I was so looking forward to reading Melanie Verwoerd’s new book ‘When we dance’ but alas it was taken off the shelves on the day it was due to be released. Ms Verwoerd is the late Gerry Ryan’s girlfriend, a former Unicef executive and a former South African Ambassador. She was previously married to the grandson of a senior Apartheid figure who both later joined Nelson Mandela’s ‘African National Congress’. So it seems that she is no stranger to doing ‘what she thinks is right’; whatever the consequences. Her book was taken off the shelves this week, when one of Gerry’s friends ‘Dave Kavanagh’ took an injunction application under ‘The Defamation Act‘ against the publishers (Liberties Media Ltd).
It seems to me that Ms Verwoerd has consistently been treated very shabbily by RTE and Gerry’s so-called friends. She spent the last two years with Gerry, they were obviously deeply in love; and yet she was overlooked by the tribute show that RTE put on for him? She maintains that the people on the tribute show “were not “truly close to Gerry” and had not been “around him in the last two years as his friend”. It looks like she wasn’t even invited to the tribute show; Nice touch RTE!
In the Independent today: “Speaking about the extract in which Ms Verwoerd describes Gerry’s relationship with the RTE panel on the tribute night, veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne brushed off the question: ‘I couldn’t care less what she thinks’.” Yep, to me that shows exactly how friendly old Gaybo was to Gerry. I wonder if Gerry would have said the same about Kathleen Watkins in the same circumstances; I think not!
Pat Kenny was also quoted in the Irish Independent today as saying “Gerry wrote his own book and he had a chance to share all of this. But he chose to share none of his difficulties and he didn’t intend for any of them to be in the public domain… So I don’t know why Melanie has decided to do this. And I think it’s very sad that she has.” SAD? I think it’s even sadder that he allowed himself to negatively comment on a book written by Gerry’s partner. Surely she’s entitled to tell her story? I’m sure Gerry would be so proud of his ‘friend’ Pat and again (in my humble opinion) shows the level of friendship the latter held.
What is interesting here is that she is perfectly entitled to write her life story, and Gerry was part of it, whether or not Irish history would like to blank it out. He wasn’t with his wife; get over it. For whatever reason, they had split up years before and he was in a new relationship; what’s so difficult to understand here? The publicity surrounding this book seems to suggest that she has an ulterior motive for writing it. What could that be, fame or fortune? She is arguably much better known than Gerry and I doubt very much if she’s penny-less.
Ok so; the facts are that Ms Verwoerd lost her partner in tragic circumstances, then lost her job as a consequence of that same relationship. Is that not enough suffering? Is she not entitled to tell her story? Is this the new version of the old practice of ‘tar and feathering’ as a public humiliation? I’m sure Gerry would be so proud of his so called ‘old friends’.
This all stinks of a ‘more affluent’ form of bullying to me.
Related or not?
Interesting fact; Miss Verwoerd said that Gerry was ‘so stressed by his financial predicament that his doctor had prescribed him Xanax and Stilnoct‘. Anyone interested in the possible adverse-effects can click on the links.