Joan Smith

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de agosto de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Ghislaine Maxwell (in green dress) with Prince Andrew (second left) at Royal Ascot Ladies Day in June 2000. Photograph: ROO/Rex/Shutterstock

For years, she was described as a “socialite”, a word that conceals more than it explains. Socialites are almost always women from a wealthy if not an aristocratic background and their defining characteristic is being photographed with famous people.

Ghislaine Maxwell fitted the bill, appearing in photos with everyone from Donald Trump to Elon Musk to Prince Andrew. But being a socialite is not a job and it was unclear how she financed her opulent lifestyle, especially after the death of her father, Robert.

Over recent weeks, during her trial on sex trafficking charges in a New York courtroom, the answer became clear.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imagine a man hitting his partner. The picture that comes to mind probably involves a scruffy individual, his hand raised and his face contorted with fury. We can all condemn that, can’t we? But what if the angry face is familiar, seen thousands of times in a very different context? If it belongs, say, to the world’s most famous and admired footballer, Diego Maradona?

Judging by the outpouring of grief that followed his death, at the age of 60, it seems too big an ask to admit that our heroes, especially our sporting heroes, have been credibly accused of domestic violence.…  Seguir leyendo »

The 19-year old British woman leaves court in Famagusta, Cyprus, after her trial on 30 December. Photograph: Katia Christodoulou/EPA

The message to foreign women thinking of booking a holiday in Cyprus could hardly be more stark: if you are attacked don’t expect the authorities to help you. On the contrary, reporting a rape carries a significant risk that it won’t be properly investigated, as appears to have happened to the 19-year-old British woman who went to the police in Ayia Napa in July saying she had been gang-raped. Moreover, you might end up deprived of your own liberty.

The teenager found herself convicted on Monday with inventing the whole thing, and faces a potential prison sentence when she appears at the Famagusta district court next week.…  Seguir leyendo »

Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at an event in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Adrian Dennis/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC16D8E4AA90

It is the curse of the Windsor men: they can’t resist marrying women who are more interesting than themselves. The news this week that Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince Harry, is engaged to an American actress has not exactly rocked the UK. But those traditional balcony photos—men in military uniform, women in weird hats—are going to look very different in future.

Back in the 1980s, Harry’s father, Prince Charles, was aghast when his shy bride, Lady Diana Spencer, transformed herself into the first global superstar. Meghan Markle isn’t that, not yet at least, but it’s clear that she has star quality. Unlike his elder brother Prince William, who made a safe choice when he married Kate Middleton, Harry has gone full Hollywood.…  Seguir leyendo »

Roy Jenkins talks to members of the press in London in 1967. Credit Les Lee/Daily Express, via Getty Images

Countries, like the people who live in them, go through periods of anxiety and depression. Right now, Britain is pessimistic and demoralized, so much so that 2017 promises to be an “annus horribilis” more profound than the one famously described by Queen Elizabeth II nearly a quarter-century ago. She was referring to events in her own family, principally the separation of her eldest son, Prince Charles, from his wife, Diana. But the Windsors’ marital woes in 1992 are as nothing compared with the country’s current low spirits.

The sense of a nation mired and stalled is only more acute because Britain celebrates the 50th anniversary this year of the passage of what was arguably the most socially progressive legislation in its history: the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality in July 1967 and the legalization of abortion in October.…  Seguir leyendo »

British Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on Monday. Credit Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Just under a year ago, a referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union ended the career of a Conservative prime minister, David Cameron. Now a general election called to strengthen the position of his successor, Theresa May, has brought her to the brink. Mrs. May is clinging on, but a country already reeling from three terrorist attacks in as many months has the most fragile government in living memory.

Some supporters of the opposition Labour Party are cheering, buoyed by the fact that their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, ran a more effective campaign than had been predicted. But no one should crow over last week’s extraordinary results, which have precipitated a deep political crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »