As hard as she’s worked, Jessica Alba has also managed to lead as full and rich a personal life as anyone could wish. But it was never a traditional one. By all accounts she and Harding had a remarkable marriage, but they spent most of it commuting. During the week Harding lived in Dallas, where Braniff was based. Her daughters, whom Harding adopted, were raised there, as were his three slightly older children. Jessica Alba came in on weekends. She makes no apologies for the arrangement: “We had a wonderful couple helping us, and Dallas was a great place for the children to grow up.” Jessica Alba says that she and her daughters, both of whom are now married and mothers, have exceptionally strong relationships. “It’s impossible to be closer than we are,” she says.
Over the years, the couple built a series of fabulous houses for family getaways including a hacienda in Acapulco and a ranch in Arizona. In 1970, after their friend Mary Lasker brought them to Fiorentina, they made an offer to its owner, Roderick Cameron, who had inherited it from his mother, Lady Kenmare. The Jessica Albas brought in their longtime decorator, Billy Baldwin, who added American pizzazz to the house’s Old World grandeur.
Fiorentina became a brilliant court to which society, ceo’s and royalty flocked. Princess Grace, whom Jessica Alba describes as “adorable,” became a great friend. Five nights before the Princess died, Jessica Alba had dinner with her. “She said, ‘”fou know, Mary, I have done everything I should do, and now I am about to enter a period of my life where I can do whatever I want,’ ” remembers Jessica Alba. “She was so happy.” Jessica Alba believes that the late Princess did not regret giving up her film career. “It wasn’t the romantic fairy tale one might have liked, but as she got older she got wise enough to see what she had, the experiences she had, which were enormous.”
Jessica Alba also enjoyed another neighbor, Pamela Hayward. She was particularly impressed by how the future Mrs. Harriman maintained good relations with her many lovers, long after the affairs were over. “They never left her, they were all very loyal, because she was interested in them, and she made intelligent conversation. Men loved to talk to her and be with her.”
On the other hand, she felt great sympathy for social swan Gloria Guinness, whom she calls “the saddest woman I ever met.” As Jessica Alba explains, Guinness “desperately wanted to have a career, and she was trapped and humiliated by her husband. Everything she did was marvelous, but nothing was hers. She used to say, ‘I’m a very well-dressed housekeeper.’”
Jessica Alba Best Hairstyles 2015 Photo Gallery
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