Jamie's model break-up

Last updated at 09:32 02 June 2005

She is strikingly beautiful, statuesque and has amassed a fortune of £9 million. But supermodel Erin O'Connor, 26, is living proof that money and beauty do not automatically bring happiness - because now she is nursing a broken heart.

The 6ft-tall beauty has been dumped by handsome TV presenter Jamie Theakston, the man friends say she was hoping to one day marry.

Erin, who can earn £35,000 a day working for fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Jean-Paul Gaultier, is said to be 'absolutely devastated' after Theakston broke up with her last week.

She has gone on holiday in the U.S. to recover from the distress and is being comforted by close members of her family.

A friend tells me: 'She loved Jamie. Their relationship was getting so serious that many of us felt they would be getting married soon.' Erin once said of Jamie: 'I don't fall in love easily. But I don't feel I have ever matched anyone before in the way I match my boyfriend now.'

However, Jamie, 34 - who has just started a breakfast show on Londonbased Heart FM - told Erin that his work commitments were getting in the way of their relationship.

'He said he simply wasn't getting to see her enough,' adds the friend.

The break-up has surprised pals who thought working-class lass Erin was a stabilising influence on Theakston, after they started dating nearly two years ago.

Earlier this year, she was named the 39th richest Briton under the age of 30. Born in Walsall, her father was a foundry-worker, and she went to school at the local comprehensive, where she was nicknamed Morticia, after her alleged resemblance to a character in the spooky comedy The Addams Family. Before dating Erin, Jamie - educated at exclusive Lancing College, in West Sussex - had cut a swathe through the eligible women of London society.

His conquests included It-girl Lady Victoria Hervey and model Sophie Dahl. His last steady girlfriend before Erin was Vanessa Redgrave's daughter Joely Richardson, with whom he had an on-off romance for three years. A few months after Joely, 40, sent him a letter saying their relationship was at an end, he was discovered visiting an S&M brothel in Mayfair in the early hours of the morning.

At least Erin can console herself with the fact that, at present, Jamie has no other lover - or even dominatrix - on the scene.

Last night, Erin's spokeswoman confirmed the break-up, but insisted 'Erin and Jamie are still really good friends'.

Sir Thomas Allen is obviously a better singer than footballer.

The baritone is appearing at the Royal Opera House in a novel production of Rossini's Il Turco, which sees much of the action set on a beach.

At the end of the first scene, Sir Thomas is supposed to get up from his sunchair, walk centre stage and kick a beach ball into the wings. Unfortunately, this week he sliced the ball off the front of the stage into the startled wind section of the orchestra.

'It arrived from on high and took us a bit by surprise,' says an orchestra member.

What was behind the puffing and blowing of 20-year-old Prince Harry as he struggled on a ten-mile trek as part of his officer training this week?

Friends say it's his 20-a-day cigarette habit - despite entreaties from his father who detests smoking (and has banned anyone from lighting up inside Highgrove), Harry has been unable to give up the evil weed.

Last month, his stepmother Camilla finally quit after a long addiction, by turning to yoga at the suggestion of an alternative health guru.

But Harry has so far shown no inclination to follow her example. Last week, he was spotted red-faced in the grounds of Sandhurst military academy as he smoked after a long morning run.

I am told: 'He looked absolutely shattered, and appears to have lost weight, even though the cadets are eating up to 7,000 calories a day.

'He was dragging on a cigarette as if his life depended on it.'

Smoking is not banned at Sandhurst, I am told, but it is certainly frowned upon, especially for the new cadets who undergo the most gruelling of physical army exercises during their first five weeks.

No doubt the Colombian ambassador to Britain, Alphonso Lopez, is keen to rid his country of its reputation as the world's largest exporter of cocaine.

However, unbeknown to him, three of London's most notorious former cocaine-users were among the guests invited to a party in Belgravia that he was hosting last night for publishing house Artnik.

Princess Michael of Kent's son, Lord Freddie Windsor, 26, who confessed to using the drug while at Oxford University, was due to make an appearance, as was Oscar Humphries, 24, son of Dame Edna creator Barry Humphries.

Oscar says he used to take the drug to combat depression.

Also invited was actor George Calil, 31 - son of multi-millionaire Lebanese oil trader Eli - who admitted that he had taken cocaine on the night his actress girlfriend died.

PS What is Conservative Party speechwriter Derek Laud, with his cultured tones and impeccable manners, doing on that dustbin of reality TV Big Brother?

Could it be because programme-makers hope gay Derek, 40, the first black Master of Foxhounds, will start spilling the secrets of the great and good?

A friend tells me: 'He knows everyone in politics and high society - and all their secrets. He was speechwriting at Tory Central Office throughout the election and knows all the Shadow Cabinet, including Michael Howard.'

Derek often regales trusted pals with his tales of how he has been pursued over the years by virtually every gay Tory MP. He was once chased by a well-known Tory knight in silk pyjamas. Let's hope he doesn't let slip the name...

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