SCOTS lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone has revealed that her rift with Rod Stewart is still simmering – nine years later.
In Dublin this morning for a lingerie launch, Michelle revealed the Do Ya Think I’m Sexy star has yet to forgive her for controversially sacking his wife Penny Lancaster back in 2004.
The Ultimo boss famously replaced Penny with Rod’s ex-wife Rachel Hunter to be the new face of the million-pound lingerie brand.
The strategic move did not go down well with the rockstar and nine years on, the rift is still raw according to the bra queen.
Appearing on TV3 breakfast show, Ireland: AM, Michelle was grilled by presenter Anna Daly on her relationship with Stewart.
The presenter asked the entrepreneur: “What’s this I hear about you upsetting Rod Stewart? Did you sack Penny Lancaster and hire Rachel Hunter?”
Mone replied: “It’s a long story. Penny’s contract came to an end and I love Rod- he’s a legend. I knew Rachel, his ex-wife and I signed her, yes.”
“It was a long time ago. That was nine years ago. I’ve grown up since then,” she added.
When asked if they had kissed and made up since then, Mone was awkwardly forced to concede: “Errm, well, not just yet. “
Shifting in her seat and shuffling her prompt notes, she sheepishly added: “I’ve seen Penny quite a few times since then.”
A few awkward giggles later, presenter Anna Daly obviously realised the bra creator was uncomfortable with the grilling and they moved on to discuss the “body flattering” collection.
The rift first hit the headlines in 2004 when supermodel Hunter was asked to replace Lancaster as the new face for Ultimo, in a bid to launch the business internationally.
Speaking at the time, Mone said it was a “strategic move” to replace Penny with Kiwi model Rachel.
She said: “Rachel Hunter is an actress and international supermodel, a mother of two and one of the sexiest women in the world.”
Mone was in Dublin to launch new underwear range
She added: “Ultimo is moving into international markets. It was a strategic decision to find an internationally recognised new face for the brand.”
But Mone was blasted by Rod Stewart at the time for the decision and was branded a “manipulative cow” by the singer.
To make matters worse, Michelle then compared Rachel to Brazilian soccer ace Ronaldo while likening Penny to aFalkirkplayer.
Speaking about her comments at the time, Michelle recalled: “Rod was very personal. It destroyed me, which is what he aimed to do.
“It came about after I had compared Penny to a Falkirk player and said Rachel was Premier League.
“It was a stupid analogy and I meant no malice.”
The bra boss was in Dublin to launch her new underwear line Michelle Innovations with department store Dunnes Stores.