Famous model & actress (Most famous
for her role in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only")
Caroline was also the first openly-TS covergirl of Playboy magazine
Caroline is now married and lives with her husband David in Atlanta.
early eighties. A funny time, everything changing. But boys still
liked their Raleigh Choppers, Doctor Who on a Saturday afternoon.
Marmite soldiers for tea, imagining that they were James Bond, licensed
to rescue the beautiful screaming girl from the vile clutches of
of course they were the sort of boy who wanted to be the one doing
the screaming.The sort of boy who wanted to be glamourous, gorgeous
and, hopefully, gagged and bound, waiting to be whisked away in
the nick of time by a handsome man in a safari suit and an improbable
see, some boys wanted to be Bond girls. Boys like Barry Cossey,
cruelly bullied at school in Norfolk. Barry knew something was wrong
and left home in his teens to become Caroline, a Parisian topless
dancer also known as Tula.
was the archetype of the early seventies showgirl: tall, skinny,
exotically androgynous, with hormonally assisted curves and a surgically
augmented bust, the face of an angel. And a little bit extra, which
she hid with a cruelly tight customised G-string until she could
have the surgery, at the Charing Cross Hospital in London, 1974.Post-op,
Caroline's career took off. No longer a topless burlesque dancer,
she became a highly sought-after glamour model and commercials actress,
in an age when her lanky, other-worldly looks were the height of
fashion. The pinnacle, and a step onto a bigger stage, she hoped,
came in 1980 when she was cast in the Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
The boy from the fens had become a Bond girl.
her world fell apart.The Sunday tabloid rag The News of the World
outed Caroline soon after the release of the film. She was devastated
- any opportunity for a normal, successful life as a glamour model
and actress wrenched away from her in one weekend.
unpleasant period of her life now began. She was the perfect target
for a peculiarly British sort of prurience - fascinated by a "bloke
who got his tits out for the lads". The country had never seen
any thing like her. She was hounded by the press, persecuted by
tabloid journalists and photographers asking unbelievably ignorant
the first of many brave steps, Caroline made the decision to take
it head on. The result was the publication of her 1982 book, Tula:
I am a Woman, which sought in straightforward terms to defuse the
situation by telling the story in full, from her point of view.
If anything, the press coverage intensified, but now it was largely
sympathetic pieces in organs like The Sunday Times. Eventually,
Tula was able to return to modelling. But a career on a bigger stage
was now irretrievably gone.
she was able to pick up the threads of her life. A romance followed
with an Italian Count who knew her story in full before meeting
her (a first). They fell in love and he proposed.
law regarding transsexuals is farcical. The law regards gender reassignment
as merely a cosmetic procedure, and the changes in legal status
allowed are accordingly cosmetic. Caroline was allowed to be called
female on her passport, and.. that was about it. To all intents
and purposes, in the eye of the law, she was and is still male.
It says so on her birth certificate. It is illegal for her to use
a women's lavatory. If she were convicted of a crime, she would
go to a men's jail. Obviously, she was not allowed to marry another
Caroline would not take this lying down. In 1983, she began legal
proceedings against he British government to get the legal status
of transsexuals changed. The process was to drag on for seven years
and go through successively higher levels of the judiciary until
it reached the European High Courts in Strasbourg in 1989.
this period, she campaigned tirelessly for transsexuals' rights,
appearing countless times in the media. Her ties with the Count
suffered and they separated. In 1985, she met Elias Fattal, a Jewish
businessma. A professional relationship soon became personal, and
in 1988, they were engaged.
May 21, 1989, Caroline and Elias married, at a synagogue in St.
John's Wood, London. The European High Court had ruled in her favour
a fortnight before, so she was now legally allowed to marry, although
the government had immediately lodged an appeal, scheduled for the
their return from a blissful honeymoon in the Caibbean, Caroline
discovered once again that what fortune and commitment create can
be dashed in a day by the tabloid news.
News of the World had done it again. Elias' family were orthodox
Jews, and immediately summoned him to account for his marriage to
Caroline. Soon, she had lost him back to his family.
she received death threats. Her car was sabotaged. At the lowest
ebb of her life, she again attempted to cope by writing, publishing
her second book, My Story, in 1990. Again, she was in the public
eye as the British government's appeal against the Strasbourg ruling
came to court. This time, the court found in the government's favour.
The year of transsexual enfranchisement was over.