EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Fury of Charlie Chaplin’s family at ‘scandalous’ Me Too film 

Charlie Chaplin was given his own ‘Me Too’ reckoning last night when a documentary about the British comedy legend had its Mayfair premiere as part of the London Film Festival.

An even more compelling drama was, however, unfolding off-screen. I can disclose that the star’s family is furious with the film-makers.

Model and actress Kiera Chaplin claims the truth about her grandfather has been ignored by its directors, James Spinney and Peter Middleton. 

The Real Charlie Chaplin focuses on his relationship with his second wife, Lita Grey, whom he married aged 35 when she was 16. She was one of three wives whom he married as teenagers.

‘It was a different time with different mentalities,’ says Kiera, the daughter of Chaplin’s son, Eugene. 

‘Back then, if you weren’t married by 18 you were considered an old maid. It’s a shame these so-called documentary directors chose to sensationalise something without showing all the facts. 

‘Our family office gave them proof that some of what they were saying was wrong, but they ignored it, as it wouldn’t fit their narrative of being scandalous.’

Chaplin, who died aged 88 in 1977, and Lita divorced after three years, with her accusing him of cruelty. His reputation remained untainted. 

Kiera, 39, adds: ‘Instead of trying to create scandals from the past, why don’t we focus on today, and talk about all the violence against women and girls?’

Spinney says: ‘Lita’s story raises questions not just about Chaplin’s behaviour but also about how the media and political establishment create a culture of impunity for powerful people.’

Kiera Chaplin, the daughter of Chaplin's son Eugene, defended her grandfather, saying it was 'a different time with different mentalities'

Kiera Chaplin, the daughter of Chaplin’s son Eugene, defended her grandfather, saying it was ‘a different time with different mentalities’

Sir Billy Connolly is not worried about antagonising his fellow Scots. 

The comedian says of his colleagues when he worked at a Glasgow shipyard: ‘They didn’t like being welders, and they didn’t like where they lived, and they didn’t like their wives. I never understood it. There was a lack of optimism, of worry about the future.’ 

If he was younger, he would move Down Under, saying: ‘The treasure it has is its optimism.’ 

Martha blooms at art fair

Spirited  socialite and model Lady Sitwell could never be described as a wallflower, but she was easily missed at the Start Art Fair private view this week.

The former face of Royal Ascot wore a £420 leopard-print beret which fitted in seamlessly with art at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.

‘I find there is a Victoria Grant hat suitable for almost any occasion,’ Martha says of the milliner’s creations. ‘But actually, blending in was a happy coincidence.’

Martha, 40, is the ex-wife of baronet and former film producer Sir George Sitwell.

Spirited socialite and model Lady Martha Sitwell could never be described as a wallflower, but she was easily missed at the Start Art Fair private view this week

Spirited socialite and model Lady Martha Sitwell could never be described as a wallflower, but she was easily missed at the Start Art Fair private view this week

Some foolishly claimed it would never last when Dame Joan Collins made Percy Gibson her fifth husband, but they’re still going strong as they look forward to their 20th wedding anniversary in February.

And this week the couple enjoyed a double dose of festivities as the former Dynasty star marked the publication of her sparkling new memoir, My Unapologetic Diaries.

The Daily Mail, which serialised the book, hosted a glittering party for Dame Joan, 88, which almost coincided with Gibson’s birthday — he turned 56 yesterday.

Among her friends at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair was legendary comedian Barry Humphries, AKA outrageous Australian housewife Dame Edna Everage.

Some foolishly claimed it would never last when Dame Joan Collins made Percy Gibson her fifth husband, but they¿re still going strong as they look forward to their 20th wedding anniversary in February

Some foolishly claimed it would never last when Dame Joan Collins made Percy Gibson her fifth husband, but they’re still going strong as they look forward to their 20th wedding anniversary in February

Guests joked that Humphries, who attended with his wife Lizzie Spender, had channelled his inner Daniel Craig, in reference to the James Bond star who wore a fuchsia velvet jacket to the world premiere of No Time To Die.

The best of UK music, books and comedy were represented at the dinner, including composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine; author William Boyd and his wife, Susan; and Dame Joan’s brother, Bill, and his wife, Hazel.

Soon after she married Peru-born producer Gibson, Dame Joan remarked: ‘At first people would say, “What are you going to do about the age difference?” I’d say, “Well, if he dies he dies!”’

Guests joked that Humphries, who attended with his wife Lizzie Spender, had channelled his inner Daniel Craig, in reference to the James Bond star who wore a fuchsia velvet jacket to the world premiere of No Time To Die

Guests joked that Humphries, who attended with his wife Lizzie Spender, had channelled his inner Daniel Craig, in reference to the James Bond star who wore a fuchsia velvet jacket to the world premiere of No Time To Die

The best of UK music, books and comedy were represented at the dinner, including composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine; author William Boyd and his wife, Susan; and Dame Joan¿s brother, Bill, and his wife, Hazel

The best of UK music, books and comedy were represented at the dinner, including composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine; author William Boyd and his wife, Susan; and Dame Joan’s brother, Bill, and his wife, Hazel

There’s a barking post-pandemic trend in the art world: taking your dog with you to view paintings.

At one London private view this week, of Simon Elwes & Jamie Coreth: Relatives In Portraiture, at Fine Art Commissions in St James’s, at least five pooches were spotted. 

The gallery’s curator, Sam Parker Bowles, a cousin of the Duchess of Cornwall’s children, tells me: ‘They were tightly leashed.’ 

Shame there was nothing by Vincent van Dog or Paw-casso. Boom boom.

 Paul’s short shift

He’s the heart-throb who made viewers swoon in the passionate BBC drama Normal People, while wearing his now-famous football shorts and gold chain.

Now, committed fans of Paul Mescal have the chance to own a pair of fetching blue shorts, signed by the star himself.

The actor, 25, has donated them to a raffle for the Cooraclare Gaelic Athletic Association club in Ireland, and punters can pay €10 (£8.47) for a ticket.

Club spokesman Joe Considine tells me: ‘When Paul came along to watch his godson train with the club’s under-9’s recently he kindly agreed to sign a few items for us, including, of course, the iconic shorts.’

Paul Mescal is the heart-throb who made viewers swoon in the passionate BBC drama Normal People, while wearing his now-famous football shorts and gold chain

Paul Mescal is the heart-throb who made viewers swoon in the passionate BBC drama Normal People, while wearing his now-famous football shorts and gold chain

Committed fans of Paul Mescal have the chance to own a pair of fetching blue shorts, signed by the star himself

Committed fans of Paul Mescal have the chance to own a pair of fetching blue shorts, signed by the star himself

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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