Who Said It: Mary Kay Letourneau or Brigitte Trogneux?

Like the films of Jerry Lewis, the romance of the American schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau (now Fualaau) and her pupil-turned-husband Vili Fualaau was more warmly received in France. While Mary Kay served time in prison for statutory rape, the couple published a book in France about their relationship called Un seul crime, l’amour (Only One Crime, Love), and were married after her release.

When Mary Kay talks about her affair with the adolescent schoolboy she sounds remarkably like the former drama teacher and first lady of France Brigitte Trogneux, whose affair with her own pupil, Emmanuel Macron, also resulted in marriage. Macron met first met his thirty-nine year old teacher when he was fifteen years old. At seventeen, Macron’s parents sent him to Paris in the hopes of ending the relationship.

Image result for mary kay letourneau“What is clear is that when Emmanuel met Brigitte we couldn’t just say ‘that’s great’,” his mother told the author of Emmanuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man. 

The President of France and his wife have refused to reveal when their relationship became romantic. “Nobody will ever know at what moment our story became a love story,” said Trogneux, “That belongs to us. That is our secret.”

1. “Without doubt he wasn’t like the others. He was always with the teachers. He simply wasn’t an adolescent.”
2. “Well he’s quite the man, and was back then actually.”
3. He was definitely forceful with his advances.”
4. “Little by little, he overcame all my resistances in an unbelievable way, with patience.”
5. There was an air about him that was older.”
6. “He wasn’t a teenager. He had a relationship of equals with other adults.”
Mary Kay LeTourneau: 2, 3, 5.

Brigitte Trogneux: 1, 4, 6.

Ramona Singer Throws a Wineglass at Kristen Taekman

On Season 6 of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City, the cast vacationed* at the Berkshires home of Heather Thomson. Over the course of the weekend, cast member Ramona Singer pretended that she thought her hostesses’ house was the garage, ordered an air conditioner to be delivered and installed, and–most famously–whipped a wineglass at Kristen Taekman’s face to retaliate for being splashed when she was sitting in a canoe.

“I reacted,” Ramona would explain ad infinitum.”I reacted. I grew up in a family of craziness and she got me wet and I just threw what I had in my hand. I didn’t have water in my hand so I threw the glass.”

Darkness Visible: Kristen splashes Ramona.

The Moment of Truth: “I just was provoked, I reacted without thinking.”

Deep Impact: The wineglass makes contact with Kristen’s lip.

The horror! The horror!

” You’ve split your lip! You’re bleeding! We have an emergency!”

“It’s just a little blood!” Ramona yelled, unrepentant. “You’ve never had a bloody lip? It’s like a bloody nose!”

The Aftermath

Kristen assesses the damage. “I was the first to defend her against the white trash comments, but what she did to me was white trash.”

“Was it the right thing to do? No. But you know what, just don’t mess with me.”

“Ramona threw a glass at my face. I don’t even have words for what she did to me, it was so bad.”

“When is that Aleve gonna set in?”

The First Apology

Ramona appeared at dinner that evening with freshly blow dried hair, determined to clear the air. Her apology began: “So I reacted to what you did. I reacted, you threw water on me.”

“You hurled water at me, I hurled what I had in my hands, I’m sorry.”

In the course of her apology, Ramona ended up screaming at Kristen again.

“So why did you throw water at me?” she demanded. “I told you, DON’T THROW WATER AT ME!”

“I had something and I went: ‘Boom,’ and it was a glass in my hand.”

“I didn’t want my hair wet,” Ramona concluded.

Détente

Back in New York, a contrite Ramona invited Kristen to tea and presented her with a bouquet of yellow roses.

“It was a fluke thing,” Ramona explained, without even once mentioning that Kristen had fired the first salvo by splashing her.

“But seriously, I am really sorry. It was the wrong thing to do, it was an impulsive reaction.”

* “No one vacations in the Berkshires,” Ramona later clarified. “No one I know. No celebrities. No one famous. Everyone goes to the Hamptons.”

Prince Rainier’s Holiday Inn Monte Carlo

Robert Lacey’s biography of Princess Grace of Monaco detailed her husband Prince Rainier’s dream: to break the Société des Bains de Mer’s monopoly on his principality.

“My own feeling,” he said in 1965, “Is that the economic wealth of the principality would be greatly improved if we could start off with two thousand modern, comfortable hotel rooms of the kind at which the Americans are so good. Not super-deluxe, but modernly equipped, functional, and agreeable hotel rooms with a maximum price of fifteen dollars a single day.”

The Holiday Inn Monte Carlo opened in 1972 on Avenue Princesse Grace. The next year it was visited by MotorBoating & Sailing magazine.

“Later, if you feel you have been… over-sauced and truffled, you can keep walking as far as the Holiday Inn, and relax over a supper of hamburgers, french fries, and a chocolate shake. While we were there, the Inn was, probably not so oddly, entirely populated by Europeans, enjoying for the first time those sanitized swipes across the john and the water tumblers done up in Handiwrap. Coke Machines, Color TV. Free ice on every floor. Our continental cousins were getting a huge charge out of what we have come to regard as our birthright, motel-wise.”

The Holiday Inn Monte Carlo had 320 air conditioned rooms, with radios, color TV sets, and direct telephones, a heated pool and a private beach, a night club, a shopping gallery, a parking attendant and a masseuse.

Alas, as Lacey wrote, “By the time the hotel opened in 1972, its high construction costs had priced it out of the reach of normal Holiday Inn travelers, while people who could afford the room rates did not want to stay in a Holiday Inn.The hotel went out of business in the early eighties and was converted into another apartment block.”

It exists now only in the auctions of matchbooks ($12.99) and hotel key and fob’s ($14.00) on Ebay.

A TOUCH OF MAGIC

Joan Crawford“Millions of words can be written– and have been–about how to look lovely. But there’s a final element that no amount of exercising, dieting, or mirror watching can give you. Charm.

Charm isn’t something you can turn on like a tap with a pretty little girl simper. It isn’t anything phony that you can pick up at the door on your way out, along with your coat. You know, animals can spot a phony faster than most people. I mistrust people who don’t like animals or understand them: how one dog can be snooty, one cat imperious, one dog beguiling, one cat sitting there quietly checking on you. Any wise little cat or dog knows at a glance whether your charm is real or manufactured for the occasion– and treats you accordingly. ”

Joan Crawford, My Way of Life, Simon and Schuster, New York.