Author's note. I would like to thank my friend Jaycaster for providing the idea for this blog and for giving me access to pics and background information.
Paula Hamilton was a British fashion model in the 1980's. She had a perfect figure, radiant smile, and curly blonde hair to kill for (I have a hair fetish but more on that in a later blog).
Paula's start in modeling was not easy. She is dyslexic and did not learn to read until she was 11. She bounced from school to school. Paula lost her virginity at the age of 16 to Simon Cowell; the British TV personality. Simon attended the same school as Paula. He, apparently protected her from bullies and was rewarded with a 'toss in the hay'.
She traveled around the world in the early 80's but stardom was elusive. Stops included Japan, France, and Italy.
Hamilton hit the jackpot at the age of 26, when she appeared in an iconic 1987 television advertisement for the Volkswagen Golf automobile. Hamilton, made up to resemble Diana, Princess of Wales, is seen leaving her husband, posting her wedding ring back through the letterbox, throwing away her pearl necklace, throwing her broach towards a cat, and ditching her fur coat – but keeping the car keys. "If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen" ran the tagline. The commercial began a new era in car advertising.
In the late 80's, Paula was at the height of her fame. She was earning well over 1,000 Euros per day as a model. Unfortunately, Paula had deep dark demons. She battled alcohol and cocaine abuse and suffered from depression and bipolar disorder in addition to dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, and Asperger Syndrome.
Shortly after filming of the VW ad campaign, Paula broke her leg at a nightclub. News reports at the time said Paula was leaving the club when a patron fell off a stage and broke both her tibia and fibula. Not wanting to have visible scars on her leg, Paula opted for conservative treatment and spent months in a full leg cast.
In the 90's and early 2,000's, Paula lived a life of ups and downs. She married a camera man and divorced within months. She became sober several times but, invariably, fell off the wagon. She found God in New Zealand. And then lost Him in a haze of alcohol and cocaine parties. She tried to commit suicide by walking into the sea naked and drunk but the sea 'spat her out.'
Things got even rougher in 2012 when Paula was arrested for drunk driving after crashing her car late at night while trying to avoid a deer. Paula lost several teeth and her fall from sobriety and struggle with demons became national news again.
Just when things couldn't get any darker for Paula, she was arrested in 2013 for assaulting a police office with a a 14 foot sunflower. This certainly puts Paula's drunken actions in the category of 'Truth is stranger than fiction." Paula had been drinking heavily and her erratic actions were reported to police by neighbors. The poor responding constable found himself being thrashed by Paula with a 14' 'Great Mammoth Sunflower'. Paula later said she was simply presenting the constable a 'gift'. Eyewitnesses did not agree. Paula was fined 1,000 Euros and subject to more national ridicule.
Paula has settled into relative obscurity in recent years. Now in her late 50's, it is safe to assume that Paula is not in a better place now than she was 7 years ago. In her defense, I feel sorry for Paula. I have researched a great deal about her for this blog. In spite of numerous mental conditions, she managed to rise to the apex of the modeling profession. By all accounts, she is a kind and gentle soul - at least when sober.
Bonus Section. For those of you interested, here is the commercial that projected Paula Hamilton to word side fame.
And, as most of you know, Princess Di, the subject of the commercial, was lucky enough to wear a full leg cast during her teens after tearing ligaments during a skiing accident.