Stars drop in on Titirangi
West Auckland's leafy, liberal suburb of Titirangi may be the last place you'd expect superstars Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake to visit, but the Hollywood couple made a secret appearance yesterday at lunchtime. Their large security detail did not go unnoticed in the quiet village.
"Jessica was in the car park outside the Titirangi Library," a witness told The Diary. "There was a giant silver Mercedes van and an Audi saloon, and half a dozen African-American bodyguards. God knows what Jessica and Justin were doing in Titirangi, they weren't making a big scene, but you couldn't miss the drama. The windows on their cars were blacked out. It was a huge production. They looked to be travelling with a purpose."
Last night, Timberlake posted images of himself and Biel on Instagram, sitting on a bluff overlooking the rugged coast west of Auckland. He wrote, quoting the movie character Ferris Bueller: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Debbie Winter, the manager of nearby Titirangi Community Hall, said she didn't know anything about the celebrity pair's visit.
The couple have done little publicly between shows since they flew in to Auckland by private jet at 10.30pm on Friday.
The SexyBack singer has barely left his penthouse suite at the Pullman Hotel in four days, apart from performing on stage. Those staked outside the hotel have been whiling away the time watching the Ridges walk past on their way to the High Court, and observing Jeremy Wells hamming it up at a stag do with the groom-to-be sporting inflatable buttocks.
The Hollywood actress, who is rumoured to be pregnant, was more visible on her last trip to NZ with Timberlake in 2007 where she visited the glow worm caves and posed with fans at a haka.
A 'brand' new image
Sally Ridge's new agent is trying to mend bridges with media in a bid to get her client coveted column centimetres, and then corporate deals.
Liz Delaney told The Diary Ridge's brand image needs an overhaul, and that includes doing good deeds and supporting causes.
But is it really that simple?
Ridge walked into the High Court on Monday battling bankruptcy proceedings and pleading poverty, but toting a Louis Vuitton handbag.
She lives in a $2 million house and drives a Jeep. But she resorted to approaching a government agency for financial support, she said in her affidavit. This will garner little empathy with Ridge's core market: women. Most Kiwi mums balance keeping family safe and happy, and living within their means.
If Ridge wants them back as loyal supporters she must rebuild a more humble brand image. Fans are forgiving.
The Ridge brand has suffered damage - but it is not irreparable.