Liz Stays at Lauder
Chairman of the giant cosmetics company Leonard Lauder handed actress/model Elizabeth Hurley a $3-million-a-year contract, even though he's under pressure to give the sexy actress her walking papers, reported FOX news online.
Those close to Lauder, whose mom founded the company, told him Hurley's behavior has become too low-class and risqué for the coveted position.
"The people who are in the upper class, what's left of them, say, 'How can you do this?' Because she is not one of them," Lauder, 67, told London's Sunday Telegraph.
The stinging criticisms of Hurley prompted a company crisis that took many weeks to resolve, he said.
"My head said, 'Sure, make a change,' and my belly said, 'Not yet,'" Lauder said.
One prospective replacement was svelte actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose charm and poise has been compared to Grace Kelly's.
Paltrow was the favorite choice of Aerin Lauder, Leonard's niece, who said last month it was inevitable that 35-year-old Hurley would be replaced.
Lauder said he made an instinctive choice to retain the British actress, star of Bedazzled and the Austin Powers flicks and the ex-girlfriend of Hugh Grant.
"I felt that it would be in the best interests of the company to stick with her rather than change. It's hard not to love her. I think she is beautiful, and she is just coming into her own," Lauder said.
Hurley's renewal puts her in direct competition with actress Uma Thurman, the new model for Lancôme.
Senior employees at Estée Lauder have criticized Hurley for promoting herself as a sex symbol by posing near-naked while caressing a snake in Talk magazine.
Her detractors also say she's soiled her public image by wearing increasingly skimpy outfits and publicly flaunting the changes in her romantic life.
Her latest love is Steven Bing, a wealthy American film producer, although she's also been seen kissing Grant since their breakup.
Last month, she was heckled at the Los Angeles premiere of Bedazzled for crossing the picket line by filming an ad for Lauder during an actors' strike. – Albawaba.com.
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