What Marcus Sweeney and Katy French did next . . .
RONALD QUINLAN and BARRY EGAN EXCLUSIVE IS it on again, or was it ever off? That's the question on everybody's lips this weekend as the delectable model Katy French and her former fiance, restauranteur Marcus Sweeney, took a trip together on Thursday night to the Dundrum Town Centre for some late-night shopping.
Readers will recall how the one-time golden couple fell to earth with a bang last month after Marcus took grave exception to Katy's penchant for taking her clothes off for money . . . in her professional capacity as one of Ireland's top models, we hasten to add.
The one-time happy couple had intended to tie the knot this spring in the eternal city, Rome. But that best-laid plan quickly came apart at the seams when Marcus called a halt to Katy's lingerie photo shoot in his restaurant, their engagement and then their relationship.
And just to make sure that Katy got the message, the bold Mr Sweeney followed up on that triple whammy with a stream of sordid mobile texts that left nothing to the imagination of Ms French, or indeed the general public who got the chance to read every detail in an array of newspapers. Last Thursday night, however, all that unpleasantness appeared to have been cast aside as the pair ambled around the southside suburban shopping mall hand-in-hand.
Our reporter spotted the two in Starbucks, looking for all the world like they were
in love and had never fallen out of it.
Admittedly, it appeared that Marcus was doing all the running in repairing the damage done.
But Katy, for her part, showed no signs of resisting or of discomfort as her former fiance planted several affectionate kisses on her cheek and pulled her close in a warm embrace in the coffee shop queue.
Nor did she object when he bought her a smoothie and sat her down for a 20-minute heart-to-heart.
At 9pm the blissfully happy pair stepped into Spanish fashion store Zara, on the lower level of the centre.
And 10 minutes later, they emerged hand-in-hand and apparently heart-to-heart to make their way to the carpark together.
So are they or aren't they an item? We decided to ask Ms French herself on Friday morning, the day after the night before.
Barry:Hello, it's Barry.
Katy:Oh, was that you ringing me just now? I was going to ring you before. You see, I met Marcus last night in Dundrum, and when we were walking around there was somebody following us. And when I went back in to go into Tesco I saw a camera. I don't know if he got a shot, but I wanted to ring you to make sure. I wanted to ring you before anything.
Barry:Katy, I have a colleague here who wants to have a quick word.
Ronald:My name is Ron Quinlan. I'm a reporter with the Sunday Independent. I spotted yourself and Marcus in Starbucks in Dundrum.
Katy:Were you the guy in the suit?
Ronald:Yes. I saw you together and you looked like you were very close. I saw Marcus gave you a few kisses and hugs there, and you were getting a coffee or smoothie or something together. You were in Starbucks until nine and then you went into Zara. A photographer took a photograph of you coming out of Zara.
Katy:Oh, did he get a picture?
Ronald:He did. You looked like you were getting on well together anyway. I'm just wondering if you want to make a comment on that?
Katy:To be honest, you want to get on well like.
Ronald:Do you think there is hope for you in getting back together?
Katy:You know, there is always hope. But in saying that, I don't think that either of us are ready. We certainly don't want to get to a point where we were engaged and we loved each other, and then say we hate each other, which is kind of what it spiralled into with all the media and stuff. Because it's not like we would both be very insincere people, because that's not the case, and I don't think either of us are.
Barry:Ronald saw you kissing. What is the story? Are you going to be back together? Or are you just testing the water?
Katy:Are you doing a ' Mail' on this? (laughs).
Barry:I talked to you yesterday afternoon and asked if you were going to be seeing him, and you said 'no'.
Katy:It wasn't arranged at all until later on in the afternoon. That's being totally honest with you. We were literally going to go to the cinema or something. We went to Dundrum.
Barry:What movie did you go to see?
Katy:We just went to Dundrum and had a Chinese.
Barry:Did you have a tongue sandwich?
Katy:A tongue sandwich? No we didn't have a tongue sandwich. You know as well as I do, when you're engaged to someone, you do love each other. Now whether it's healthy to get back into a relationship or not, we both certainly know neither of us are ready for it yet. At the moment, both of us are just both very, very sad with the direction things took with all the press and everything. I think the most important thing was to make it clear to each other that we don't hate each other, and 'I do love you and I did love you', that we were engaged and that we were going to get married.
Barry:Did the breakdown happen purely over the texts? Surely there must have been more to it than that?
