They came from relative obscurity to romance some of the world’s most famous women. But, from the former Swedish pop star to the ex-Long Island bagel baker, these Cinderella fellas couldn’t make the moment last. All wound up solo again—most leaving lurid headlines and lighter wallets in their wake. What happened to these ill-suited swains? As the stories on the next pages reveal, some have slunk far from the spotlight—while one proudly croons “Just a Gigolo.”
Collins told PEOPLE in 1997 that her Las Vegas marriage to hubby No. 4 was “the stupidest thing I ever did.” Holm, a onetime Europop singer, seemed “charismatic” at first, recalls Collins’s former assistant Judith Breyer. But soon after they began dating, says another friend, he “pushed people out of Joan’s life. He was very controlling.”
Since their lurid divorce battle (a purported Holm mistress fainted in the witness chair), Collins, 66—-who lives in France with art-dealer beau Robin Hurlstone, 52—”has erased [Holm] from her life,” says her spokesman Jeffrey Lane. The elusive Holm has done a fair job of erasing himself. Said to have inherited big bucks from his father, a Stockholm jeweler, Holm, 52, has been spotted soaking up sun in Monte Carlo, the French Riviera and Majorca, Spain. “He is so glad to be out of the spotlight,” says a friend, Maude Winkler. Recently, a Swedish journalist bumped into him and asked what he did for a living. Holm, says the journalist, “just smiled.”
Joan Collins and Peter Holm
Wed 1985; split after 13 months.
How They Met
At a London party in 1983; the Dynasty vixen was 50, the Swedish ex-pop star 36.
During their divorce battle, he picketed her house with a sign reading Homeless.
He asked for $2.6 million and $80,000 a month but pocketed about $200,000.
She calls him “Mr. Fatal Attraction”; he kicks back at Mediterranean hot spots.
Princess Grace reportedly predicted that the 1978 marriage of her older daughter, then 21, and the French businessman-bon vivant, 38, wouldn’t last two years. Caroline gave her womanizing spouse the heave-ho after 28 months. The divorce left her “a wreck,” her cousin Grace Levine told author James Spada. “She really did love him.”
Junot, who contended that the royals gave him a raw deal (“Everything got exaggerated,” he told Woman’s Own magazine), wed Danish model Nina Wendelboe Larsen in 1987 and moved to Spain. The two, who have three children, split about three years ago. Now, Junot, 59, who works for Paris financial consultants Access International Advisors, says he prefers “to keep out of the limelight.” That’s fine with Caroline, 42, who recently wed German blue blood Prince Ernst August of Hanover. In Monaco, says a source, “no one ever mentions [Junot’s] name. He’s strictly taboo.”
Princess Caroline and Philippe Junot
Married June 1978; divorced October 1980.
How They Met
At Paris disco Regine’s; he was 36, she 19.
In 79 he was spotted dancing with an old girlfriend in Manhattan’s Studio 54.
Under Monaco law, his only reward was a portion of the sumptuous pile of wedding gifts.
Separated from his second wife, the father of three is still a fixture on the Paris social scene.
The bisexual ex-hairdresser (he claims to have had a relationship with Rock Hudson) wed the wheelchair-bound comedian—a USO star during World War II and the Korean War—three weeks after they met. Her 1994 death left him sitting pretty. “It’s the biggest on the street,” Harris, 50, declares proudly of the six-bedroom house in Bel Air he inherited from Raye.
“We had a very devoted marriage,” he says, adding that his primping skills helped Raye (previously wed six times) feel “glamorous again.” He says he recently dated a wealthy 78-year-old widow but stopped short of a third trip to the altar. “I begged him not to get married,” says his therapist Gilda Carle. “Nobody should ever get married for anything other than love.” Harris, who doesn’t work except for occasional singing gigs, decided not to wed. “It just wouldn’t be right,” he says.
Martha Raye and Mark Harris
Married from September 1991 until her death in October 1994.
How They Met
Introduced by an acquaintance; he was 42, she 75 and recovering from a stroke.
Harris “would put on her makeup, fix her hair,” says a Raye pal, actress Anne Jeffreys. “He treated her like a wonderful doll.”
75 percent of her estimated $2.5 million estate.
He sometimes opens his cabaret act with “Just a Gigolo.”
Bagel Boy’ Comes Full Circle
A diva’s mere dalliance? Think again. The Queens-born part-time baker was “one of the true loves of Cher’s life,” says her friend Karen Mandia. Indeed, Cher still “adores” her 18-years-younger ex, says spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg. Since their split, Cher has taken Camilletti along on a trip to Armenia and cast the aspiring actor in her 1996 HBO directorial debut, If These Walls Could Talk. He has gone on to date ex-porn star Traci Lords and tend bar (“because my acting career sucks,” he told PEOPLE in 1994). In 1997 he won an L.A. city commendation for executing a tricky emergency landing in a Cessna. Camilletti, 35, lives in Cher’s Malibu house while she tours. But reports that the two are a couple again are false, says Mandia: “They’re just friends.”
Cher and Rob Camilletti
Dated from 1986 to 1989
How They Met
At a Manhattan nightclub; Cher, then 40, called the 22-year-old “the most beautiful man I have ever seen.”
The part-time baker “despised” the tabloid nickname Bagel Boy, says a friend.
He was charged with assault in ’88 for ramming Cher’s Ferrari into a paparazzo’s car.
Still close pals with Cher as well as a frequent houseguest, Camilletti is taking acting classes in hopes of a movie career.
“Everyone seemed to realize what a mistake I was making except me,” Brinkley told Redbook magazine in 1997 of her marriage to Taubman. Freshly split from Billy Joel, the model had met and fallen for the divorced real estate developer nine months before the nuptials, when both were injured in a heliskiing crash. The marriage quickly melted, with Brinkley charging that Taubman, whose family deals in oil and real estate, lied to her about his shaky finances.
Brinkley, now 45, wed again (to architect Peter Cook) in 1996, while Taubman, 51, swapped his Colorado estate for an oceanfront bungalow at the posh La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, Calif. (Until lately he also had a house on Kauai, Hawaii.) “He’s very happy with his life now,” says former spokesman Dick Guttman. Locals say the secretive surfer never mentions business—or Brinkley. Says a hotel employee: “There is a bit of mystery around him.”
Christie Brinkley and Ricky Taubman
Married December 1994; split August 1995.
How They Met
On a Colorado ski trip when their helicopter crashed; she was 40, he 46.
At their wedding the pregnant Brinkley showed off her sonogram to guests.
She forgave a $1.5 million loan to Taubman
He stays toasty in a California beach bungalow; she has custody of their son Jack, 4.