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November 24,l996




From Lesley Hussell in Paris

When Isabelle Adjani learned that the Oscar-winning actor who had been part of her life for six turbulent years and gave her a son had married, her first thought was to pick up the telephone.

Despite the pain and heartache he had brought her during their relationship-- eventually leaving her while she was pregnant with baby Gabriel-Kane-- the beautiful French actress wanted to congratulate Daniel Day-Lewis and the woman who shared his home.

But although she was all too familiar with his wayward past, nothing could have prepared her for the reaction when Day-Lewis's girlfriend, Deya Pichardo, answered her call to their New York flat.

For the 26-year old fitness trainer she assumed was his bride had been deceived, and had no idea that the actor had, in fact, married playwrite Arthur Miller's daughter, Rebecca.

Adjani recalled that appalling incident yesterday as she spoke about her former lover for the first time after his surprise wedding. She told of her sympathy for Deya and said her great wish was that this marriage would mean no more women would suffer the heartbreak of his infidelity.

"I hope this means an end to further betrayals, she said.

She spoke to The Mail on Sunday in an exclusive interview at her Paris Apartment on the day her former lover called-- without seeing her-- to visit his 18 month old son under the terms of an access agreement.

Adjani talked at length without a trace of bitterness, envy or anger, even though she revealed the actor made no financial contribution to his son's upbringing, did not see him for five months between last December and May this year and did not even send the little boy a birthday present.

Instead she explained she had broken her long silence about one of Britain's most enigmatic and talented actors in the hope that he would realise he could no longer treat women badly.

"I feel such sympathy for Deya, for no woman should be put in a situation where they have to discover that the man they loved and had faith in is actually a Lothario who had deceived them," she said.

Sitting in her comfortably furnished lounge with a big log fire burning in the grate, she spoke from the heart, carefully choosing her words with controlled emotion.

As Gabriel-Kane played with his nanny in an adjoining room, Adjani spoke of her surprise at hearing how Day-Lewis had wed-- and how she inadvertently broke the news herself to devastated Deya.

"I received a short, handwritten note from Daniel by Federal Express on the very day of the wedding," she said. "I had no idea, but I always think when you are taken by surprise you should react gracefully."

SHE added: "I managed to get his phone number in New York as I only have his voicemail number, which is quite inappropriate considering we have a child. I rang to congratulate him and Deya answered the phone. I asked if I could speak to Daniel as I had just received his note about the wedding and I wanted to congratulate them both.

"Then I realised it was a terrible shock to her and that she was not his betrothed. I was so embarrassed. She didn't have a clue. I felt as if I was in a movie-- it didn't feel real."

Her striking black hair tumbling loose, and wearing studious round glasses, Adjani said with feeling: "I just don't want to see women being treated like that. We are big girls, we can cope, but we don't want to be lied to. To be a womanizer is fine if you love women, but you have to treat them with respect by telling them from the beginning you'll never be able to be faithful.

"A man who is volatile and unfaithful should not be judged as long as he doesn't present himself as the man of your dreams.

"I wish Daniel had told me who he was when we first met. I would have smiled and said, `Sure, you're incredibly charming but I believe in a real relationship and fidelity. Sure love at first sight and passion are wonderful to experience but love has to be built on trust and knowledge. It's been delightful to meet you but I'm not the right girl for you."'

She said she discovered too late that Day-Lewis was an inveterate womanizer.

"When you're first in love with a man you don't investigate. Perhaps you are even happy not to know he is not quite the perfect Prince Charming.

"I only hope Daniel is sincere to Rebecca right now.

"When I think back over our six years together, yes, he was womanising but I didn't find out right away.

"Our relationship was perceived as very "on and off". When he was seen with other women people assumed we were not together and it was confusing for me.

"I hear his romance with Rebecca Miller is very sudden, and that they have not been seeing each other for a year as reported.

"I can understand Deya's hurt and disappointment at the unfairness.

ISABELLE added "Women too often submit to a conspiracy of silence out of dignity, shyness and kindness. But one day the time comes to speak out."

Smiling, she joked lightly: "Maybe he didn't tell us he was getting married because he was scared Deya or any ex-girlfriend still trying to understand "where she went wrong" would rush into the church at the moment when the priest asks if anyone knows of any impediment to the marriage, and have a girlie chat with the bride-to be."

Adjani dismissed the idea that Day-Lewis had fought shy of commitment. He had asked her to marry him early in their relationship. "I am among the women he asked to marry him. I do have an engagement ring, and a wedding ring was chosen too, and he's got his. I have mine in a box and it will remain in a box.

"The problem is he wanted us to get married in the next five minutes, whereas a woman needs to think it over carefully if she believes in the sacraments of marriage as I do. I said I wanted to take some time over it."

"She told how the idea died when Day-Lewis had a nervous breakdown with hallucinations on stage while he was performing Hamlet in l989.

"As any woman loves a man, I wanted to help very badly.

