Melanie Verwoerd; Tarred and feathered.

I don’t think I’ve ever put pen to paper before where it didn’t involve some prescribed drug or other, but there’s always a first time for everything; well maybe not!

I was so looking forward to reading Melanie Verwoerd’s new book ‘When we dance’ but alas it was taken off the shelves on the day it was due to be released. Ms Verwoerd is the late Gerry Ryan’s girlfriend, a former Unicef executive and a former South African Ambassador. She was previously married to the grandson of a senior Apartheid figure who both later joined Nelson Mandela’s ‘African National Congress’. So it seems that she is no stranger to doing ‘what she thinks is right’; whatever the consequences. Her book was taken off the shelves this week, when one of Gerry’s friends ‘Dave Kavanagh’ took an injunction application under ‘The Defamation Act‘ against the publishers (Liberties Media Ltd).

It seems to me that Ms Verwoerd has consistently been treated very shabbily by RTE and Gerry’s so-called friends. She spent the last two years with Gerry, they were obviously deeply in love; and yet she was overlooked by the tribute show that RTE put on for him? She maintains that the people on the tribute show “were not “truly close to Gerry” and had not been “around him in the last two years as his friend”. It looks like she wasn’t even invited to the tribute show; Nice touch RTE!

In the Independent today: “Speaking about the extract in which Ms Verwoerd describes Gerry’s relationship with the RTE panel on the tribute night, veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne brushed off the question: ‘I couldn’t care less what she thinks’.” Yep, to me that shows exactly how friendly old Gaybo was to Gerry. I wonder if Gerry would have said the same about Kathleen Watkins in the same circumstances; I think not!

Pat Kenny was also quoted in the Irish Independent today as saying “Gerry wrote his own book and he had a chance to share all of this. But he chose to share none of his difficulties and he didn’t intend for any of them to be in the public domain… So I don’t know why Melanie has decided to do this. And I think it’s very sad that she has.” SAD? I think it’s even sadder that he allowed himself to negatively comment on a book written by Gerry’s partner. Surely she’s entitled to tell her story? I’m sure Gerry would be so proud of his ‘friend’ Pat and again (in my humble opinion) shows the level of friendship the latter held.

What is interesting here is that she is perfectly entitled to write her life story, and Gerry was part of it, whether or not Irish history would like to blank it out. He wasn’t with his wife; get over it. For whatever reason, they had split up years before and he was in a new relationship; what’s so difficult to understand here? The publicity surrounding this book seems to suggest that she has an ulterior motive for writing it. What could that be, fame or fortune? She is arguably much better known than Gerry and I doubt very much if she’s penny-less.

Ok so; the facts are that Ms Verwoerd lost her partner in tragic circumstances, then lost her job as a consequence of that same relationship. Is that not enough suffering? Is she not entitled to tell her story? Is this the new version of the old practice of ‘tar and feathering’ as a public humiliation? I’m sure Gerry would be so proud of his so called ‘old friends’.

This all stinks of a ‘more affluent’ form of bullying to me.

Related or not?

Interesting fact; Miss Verwoerd  said that Gerry was ‘so stressed by his financial predicament that his doctor had prescribed him Xanax and Stilnoct‘. Anyone interested in the possible adverse-effects can click on the links.

7 thoughts on “Melanie Verwoerd; Tarred and feathered.

  1. I didn’t realise Dave Fanning was such a bully, he kept saying Maura and the Kids over and over and over again, like totally disrespecting Melanie, she has a right to be counted and they all need to get over themselves – bullies r us! eh?


  2. Well, to be honest, I didn’t read that, just that he said “”I like reading biographies, fiction is not really my thing.” Bit sarcastic but he’s entitled to have an opinion. It was the others dismissing her that seemed to be horrible and nasty. Gerry would surely have hated the way she was treated. Ryan Tubridy remained dignified in his silence; pity the other ‘celebrities’ didn’t follow suit!


  3. What a wonderful spot on article! The treatment of Ms Verwoerd is very much bullying with RTE boys club closing ranks. I note there are very few female voices in the mix? From the behaviour of RTE and its “spokesmen” it is like the Catholic Church in Ireland in the past. I applaud her bravery & her courage & I hope her book sales in Ireland will reflect that Gerry’s “friends” are in the minority with their provincial viewpoints. Although sadly I have to say I am not altogether surprised.


