A fading showbiz star with monstrously expensive tastes and an oafish billionaire. As celebrity couplings go, who could ask for a more perfect match.
Mariah Carey claims she found a kindred spirit when she met James Packer at a film premiere in the ski resort of Aspen two years ago.
It is possible to imagine the scene: the world’s most demanding diva and one of the world’s most over-indulged playboys, not giving two hoots that anyone else in the cinema wanted to watch the film as they noisily bounced their planet-sized egos off each other.
As the pair have announced they’re engaged, wags looking for what Hollywood calls a ‘uni-name’ — in the tradition of Brangelina [Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt] and TomKat [Tom Cruise and his ex-wife Katie Holmes] — have cruelly picked ‘Pariah’.
Not surprising, considering that Mariah has such a reputation, known for having 11 bodyguards surround her restaurant table so diners can’t see her eat.
She also insisted on a £50,000 antique table, covered with silk cloth and flown in from New York, to sign autographs in a London store while sitting on £1,000 throne surrounded by roses and butterflies.
Packer, on his side, combines at times a disastrous business career with a car-crash love-life that might make any less headstrong fiancée than Carey, 45, think twice.
Last summer, she became a noticeable fixture on the Packer superyacht off the coast of party island Ibiza as she sported a black swimsuit that exposed a prominent cleavage.
Just weeks after media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall did their bit for Australian-U.S. relations by announcing their engagement, 48-year-old Packer declared his own with the sort of vulgar opulence for which both he and Carey are famous.
Packer, the son of media tycoon Kerry Packer, rounded up some friends for a ceremony in New York, then theatrically got down on one knee and presented Carey with a 35-carat ring.
Valued at £8 million, the diamond and platinum monster is the size of singer Beyonce and TV reality star Kim Kardashian’s engagement rocks combined, and bigger than the 33-carat ring that actor Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor.