Loved by many haters. Socialite Judith Heard is convinced that all the bad press she gets has more to do with her fabulous life and that is okay because she gets it.
Judith Heard arrives for our interview at a hotel in Kampala flanked by two people she insists have to be present; a friend from the media, and a woman, Judy, who she says is a close friend.
“Gosh, I want a cold beer” is the first thing she says when she returns from a makeup session that lasted over 30 minutes after her arrival at the meeting venue. Instantly, she withdraws her order. “Now they will say I’m a drunkard. They are not sure, but a picture of me with a beer in the newspaper would be the confirmation they need,” she explains, a disgusted sneer on her face. By “they” she means the media, and/or the public, who lap up any dirt they can get on the socialite.
She right away lets me know she is only letting Full Woman do the interview because we are from Daily Monitor. “It is the only paper that does clean reporting,” she says. Her distrust (or is it fear?) of the media is apparent, and justifiably so.
Judith Heard’s only claim to popularity may be her coverage in the media, which has unfortunately not been flattering for the better part. When she is not in a cat fight, she is marrying a muzungu too old for her or has her nude photos plastered for all to see.
The 28-year-old former model’s flashy lifestyle, pretty looks and good sense of style (which should surely come easy with the wealth at her disposal) seems to have only worsened, or instigated the attention.
You don’t know me
“The truth is that I’m misunderstood. Ugandans just want to believe that they know me. I’m sorry that I would never stand up in a stadium to tell everyone who I really am and I don’t think I have to. As long as my husband understands who he married and my family knows me, I’m sorry to say but I don’t really care about public opinion.
I respect the public, but I can’t care because nobody puts food on the table at the end of the day. Only my husband knows how I live when I go back home,” she says, with finality and a self-reassurance I’m to later discover she has in plenty.
Hot and cold
As I’m also to discover, this interview is going to be littered with contradictions in her stance on things and a whirlwind of emotions for Judith Heard as she oscillates between fury, indifference and amusement.
So, “who is Judith Heard,” I ask. She answers, “Judith Heard is a beautiful Rwandan woman, married to Dr Alex Heard, with three children.
I have three sisters, and I’m the third born. My dad passed away during the genocide but mom, a Mutooro, lives in Muyenga. She is a farmer. I was born here in Lacor Hospital, Gulu ,on March 13, 1986.”
Sounds pretty straight forward to me when she introduces herself this way, save for the fact that her husband is a much older wealthy white man who she married when she was about 20. And, she can afford a life more luxurious at 28 than most people ever dream of, apparently, on account of her wealthy husband.
Her life literally presents a combo that is definitely bound to get people’s ears perked up in suspicion among the Ugandan community. It is after all a fact that no one seemed to recognise her or care when she still went by Judith Kanyengwa, her maiden name that her tormentors don’t seem to even know.
“There’s no misunderstanding,” she interjects, with yet another contradiction, stated a bit more emotionally than when she initially stated that she was misunderstood. “It is just people trying to sell stories. I’m pretty, I’m blessed, and cannot deny that I’m living a good life, which most average people don’t live.
Everybody would love to be me. But it’s not me, it’s God. They should ask God why it is me, why does it have to be only me? But you know we can’t all be equal. My fingers are not.” She, otherwise, insists she only got married because she wanted to and that money had nothing to do with her choice of husband. “When you meet someone, you don’t know what’s on their account. He respected me as a woman, and treated me very well, so, it was love. I’m not bothered about our age difference.
I prefer older, mature men anyway. I’m happy and that is all my family cared about too.”
She adds, “There is that one person you meet and you understand each other. You both want to have fun and be happy. So, Dr Alex Heard is my husband. No one got him for me and we’ll die together!”
11 years with Dr. Heard and counting
“We ’ll be making nine years in marriage this year, but I have been with Dr Heard for 11 years despite all the bad press,” she says.