PS understands preparations in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are well underway for Lim’s birthday celebrations, which is expected to culminate in a party with a “Hollywood theme”.
Given Packer’s own experiences with Hollywood as a film producer, when he bankrolled producer Brett Ratner‘s studio RatPac and lost around $100 million in the process, he has plenty of inspiration when it comes to costumes.
Packer owns a home with his former wife Erica in Aspen’s West Buttermilk Estate.
Interestingly the property was also the venue for Erica’s three-day 40th birthday celebrations in 2016. Her guests included Orlando Bloom and Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch at the A Midsummer Night’s Dream party, replete with nymphs and forest fairies.
The sprawling estate features seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a movie theatre, bar, steam room and a man-made lake with a waterfall.
Packer and his second wife bought the property for just over $20 million the year they broke up, and it was considered a bargain given it had been on the market for $57 million.
Relations between the former couple remain strong, as does Packer’s friendship with his first wife, former bikini model Jodhi Meares, who is another regular at Aspen and has become a firm friend of Lim’s.
Last July Packer told PS: “Kylie has been a wonderful influence on my life. I love her very much.”
Packer hosed down media speculation that an engagement was imminent, telling PS he had “nothing to announce” about Lim, who was sporting a huge diamond ring on her wedding finger during their cruise around the Amalfi Coast.
PS first revealed Lim was the new woman in Packer’s life in 2017, however, she had been around for six months prior to that, having entered the billionaire’s life after being introduced by mutual friends in Aspen, and following the calamitous breakdown of Packer’s engagement to Mariah Carey.
Friends in LA tell PS Lim has been a constant in Packer’s life, along with his trusted confidante from Sydney Ben Tilley, whom PS also hears is taking up residence in his homes, including the new $80 million spread he bought last year in Beverly Hills, and his Aspen mansion.
Apart from showering Lim with expensive jewellery – the ring on her engagement finger turned out to be a Serpenti number from high-end Italian jeweller Bulgari which came with a matching bangle, also covered in diamonds and rubies, collectively worth around $80,000 – Lim also has full use of Packer’s private jet and has made herself comfortable on his various superyachts.
Barber the toast of her fashion targets
Having been pretty much beatified after her extraordinary effort in raising $50 million for bushfire relief, social media comic Celeste Barber is returning to more familiar, less harrowing territory: taking the mickey out of herself.
Barber has built an empire out of her Instagram parodies of the too-perfect images celebrities and beautiful people post, becoming a celebrity in her own right thanks to her popularity.
She will be walking in the Harper’s BAZAAR Australia runway show at the Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival next month, and to celebrate she has recreated a series of iconic style images, from flopping onto a sofa in her undies to recreating Kate Moss‘s 1992 shot by Mario Sorrenti for a Calvin Klein Obsession campaign, to awkwardly posing as Grace Jones did for Jean-Paul Goude for the cover of her album Island Life.
Barber has 6.8 million online followers, has starred on magazine covers and toured her one-woman show in theatres across the US, Europe and Australia, culminating in a sold-out performance at Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall last year.
“It’s a comment on the culture,” Barber says of her posts. “I’m simply saying stuff people are feeling about social media, and calling out the bullshit and double standards. No one looks worse in those photos than I do! I’m saying don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
And in doing so she has been championed by the fashion industry, the very industry which has inspired so many of her parody posts.
“People like me aren’t supposed to be seen in that fancy [fashion] world, but I’ve been embraced by the industry in an overwhelming way, which is kind of crazy,” she tells Harpers BAZAAR. “But I’m still the only girl at the party who eats.”
Slave to the night calls it a day
It was the Sydney club where, in 1993, Madonna was taught how to whip her willing “slaves”.
It was also where the likes of Richard Roxburgh, Robert de Castella and even UK pop star Kim Wilde enjoyed a good flogging.
But after 26-and-a-half years, the Hellfire Club has called it a day, bringing an end to what has been Australia’s longest-running club night, and the only one that specialised in the kinky world of adult fetishism and S&M.
“We’ve had people in flesh hooks swinging from the ceiling, people being whipped … I even nailed a scrotum to a board, but really we are the McDonald’s of S&M, there is much wilder stuff going on in private parties,” Hellfire pioneer Jackie McMillan assured PS.
“We’ve had 15 venues, a lot have closed down since the lockout laws were introduced, and the venues that were left, the ones with a 300-plus capacity, became too expensive. Some bars have a minimum spend of $80,000, but our night is not about booze … we were creating a space for a community of people to gather who didn’t conform to the mainstream.”
Kanga cut from The Crown’s Charles and Diana tale
The cameras are still rolling on the fourth season of Netflix’s The Crown, and while the plot lines have been kept under wraps, we know that much of the series will be focused on the romance, marriage and divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
One of the key storylines will focus on the former couple’s 1983 tour of Australia, of which Diana famously revealed to her biographer Andrew Morton: “It was hot, I was jet-lagged, being sick. I was too thin. The whole world was focusing on me every day. I came back from this engagement and I went to my lady-in-waiting, cried my eyes out and said: ‘Anne, I’ve got to go home, I can’t cope with this.'”
Making matters even worse, Charles was infuriated at Diana’s overwhelming popularity.
“Everybody always said when we were in the car, ‘Oh, we’re in the wrong side, we want to see her, we don’t want to see him,’ and that’s all we could hear when we went down to the crowds and obviously he wasn’t used to that and nor was I,” Diana told Morton years later.
“He took it out on me. He was jealous; I understood the jealousy but I couldn’t explain that I didn’t ask for it.”
Actors Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin – playing Charles and Diana – have already recreated that tour, with a mock-up “outback” set in Almeria, Spain, filling in for Uluru.
However it also appears another, equally significant Australian storyline may be overlooked: the tale of the former Toorak socialite, a dazzling blonde who went on to become Prince Charles’ “other mistress”, Lady Dale Tryon.
For many years the vivacious Baroness Tryon, affectionately named “Kanga” by Prince Charles and who died just short of her 50th birthday in 1997, was widely considered the frontrunner – even ahead of Camilla Parker Bowles for a period – when it came to the affections of the then unwed Prince Charles.
Even after his marriage, she remained close to Charles and the Queen. Charles was staying at her fishing lodge in Iceland when Lord “Dickie” Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb, one of the storylines expected to feature in The Crown.
Baroness Tryon, who married one of Prince Charles’s confidantes Anthony Tryon, also managed to forge a friendship with Princess Diana. Kanga shared a mutual loathing of Camilla Parker Bowles with Diana.
PS reached out to Tryon’s family to gauge their thoughts on their late mother’s place in history, however eldest daughter Zoe politely declined to comment other than saying they would be keeping those memories “private”.
Such discretion was never the way “Kanga” did things. She would regularly – but oh so discretely – drop juicy morsels with London gossip columnists, a habit which would later result in her being frozen out of the royal inner circle.
Following years of health issues (she was once admitted to a mental health facility against her will after she was sectioned by her husband), Kanga’s travails regularly ended up in the media.
She often repeated the claim to reporters that she had been “pushed” out the window of Farm Place, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation clinic in Surrey where she was being treated in 1996, which resulted in her being wheelchair-bound.
The final coup de grace came when she was arrested on the drive to her country mansion and then sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Friends say she had started fantasising that someone was trying to kill her.
Matters were only made worse in July 1997, when reports were published from a polo match at Tidworth where she had been furiously pursuing her former royal lover in her wheelchair.
Andrew Hornery is a senior journalist and Private Sydney columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.