Our columnist, impressed by the way former Miss Ireland Michelle Rocca has dealt with renewed publicity about her life with Van Morrison, has no doubt that Ms. Rocca will emerge from this recent public setback smelling of roses…
Nothing kills a relationship quicker than the bilious odour of betrayal. Nothing shakes your confidence more than the realisation that you can no longer trust the person you once most admired, cherished, protected and loved in this world…believe me readers, it was nearly a decade ago but I’ve been there; and so that is why this week my heart went out to former Miss Ireland, former model, former TV presenter and now it appears, former wife of singer Van Morrison, Michelle Rocca.
You see, Michelle had been embroiled in a very public court battle involving the alleged sea view at her beautiful Dalkey home; apparently neighbours had redeveloped, blocking her vista and her ‘family’s right to privacy,’ with Michelle even going so far as to allegedly maintain – according to the Sunday Independent – that when Van the Man, ‘gets out of his car he wants to be able to walk to the hall door without feeling he was being overlooked.’ So far, so reasonable, one might assume. We all have a right to privacy.
However this is where the story takes an ironic twist because the notoriously discreet, reserved and, according to some hacks, ‘grumpy and dour’ Van, whom by the way has claimed his famous prickly demeanour is all a ‘myth,’ reportedly adding that journalists who brand him in this way are ‘lazy’ and ‘need a sense of humour,’ – ooh, really, so, is this your fun side Van? – poured cold water on his missus’ claims by issuing a press release stating that not only did he ‘not live’ at the house, but that in fact, ‘he and Michelle have been legally separated since 2013,’ Ouch! As we say on the not so salubrious but equally fabulous or ‘fablis’ Northside of Dublin, ‘Morto for ya Michelle.’
However, and despite reports this week that Michelle ‘felt betrayed,’ and rightly so, this strong woman maintained her dignity and, in a swift operation in damage control, immediately withdrew the case; a case, which I might add had somehow morphed from a private affair into a public three-ringed extravaganza about the over-indulged rich folk living life in the unspoilt urban oasis that is the mythological, matchless and often fabled seaside town of Dalkey.
Look, I don’t know about you readers, but I would find it impossible to swallow when someone whom you have loved and stood by for many years, someone whose life and privacy you’ve feverishly protected would allegedly embarrass you and make such a shocking and public statement apparently without prior warning; but that’s just me and I know that it can happen, but, regarding the Rocca-Morrisons, I’m sure all parties involved have their own reasons for their alleged actions. Remember, we are not playing the blame game here; a family’s life is under the spotlight.
However, what I do know is how you deal with these matters says an awful lot about your self-control and your strength of character and while I admire Michelle Morrison for stopping proceedings, opting instead to put up and shut up, I do equally admire her for giving her unswerving loyalty to her former husband and totally understand that she would have the right to expect the same consideration in return; all wives do; and I fully sympathise with her if she may be feeling the sting of betrayal. However, I would add here that Van – whom I have never interviewed nor am I a fan of his music but whose talent I respect, stood by his wife – then his girlfriend – when she went to the High Court in order to seek damages arising from a failed relationship with Cathal Ryan, whereby an alleged assault took place at a birthday party…yes, yes, it reads like a plot from ‘Desperate Housewives’ – but the point is at one time there was clearly a lot of love, loyalty and mutual respect between this couple; which leads to the question, at which point did it all go so horribly and publicly wrong?
Was it when, according to the Sunday Independent – ‘Van told her (Michelle) that it would be a conflict of interest if she continued writing for the newspaper so she stopped.’ Or was it when the couple were engaged to be married and Michelle ‘had a few glasses of champagne with a friend in his hotel room and Van got annoyed, so she didn’t touch a drop of alcohol after that. She became sensible and stopped going to parties and withdrew from the social scene and dedicated her life to Van.’ Who knows?
The fact is that there are lot of people in relationships where one or the other has a massive ego, so huge in fact, it can constantly require validation; and while most of us would find it exhausting, draining and painfully boring to be continuously on our guard around someone who professes to love us yet demands we live our lives existing like a retired nun, some people actually manage to fulfil their life’s purpose by gaining a kind of high, or a euphoria of sorts from being or from indeed, serving, in that special position. And, while I cannot for the life of me find anything about the portly so-called ‘rock star’ aesthetically pleasing in any way, it’s clear that at one stage (and possibly even now, who knows?) he sent a tingle up a young and impressionable Michelle’s thigh that went straight to her, ahem, own personal home entertainment centre rendering her powerless under his commanding spell and possibly leading to her almost reclusive lifestyle.
I have no doubt Michelle will emerge from this recent public setback smelling of roses. After all she is clearly still a beautiful woman, she is, at 54, still very much in her prime, she’s a motivational teacher with a strong interest in Psychology and a Masters in Philosophy and History; meaning she’s an intelligent individual, thus leading me to ask why is it then that it seems the more we women accomplish on a personal level, the more some of us have to sacrifice in order to please those we love?
Bear this in mind girls; sometimes certain relationships that seem right at the beginning, only serve to poison and enslave us years later. Remember marriage is an agreement to ‘love’ each other and not to constantly be ‘in love’ with each other. Marriage is a structure of security and support and when that’s threatened there’s a major danger to our sanctuary and, when this happens, there comes a time in life when we have to ask ourselves – as I once did many years ago – are we actually living the dream or just doing time in the nightmare?
Remember girls, we no longer live in a time where we have to lay down in the marital bed, throw back our heads and shake and shiver with spurious expressions of Grammy award winning orgasmic joy! Take a leaf out of Michelle’s and all those other strong women’s books, go educate yourselves, be your own woman and walk that difficult line out of that stifling relationship with your head held high and your dignity firmly intact.
I wish the Rocca-Morrison family the very best for the future.