Band of Sisters

Evening Standard/October 15, 2003
By Nicole Lampert

In the past she has always distanced herself from her friend Madonna's obsession with kabbalah.

But, as recent appearances show, Stella McCartney has clearly been persuaded to become a devotee of the mystical Jewish cult.

The fashion designer has been seen in Los Angeles and Paris wearing the red string bracelet which followers believe offers protection from evil spirits.

She joins her close friend and the singer Britney Spears, another recent convert, in displaying her attachment to the religion.

'Stella has been feeling a bit low about things and Madonna has convinced her that this really will help,' a source close to the 31-yearold said yesterday.

'She has made rather a large loss for Gucci in her first year and her designs have been criticised.

'She was also hurt when Jeff Banks claimed she had only done well because she is Paul McCartney's daughter.

'She is also hoping it will help her to conceive a child. Madonna has been using kabbalah teaching to try to have a baby and she has told Stella that it can really help her.

'Stella will be ready to have children soon and she believes she will need as much help as possible.'

Miss McCartney, who recently married magazine publisher Alasdhair Willis, first showed an interest in kabbalah when she joined Madonna at the launch of her children's book The English Roses last month in Paris.

The 45-year-old singer says the book is based upon the teachings of kabbalah, which she was first introduced to a decade ago.

Since then Madonna has become an active proponent of the cult, which has gained a huge following among celebrities. She recently encouraged Miss Spears to join.

Earlier this year she bought a £ 3.65million home for the Kabbalah Centre in London.

Until her conversion Miss McCartney had always dismissed the cult, instead proclaiming herself to be a 'real' Jew because her mother Linda's family were Jewish.

However, any hopes she might have that becoming a kabbalah devotee will help her in her quest for a child must be tempered by the experiences of her friend.

Despite all her faith, the teachings have not helped Madonna become a mother again. She recently admitted wanting a third child but has been having trouble conceiving and was pictured recently visiting an IVF clinic in Los Angeles.

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