Remembering The Primrose Hill Set: The British Tabloid Darlings Of The '90s

The Primrose Hill set partied its way to tabloid infamy in the 1990s and early 2000s. Denizens of the Primrose Hill neighborhood in London (from which they got their moniker), the set included the "it" Brits of the '90s: actors like Jude Law and Sadie Frost, his then-wife; supermodel Kate Moss; rockers Liam and Noel Gallagher and Rhys Ifans; actress Davinia Taylor; and their pals. They worked together in movies, slept together, and most notably, partied together.

Young, beautiful, and not afraid to have some fun, the group epitomized a moment in time. The Primrose Hill Set made the rock 'n' roll lifestyle a real-life thing in the era of "Cool Britannia." However, as much as they represent the rock 'n' roll ethos of an era, the Primrose Hill set – and the intense media scrutiny they were constantly subject to – also revealed a lot about the discomfort that perceived hedonism engendered in broader society.


  • The Media Blamed Law And Frost When Their Daughter Swallowed Half An Ecstasy Tablet

     

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    In 2002, while attending a children's party at the upscale Soho House – a club that transformed into a bar at night – two-year-old Iris Law came across an ecstasy tablet on the floor. She ate half of it before anyone realized what she was doing, and Frost rushed Iris to the hospital.  

    Thankfully, Iris was fine, but Frost came under heavy scrutiny from the press who picked apart each of the decisions that led to the incident. She told the Telegraph:

    I found myself being criticized in some quarters for taking my child to Soho, for being a bad mother and being part of a wild, hedonistic London set. I don't think there's anything wrong with taking your daughter to a children's party populated by two to eight-year-olds... Jude and I aren't some wild rock 'n' roll couple.

  • Allegations Flew That The Group Was Swinging With One Another

     

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    Persistent rumors plagued the group, especially ones focusing on who was sleeping with whom at any given moment. The media seemed particularly invested in a series of rumors that focused on the female members of the Set hooking up with one another. Since the group's heyday, tell-all books and tabloid articles have continued to try to get to the bottom of the hookups. For example, the 2017 book Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 included insider revelations that claimed threesomes were common among various members of the group. However, in a 2008 interview, Davinia Taylor dismissed similar claims as, "Absolute bullsh*t."

  • Noel Gallagher Did Admit To Snorting Cocaine In The Queen's Bathroom

    While the Primrose Hill Set was certainly subject to media scrutiny and unsubstantiated rumors, they sometimes admitted to pretty salacious behavior. In 1997, Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame visited Ten Downing Street to meet then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. While there, he went into a private bathroom reserved for the exclusive use of Queen Elizabeth II. Instead of using the toilet, he snorted coke in Her Majesty's loo. Gallagher remembered the experience fondly: "As I remember, it was quite nice. It had a velvet seat and everything."

  • Jude Law And Sadie Frost Were Considered The Bad-Influence Epicenter Of The Whole Group

     

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    Many viewed Jude Law and his then-wife Sadie Frost as the epicenter of the Primrose Hill set. As a result, they were frequently cited as the real instigators and enablers of the group's perceived bad behavior. At least one person, Pearl Lowe, confirmed that Law and Frost were into spouse swapping in the bedroom. According to Lowe, she and her then-boyfriend, drummer Danny Goffey, began swinging with Law and Frost after a joint vacation in 2001. Goffey and Frost kept up the flirtation even after they came home, while Law sent Lowe sexy messages. 

  • Kate Moss's Hardcore Ways Allegedly Earned Her The Nickname "Tank"

     

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    In the '90s, Kate Moss made waves in the fashion world and beyond. Initially spotted at age 14, Moss represented a new vision of feminine beauty in the '90s and, as she ascended to supermodel status, she began drinking more and more heavily to cope with her newfound life. “Nobody takes care of you mentally,” Moss once said. “I thought I was going to die.”

    Along with then-boyfriend Johnny Depp, Moss partied like there was no tomorrow, drinking heavily and using substances regularly. In 1994, the pair wrecked a luxury, $2,200-a-night hotel room in New York City, leading to Depp's arrest. But Depp wasn't alone in his excess. Eventually, Moss's toxic intake allegedly earned her the nickname "The Tank."

  • Behind The Scenes, Bad Boy Liam Gallagher Fathered A Love Child A Few Months After Getting Married

     

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    Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher seemingly settled down when he married actress/singer/model Patsy Kensit in 1997, but trouble was brewing behind the scenes. Just four months into his marriage with Kensit, he slept with singer Lisa Moorish and conceived eldest daughter Molly. As of 2017, Gallagher has never even met Molly, telling GQ:

    But if I met her, she'd be cool. She's welcome in my world and that, you know what I mean? Without a doubt. But I just ain't met her because her mam's... Listen, we don't work. We don't get on.

    Unsurprisingly, Gallagher and Kensit divorced only three years after their marriage, finalizing their split on September 22, 2000