Liz Hurley has spoken for the first time about the death of her son’s father, revealing how they healed their rift before he died.
Her relationship with millionaire film producer Steve Bing turned toxic when she became pregnant with Damian, now 18, with the businessman initially denying he was the father and suggesting the actress had not been monogamous – until a DNA test proved his paternity.
For years, the pair refused to speak but were reconciled before the American took his own life in June by leaping from his 27th-floor Los Angeles apartment.
Liz Hurley has spoken for the first time about the death of her son’s father, revealing how they healed their rift before he died. (Elizabeth wears dress, David Koma at Matches fashion. Picture director: Ester Malloy. Stylist: Nicola Rose. Styling assistant: Lottie Franklin. Hair: Eamonn Hughes at Premier using Hair by Sam McKnight. Make-up: Kelly Cornwell at Nylon Artists using Tom Ford for Estee Lauder)
Her relationship with millionaire film producer Steve Bing turned toxic when she became pregnant with Damian (also pictured), now 18, with the businessman initially denying he was the father and suggesting the actress had not been monogamous – until a DNA test proved his paternity
For years, the pair refused to speak but were reconciled before Mr Bing (above) took his own life in June by leaping from his 27th-floor Los Angeles apartment
It had been ‘great to connect again’, the actress tells You magazine. ‘We hadn’t been friends for a very long time, but about a year and a half ago he came back into our lives.’
Speaking of his death, she said: ‘It’s very sad… just terrible. Horrific that it happened but there is some comfort to know we had made up and there was no bad feeling.’
Ms Hurley reveals that Damian secured top A-level grades, but coronavirus rules meant that ‘the misery of not graduating and not saying goodbye to your friends is just awful’.
Damian, who bears a striking resemblance to his 55-year-old mother, is forging his own modelling career.
Ms Hurley admits she has reluctantly adapted to Damian’s growing independence, but says: ‘I torture him by making him text me and check in all the time. There’s a lot of eye-rolling from his end.’
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As her 18-year-son sets off on an independent life, actress ELIZABETH HURLEY reveals the strain of stepping back, the pain of the tragedy that struck in the summer – and the personal motivation for her life’s mission
By COLE MORETON for You magazine
'I worry about safety all the time,’ says Elizabeth Hurley, thinking not of herself but her son Damian. They spent lockdown together, but the 18-year-old – who looks astonishingly like his famously beautiful mother – has just signed with a top modelling agency and left her for a gap year full of photo shoots.
‘I worry very much about security. But no, I’m all right with it really,’ she says, grimacing as if to suggest this may not be true. ‘I torture him by making him text me and check in all the time. There’s a lot of eye-rolling going on from his end. It’s just keeping a clear head and finding a balance, isn’t it? Stepping back all the time.’
That’s not easy when a mother and son are as close as these two. The 55-year-old actress, model, entrepreneur and breast cancer awareness campaigner has been described as Damian’s twin in the past and said his personality mirrors her own.
Liz is in the middle of a season of huge change that is a challenge to every parent. Damian turned 18 in April and has just finished school, getting two A*s and two As in his A-levels. (Jacket, MaxMara)
‘Yes, we’re very close. Thank goodness, because it’s really just the two of us,’ says Elizabeth, who is single after a series of high-profile relationships with Hugh Grant, multimillionaire Steve Bing (Damian’s father), textiles heir Arun Nayar and cricketer Shane Warne. ‘We get most of the same things. Of course, he’s left me streets behind because he’s young and knows everything, but otherwise we have the same sensibility, which is great.’ The same face too, it seems. Damian’s resemblance to her is startling. ‘Yeah, quite alike,’ she agrees. ‘And I’ve got some pictures of me around his age where there are a lot of facial similarities.’
Today Elizabeth Hurley is dressed all in black, with flashes of fire in her hair, and looks quite gothic. She comes across as bossy and rather grand but playful, too. A bad cold has made her face swell up ‘like a guinea pig’, apparently. I say that must be the world’s best-looking guinea pig. She grins and says: ‘We are going to get along really well.’
She’s in the middle of a season of huge change that is a challenge to every parent. Damian turned 18 in April and has just finished school, getting two A*s and two As in his A-levels. ‘The end result is a good one, but the sadness and the misery of not graduating, not saying goodbye to your friends and not marking your last year as a child is just awful.’
Elizabeth admits she’s had to work hard to adjust to her little boy becoming a man. ‘We have to back off and treat them like we treat each other. Stop being so bossy and unfeeling, and talking about them as if they’re not there. It was a big process for me to learn to stop being annoying. If we don’t want to have them eye-roll us for the next 40 years, we have to change.’
Lockdown was spent at her £7 million manor house in Herefordshire with eight other members of the family, including her mother Angela. They tended the garden, ate together every day and crashed out on the sofa to watch box sets and old movies. The extra time together was precious, but now mother and son have gone their separate ways.
‘I feel fine about it,’ she insists. ‘A couple of weeks ago he went to New York by himself because he had a job. He used to fly to see me on location – he was an unaccompanied minor aged nine – so he’s done long-haul flights by himself. I feel it’s the right time. There is going to be a big difference, for sure, but it is the natural order and the way of the world, so it’s just the way it is.’
Is she not worried for him, given her experience of the cut-throat world of modelling? ‘My first modelling job was when I was 29. So I was a grown-up when I joined this industry.’
Elizabeth Hurley became the face of Estée Lauder in 1995 after making a spectacular impression on the red carpet at the 1994 premiere of Four Weddings And A Funeral with her then boyfriend Hugh Grant. Her black Versace dress held together with oversized gold safety pins caused a sensation.
This daughter of an Army major from Hampshire turned fame into starring roles in the spy spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Bedazzled, in which she played the Devil seducing a young man for his soul. And she seems to have done her own deal with the devil – for the secret of everlasting youth – judging by the selfies she posts to her 1.7 million Instagram followers, promoting her beachwear range. Elizabeth still acts, most recently as a queen in the hit US TV comedy The Royals, which put those clipped, regal tones to good use.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Today we’ve met up to talk about Estée Lauder’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. This has raised around £70 million in the 25 years she has been involved – but there is a new urgency this year. The Covid crisis has made it hard for many women to get an appointment for a mammogram – two weeks ago it was estimated that a million women had missed their breast screening this year as a