Cheap Publicity Like Precision Clockwork | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 11.04.2002
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Cheap Publicity Like Precision Clockwork

In Berlin, there's much ado about the Swiss ambassador's wife, a former Mrs. Texas who has put the Alpine country on the diplomatic radar with her skimpy dress and A-list parties.


Hi y'all. The "Uncrowned Queen of the night"

As diplomats go, the Swiss ambassador to Berlin hasn’t always looked the part. Thomas Borer and his flamboyant Texan wife have grabbed the headlines like other diplomats change their ties.

The couple has made waves in the past, but they always looked on the bright side of things. This time, the papers had gone too far. And they were not going to get away with it.

At issue were the Swiss ambassador’s wife’s private parts. As it happens, they weren’t even her own. Somehow, Shawne Borer-Fielding’s head appeared on the shoulders of a topless stranger’s body in the Berlin City Guide Tip.

It wasn’t the scoop of the century, the paper was having a clumsy dig at her scantily clad appearance in Germany’s style guide magazine Max some time earlier .

A former Miss Wet T-Shirt

The article exposed the fruits of some exhaustive research on Shawne Borer-Fielding. Like she wasn’t a former Miss Texas, just a Mrs. Texas - a title she won after being crowned Miss Wet T-Shirt. An attempt at an acting career failed, according to Tip.

Though obviously no stranger to the business herself, Borer-Fielding was appalled. She took the publication to court and won this week.

Back in Switzerland, many are wondering why the couple are in the media spotlight so much. There has been talk of reining in the "Hollywood Diplomat", as the insider joke goes.

All publicity is good publicity

The tabloids in Berlin are not as fickle. "Unbelievable, that the Swiss Foreign Minister Deiss is thinking about sacking him," the popular Bild am Sonntag newspaper wrote. "The couple are one of the main attractions of diplomatic life in Berlin."

"Everyone knows the Borer-Fieldings. But who knows Swiss Foreign Minister Deiss?" the paper added.

And indeed, the Swiss Embassy in Berlin does seem to be cutting the ice with ordinary Berliners as well as the city’s celebrities and personalities.

Thomas Borer regularly invites a very mixed crowd to dine at the embassy. The dinner parties already have cult status in Berlin. The guest list attracts attention.

Last year’s August Party was the crescendo of his campaign to raise Switzerland’s stuffy image in Germany. Everyone who was anyone in Berlin went, which catapulted the couple into tabloid media stardom.

His wife has done a lot to keep the mechanics of the phenomenon well oiled. The "Uncrowned Queen of the Night", as "Die Welt" newspaper dubbed her, probably goes down so well in Berlin because she doesn’t conform to the cliché of a Swiss precision clock maker’s wife.