 27th of December 1985 and in August I was already six months pregnant; Simon is not really into sports, but he's very fond of boat racing." At that time, the Whitbread Round the World Race, one of the most important and prestigious events of international sailing, was taking place.

"I was at home, in London, watching the race on TV. On the 11th of August, because of adverse weather conditions, Simon and his team capsized with their boat and remained entrapped below deck, miraculously saving their lives. When I heard these news I fainted and when I regained consciousness, someone told me I had lost my baby."

"It was an awful experience," Simon adds. "I was full of horrible remorse, feeling ashamed for my selfishness, and cursing my passion for sailing. Since then I promised Yasmin that I won't participate in competitive races any more and, above all, I will avoid dangerous situations.

"After Amber's birth I've kept Drum, my sailing boat, moored indefinitely. I'll go back to sailing only when Amber's old up enough to come with us."

Two years ago another tragic event devastated the couple's life: Yasmin was pregnant again, but likewise she couldn't reach the end of this pregnancy.

"I really believed that was the right time," Yasmin recalls. "I had already bought all the layette for the baby and I was reading a lot of books in order to become a perfect mum. I was already entering the fifth month of pregnancy, when one day, I had a crisis. I was immediately hospitalised and before I could understand what was going on, they told me I had lost my baby. I was desperate, especially because the doctors couldn't tell me the real reasons for the miscarriage. Simon, during this sad period, was very sweet and tender with me.

"He even asked me to go on a second honeymoon. Therefore we went to Camargue, in southern France, where we tried to forget our sorrows, and to find new strength, starting a new phase of our love story."

Simon and Yasmin met and fell in love in a quite peculiar way. In 1985, Le Bon and his band Duran Duran were at the top of all the international music charts, and thousands of fans were mad about him.

"All the girls seemed to be falling at my feet," Simon recalls. "If I wanted a girlfriend, I only had to choose one in the bunch. At the beginning of our career and success, this situation flattered me a good deal, but after a couple of years, it was almost boring. I realised that I could have only fallen in love with someone who didn't want me, who didn't know me at all, and above all, who wasn't blinded by my success. One day, while I was skimming through a fashion magazine, a picture struck me: it was a close up of Yasmin. Her face was beautiful, and I was literally bewitched by her exotic charm and her sweet smile. I put the magazine away, feeling like an idiot. The picture of a girl I didn't even know had enchanted me, Simon Le Bon, who could have all the girls I wanted. It sounded rather absurd: so I tried not to think about it, but a week afterwards I was convinced I wanted to know her. Therefore I called the editorial office of the magazine where the picture was featured, I contacted all the most famous model agencies and I finally got to know her name, address and phone number.

"I was overcome with emotion at the idea of calling her and asking her out. Yes, I, the icon of thousands of girls, was afraid of being rejected. So I decided to send her a bunch of flowers: for a whole week I sent to her place loads and loads of roses."

While Simon recalls how he met Yasmin, she embraces him and smiles tenderly: "I was used to receiving flowers," she explains, "so I must admit I didn't pay too much attention to this invasion of roses. One morning, the phone rang and I heard a warm voice saying: 'Hi, I'm Simon Le Bon and I'd like to ask you to dinner.' For an instant I thought it was someone joking; so I replied 'Thank you, but I'd prefer to go out with Rod Stewart'. Simon got angry, and I, rather embarrassed, tried to apologise. We began to chat on the phone and in the end I accepted to meet him on a date, that same evening. When I finally met him I got very pleasantly surprised: he was nice, handsome and he didn't behave at all like a superstar. After that first date we began to go steady. We went to parties, gigs, and openings, and Simon's fans started to hate me. After all, they had good reasons to be jealous: we had fallen head over heels in love with each other, and only six months after our first date we celebrated our marriage".

During the first years of their marriage both Simon and Yasmin kept on working strenuously; Simon with his band, Duran Duran, and Yasmin modelling and flying all over the world, for catwalk shows and fashion layouts.

"Now, though, we have radically changed our lifestyle," says Yasmin. "After Amber's birth I've reduced my modelling engagements a lot. I want to spend most of my time with my little girl, and avoid being too far away from home. When I need to go away for a fashion shoot, I usually take Amber with me. She's a really quiet baby, and she doesn't ever moan about anything. I can 'park' her in my closet without any problem. Moreover now Simon's mother has come to live with us; she has moved from Florida to become a full-time granny."

Simon has changed his lifestyle as well. "I've become a 'family man' and I've given up my previous party animal habits. When I'm not busy with my band recording my new album at the studio, I spend all my spare time at home with my daughter. I love to play with her, to hold her in my arms, to cradle her, to sing her songs, while she opens her eyes wide and lisps happily. In these moments I feel really moved; my daughter's birth has brought out my tender side, a quality of my character which I myself discovered in this occasion, and I didn't even know I had. I've left aside without regrets all the eccentricities of my public life, and now I spend my time among feeding bottles and nappies. I don't want my success to be based on my heartthrob fame but on the quality of my music."