Glenda speaks out on love, loss, and 'that' plane journey
The stunning model reveals all as ex Johnny takes a break from business
Published 14/03/2010 | 05:00
Top model Glenda Gilson has spoken for the first time about her high-profile relationship with property tycoon Johnny Ronan -- which has sensationally ended in a hail of newspaper headlines and the multimillionaire taking a break from his business activities.
The stunning model and successful TV3 presenter has spoken out about her past love for her ex and her ongoing heartbreak at the fallout from the tumultuous relationship.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent on Friday, only hours before she braved the waiting press at the VIP Style Awards and scooping the prize of best dressed on the night, she finally opened up about Ireland's most talked about relationship.
Speaking about her ex's latest press release -- it had only hit news wires minutes previously -- she talked with raw emotion about the fallout from the couple's fiery relationship.
Sitting in a quiet corner in the Burlington Hotel, only a stone's throw from her former lover's pink palazzo as he prepared to jet off she said: "Of course I would hate to see that [happening to anyone]. But I am going through hell too and I've gone through hell for long enough. I can't deal with it anymore. It's just a nightmare," she said.
She went on: "This argument has been happening for two years; this is not out of the blue."
Asked her feelings on the fate of Ronan, who boarded a flight to leave the country within hours of the interview, she said she did not play any part in his sudden departure.
"I'd feel bad if it was my fault but the fight in Ranelagh had nothing got to do with me. And jumping on a jet with Rosanna Davison had nothing to do with me. When he was with me I never got him into trouble once."
The striking brunette, who wept as she talked about the effect the nerve-racking saga has had on her life, also put paid to malicious rumours that she was with the property tycoon for superficial reasons.
Speaking about a small section of people who believed the model was with the Tipperary man for money she said: "Let them think that. He knows he doesn't think that and I don't think that so that's all that matters at the end of the day.
"I'm no fake. I wouldn't go near a man if I didn't like him. It would be the first thing on my face. I couldn't touch a man if I didn't like him."
Drawing on the good times she briefly spoke of the reasons she fell for the Treasury Holdings boss. "Because Johnny is great craic. He is great fun. You will have great fun with Johnny. He will do anything for you. He is an older man, he's confident; of course that's what I was attracted to. I had the time of my life with Johnny at the start. After that, no."
Asked whether her former love broke her heart she said: "Yeah, a million times over. As I'm sure I did to him. Heartbreak happens every day, every day it happens and that's the way it goes. That's what happens in relationships. It happens all the time."
The fresh-faced TV3 presenter, who has made her name as a favourite on the Xpose show, also spoke at her heartbreak over the nasty remarks she has had to endure since being linked to one of Ireland's wealthiest men.
"I walk into a place with a designer bag and I hear it being said. I hear the whispers. It all comes back to me. [People saying] she must have got that off him. That's not on. It's not on. My dress that I bought for my birthday? I bought it the day of my birthday and everybody said again 'did you get that off him before you left him?'
"I make my own money. You see me in my boots -- I buy them myself. Go in to Brown Thomas and ask them. I'm their best customer," she said. "And half the stuff that my mother and I have -- we share it.
"My Hermes bag, an ex got it for me. And they're all fake, every one of them. My other Chanel bag is fake," said the down-to-earth star.
Asked about the gifts she received from the millionaire during the course of their three-year relationship, she said: "I'm not into diamonds. It's just not me," she said.
And what became of the expensive jewellery once the relationship had ended? "One necklace. That I sent back to him and then he sent it back [to me]."
Speaking about the most contentious issue -- why the couple were rarely seen out together and had kept their romance behind closed doors -- she explained that she had her own personal reasons but also added that they were at different stages of their lives.
But she squashed any notion that the 26-year age gap was an issue for the short-term nature of the relationship, saying: "What would I care if he was older? Seriously. I know Johnny was 20 years older than me but never once have I ever gone for a guy the same age as me ever in my life and I don't think I ever will. It had nothing to do with that. If you love somebody you love somebody whether they are old or not."