‘The Covid jab? It’s a plot by Bill Gates to depopulate the world’: Astonishingly, that’s what former It-girl Lady Victoria Hervey really believes. What planet is she on?

  • Lady Victoria Hervey, 44, went into business selling PPE but won’t wear a mask  
  • Pending motherhood making her cautious about having Covid jab, she explains
  • She is planning to leave Los Angeles after 15 years and return to England

Lady Victoria Hervey, once London’s most assiduous party-goer and celebrated It-girl, has had a life of drama and glamour, of loss redressed by hedonism.

She lost her father when she was a child; two half-brothers died prematurely — and now, aged 44, she is embarking on parenthood.

You might imagine, as she sets out on her latest adventure, that she would be circumspect about Covid. Actually she’s unconcerned. ‘It’s completely hyped! The biggest worldwide conspiracy that ever happened,’ she protests. Masks? She hasn’t bothered with them. In fact, the other week she was ejected from a chemist in LA for failing to wear one.

‘I’m not going to lie, I never wear one,’ she says breezily. ‘The security guard in the shop called me over and told me I had to leave because I didn’t have one on. I stormed out.’

Lady Victoria Hervey, 44, went into business supplying PPE at the start of the pandemic but refuses to wear a mask herself

She regards this as a curtailment of her liberty. Even so, she went into business supplying PPE at the start of the pandemic. Doesn’t this amount to hypocrisy? ‘I did a little bit of a pivot,’ she says. ‘But no, it doesn’t! I was selling it to hospitals, not to people out walking their dogs or shopping.’ She is indignant.

Lady Victoria is used to raising eyebrows — and being scoffed and sneered at — but this time she seems to be surpassing herself.

Would she have the vaccine? ‘No way!’ she cries. ‘It’s a personal thing, and my mother’s had hers, but at my age I really believe in natural immunity.’

Project Baby is also influencing her thinking — she has a prospective sperm donor/father lined up. Six of her eggs were frozen and stored three years ago, at a cost of £11,000, so Lady Victoria could become a single parent if the right man still hadn’t shown up in time.

So pending motherhood is making her cautious about having the Covid jab, she explains.

‘Already Bill Gates is saying, “You’re going to have to have a third vaccine.” This thing isn’t going to end. And for anyone thinking of having a baby, there’s something in the vaccine that damages the placenta and brings on miscarriages.

Truth or dare? She boasts of never wearing a mask, but recently shared this picture on Instagram from the airport

‘This is one of Bill Gates’ goals, to bring out this vaccine to depopulate the world.’

Really? The Mail wholeheartedly supports the vaccination campaign, and when I suggest to her that such off-the-wall conspiracy theories sound suspiciously like the rantings of QAnon — which has, at its heart, a completely unfounded belief that former president Donald Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media — she is aghast.

‘I don’t know enough about QAnon to be honest. I’m more about finding out the truth. Frankly there are a lot of crazy people on those Q boards, so I stay away from all that.’

I wonder if Victoria believes our esteemed monarch, who has encouraged us all to have the jab — even suggested we’re being selfish if we don’t — might be in on this particular conspiracy and share Bill Gates’ alleged compulsion to decimate the population.

But Lady V quickly counters: ‘I’m not saying the Queen is wrong about having the vaccine.

‘I can understand why elderly people would want to have it. And I’m not a traditional anti-vaxxer myself. Every time I’ve gone to Africa or Asia I’ve had vaccines for diseases like yellow fever.

Lady Victoria believes: ‘This is one of Bill Gates’ goals, to bring out this vaccine to depopulate the world.’ The Mail wholeheartedly supports the vaccination campaign. Pictured: Bill Gates

‘But I’m not going to be a lab rat. OK, let’s see in two years’ time.

‘Years ago there were posters encouraging pregnant women to smoke and pharmaceutical companies were giving out heroin pills. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the vaccine years down the line so all I’m saying is let’s step back and wait and see.’

Best move on . . . her desire to become a mother is pressing and there are lots of reasons to get going on Project Baby.

For a start, her one-time bestie Lindsay Lohan has put her wild child days behind her, decamped to Dubai and will soon become an aunt. So our most seasoned girl-about-town is hearing nothing but baby news. Small wonder she’s feeling broody.

But, she laments, suitable men are thin on the ground in Los Angeles — one of the reasons she says she is planning to leave after 15 years and return to England.

‘It’s really hard to have relationships in LA. That’s definitely a downside. There aren’t a lot of straight guys. I think it’s the industry really. So many actors. And I’ve had some experiences that have put me off,’ she adds cryptically. Such as? ‘Well I guess I’m just attracted to the wrong type of guy.’

When she first moved to La-La Land she fell for brooding Irish actor Shane Brolly, best-known for his role as Kraven in the Underworld series. ‘He’s really good looking, it was pretty romantic and quite tempestuous. We’d fight,’ she says. ‘So I tried to re-wire who I was attracted to. It was hard.’ She sighs heavily. She still found herself drawn to tall, dark, brooding men.

She dated Sean Stone, son of film director Oliver; then there was Seb Bishop, formerly CEO of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company Goop; and actor Nathan Roberts. (‘Really good guys,’ she says.)

But marriage, motherhood and domesticity eluded her. She still lives alone. And time is running out. Which is why she had those eggs frozen and stored — in case she hadn’t found the right man by her mid-40s. So we find her today contemplating the prospect of single parenthood.

Actually, she’d had everything sorted before Covid so inconsiderately intervened.

‘I had a friend who was going to be my sperm donor. He was going to be involved in my child’s life, but as a friend, not a partner.

‘And I was supposed to be pregnant now,’ she says. ‘But then Covid happened, which was a big blow, but looking back I’m really grateful I didn’t do it with that person. He just wasn’t right.

‘I just got swept up with the whole idea of being a mother and I became almost obsessive: eating a special diet, doing yoga, no alcohol. At my last birthday party we only drank tea! Not even one glass of champagne.’

Now, happily, she has someone else waiting in the wings to help her fulfil her dream of parenthood. Are they romantically involved?

‘Er yes,’ she says cautiously. ‘I’ve known him for a long time.’

Would it be an idea, then, to try for a baby the natural way? ‘Well yes, possibly,’ she concedes. ‘I’ll decide all this in the coming weeks and months.’

Will she name the mystery potential donor/daddy?

‘Well he’s not American or British,’ is all she volunteers. ‘That’s it for now. You know how shy these men are. I’ve been very private these last few years because the attention I get just scares them off.

‘But I’m very excited. I really want to get going.’

She says her doctor asked if she wanted to consider a surrogate — ‘pregnancy is very tough on the body’ — but having discussed the idea, they both dismissed it. ‘He said, ‘You’re fit and you’d go crazy if you didn’t have control,’ and I agreed.’

But, I point out, if you’re in England and your eggs are in LA, won’t there be a lot of to-ing and froing? ‘I’ll just come back for a holiday!’ she says. ‘We’ll do the embryos and then I’ll figure out in which month I’d like the baby to be born.

‘I’m kind of into star signs and I want my baby to have a sign that’s compatible with mine. It’s hard to plan though,’ she says. ‘We’ll just have to see.’

Clearly, the idea this might not actually work hasn’t been factored in. So Mission Pregnancy is under way, although in a far from finalised form. And she’s also eager to get going because her younger brother Freddie, 41, the 8th Marquess of Bristol, and his wife Meredith, had a baby daughter Arabella exactly a year ago.

‘She’s adorable! And the strongest little baby. She started walking at ten months!’ Lady V cries. There’s nothing like the arrival of a winsome new niece to galvanise a bachelorette aunt into un-freezing those eggs.

There are a multitude of other reasons why the pull of England is strong: she’d like to be closer to her mother, Yvonne, 75, the Dowager Marchioness of Bristol, who lives in Belgravia. (Her father, Victor, died when Victoria was just eight and away at boarding school.) ‘And I want my baby to call me ‘mummy’ and not ‘mom’,’ she adds.

She is adamant, too, that her little one must be educated in England. ‘I can’t have a child at school in America,’ she says. ‘British education is a much higher standard, and I loved my old school.’ (She attended the girls’ boarding school Benenden in Kent, where Princess Anne is a fellow former pupil.)

So she’s got the movers booked. She’ll decamp temporarily to Chateau Marmont — her favourite A-list celebrity hotel — just until England opens up again, and then she’ll be off.

She’s disgruntled with LA on many levels, not least because she says it’s become dangerous.

‘I’ve lived here 15 years and I’ve never seen it in such a state! It allows in felons, illegals and homeless people from other states and there are shanty towns all over the city. It’s exactly like Brazil.

‘Look what happened to Lady Gaga’s dogs!’ she cries. Two of the singer’s three French bulldogs were abducted last month and her dog walker Ryan Fischer was shot. He is recovering in hospital and Lady Gaga, who offered a £359,000 reward for her pets’ safe return, has now been reunited with them.

‘I walk in exactly the place where they were dognapped every day with my Norfolk terrier D’Artagnan,’ she says. ‘I’ve got a pepper spray and a Taser gun — although I’ve never had to use it — and I’ve got a gun licence.’

