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'I'm the definition of fun' - life after litigation for baroness of Ballsbridge Gayle Killilea


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Gayle Killilea at home in London. Pic: Jonathan Goldberg

Gayle Killilea at home in London. Pic: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

Claudine Keane

Claudine Keane

Mark Feehily

Mark Feehily

Tribute to Thom ... Gavin Friday

Tribute to Thom ... Gavin Friday

Beaded Arans ... Helen Cody. Picture By David Conachy.

Beaded Arans ... Helen Cody. Picture By David Conachy.

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Gayle Killilea at home in London. Pic: Jonathan Goldberg

It was The K Club. The Killilea Club. In July 2004, when former Sunday Independent columnist Gayle Killilea married property developer Sean Dunne in an opulent 17th-Century villa in Santa Margherita in Italy, it was the stuff of fantasy. The epic 14-day celebration that followed aboard the yacht the Cristina was positively Gatsbyesque.

Last week, nearly 16 years later, Gayle cruised into the Temperley show at London Fashion Week looking as gorgeous as on her wedding day. Accompanied by her 12-year-old son Harrison and his best friend George, she wore Max Mara, turquoise crocodile-skin knee-high boots and a blazer. Harrison and George were in matching Yeezy runners and Stone Island white hoodies. Gayle et al attended the Tommy Hilfiger and Lewis Hamilton Q&A afterwards.

Later in Chelsea, she and the two well-kitted-out boys met up with Gayle's top male model pal from Boston, Stephen Snider, who, she told me, had "been grabbed to model for Charvet, the Parisian masters of handmade shirts, which was funny given Charlie Haughey and Sean's history shopping there," Gayle laughed referring respectively to the late Taoiseach and the one-time Baron of Ballsbridge, her ex-husband, Mr Dunne.

When Gayle achieved a law degree from Trinity College and a master's in law from the London School of Economics, she never would have thought that, rather than practising as a barrister, she would instead be using that knowledge to defend herself in a complex, world-wide litigation for almost eight years as a result of the property crash and The Dunner's bankruptcy.

I hear there is life after litigation, then, I joked? "I have no idea what that looks like!" laughed Gayle, who lives outside London with her kids. "Ask me again in a year!"

So, what's next? "I'm not sure, but it will be something less cerebral and more creative. I'm waiting for inspiration."

Does she buy her shirts in Paris? "I buy the men in my life shirts in Charvet, Paris. I even have one of my best male pals modelling Charvet shirts at London Fashion Week."

What clichés are true about blondes? "Men prefer us."

Does Gayle have more fun? "I am the definition of fun," said Gayle, who rang in the New Year with her pal Jackie Rafter.

What is the funniest rumour Gayle's heard about herself? "That I'm a bimbo," she laughed. "It's actually that I had an affair with a well-known tycoon I barely knew but let's not go there!"

Sunday Indo Living