Byline: LINA DAS
Braving bad weather and bad-tempered cows, ten spoilt youngsters, from some of the richest and most famous families, herd 200 cattle over 100 miles of mountainous terrain in the U.S.
state of Colorado for a new TV show. They are roughing it in campsites for a month, all in aid of raising money for mentally and physically disabled children. But, far from being judged on their herding performance, it was team work and attitude that counted.
And you can't buy that anywhere.
The Hon ALEXANDER CLIFFORD, 19, son of the 14th Baron Chudleigh, is set to inherit Ugbrooke, the historic family home in Devon and its 3,800-acre estate. He says:
When I first met the others, travelling on the private jet to Colorado, the talk was all of Gucci and Prada. The conversations were littered with phrases such as, 'I think Gucci even has their own cowboy range now.' I've been taught not to judge people, but I didn't need to because the stereotypes were there.
With the odd exception, like Alex [son of the actor Anthony Quinn], I felt they were all superficial and materialistic. I was astounded at how much pocket money they got. One girl was getting more than [pounds sterling]4,000 a month for expenses. She was great fun, but she was a spoilt brat - pretty much all of them were. I was the odd one out, really.
I went to Millfield public school and have been around people with money all my life, but I think it's important to be able to handle it. It does help if you can do that with class.
They just don't have that - they are nouveau riche. They asked me about my allowance - I have one, but not on their scale - and I said that we just don't talk about money in Britain.
It was so ludicrious to hear that Fabian's [a Manhattan It boy] monthly phone bill alone is [pounds sterling]1,600 that you had to laugh. Fabian is the king of complainers. He doesn't accept 'no' for an answer and his rules are never to get hurt, never get dirty and never put himself out.
He flashes around his black American Express card, which is only issued to the super wealthy and which his Daddy obviously pays for - he's money, money, money. He even couriered out tequila, two digital cameras, and one of each of Pizza Hut's pizzas - all on separate deliveries - to the cattle drive, which was in the middle of nowhere. When he couldn't be bothered to wash his dirty underwear, he couriered out 30 pairs of designer boxer shorts and matching T-shirts.
My father brought me up to treat money with respect. We are not ridiculously rich - it's all tied up in land - so I've never had cash flashed in my face like they have. I went shopping with the girls after the show and they spent [pounds sterling]2,000 in one spree. It was crazy. I could never fall for one of those girls - no, no, no. I'd be broke. If I brought someone like them home I'd lose my inheritence.
I was amazed to see one girl bring an entire set of Louis Vuitton luggage with her. I had a wheelie suitcase, which became the laughing stock of the group and was nicknamed 'the Tupperware box'. I didn't mind because I teased the Americans, saying that I have chairs in my house that are older than their country.
I have grown up in a beautiful home designed by Robert Adam with gardens designed by Capability Brown. The dining room table can sit 25. The house is open to the public for a limited season. It is a home, albeit grand. I'm inviting the Cattle Drive group over for a dinner party and they will be able to see another side of the concept of wealth.
A lot of the behaviour was cringeworthy and I felt some of the others looked down on the cattle drive cowboys, who showed us what to do, whereas I got on well with them. Most of us, however, came back humbler - with the exception of Fabian, who became more obnoxious and said that he appreciated room service even more.
COURTENAY SEMEL, 23, is the daughter of Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo! and the former boss of Warner Bros. She is single and lives in West Hollywood. She says:
When I was nine, I had a role in the movie Hudson Hawk as a bratty kid and, when it came to Cattle Drive, I gave the show a brat times ten. I could have been on my family's yacht, but I did this instead. I honestly thought we were going to have a trailer with a hair stylist and a makeup artist. Showering was a nightmare. We had to pour buckets of water over our heads. I could barely lift mine and there was always a brown film at the bottom of the bucket. In the end I gave up on showering, even though I felt disgusting.
I thought that Joshua, the cattle drive boss, was picking on me. I couldn't get on my horse because my jeans were a bit tight and Joshua said that that should teach me not to wear Gucci jeans. But he got it so wrong. Who actually wears Gucci jeans? No one.
Alex Quinn and I hit it off but, when you're in the middle of the wilderness with cow dung on you and you can't shave your legs, then nothing romantic is going to happen.
The first night there I was very unhappy and wanted to go home. I phoned my dad to ask him to get me out, but when I got hysterical, he put the phone down. I kept calling him but he refused to help. He'd taken care of all my messups before - parking tickets, my car getting towed, me not being able to get to classes in New York because it was too cold - and wanted me to take responsibility for a change.
I was born in Beverly Hills and grew up in Bel Air. My dad was head of Warner Bros, so I grew up around film stars. Every summer, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman would join us on vacation. Once, when I was sick in bed, my mum asked me to come downstairs and, when I did, there were Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. They said, 'If you sing for us, we'll sing for you,' and they ended up singing Think Of Me from Phantom Of The Opera.
