So just what is wrong with Gwyneth Paltrow?


Last updated at 10:23 24 January 2008

The past few months have been tough for Gwyneth Paltrow. Rumours of her marriage being on the rocks, her comeback film The Good Night taking just £90,000 at the box office, and now a late-night dash to the hospital pushed in a wheelchair by her husband Chris Martin.

Gwyneth was seen "slumped over" in the chair as Martin took her into New York's Mount Sinai Medical Centre last week, but she stayed there for less than 24 hours and is now recovering at her home in the city, complete with ready meals provided by her favourite macrobiotic store.

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Chris and Gwyneth

Ironically, her health difficulty - which cannot be divulged for privacy reasons - has meant that, for the first time in a long while, she finally has the undivided attention of her British pop star husband.

"Chris has been an amazing support to Gwyneth," said a source.

"He has been completely at her beck and call. The question is, though, how long is he going to be there for her?"

The pair, who have been married for four years, are often barely on the same continent, let alone in the same house.

Chris, the Coldplay front man and creative force behind the band, has been struggling to record the band's fourth album, which was originally supposed to be released this month.

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He has found it so difficult to come up with a successor to the multi-platinum X&Y that he even hired a hypnotist to help him get over his writer's block.

Meanwhile Gwyneth, after taking three years off to look after the couple's two children, Apple, three, and 20-month-old Moses, has thrown herself back into working life, all too aware that at the age of 35 she is becoming a little too mature for a leading lady.

She is making Two Lovers, her third successive film in just a few months, while, at the end of last year, she also spent ten weeks doing a cooking reality show driving around Spain.

Until last week's events, the pair had not been seen together for months - even by the paparazzi photographers who like to haunt their every move.

When a visibly upset Chris attended the funeral of his beloved uncle Angus on the Scottish Isle of Arran in August he was alone, without the support of his family.

That they clearly live their lives so separately has led, inevitably, to question marks being raised over the couple's relationship.

And the rumours are fuelled by the fact that the pair refuse to talk about each other at all - or be seen together.

In an interview this month with the Mail's Weekend magazine, Gwyneth said: "There's obviously an appetite for gossip," and "we're not into doing stuff in public together".

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Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow

When the actress did a photo spread allowing America's House & Garden magazine access to the couple's Hamptons home, among the pictures of the bedroom, living room and sumptuous designer fittings there was not a hint or a word of her husband.

Chris, meanwhile, angrily lashed out verbally at a journalist when she asked him whether he would ever do a duet with his wife.

"What's your favourite sexual position?" he asked her angrily.

Friends of the couple have revealed that the pair have been going through a rocky patch.

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Mount Sinai Hospital

There has been a difficult transitional phase after Gwyneth decided to leave her puree-making (albeit with the help of her chef) homebody lifestyle behind her and become a working mother.

Friends say she is very moneyconscious despite her millions in the bank and four homes and knew she had to get back into the job market or lose her chance for good.

"I basically took three years off," she said.

"It's a very risky thing to do if you're a woman. Women aren't given the same slack as men, the same margin of error, the same career span.

"In your 30s the interesting roles are fewer and farther between."

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Chris and Gwyneth

The first film she made after her extended maternity leave was her brother Jake's small budget - and ultimately unsuccessful - movie The Good Night.

She stars as an unfulfilled wife of a has-been British pop star. When asked if she could relate to her character, she replied enigmatically: "I have been in similar relationships."

Next was the big action film Iron Man with Robert Downey Jnr - the sort of film the actress admits she does only for the money.

In an apparent attempt to shake off her po-faced image (U.S. media sources say she is regarded as icy by middle America) she then embarked on an "anything goes" fly-on-the wall ten-week tour around Spain with TV chef Mario Batali for an American cable company.

Now, she is making romantic comedy Two Lovers with Joaquin Phoenix, two years her junior.

"There has been a difficult time adjusting for both of them,'" said one London-based source close to Gwyneth.

"With Gwyneth making her films and Chris busy with his album they have hardly spent any time together at all.

"Chris, who has a bossy tendency, got used to Gwyneth playing second fiddle to him when she stopped work to be with the children, and to her being wherever he was, along with the kids.

"But things have changed. She was once a bigger star than Chris and she is not willing to give it all up."

There are also petty differences which increase tension. He prefers the indie music crowd to her friends like Madonna and Stella McCartney.

She likes to go to parties and enjoy sparkling conversation - he likes to stay in.

Matters have not been helped by Chris putting pressure on himself to come up with - in his words - "the greatest piece of music ever made".

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chris martin attacks photographer

"There is a lot of pressure on Coldplay because their last album was such a success," says a music source.

"Of course, as the main songwriter, he is taking that pressure to heart and that can't make him an easy person to live with right now."

It has to be said Chris and Gwyneth, who had a secret marriage ceremony four years ago after conceiving their first child, have always been an odd coupling.

She comes from Hollywood royalty, her father Bruce Paltrow was an acclaimed producer and mother Blythe Danner a popular actress.

Steven Spielberg - who gave her her first film role - is her godfather, Madonna her best friend and she had an Oscar under her belt at the age of 26 for her role in Shakespeare In Love.

She was engaged to film heartthrob Brad Pitt, and when that broke up he was followed by another pin-up, Ben Affleck.

Chris, who is five years younger than his wife, is a self-confessed nerd, the Devon-born son of an accountant and music teacher.

He attended Sherborne boarding school in Dorset, before going on to University College in London where he gained a First and met the rest of Coldplay. He was a virgin until he turned 22.

But they got on famously and it is that love, as well as the fact that both come from stable homes, which means despite the rows - common in all marriages - they are now fighting to keep their union together.

They have decided to spend no more than four days apart.

They agreed to go on more dates without the children, to get their romance back, and they are trying to scale back on their work commitments. They even talked about trying for another child.

Now, with Gwyneth recovering from last week's emergency, these resolutions are going to be put to the test.

Although the actress is not seriously ill, she will need her husband to be strong for her and by her side.