WHEN looking for love in a cold, uncaring world, occasionally a girl must settle for what she can get – even if that means stepping out with the son of a multimillionaire.But you can be sure that model Katy French will give it her best shot.It’s just a few short months since Katy parted from her fiancé Marcus Sweeney, amid the most rancorous public scenes imaginable.
But now she is taking the first faltering steps to recovery on the arm of Jimmy Mansfield Jr, son of Citywest tycoon, Jim Sr.
The couple was spotted canoodling at the Miss Ireland pageant on Saturday night, with witnesses saying the two were clearly together.
The news comes not long after she was reported to be spending time with TV presenter Brian Ormond, and Katy is insisting that she is single.
One of Katy’s friends told journalists yesterday: ‘It is only early days yet and Katy is taking things slowly. She wants to avoid getting into another doomed relationship.’
Jimmy’s younger brother PJ is married to Miss Ireland organiser and former titleholder Andrea Roche, Katy’s colleague at model agency Assets.Jimmy also works closely with his father, whose wealth was estimated at €383.9m by Estates Gazette in Britain last year. The valuation was based largely on his ownership of 164 acres of land at Citywest.
But Mansfield Sr’s total land bank is believed to be closer to 2,200 acres, including about 1,000 acres that have been rezoned for housing.
Included in his ever-expanding property portfolio are the Citywest Hotel and Weston Aerodrome, situated between Lucan and Celbridge.
Katy was dumped by Mr Sweeney before Christmas when he walked into a lingerie shoot she was doing for a newspaper in his restaurant.
The enraged restaurateur claimed his fiancée had solemnly promised she was giving up underwear modeling for good.
The split became even more public when text messages exchanged by the pair were leaked to the national news to be followed by a confrontation on Joe Duffy’s Liveline show on RTE radio.
Astonishingly, despite the rancor of the break-up – which Katy has chronicled in her occasional newspaper column – the pair did rekindle their romance last month.
However the reconciliation was short-lived and they split again soon after. A friend said: ‘The split was tough on Katy, as it would be for anyone. But now it looks like she’s moving on.’