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Jun. 1 2010 - 6:06 am | 898 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Fergie, Duchess of Plonk

Sarah Duchess of York in News of the World bribery scandal

Sarah Duchess of York in News of the World bribery scandal

Well, she’s finally done it. The Artiste Formerly Known As Fergie, or officially Sarah, Duchess of York, has gone and done it now.

Yes, after two unrelenting decades of global tabloid-level fame, she’s finally lived down the cruel nickname she earned during her first pregnancy, when she gained an estimated 80 lbs and the notoriously vicious British press titled her the Duchess of Pork.

One is reminded, one is, of what George Stephanopoulos said when this came out:

George Stephanopoulos

George Stephanopoulos

“I wanted to make the cover of Time in the worst way, and now I have.”

There’s just no delicate way to put this: last week the personally appealing, publicly appalling, perennially penniless Fergie was caught on video offering to essentially rent out access to Prince Andrew, the Queen’s son and Fergie’s ex-husband. Her eyes widened and her hands clutched the air as she discussed the £500,000 ($750,000) price with a man she thought was a swarthy, unconnected billionaire, but who was really a renowned undercover reporter for the sting-specializing tabloid News of the World.

“Look after me and he’ll look after you,” she said. Well, perhaps not, as the palace denies Prince Andrew knew anything about the deal, much less authorized it.

With a divorce settlement of only £15,000 and a thoroughly jet-set lifestyle, the Duchess does have a need for cash, despite the fact that until the scandal broke she was living rent-free, next door to Prince Andrew in Windsor. And the fact she’s written a dozen or so best-selling children’s books and a couple of health and self-esteem books (which she should re-read, from the looks of this). And the fact that she’s received millions of dollars over the years as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

No, the poor girl is just trying to keep a roof over her daughters’ heads and a crust of bread on the table. This whole scandal traumatized her so much she took off (first class) for Cap Ferrat to Naomi Campbell’s 40th birthday party, and then flew to New York to apartment-hunt. And then go on Oprah. Poor girl. Whenever I’m desperate for cash, I do exactly the same things.

Here’s your (secondhand, sorry, News of the World is rather video-retentive) video:

Richard Fitzwilliams, commentator on the British Royal Family, said it was an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for all concerned.

“She is still very close to her ex-husband, the Duke of York. It’s disgraceful but also rather delusional,” he said.

“She implies that her husband is complicit in these matters and of course this is not the case.

“She really didn’t understand the dignity and responsibility of royal duty [when she was married to Andrew] and that is exactly what is lacking when you look at the video.”

Oh, snap!

If you look carefully at the full-length video you can see former health and wellness company owner Fergie smoking and drinking and, it seems, quite audibly slurring some of her words.

Now, it’s hard not to like Fergie, deep-down; as Oscar Wilde once said, “We, all of us, have an embarrassing friend. We are, all of us, someone’s embarrassing friend.” And Fergie is that universal embarrassing friend; that is her role in the Celebusphere, and that’s why we haven’t dropped her yet. So trust her to somehow find a way to get our sympathy even while acting like a vulgar, craven sellout.

It’s nice that she’s not a maudlin drunk, but it’s important that being a boastful, greedy drunk is not quite as bad as trying to sell out your ex-husband and the father of your children stone cold sober.

Fergie reportedly confirmed to Oprah that she was indeed under the influence of alcohol when the video was taken. As the bottle in front of her seems about 3/4 full, and her glass is half-full as well, one can infer the existence of another, emptier bottle off-camera, since it takes more than a half-glass of wine to get the English tipsy.

What would Weight Watchers say? That’s at least 10 points right there!


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