"I think Daniel would like to be seen as strong all the time and unfortunately I had witnessed something he was ashamed of. A spell had been broken, though he had no reason to be ashamed of sorting out his personality."

"I trusted him because he told me only loyalty mattered to him and he could never be with two people at once but later I had to accept the reality that he was consistently inconstant. I was not angry, just very sad.

"In l993 we broke up, and after fighting in the name of love I let him go and wished him happiness. If you really love someone, no matter how hard it is, you find the strength in your heart to let them free and bless them." But Adjani said eight months later, after various liaisons, he came back.

"He said he bought a house in Ireland which he wanted to be mine, too. He said, Do you think I could be a father, I want a child. How many do you want?

SHE said: "I welcomed him back happily, thinking things had changed. But I wanted it to be real and I didn't want to be put through what I'd been put through before.

"So I completely furnished the house and was ready to move to Ireland and then, on holiday in August, l994, I became pregnant.

"But Daniel was not very well, he said something was wrong with his head and he finally checked in to a clinic outside Paris."

She said: "I told him I was pregnant before he went in-- not by fax as has been mistakenly reported-- and I went to see him once while he was there, confident he'd get better in time. My love for him did not waver but I guess he did not feel the same.

"We never saw each other again. He never told me it was over. I wish he had because I like clarity.

"I suppose misplaced hope promises disappointment. He never came to see me while I was pregnant and he didn't enquire about me. After discovering other indiscretions I finally had to stop making excuses for him. I went to New York to give birth away from the glare of the media.

"He started to send me mixed messages, saying he honestly could say he loved me.

"I didn't know whether to trust him but I thought I owed it to our child to try again.

"He asked to be present at the birth. I said it was too painful when a man doesn't love a woman any more, but I thought I had to give him a second chance. I would never have forgiven myself if the child asked why I had not let his father be there for him.

"But in fact he wasn't there during the birth. He came to see Gabriel-Kane right after he was born.

"He greeted me vaguely, he looked at our baby, the midwife put him in his arms for a few minutes, then he left.

Adjani is reluctant to admit it, but when pressed agrees Day-Lewis did not send her flowers and that she soon discovered he had been in New York to stay with his then girlfriend, Julia Roberts.

"When I realized the trip was not just to celebrate Gabriel-Kane's birth, I felt incredibly sad for my child.

"Daniel did not realise the offence he caused to me and our child by pretending to have been in New York just for the birth when really he was with another woman.

"It is with a lot of regret and sadness that I realised that perhaps the most important thing for him was to be able to say to his relatives and the Press that he is not a bad father."

"She said it did not matter to her that Day-Lewis made no financial contribution to her child's upbringing since she was able to provide for him herself.

Asked if Day-Lewis is a good father, she said "I just hope he will be and will learn to be. My child's happiness does not depend on whether or not his father can make me happy.

"His father loves him. I love him. His father will always be his father and I will protect his image and keep the channels open so love can grow between them.

"Daniel is a very talented actor. Gabriel-Kane will grow up admiring his father and Daniel will probably become a hero." And when fathers are absent.

"It is for us mothers to accept that when fathers are absent, and to hope that they will still be there for many years."

Yesterday Adjani left her Paris flat before Day-Lewis arrived to visit his for three hours under.

She explained with a broad smile: "There is no reason for us to meet unless it is to talk about Gabriel-Kane. There is no point to us appearing like a pair of tragic heroes like Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights."

Asked if she still loves him at all, she replied: "Perhaps the man I loved was only in my imagination. The man I know today, I couldn't love. But I will always remember I loved him.

"Daniel has little time with Gabriel-Kane it is best that he spends that time without me being around. It is good that they bond outside of my presence. It is fair for both father and son.

WHEN I asked whether she would see her former lover again, she laughed: "I'll invite him to my wedding-- but I'll send him a proper invitation and give him proper notice!"

Adjani disclosed that she now hopes to find love with another man-- though she has yet to find the right person.

"The thing I hope and want most in my life is to find a man I can love, for me and Gabriel-Kane.

"I have been so busy being a mother that I have not had time to socialize.

"But I have truly no more time in life to waste in making a mistake. It must be the right person.

"I used to think that love conquers all and could cure anything, but now I know I'm not cut out to be a nurse-- or a nun!

She went on: "I am back as myself, peaceful, balanced and happy in motherhood, my work, my morals and my beliefs in life.

"I haven't met a new man yet. I think it is Ok for a woman to be alone a long as she is not lonely.

"I feel free and relieved. I feel at peace. Daniel is behind me and what is in front of me is my future as a woman, as a mother and as an actress."

Next spring she will be President of the Cannes Film Festival and is to make a film with Gerard Depardieu in the summer.

Thinking of her dazzling public image as a screen star, she chuckled: "It makes me laugh. Oh my God, when it comes to real life, if people knew all I want is sincerity, peace and simplicity."