Day I sent the Daily Mail flying


MOIST: Brigitte gave us a warm welcome

ROGER TAVENER gets the big showbiz exclusive with Brigitte Nielsen

Ciampino airport, Rome. 

08.23 am sometime in 1987.

It’s the biggest global showbiz story right now. The world’s press is after it.

Sylvester Stallone, Hollywood super-hunk and world’s highest-paid actor, has been dumped by his wife, the pneumatic Brigitte Nielsen.

And she might have gone gay…

That’s not a good look for the most macho man on earth.

Somehow I end up in Rome. The desk wants it bad…

I’ve discovered she’s doing a Berlusconi TV show here. 

I’m with legendary Express photographer Harry Dempster. 

Now ‘H’ can love you or hate you in equal measures. And it often depends on the liquid levels.

Right now I’m not too out-of-favour, although we’ve had our moments in the past, but on the flight out, he’s dissing Brigitte.

“Facking dyke, with false tits. Stallone’s best off without her.”

I’m ahead of the game. Sorted the top agency on an exclusive deal.  Whether they get paid is another matter.

Only problem is the Daily Mail has a new girl on its staff, who’s getting all the good stuff. Sarah something or other. Very attractive girl. Very Mail. She’s useful.

So I have to get rid of her.

There’s a heavy rumour through the Roman news agencies that Brigitte’s going back to LA.

I’m not so sure. So I bribe a girl on the check-in desk to tell me if there’s a Brigitte Nielsen/Stallone checked-in on the LA flight, boarding now and leaving in 30 minutes.


I take a risk. Brigitte is staying in Rome.

But I have to lose the Daily Mail girl, a real threat.

I go back to my check-in deepthroat and ask if she can put out a Tannoy call for Sarah, of the Daily Mail, to come to a house phone. I explain she’s a colleague and I need to talk to her urgently.

Sarah grabs the phone. I muffle it to disguise airport sounds and it’s supposed to be a long-distance call.

I pretend to be Mail exec Rod Gilchrist, in a big hurry, who was always at the centre of every Mail showbiz hit. It’s fair game.

I tell her to get on the flight to LA. No time to waste. Brigitte’s flying and she can get her exclusively on the 14-hour flight. The Express is nowhere.


Me and Harry, pictured left, are each holding a glass of vino in the bar and look through the window to watch Sarah being transported on an invalid buggy to the plane. She’s the last one on.

It taxis … she can’t stop it now. Sarah’s going to have a pretty horrible flight. Out of contact and out of the game. Because that’s what it is. A game.

We clink glasses, order another bottle, and say Bon Voyage to sexy Sarah. The agency tells me which hotel Brigitte is staying in. I book H and myself in.

We have a drink or two and discuss tactics. 

I’ll knock on the door and try to grab some words and ‘H’ can hover. Looking for a snatch, or at best, an agreed photoshoot. Highly unlikely.

We’ll be lucky if she opens the door. It’ll be a doorstep for a couple of days.

We dump our bags and go for it.

Fuck me.

Brigitte greets me with a huge sloppy kiss on the lips and invites me into her room.

Fuck me…

She’s moist. As in she’s just got out of the shower and wrapped in a barely-there white towel. Covering the interesting bits. 6ft 1in. And dripping wet. She doesn’t care. And, to be honest, neither do I.

Harry’s joined the party.

She introduces us to her ‘manager’ a very sexy redhead also in a damp towel. Is this going to get weird? I sincerely hope so.

Despite being a millionairess, Brigitte admits they are sharing a room and sometimes a bed. They’re friends. Girls. But not lesbians. Oh no.

And she proceeds to tell me all about her separation from Stallone, while plying myself and ‘H’ with bottles of wine from the mini-bar.

The talk is amazing. I have all the words.

I ask if we can do some pics. Brigitte wants to, outside in the hotel garden. She needs to put on some clothes. No, we don’t need to leave the room. We’re all grown-up and she’s Danish.

Me and Harry swap wide-eyed looks. Brigitte, with her dyed-blonde cropped hair is all legs, baby-blue eyes and false boobs. She’s wriggling into a figure-hugging black body stocking I’d struggle to get my arm in.

And I swear… nothing else. She’s naked under that gossamer-thin layer.  

We’re in the garden. A crowd is gathering. Brigitte is at play.   

Harry gets to work and loves it. “She’s fucking incredible Rog…”

His motor-drive is banging away. The actress/model looks sensational. 

“How do you want me Harry…?”

Under his breath he tells me: “Any fucking way baby…”

I take a pic of H sitting on Brigitte’s lap as she kisses him on the cheek. This girl is a player.

We arrange to see Brigitte and her ‘manager’ at the pool bar about 10 pm. We really don’t think they’ll turn up.

Fuck me. In the meantime got to file and send the pix.

It’s done in an hour. World exclusive. Every US publication was after this big-time.

The desk is happy. They love us banishing the Mail to LA. Trebles all round.

Harry has gone full circle. He loves her. He and Brigitte had a photo-shoot ball.

“What a beautiful woman,” H gasps as we head to another bar. “Fucking gorgeous. She’s a really lovely girl.”

They do turn up for off-the-record drinks deep into the night. And it’s obvious they are more than just friends. But they’ve played ball. It was more than we could ever hope for.

They’re regaling each other with stories of crazy days and even wilder nights.

 I’ve got the serious one. The manager. Oh well.

And the Daily Mail girl is still in the air.

H can’t stop smiling.

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre