This week: Charles Taylor, Gunther von Hagens and Laura Robson

Diamond geezer
Charles Taylor
Say what you like about Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, currently facing a war crimes trial in The Hague. And people are saying plenty. A very bad lot is Taylor, if the prosecutors are to be believed.
But he must have some compassion somewhere, for he, it seems, is the only thing that stands between Naomi Campbell and a subpoena to the court where prosecutors would have her address claims that the former president gifted her a blood diamond.
She says it isn’t so. Mia Farrow says it is and she knows because Campbell blurted it out during dinner at Nelson Mandela’s house when both were in the company of Michael Jackson’s producer Quincy Jones. Taylor says calling Campbell would be a publicity stunt and, of course, he is right to worry for her. She finds the glare of publicity harsh enough as it is.
Charging an arm and a leg
Gunther von Hagens
No body part too small, no fee too big for German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who despite his own deep aversion to the limelight makes headlines again with his mail-order shop flogging off body parts for a pretty price.
Cross-section of the human pelvis: €300 (£250); head and brain a slice: €1,500; charred lung of a smoker: €3,600; full cross-section of a body: €11,000. It’s €360 for a human testicle. The buy one get one free promotion does not apply.
Courting controversy
Laura Robson
She’ll make us proud one day, winning one tennis grand slam or another. But the British wunderkid appears to have fallen victim to that serious celebrity condition, inexplicable apology syndrome. “Some of the tennis girls, they’re sluts,” she apparently told a gleeful Vogue magazine.
One firestorm later, the apology. “I made a totally inappropriate, throwaway comment without considering the consequences. I still have a lot to learn on and off the court, and clearly I need to be a lot more careful about how silly remarks may come across when taken out of context.”
But what did that mean? That she didn’t say it? Didn’t mean it? Or that she is sorry that she said it and it was printed? It wasn’t clear, but then the apology game never is.
What they said
‘That was very boring. Is that what passes for fun under the coalition?’
A disgruntled correspondent rounds on the Downing Street spokesman having been promised laughs and more during David Cameron’s first PMQs.
‘It would be a great deprivation if the book should disappear and be replaced by something with a battery.’
Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer at the Hay festival. No great fan of the iPad.
‘I have more influence when I am in the political system.’
John Prescott explaining why he will be better placed to save the planet as a Labour peer.
What we’ve learned
• Drinking coffee in the morning does not make you more alert
• Sarah Ferguson is an expensive date when she has had a drink
• Inter-city trains grind to a halt in the presence of too many dandelion seeds
• Dirty windscreens caused 163 accidents and six deaths in 2008. Where bugs were the problem, the hawk moth was probably to blame
… and what we haven’tIn the event of a fatwa on standup comedians, would Lembit Opik live or die?