When Jade Goody abruptly opted out of ‘Bigg Boss’ (the Indian version of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’), I initially thought it was a game… a PR game… a publicity stunt. I soon realised, it wasn’t. She indeed had cancer. Later, when pictures of her tonsured head were released, and widely ‘sold’ in the British media, I again felt that stories of her ‘impending death’ could be a fabrication of her new PR-machinery. Today, once more, I have been proved wrong.
Having handled the PR for Shilpa Shetty throughout the volatile twists and turns of the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ hype, I closely followed Jade’s short, but news-making career.
From emerging a winner in the regular ‘Big Brother’ in UK, to being ‘the most hated person in Britain’, when she participated in its higher version ‘Celebrity Big Brother’; Jade saw it all in a matter of months.
I also feel, Jade became a target for many, because of a lot of factors, most of which were the unintentional creation of the people around her. Though Jade did ‘bully’ Shilpa on the show and termed her “phoney”, not many remember that it was actually her mom Jackiey Budden (entering the show as part of Jade’s family), who called Shilpa names like “Shallup” (claiming that she couldn’t pronounce her name properly), tauntingly referred to her as “the princess” and termed her a “nightmare”.
It was Jackiey, who continuously termed Shilpa as “that Indian” in a derogatory manner on the show. Later, Jade’s boyfriend Jack Tweed, a co-participant on the show, was reported to have termed Shilpa a “Paki”. Coincidently, Jade who ‘appeared’ more vocal and had a more aggressive body language, bore the brunt of the happenings. She became the ‘scapegoat’ for being a loudmouth. Viewers blamed her for traumatising Shilpa, and being ‘racist’.
Following a worldwide controversy about ‘racist bullying’ within the House, Shilpa emerged a winner on the show, gaining a huge margin of the public vote. Luckily, she didn’t hold any grudges or animosity for Jade, and preferred to move on in life.
And now, Jade Goody is gone forever. The cancer has gulped her. It’s very sad. I would have been sadder, if Jade had died being ‘the most hated person’ that she had come to be known as. But she didn’t. In fact, she saw a complete turnaround in her life, just a few days before death snatched her away.
Thanks to British publicist Max Clifford and the typical tabloid culture of her country, Jade’s ailment caught a lot of national and international media attention. This was followed by a huge sympathy wave across Britain, spreading over many other parts of the world, including India.
Within just a few days, in a path breaking turn of events, most of Britain gave up its hate for Jade, forgave her for the past, and came to sympathise with the 27-year-old (of course, that was no age to die).
Yes, there were questions raised on the credibility of the entire media hype and hoopla she received before her demise; the speculative hourly television reports, and the British tabloids ‘expecting’ her death, almost every second day she suffered.
Everything from pictures of her tonsured head, to the footage of her recent wedding with her long-time boyfriend Jack Tweed, was on sale to the media. And the fourth estate hungrily lapped it up, while Jade faced death like a warrior on a mission. Much in the same way, Shilpa had faced her in ‘Celebrity Big Brother’.
But Jade’s mission was different. Her aim was to earn as much of monies she could in the short span that she was going to live, even if it meant selling her interviews and pictures to the media. This she did, to ensure that her children (her two sons, from an earlier relationship) lived a comfortable life. Even Britain’s prime minister, James Gordon Brown, praised her for battling the cancer and caring for her children, even while she was in such a bad state.
At the same time, Jade received flack from critics, who found the idea of publicising and selling her sorrowful stories for monies, quite outrageous.
Jade lived like a ‘Controversy Queen’, and died like one. I salute her spirit.
BollySpice offers sincere condolences for tragic death of a star, who will be remembered forever.