Katy:Well, obviously it was [a factor]. I looked at it [the relationship], at how stable it was. It's something you don't go diving back into head first.
Ronald:Marcus looked like he was ready to dive in last night.
Katy:Well, that's on his side, you know.
Ronald:Well, when he was kissing you, you looked quite happy and you didn't mind being seen. A lot of people would have recognised you.
Katy:Well, maybe you just don't think about that. Would you expect me to say that in five weeks you don't miss someone. You do. That doesn't mean we are getting back together.
Ronald:Would Starbucks be a good start?
Katy (laughs):You know, I didn't even like it.
Ronald:Was Marcus the biggest 'smoothie' in there?
Katy (laughs):No. The Starbucks was lovely.
Barry:When you were leaving, did you make an arrangement to meet again?
Katy:I think we just decided that we're going to give each other space. But at least we're on talking terms and we'll see how things go.
Barry:Will you move back into his apartment?
Barry:Did he ask you to get back with him?
Ronald:Did you say you would think about it?
Katy:I said I'd have to think about that, and he agreed.
Barry:That sounds pretty hopeful.
Katy:When you get to the stage that you've been engaged, I think that it takes even more thought to be honest. I think when it gets to the point where you were going to dedicate your life to someone, then that happens, you have to think several times harder. Because there is so much more on the line.
Barry:What has changed for you?
Katy:The fact that we are talking to each other (laughs). And I don't think I'm angry anymore.
Barry:What were you angry about?
Katy:I was angry about being let down. Modelling is my job and I thought he understood that. To throw away an engagement on purely a photo shoot. To me that's a scary thing. There's no security in that for me.
Barry:What has to change before you go back to him?
Katy:The feeling in my stomach. I can't explain that.
Barry:What is that feeling?
Katy:That things are not right yet.
Barry:Will things ever be right?
Katy:I don't know. I'll tell you if it ever is.
Barry:When was it right?
Katy:It was. There were a lot of great times. And then we got engaged. And then that happened. You can forgive, but you don't necessarily forget.
Ronald:From the outside looking in last night, you looked very happy.
Katy:Well obviously there is a part of you that's going to look very natural.
Ronald:It looked very natural. It looked very comfortable. Could that feeling in your stomach have been butterflies?
Katy:No. It's probably the opposite to that. You saw the upside. There is a downside to that. We do have problems and we cry. You saw the nice side there last night. Maybe later on, there might have been issues. I don't know if we'll walk right back into our relationship.
Ronald:Will you walk back into Starbucks or Zara with him?
Katy:Go back into Zara with him? I don't know. I think he wanted to get a shirt or something.
Ronald:He was looking on the wrong floor then. You were upstairs. The men's department is downstairs.
Katy:Oh, he went downstairs. I'm sure both of you can understand it's a very natural thing, but it doesn't mean we are going to get back together. I don't want to fight with somebody to whom I was engaged, but at the same time I don't know if I'm ready to put myself back on the line in an engagement that was thrown away so easily. To me, that's not safe and that's not security.
Barry:Did you tell Marcus he had thrown away the engagement?
Katy:Yes. And he said he was very sorry about it, that he was angry and that it was a reaction. There you go. You saw the nice times, and when we had this conversation, I kind of fell apart again. I was thinking about my engagement was thrown away so easily. I had flown to Rome and gone and tried to book the wedding, and how could he have sent such vicious text messages, and how could he mean them? I was so angry.
Ronald:You had intended to go to a movie, you say?
Katy:We had said we would go to a movie or dinner or something.
Ronald:If you wanted to talk, a movie mightn't be a great place to do it.
Katy:Well, we said we'd go to the cinema or get something to eat. Ye don't fucking know, pardon my French!
Barry:Do you think you're ready to go back into a relationship?
Katy:I think I said it to him, and I think he agrees with me, we both need more time.
Barry:Is there anything you need to do to change yourself?
Katy:Well, I put so much into our relationship and part of me is still playing catch-up with myself to be honest with you, and I'm not talking about men, I'm talking about work.
Barry:Are you saying you are too young to get married at 23?
Katy:Yeah, I am. I probably am.
Barry:So you won't get married at 24 or 25?
Katy:I don't think so. No. I want to do something for me. I'm not thinking about anything else.
I'm just playing catch up with myself right now and I'm very very happy now and I'm just going to be very happy and get on with things.