Wags to Bitches

In an upmarket London club on a Saturday night a group of professional footballers are out on the lash. They are surrounded by a flurry of attention, which years ago would have only been reserved for the most prolific musicians and film stars.

Parading in front of them, walking up and down five or six times, looking them in the eye seductively each time, is a group of attractive women. One breaks away from the group and sits down beside a married footballer and begins to flirt. 

This scene may sound far fetched but it is closer to reality then it is to fantasy.

And the past few weeks have cast an ugly light on what it is like to live in the world of celebrity ‘WAG-ville’.

John Terry was recently given the yellow card by a judge who allowed the footballers affair go public. Terry had been caught cheating on his wife and childhood sweetheart Toni with French underwear model Vanessa Perroncel – his wife’s best friend and the partner of fellow England defender Wayne Bridge.

John and his wife Toni

Similarly just last week Vernon Kaye was forced to apologise on UK national radio for his textual affair with glamour model Rhian Sugden. He claims not to have slept with the Page Three blonde but wife Tess Daly is unlikely to be impressed. And even more worryingly just a few weeks previous, Daly had told She Magazine how much she trusted her husband and father of her two children.

Looking around at the moment, it seems rich and famous men can be a singularly priapic bunch, unable to walk past a glamour model without prepositioning her for a threesome, with even the most honest men unable to keep it in their pants.
David Beckham is another high profile example of the man who almost threw everything away for a bit of totty. The premiership footballer who had three kids and a happy marriage with gorgeous Spice Girl, Victoria, was found to have been ‘red carding’ his personal assistant Rebecca Loos after he moved to play for Real Madrid.

Rebecca Loos

Meanwhile, hype over the Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole’s marriage reached has its pinnacle this week when Cheryl Cole learned of yet another of her cheating love rat husbands indiscretions. The stunning X-factor judge has been left devastated after her husband was caught sending explicit photos and text messages to another woman. Despite telling Hello magazine just a few weeks previous: “Anyone who throws in the towel ends up achieving nothing,” Cheryl and Ashley have now put an end to ‘fighting for their love’.

Of course, shamed golfer Tiger Woods would understand exactly what Ashley is going through. Having a beautiful wife but trying to get a ‘hole in one’ with strings of women, he not only lost favour with his partner but he also managed to put the brakes on his high flying career. Not only was he dropped by his sponsors Accenture and Gillette – he also ended up in rehab. Good going Tiger.

So the million dollar question is – what on earth makes these men ruin relationships with incredibly beautiful and successful women such as Cheryl and Tess, destroying their reputations and careers in the process, just for the thrill of a cheap illicit encounter? Is it the excitement of the forbidden, or is it just attention stroking for their largely expanded egos?  

According to Allison Keating psychologist who runs the Bwell clinic in Dublin it’s more likely to occur among people who are higher up on the social ladder and as a result of their arrogance and belief that they will get away with it.

“With the amount of opportunity they are given – with women throwing themselves at their feet, you can see how they are being tempted.

“You see it happen a lot more with the team sports such as football. Whereas with men like Tiger Woods they were immediately dropped by their advertisers when they were caught – the footballers seem to get away scot free. It is like when they are out they are part of the ‘team’ it is more accepted and they can behave as if they are teenagers. Unfortunately this is often not the case when are married.”

Other psychologists also believe that it is the being desired and feeling desirable that nurtures the celebrities self-esteem, rather then it being a question of sex.

The WAGs are often discarded when not needed. The result usually is an unpleasant misogynistic type of focus being placed on the woman. A pressure for them to be perfectly groomed, pretty and skinny – a ‘possession’ to boost their husband’s masculine image all leads back to the 1950s image of womanhood.

An example of this discarding of their wives and girlfriends was the notorious Manchester United party of 2007, when the WAGs were allegedly told to stay home. On top of this, a hundred women were hand picked and brought in to party with the players – the night ending up with a rape allegation which was later dropped.

Those who study marriage and work with couples say men who cheat usually do so because they feel something is missing in their primary relationship.

“You would have to wonder about what type of women becomes a WAG,” says Allison. “Perhaps they think they are different – that they will be the one to tame the man. But you also need to wonder about the women having affairs with them. Often these women chase them just so they can sell a story or get them into trouble. You have to look at how similar these WAGs are to one another and feel sorry for them. They are living in the shadow of these men. Would I date a professional footballer? No. And would most women? Most would say no.”

Whatever the answer, there is no doubt that celebrities are under a lot more surveillance now, so Ashley will probably try keeping the texts to a minimum. And for the ones that haven’t been caught yet? The world is watching.

IS KEANE DIFFERENT?

Unlike the other WAG’s, Claudine Keane, wife of Robbie Keane insists the secret to their enduring marriage is loyalty. The new mum of an eight month old baby boy, Claudine insists that although her husband is away on a loan spell in Glasgow she trusts her man completely.

Robbie and Claudine Keane

“Of course there are women who deliberately target footballers but I don’t let that worry me. It is the same with any good looking man who has money,” she said.

But does the Malahide beauty obsess about keeping in shape so she’ll hang on to her rich and famous man?

“I make an effort because I like to feel good. It’s not to compete with other girls.

“I was overwhelmed being a new mum I didn’t have time to think about my figure. I certainly didn’t crash diet,” she said, adding: “I have chocolate or cake every day, as life is for living – I just have a small portion.” In the face of all the allegations, we hope that the future stays bright for our optimistic WAG Claudine.

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