After last week’s Dancing On Ice, it wasn’t the action in the rink that viewers were talking about – but the frosty relations between two contestants.
After Caprice Bourret split with skating partner Hamish Gaman, she was accused of being a “lazy diva”.
And while the model, 48, has denied her demands were behind the split, she is on thin ice with his fans.
Whispers of her being too controlling, of upsetting “gentle giant” Hamish and freezing out her fellow contestants have been swirling round the studio faster than a pro doing the headbanger.
Friends insist she is blameless in the split – the first of its kind on the show.
They say sometimes people “just don’t get on” – and implied it was Hamish who was pushing far, far too hard.
Yesterday it was announced she will return with “amazing” new partner Oscar Peters after bosses – while denying any bullying – agreed her previous partnership was too “toxic”.
But those accusing her of being a diva should know that she once really did live up to the description – so if she had wanted to go down that route now, we would really know about it.
The LA-born mum-of-two is embarrassed when she recalls her OTT ego at the height of her career.
She admits she was so out of control with her demands that even her own mum could not bring her back to reality.
“I was a very, very, very ambitious young girl,” she once said. “I wanted to be governor of California or own a chain of hotels. I want to earn quadrillions.”
She added: “It’s really hard, when so many people around you are telling you how amazing you are, not to start believing a little too much of your own hype.
“My ego was getting… out of control. I cringe when I look at the diva I was.”
She started to take for granted the flowers she was sent every day from admirers. Firms would send goods to thank her for her work, and soon she did not expect to pay for anything.
In her autobiography My Boys, My Body, My Business, she said: “I used to make my PA call up a club and say, ‘Caprice wants to come to the club tonight, we want 10 bottles of vodka, we’re bringing 10 people and we want it for free’. Sometimes they said no and she’d do the whole, ‘Do you know who we’re talking about?’ I mean!”
Caprice also began demanding all the designer clothes from her shoots for free, and would throw a strop if anyone did her make-up in a way she did not like.
Partying with friends, they would stand on the balcony in a club and pick out men they fancied – then Caprice would tell her bouncers to bring them up. She said: “Can you imagine how arrogant I was? It’s just ridiculous.”
Caprice was a teen pageant queen when she was scouted by a modelling agency. She scored a Vogue Mexico cover, but it soon became apparent that UK’s lads’ mags were the best home for the curvy blonde.
After appearing in Channel 4 documentary Filthy Rich: Daddy’s Girls, she really made her presence known when she wore a very skimpy Versace dress to the 1996 National TV Awards.
In the next few years she racked up over 350 covers for FHM, Maxim and Loaded, posed for GQ, earned tens of thousands for catalogue shoots, got lucrative TV adverts and was charging £20,000 for a photocall.
The best money was in personal appearances – at £15,000 (the equivalent of £27,000 today) for 45 minutes, with £5,000 more if she overran.
While she claimed on Filthy Rich to be from a “Hollywood family”, she was actually raised by single mum Valerie in a three-bed bungalow in Hacienda Heights, a middle-class LA neighbourhood.
She won a place at private school, but it wasn’t all rosy – her dad left when she was four and refused to pay child support, leaving the finances to her interior designer mum. When her own money started rolling in, it wasn’t just Caprice’s bank balance that grew. Her ego did too.
“My confidence levels had gone through the roof,” she said in her book. “It was a recipe for a complete disaster.”
Even her mum was embarrassed at how she spoke to people, telling her: “Who the hell do you think you are?” But it fell on deaf ears.
Soon Caprice’s behaviour took a toll on her relationships. In 1999 she began dating England football captain Tony Adams – but soon torpedoed the relationship.
She said later: “I’d brought my demands out. I wanted him to be at my beck and call.”
Tony wanted a quiet life as he battled booze, but Caprice wanted him to go to events with her, to be photographed together, and got annoyed if he could not see her before games.
While dating US comedy star David Spade, she flew off for a date with Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst. When he had to leave her in the hotel to go to a recording session she jumped on the first plane home, in a fury. She was also linked to Prince Andrew in 2001 after he invited her to the palace, although she always said they were just friends.
But she had a wake-up call when she was banned from the roads for drink-driving in 2006.
After she met the love of her life, financier Ty Comfort, 51, eight years ago, she had a long IVF battle to have children. The couple wed last November and have two boys, one by surrogate and one carried by Caprice, born within three weeks of each other in 2013.
In 2017 she fought a brain tumour – but still starred in 2018 US reality show Ladies of London from Bravo TV.
Caprice has now built a huge clothing and home furnishing business ByCaprice and is worth an estimated £24million.
Having fought to build a successful life, she claimed she had calmed down for good.
But some might say that same competitive drive that helped her win those teenage pageants and become a multi-millionaire will always be there.
Whatever happened with Hamish, 38, it’s clear Dancing On Ice is not just a bit of fun for Caprice. “I’m in it to win it,” she said before the show.