Piers: “You’ve had an extraordinary career and for a long time you were one of the top female presenters in the country. I suppose the problem for you is that you’re still defined in most people’s eyes by men. You’ve had four children now by four blokes. You’re the 4 x 4 Star.”
Ulrika: “I know. It’s a funny terminology but it is appropriate, it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.”
Piers: “If I asked the audience, some would like you very much be a fan of yours, others would think ‘bit of a floozy’?”
Ulrika: “I think others might be a little bit circumspect. A lot of women have more than one partner in their life and because I’ve ended up marrying now for the third time and yes admittedly having four children by four men, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m more of a floozy than anybody else.”
And thus the interview between Piers Morgan and Ulrika Jonsson went on in a similar manner; with Piers offering thinly veiled insults in the form of questions and Ulrika answering defensively in a very non-defensive manner.
That said, Piers did his usual ‘idol worship’ of an introduction which basically involves licking the metaphorical boots of his guest verbally before they start talking, which often – as it did last night – takes up way too much time…
So with Piers’ adulation out of the way, we got to the meat of the interview which didn’t contain anything that we didn’t already know really, or rather that her autobiography, Honest, hadn’t already told us.
It did however, as I mentioned, give Piers a forum in which to pretty much call her a-bit-of-a-dog-really without actually saying so. There were questions about her “slap and tickle” with Prince Edward, her affair with Sven Goran Erikson and her violent relationship with Stan Collymore which ended when he attacked her in public and then with Ulrika having to take out an injunction to prevent him publishing a ‘sex-tape’ they’d made while on holiday in Cyprus.
Additionally, we heard about some of the other men in her life such as two relationships with men from the show Gladiators which Ulrika presented several years ago. They were cameraman Phil Piotrowsky and James Crossley, better known as Hunter.
2002 was a busy year bloke-wise for Ulrika in that she was involved with German hotel tycoon Markus Kempen – this was also when her affair with Sven began – and she met her second husband Lance Gerrard-Wright while presenting the reality TV show Mr Right.
Wright was the ‘eligible bachelor’ who faced choosing a girlfriend from a group of women, however, the eventual winner turned him down but Ulrika didn’t. She married Wright in 2003 and split up with him in 2005.
Ulrika’s third and present marriage is to US advertising executive Brian Monet. She now lives with him and her four children in Berkshire. Her children are Cameron from her first marriage, Bo and Martha from her second marriage to Gerrard-Wright, and Malcolm, her baby son with Brian.
Ulrika managed to contradict herself with regard to the relationships she’s had when she spoke of the “ugly infidelity” that ended her first marriage to TV cameraman Johnny Turnbull but then giggled like a fifteen year old when talking about her affair with Sven.
And of course, there was THE issue; the date-rape incident which occurred when Ulrika was nineteen and for which she blamed herself. It’s never been publically acknowledged by Ulrika to be true, but Matthew Wright let slip on his chat show some years ago that the alleged rapist was presenter John Leslie. It was apparently an “open secret in the business”.
Tearfully recounting the ordeal, Ulrika said, “I actually don’t think he realised what he’d done”
And when asked how she felt afterwards, she said, “I was in physical pain. I felt a bit foolish. I felt I’d allowed myself into a situation which I shouldn’t have. I blamed myself, as I had done with most things that happened in my life.”
Aside from the men in her life though, we heard how Ulrika was brought up by her father from being eight years old after her mother left them both. It’s clearly had quite a devastating impact on her and has probably been the cause of – or reason behind – some of the ‘problems’ Ulrika has faced in her adulthood.
All in all, I felt rather sorry for Ulrika during this interview; I felt she was slightly under attack from Piers, albeit that if his usual journalistic instinct and behaviour is that of a Rottweiler, she only got mauled as much as she might’ve when he was still a puppy.
I’ve heard it said of Ulrika that she’s one of those people you either love or loathe but I have to say, I don’t feel that extremely either way about her; she’s just a woman who I’d say suffers with some separation anxiety and low self-esteem and who struggles to form lasting relationships with men… but who also happens to be in the public eye.
She’s clearly highly intelligent and articulate and manages to be reserved enough under fire to retain her dignity and seemingly shrug off her ‘4×4’ tag with nonchalance but I suspect that behind closed doors, it’s a tag that bothers her enormously.
All in all, as I mentioned earlier, this wasn’t an interview that told us anything new about Ulrika; she may as well have simply read out a synopsis of her book while Piers nodded and interjected with a question here and there.