Lovely Lisa has a good heart but truly she deserves better
Barry Egan was never convinced that the glamorous showbiz couple would walk down the aisle
For his 50th birthday party at the Ritz Carlton in Wicklow in 2007 – one of the grandest excesses of the Celtic Tiger era – Gerald Kean came dressed as Louis XIV. The French monarch was known as Le Roi-Soleil.
Last week another French phrase stuck in my head when it was announced that Kean and his girlfriend Lisa Murphy had broken up: deja vu.
We have heard it before that the golden couple have broken up. Gerald and Lisa called off their three-year engagement last November, then reunited in April of this year with a holiday in Quinta do Lago. How do I know? Because the Sun King of Irish solicitors texted me from Portugal to tell me so.
"There are no babies or weddings planned," he told me in May. "Our relationship is still a work in progress. We are working through the issues that made us break up."
Their relationship has been on/off more times than a glamour model's top. Insert your cliche here. But the gist of it is no one is surprised that Gerald and Lisa have broken up. In the same way that no one will be surprised if we hear tomorrow morning that Gerald and Lisa are back together again. Deja fecking vu, as you might say.
What I was surprised about, however, was the front page of a tabloid last Wednesday: 'Gerald Dumps Lisa'. Gerald rang me that morning to say how angry he was at the suggestion. "I didn't dump Lisa," he said. "I want to put that on the record. I have never dumped any woman in my life. That is not my style. Lisa is a wonderful woman. We broke up by mutual agreement. That's all I want to say on it. We have broken up."
You said that before. Can we expect a reconciliation?
"I can never say never but I think we won't be getting back together. We are good friends but no ... "
People will think he said that before, so give it a week ...
"I don't care what people think. They can think what they like."
Lisa texted me on Wednesday night when I inquired how she was: "I'm good. Thanks so much for asking. I really appreciate it. I'm just laying low at the moment. I hate all this publicity surrounding my private life."
I felt for her. Most women would run to a therapist but Lisa, a little girl at heart who loves clothes and glamour, runs to the red carpet; she went to the premiere of Abigail's Party with her father Des on Monday night at the Gaiety in a radiant white dress. Morah Ryan, who was also at the Gaiety opening night, could perhaps teach Lisa how to find happiness in life's little moments after a painful break-up. I actually hope she doesn't get back with Gerald this time.
I was never entirely convinced they were ever going to get married: the more they talked about the big wedding, the more I believed it was never ever going to happen. They were supposed to get married in May 2012. That date came and went.
"I've been engaged three times, and I've never tried on a wedding dress," Lisa told Niamh Horan in the Sunday Independent in June, 2012 (these have to be some of the saddest words a woman can utter surely). Lisa added that this time it was for real. "I think everyone just knows what a good party Gerald throws and they can't wait for it. But I'm very laid back about it and I know it will happen – we've the band and everything picked." I don't think even Lisa believed those words when she said them any more than the Irish public believed them.
Lisa is a decent woman with a good heart, but frankly she deserves better. Life is too short.
I spent five or six hours with her at the City West hotel three weeks ago at a charity event in aid of the John Giles Foundation. She never mentioned Gerald once. She didn't even seem to know where he was. It didn't seem like a relationship to me, and in truth, it hasn't seemed like a relationship for a long time – nearly two years.
John Giles got Lisa immediately. "She is a lovely, lovely girl," the Irish football legend told me, "but she seems so vulnerable. Lisa just needs the right man to love her."
Giles was, as ever, on the ball.