So imagine you have appointed yourself the queen of Australia. You’re one of Australia’s most famous exports, you get married in an exclusive Australian ceremony that’s the closest thing to a royal wedding. And you’ve married a fellow famous Aussie, and then proceed to “give birth” to a lovely Sunday Roast, who will be raised as the Princess Royal of Australia. You are beloved. You are botoxed. No one questions you. Except for your neighbors.
This is the exact predicament of Nicole Kidman. Apparently, she sold her “exclusive” and “prestigious” property on the Sydney harbor, yet has failed to move her enormous yacht. Her neighbors are *royally* pissed.
It is one of Sydney’s most prestigious apartment buildings, right on the harbour and home to a clutch of local celebrities, including, until recently, Nicole Kidman. Problem is, when the Hollywood star sold up, she left her A$4.5m (£2.1m) yacht behind – and her former neighbours are furious about it.
Strict bylaws regulate life at Pier 6/7 in Walsh Bay, a rejuvenated former wharf area containing some of the city’s most expensive homes. The rules specify, among other things, where washing may be hung, and whether gulls may be fed. One apartment owner recently fell foul of the block’s governing committee for installing pot plants on his balcony. The bylaws also state that only residents can park their yachts in the adjacent marina. So why is Kidman’s large boat, Hokulani, still moored there, nearly a year after she moved out? Favouritism, mutter disgruntled locals, who accuse the committee of turning a blind eye to its presence.
Sydney-born Kidman has long been the city’s favourite daughter but her reputation has taken a battering in recent weeks. Her latest film, Australia, in which she plays an English aristocrat who inherits an outback cattle ranch, has been panned around the world. Last week, she was condemned by Aboriginal leaders for playing the didgeridoo – an instrument generally considered to be reserved for men – on a German chat show. Now comes the Melrose Place-style drama on her home turf.
The star, who still owns a waterside mansion in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs, is apparently well aware that Hokulani is breaching regulations. A spokesman for Kidman told the Sydney Morning Herald that the boat had been left at the marina because she had contemplated buying another apartment in the same block, which did not happen.
The spokesman claimed the boat would be moved next week, and denied that Kidman was “trying to take advantage of the situation”. “The [governing committee] would never do anything just because it’s her,” he said.
The article goes on to talk about how every Australian is disappointed with Kidman because of the failure of Australia. To add insult to injury, Kidman has stated that she’s not going to spend Christmas in Australia, or on her yacht. Instead, she will be playing housewife to Keith Urban in Nashville.
Seriously, I find it hard to feel sympathy for anyone with “yacht problems”. I realize Kidman has more money than God, so perhaps she could just throw some cash around, make this issue go away? Or is this a bigger issue? Is Australia denying it’s self-appointed queen? I certainly hope so.
Nicole Kidman is shown on 12/10/08 at the UK premiere of Australia. Credit: WENN