Michael Jackson came to our house, too. He said to my mum, 'Can you clean the toilet before I use it?' - although I doubt she went in there with a toilet brush. He didn't want to hang out with the adults and so he hung out with us kids in my room and we all told stories to one another.
I've known Paris Hilton ever since nursery school and, as much as people say she's dumb, she's created a formula that works for her and, businesswise, she's done really well. At school, she was wearing makeup and skirts that were too short from the age of 12.
Growing up in Hollywood makes you extra competitive. You never feel pretty or thin enough. I had eating disorders and suffered from depression. There was pressure, even when I was a teenager, to have plastic surgery.
I considered liposuction and, had I really wanted it, I'm sure my mum would have let me. At college I got into drugs and drank and went to rehab, but I'm fine now. My parents give me an allowance of [pounds sterling]4,000 a month, but I want to do something with my life, such as helping kids with drug problems and eating disorders. I hope I can be a role model.
ALEX QUINN, 28, is the son of acting legend Anthony Quinn, who died four years ago.
He is separated from his wife, and lives and works in Los Angeles as an actor. He says: When I was deciding whether to do the show or not, I considered what my father would have thought and was mindful of his legacy.
He was a very outdoorsy, rugged man, and I think he would have encouraged me to do it. He would have loved to have done a cattle drive, but he would never have done a reality television show.
I enjoyed being on the cattle drive. The physical aspect was challenging but not difficult. The hardest part was being around some of the complaining and the negativity of the others. Some of the kids had been a bit spoilt and so, when one of them complained, it tended to escalate from one person to another.
Courtenay came across as bratty, but I think she only acted like that because she knew people expected it of her. I didn't plan on having a romance while I was there, but something just happened between us. I was flattered that the women found me attractive, because, if you'd met me five years ago, you'd have seen me seven stone heavier. Getting attention from women is new to me and, although I've never felt that I had to live up to my father's reputation as a great lover of women, I've always been aware of his reputation.
My father had 13 children and I was born during a seven-year affair he had with my mother, Friedel Dunbar, while he was married to his second wife, Iolanda. My father didn't spend much time with me and my brother while we were growing up in Beverly Hills because Iolanda wouldn't let him. By the time his marriage was ending, I was 16 and we were able to have a wonderful relationship.
Life with my father was never dull. I miss the yachts in Monte Carlo, the private jets, and seeing how happy he made the people he met. But there were sad moments, too: he never came to father-son events at school. I would have to go with someone else's father.
As I got older, I fell in love with acting and he wasn't too pleased. He said, 'Fine, but don't expect me to make any phone calls for you.' At first I was hurt, but then I realised he was doing it for my own good. He wanted me to earn my own successes. He had made it from nothing and he instilled that same work ethic in me. As a result, I've always worked - he paid for my food, housing and school, but that was it.
My mum was also reluctant to give me money. I grew up with friends such as Scott Caan [son of James Caan] and Sage Stallone [son of Sylvester Stallone].
Their parents would give them [pounds sterling]50 spending money, while my mother gave me [pounds sterling]5.
It was quite embarrassing.
HAYLEY GIRALDO, 20, is the daughter of guitarist Neil Giraldo and rock singer Pat Benatar. She lives on her own in Malibu. She says:
When I agreed to do the show, I had no idea we'd be roughing it as much as we had to. We rode six hours a day and it was really hard as I had no previous ranching experience, and we ended up staying in places where there were bears and rattlesnakes. And, when it came to the actual cattle drive, I thought we'd maybe do a little and then the ranchers would do the rest, but they made us do everything they did. We even had to kill, skin and cook a rattlesnake.
Still, we all kept the skins and we're now going to make bracelets out of them.
In the beginning, we all wanted to look cute but, by the end, we gave up. We had been told not to bring really nice clothes as they'd get ruined but, of course, we all wanted to look good on TV. Someone brought five pieces of Louis Vuitton luggage with her and, in the end, all the girls just dipped into her suitcases and wore her stuff. I started out wearing these little tops, but then my straps would fall down and I'd have to keep pulling them up which would make me lose my reins and then Joshua, the cattle boss, would start shouting at me.
My parents love the show because they say I don't act like a brat. I've been touring with my mum ever since I was nine months old and I love to travel. I went to school with the children of people such as Mel Gibson, Michael Landon and Rick Springfield, but it was all very normal. No one went, 'Oh look, there's Mel Gibson.' Sometimes people would be in the house and I wouldn't have a clue who they were and it was only when I got older that I'd think: 'Oh, that was Fleetwood Mac.' And on my birthday, I'd get presents from the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Deborah Harry.
Mum never spoiled me and raised me never to take things for granted so, if I asked for a Range Rover, for example, she wouldn't just give it to me. Now I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I design jewellery and love to cook, sing, dance and act, and I've even been the warm-up on stage for my mum. I learnt a lot from the cattle drive and I think the ranchers learnt a lot from us, too. At least the cowboy, Joshua, learnt never to wear Gucci jeans.
Rich Kids: Cattle Drive is on E! Sky Channel 193 on Fridays at 10pm.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Solo Syndication Limited