MaltaToday: Daphne denies cosmetic surgery, tells Jason to stop being ridiculous
NEWS | Sunday, 20 January 2008

Daphne denies cosmetic surgery, tells Jason to stop being ridiculous

Karl Schembri

Star columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia has rubbished Jason Micallef’s claims that she underwent cosmetic surgery to her “face, breast and backside”, calling on the MLP Secretary General to “stop being ridiculous”.
Speaking on Bondiplus last Monday, Micallef launched a diatribe against Caruana Galizia for writing about how the Labour Party tackled Alfred Sant’s colon surgery, fuelling speculation about his health by keeping details of his ailment a closely guarded secret.
Faced with her opinion column published on The Malta Independent on Sunday earlier this month, Micallef was quick to dismiss Labour’s nemesis as a woman who “is well known for her frustrations about Alfred Sant”.
“It is journalistic frustration… for someone who gets operated upon in her face, breast and backside to appear different… her nose, her lips… I can say all this because I took advice and it is in the public domain,” he said as the programme presenter tried to dissuade him from going any further about Daphne in her absence.
When contacted, Caruana Galizia said Micallef got it all wrong.
“Jason is behaving like a prat,” she said. “I’m flattered that he thinks so, but he’s completely wrong. It’s ridiculous because what he said is totally untrue. It’s madness; they (Labour) say I am obsessed with Sant but they have a complete obsession with me. The minute you mention my name they go completely irrational.”
Caruana Galizia acknowledged that she was to an extent a public figure, but Micallef could not put her on the same footing as the potential future prime minister.
“There’s an important distinction to be drawn here. I’m a public figure as much as entertainment people are public figures, in the sense that I have no right to say ‘don’t discuss me’ but I have no duty to the public either.”
Ironically, Caruana Galizia’s article was one of her least personal ones with regard to Alfred Sant, commenting more on Labour’s policy of silence and half-truths about his illness which reminded her of “the life and times of Josef Stalin” than about him personally.
But by going down that road, Micallef must have inadvertently lifted the lid on what has long been a taboo particularly for the edgy Opposition.
Labour has been keen on crying wolf whenever the press has dared question it or raise borderline issues, such as Maurice Tanti Burlò’s cartoon depicting Sant as “King of Pooh-Land” at the end of 2006.
Caruana Galizia remains, however, the only Maltese columnist to write about Sant’s wig and most of the other public figures’ physical appearance through her acerbic pen, generating controversies and eliciting furious letters in reply.
“I have no hang-ups about that,” she said. “It’s ridiculous how people have very strange ideas as to what is good taste and bad taste. They are totally cut off from what’s written in the foreign press, so everything shocks them. The typical answer to much of what I write is ‘why doesn’t she look in the mirror?’ What kind of argument is that? What has that got to do with my arguments?”

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