Show me the money

AM I the only one who had a seriously bad reaction to the financial details that emerged from the divorce battle between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes?

Just after the announcement of the split, a story titled ‘‘Katie set to lose millions’’ was doing the media rounds. It referred to her prenuptial agreement worth a debated $US50 million including their California home. The story said that with Cruise’s estate worth upwards of $275m, Holmes was expected to sue for more. Since then we know there’s been a settlement.

But prior to this New York divorce attorney Vikki Ziegler told Hollywood Life that because of the pre-nup, Holmes would need to use their daughter, Suri, as ‘‘a pawn’’ to get more money. ‘‘She’ll have to show that Suri has nannies, cars, activities, clothes, hair appointments. That a hefty amount each month is needed to maintain Suri’s lifestyle.’’ An early story that ran the media gauntlet alleged Suri had a $150,000 shoe collection.

Normal people seem to digest the details of such excess with their morning cereal. I didn’t see one per- son standing outside a newsagent reading the head- lines or with their iPad on the train suddenly looking green around the gills. What it is about my stomach that I can’t swallow stories of this kind?

Perhaps others do feel queasy at the alleged spending of more than a working family’s yearly income on a child’s shoes; or the plethora of litigations launched by the rich and famous to attain or retain more money than would feed a Third World nation. Having visited Africa in December, I can’t grasp the ‘‘grasping’’.

Growing up with an entrepreneurial father, I watched money come and go. We were wealthy, then poor, then mysteriously had money again. That pattern has continued throughout my life, with career successes, then struggle street; rich lovers, then battlers.

Throughout it all I’ve never taken wealth too seriously. ‘‘How much money do people really think they need?’’ I once asked a celebrity couple who failed to answer. They were devastated at losing half their fortune and being left with only a few hundred million. ‘‘We don’t know what to do now. We have kids to support!’’

I remember our mums used to say: ‘‘Eat your dinner! There are children starving in Ethiopia.’’ Maybe we should have a new catch-cry in 2012 as we watch corporate and celebrity players struggle to get or to keep more, more, more: ‘‘Don’t sue, there are people suffering in Africa.’’

Yeah, right.


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One Response to Show me the money

  1. nomadd 24 July 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Ruth, You are like a bubble bath, exploding over every sensational piece of news. Why do you read these propaganda machines ? I have no interest in the super rich and famous, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Anyway, Tom Cruise is a lousy actor.

    This weekend I heard the exciting news from France. The new socialist government is going to heavily tax the rich and famous – good on them, wish they would do that here in Australia.

    Instead of gobbling up sensational news I have been watching with glee, the greatest sport in the world ” Le Tour de France, salivating” over the gorgeous countryside of France.

    What heroes these cyclists are, real gentlemen, who do not throw their bikes at each other in violent temper. Unlike the spoilt and overpaid footballers, who head butt, and behave like five year old children, or the tempestuous tennis stars who throw their racquets down on the ground in furious rage.

    Best of all the greatest nation on earth – Great Britain won the Le Tour de France, for the very first time in 99 years. I opened a bottle of French champagne in celebration on this momentous occasion. This is what I call real worthwhile news!

    Like you Ruth I too had a marvellous childhood, but in England, as my father, during the great depression, was a travelling salesman and made pots of money as he travelled around Great Britain, France, Belgium and Holland.

    However, unlike most businessmen my father was a prominent member of the British Communist Party, and generously gave a large part of his income to their cause.
    Consequently, I have never valued money, nor trusted any political party and never, ever had any desire to be swept up in crusades. Instead I am a wanderer, and have always lived well, regardless of what party is in power.

    The propaganda machines of all political parties wash over me like water to a duck and I merrily march on my way, doing what I want, when I want, completely ignoring all politicians, and fictitious, mythical gods.

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