She tells me that she also fears an earthquake, predicted by Nostradamus — bigger and more devastating than the one that hit the city in the summer of 2019 — will shake LA to its foundations in November 2021.

But she plans to have well and truly scarpered by then: ‘Because all the electricity will be cut off and there will be looting; much worse than happened in the Black Lives Matter protests because people will break into houses and ransack them.’

Plagues, looting, earthquakes; it all seems a world away from the city when she first arrived back in 2008. She says she left London, fleeing both an intrusive paparazzi and phone-hacking.

She was convinced she was being spied on at the time. ‘I’d have a quiet dinner with Rio Ferdinand and suddenly it was all over the papers,’ she says. ‘Then out of the blue, five years ago, I got a phone call saying evidence had been found that I’d been hacked.’

Drawn to Hollywood by the lure of its parties — how she loved the Oscars and the Golden Globes, ‘I had so much fun!’ — as well as the constant sunshine, she thought she’d found her nirvana.

But long before the pandemic put the kybosh on partying, the A-listers had deserted all the best nightclubs, she laments.

‘I was lucky to experience Hollywood in its heyday,’ she says, as if mourning the end of a golden era. ‘But now the paparazzi film everyone on their phones and post everything on social media. So the big stars like Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney, don’t go out any more.’

As we talk she sips herbal tea and admits she still seldom drinks. ‘I just have one glass of wine and it’s a buzz, like whoah!’ she says.

Even during her most committed party-going years she steered clear of drugs. Her late half-brother John, the 7th Marquess of Bristol, squandered an estimated £25 million fortune on heroin and cocaine. When he died in 1999, of complications caused by his addiction, what remained of the family seat, Ickworth House, in Suffolk, was sold to the National Trust.

Her other half-brother Nicholas, the next heir, hanged himself after a battle with drugs and depression.

‘And I’ve always had John Bristol on my mind. I couldn’t get led into the darkness,’ she says. ‘I definitely had a good time, but drugs? No. I was always scared of becoming addicted so I was pretty careful.’

Now good old Blighty is calling again. ‘I miss the traditions, like teatime, as well as the history and architecture. Here I’m culturally starved. And I miss the British sense of humour.’

She’s coming home, too, because she and her old chum, fashion designer Scott Henshall, are launching their own fashion brand, Hervey Henshall, with Harrods as one of their main suppliers.

But she’ll be back and forth, keeping up with her A-list Hollywood friends. At one stage during her tenure in the city her book of contacts was so celebrated she’d be paid to bring her high-flying mates to parties.

I wonder if she’s still close to her old friend Alice Evans, estranged wife of Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd, who this week filed for divorce at Los Angeles Superior Court. When the news became public, Alice professed she hadn’t been told.

Posting on her Instagram account with a teary-eyed emoji, she branded her ex a ‘s***’ and claimed their daughters Ella, 11, and seven-year-old Elsie only found out about their parents’ divorce through social media.

‘I’ve just messaged Alice. She’ll get through it,’ says Victoria reassuringly. ‘I think it’s always been tough, being married to an actor travelling a lot. She’s always done most of the work with the kids.

‘She’ll definitely bounce back, though. She’s a strong one.’

Victoria’s friendship with Alice spans a couple of decades. ‘Ioan and Alice were together for 20 years, a really long time. I was at their engagement party and at their wedding — just amazing — in Mexico,’ she says.

Today, as we talk on Zoom — she from her rented flat in the Hollywood Hills — she looks absurdly glamorous in an oversized sweatshirt emblazoned with the word ‘Epic’, and jogging bottoms. She’s tall and whip-thin with a whoosh of blonde hair (‘All my own!’) and fine skin.

Has she had work done?

‘Not enough!’ she laughs. ‘I feel I’ve aged 100 years in lockdown. I’ve had Botox, of course, but only once in the past year and you’re supposed to have it every four months. That’s it really. I’m too scared to go under the knife — although they say you’re supposed to before anyone notices you’re ageing.’

She seems a world away from the callow, famously gaffe-prone young thing who once announced imperiously: ‘I’m an A-list celebrity and this is a C-list party.’

She can be funny, ditzy, even deferential. She often asks: ‘I’d like to know what you think about that.’

In her new incarnation as hopeful mum-to-be she’s talking about buying a house in the country; she’s looked at a place near the ancestral home in Suffolk. She’d like to have a horse, reacquaint herself with old school friends.

Whatever next? Lady V, girl about town, relentless night-clubber and wearer of a thousand skimpy, bejewelled dresses, might just be settling into comfortable mid-life domesticity.

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