Fifty ways to ruin your (ex) lover
Vicky Pryce is not the first spurned wife who set out to get her own back, says Chrissie Russell
Published 17/02/2013 | 06:00
They say living well is the best revenge but it's more hands-on retribution that makes the headlines. Last week a British jury heard how Chris Huhne's wife hatched a plot to 'destroy' him after he told her he was ending their 26-year marriage to be with another woman.
Southwark Crown Court heard how Vicky Pryce (60) decided to 'bring Chris down' by contacting a newspaper and leaking a story alleging the former Lib Dem cabinet minister forced her to take his speeding points in 2003 to escape a driving ban.
It was only after her husband broke their wedding vows that Pryce broke her silence, emailing a reporter saying: "I really want to nail him. More than ever actually, and I would love to do it soon."
The unfolding tale supports the old adage that 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned', but Pryce is far from the first wronged woman to prove that karma is a bitch.
A standard method of settling scores is often public humiliation – in the form of attacking the ex's prowess in the bedroom.
In 2011, Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife Camille went on national radio insinuating the Frasier star was a secret cross dresser. Chris Tarrant's ex-wife, Ingrid, repaid his infidelity by telling the world he suffered from erectile dysfunction and came to bed "smelling of fish".
It's been more than 20 years, but Trent Reznor is still said to be fuming about Courtney Love quipping: "Don't call your band Nine Inch Nails if you have a three inch one."
Perhaps those who only get hurt in the wallet should count themselves lucky. Like baseball legend Alex Rodriquez, aka A-Rod, whose "affair of the heart" with Madonna prompted his wife to embark on a $100,000 spending spree.
Golfer Nick Faldo's ex, Brenna Cepelak, settled scores by smashing up his Porsche with a nine iron, while rapper Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez got back at her cheating ex by burning down his $1m mansion – although she later insisted she "was just trying to barbeque his tennis shoes."
And after US actor Eddie Cibrian left his wife, Brandi Glanville, for LeAnn Rimes in 2004, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star slashed his tyres, later explaining: "He broke my heart, so I broke his Harleys."
But the poster woman for heartbroken havoc remains Lady Sarah Graham-Moon, who responded to her husband's affair by pouring white gloss paint over his prized BMW, delivering his 70 bottles of vintage wine to the neighbour's doorsteps and cutting an arm off each of his 32 Savile Row suits, declaring he "only needed one arm for what he does best, anyway".
A sartorial sacrifice was also paid by TV presenter Andrew Neil, whose scissor-wielding ex, high-class call girl Pamella Bordes, sliced the crotch out of all his suits.
Every so often someone pays with their life. Osama bin Laden's undoing is reported to have been a result of a woman's wrath.
The al-Qa'ida leader's eldest wife, Khairiah Saber, got the hump after the terror chief moved his prettier third bride into the family compound and decided to sell him out to the US.
The wronged woman motif abounds in music and film. Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain', Jazmine Sullivan's 'Bust Your Windows', and virtually every song penned by Taylor Swift, warns exes that if their woman has a record deal then they're prime fodder for a public flogging.
Revenge is said to be a confession of pain and the reason often given for retribution is that it's done in the heat of the moment.
But some cases suggest that sometimes neither pain nor the need for retribution goes away with time.
Monica Lewinsky doesn't seem in any hurry to forgive Bill Clinton and is reportedly planning a tell-all book detailing his 'desire for threesomes'. A friend of the infamous intern was quoted in the National Enquirer saying: "Monica has tried to move forward, but the nightmare of her affair with Bill still haunts her . . . she's facing 40 without a man in her life and seething about the way her reputation was destroyed as the whole world watched."
Since the days when Ivana Trump declared "gorgeous hair is the best revenge" (and perhaps against her ex that really is the case) the trend for being dignified and quietly turning the other cheek has been turned on its head.
The internet abounds with sites like ThePayback.com and RevengeLady.com dedicated to guiding wronged women and men in ways to exert vengeance on their ex.
Rules published on RevengeLady declare: "Revenge is excellent self-therapy. It's far cheaper than a therapist and it's much healthier than pigging out on a box of donuts."
Thus plenty of regular folk are getting in on celebrity-inspired ways of wreaking vengeance on a former flame, and getting increasingly creative about it.
There's a growing trend for 'revenge billboards' as utilised by YaVaughnie Wilkins, who erected a $250,000 three-storey sign in Times Square, and later went on to make a documentary after her ex, Charles Phillips, reconciled with his wife, ending their eight-year affair. In New Zealand, a spurned former girlfriend of an angler took vengeance on her ex by auctioning off the secret GPS locations of his favourite fishing spots.
American Football fan Annie Wagner became an internet sensation after being captured on camera holding a sign saying 'My cheating ex-boyfriend is watching from the couch instead', during a Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears game on Christmas Day 2011.
While in Poland last year a man made the mistake of visiting his dentist ex-girlfriend who extracted all his teeth in retaliation for him leaving her. The new girlfriend then promptly dumped him because she didn't want to date a guy with no teeth.
A Wisconsin woman recently held an ex-husband sale raffling off all his possessions and scrawling cheat on his SUV, while in Oregon a woman last year put her house up for sale with a novel realtor sign reading "Husband left us for a 22 year old . . . house for sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner. Adulterers need not apply."
Proving that if you can't get mad, or even, at least you can use the betrayal to shift property.