    1. Thanks Patricia,
      Tony bought the book for me last weekend. The levels of bullying that Melanie Verwoerd was subjected to was much, much worse than I had thought.
      The women? Well there was always the zip up your **** Twink, who said “The whole thing is gut-wrenchingly awful.” Actually, I’ve always liked Twink. Maybe she meant the situation?
      It’s interesting that Gerry took Pfizer’s Lipitor regularly. I’ve looked on the RxISK website and it reports 1,657 deaths and 511 Cardiac disorders reported to be due to Lipitor. Mixed with Xanex, what’s the chances of an adverse reaction? I believe Melanie Verwoerd when she says that Gerry did not touch cocaine during the 2 years that they were together; the last night is still a mystery.
      If Gerry had friends in RTE, would friends really treat his partner like that? I’d say he’d be disgusted. Who needs enemies?


      1. When I look at photos (online, google images) of Gerry Ryan specifically during last 3 years of his life can one not see the glassy skin? The puffed cheeks? Indeed he was a big man….but his face at times looks distorted. This is not a mark of disrespect to the man but it seems looking back that he could also have been a functional alcoholic. Whatever about the drugs, who knows.


  4. Hi John,
    I do understand where you’re coming from and I too thought that he looked really unhealthy in his TV interview shows in the months before he died. Sweaty and uncomfortable. Melanie Verwoerd said that Gerry drank very little, despite portraying otherwise to his listeners.. just part of his public persona, I think. His doctor, who knew him well, would hardly have prescribed him Xanax if he knew he was drinking alcohol?
    “Do not drink alcohol while taking Xanax. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.”

    You might find it interesting, that since I wrote that comment 4 months ago, the deaths from Lipitor have risen to 1791 and Cardiac disorders to 566… so you know what I think.

    The airwaves though, are certainly not the same without him.


    1. Stress and ill health:
      Gerry Ryan was a lovable character retain a child-like wonder he enjoyed life to the full.
      Given the possible links between stress and illness it is pertinent to explore his specific illness. Why he went to the doctor for regular check-ups?
      Why he became hypochodriac?Condition that is associated with stress,and particularly work stress is having an ulcer.Stress has also been linked to the exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis, particularly when under sever emotional distress(Crawford 1981).Stress has been implicated in a similar manner for cancer(cooper 1988). Gerry Ryan had a lot of stress.
      I am very sad to read this unpleasant fact today.He was taking Xanax three days prior to his death barely mentioned.
      This is because when they train to become psychiatrist they learn nothing about humanity.Illness has psychological,emotional,and social consequences and such psychosocial needs must be met if psychiatry care is to be comprehensive.
      The common assumption that doctors can cure us is frequently false; many medical conditions are chronic and we have to learn to live with them.No system can cure disease.No person can cure you of your ailments, aches, pains.The human body is self-repairing and self-healing.You break a bone; the doctor sets the bone and put it into a cast.The broken bone knits again as strong as it was before the break.The internal healing forces that are within every human body.
      Clinging to illusion
      Happiness is not the same as excitement its’ not the same as thrills, that’s is the illusion, the thrill comes from living a desire fulfilled.Desire breeds anxiety.Gerry Ryan was seeking support but the feet him with drugs.What he needed was solid nutritious food and rest. Gerry Ryan the reason, was tense identify with a loyal listenership of 180,000 who tuned in 5 days a week from Monday to Friday
      Through life we face the problem of having limited skills and limited energies to perform those skills.We can never escape the boundaries of our limited knowledge wisdom and energy.Faith in God leads one to accept his limitations in ability and this leads to a quality of character call humility
      Despite all our amazing technology, They don’t have cures for many conditions that afflict us-heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma or arthritis.Medicine can help us manage illness, but in most cases there’s no way to get rid of them.Even the best physicians, the best medicine and the best technology, our bodies still wear out-we will have to face ageing, sickness and death.If health care is just about fixing us up it’s doomed to failure.Why bother about tomorrow?Get into today Live in the present moment .Love yourself don’t worry about being popular keep gentleness,flexibility openness change occurs naturally.N Kelly


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