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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Why did it take Benedict Cumberbatch two years to split from tycoon?

Like many Hollywood stars, Benedict Cumberbatch takes pains to be right-on, including once criticising the British government in a foul-mouthed rant on stage at The Barbican.

He also made a striking appearance at the Met Gala in 2019 wearing an outfit made of vegan silk, which is spun from bamboo, so as not to harm the feelings of silkworms.

I was, therefore, relieved to hear that the Sherlock actor, 45, has finally stopped doing business with a partner from a family plagued by controversy.

Like many Hollywood stars, Benedict Cumberbatch takes pains to be right-on, including once criticising the British government in a foul-mouthed rant on stage at The Barbican, writes RICHARD EDEN

The businessman is the multi-millionaire son of the former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has called Jewish people 'hook-nosed' and once even questioned the number killed in the Holocaust.

Mokhzani was, for years, a director of SunnyMarch Holdings — which Cumberbatch set up in 2014 — and invested almost £1 million in return for shares via his company Kencana Capital. 

The Oscar nominee, married to opera director Sophie Hunter, claimed more than two years ago that the relationship was to end after learning of the outbursts.

I was, therefore, relieved to hear that the Sherlock actor, 45, has finally stopped doing business with a partner from a family plagued by controversy. The Old Harrovian was surely disgusted when he found out the shockingly anti-Semitic comments spouted by the father of his associate Mokhzani Mahathir

I can reveal that two years later Mokhzani has resigned as a director. He left just two months ago.

The firm has found great success, co-producing dramas The Pursuit Of Love with Lily James, and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, with the BBC.

Cumberbatch has also starred in many programmes produced by the company, including BBC's The Child In Time, and Sky's Patrick Melrose.

The Duchess of Cambridge has made an unlikely impression on legendary musician Nile Rodgers after becoming the new patron of an addiction charity. 

'It's great she's showing support for this. Addiction is a very complicated disease,' Rodgers, 69, tells me at the David Bowie pop-up launch in Heddon Street, London. 

The co-founder of disco band Chic, who produced Bowie's top-selling album Let's Dance, has battled addiction throughout his life but became sober 27 years ago.

Relieved perceptions of the illness have changed, he adds: 'Years ago, I went to a psychiatrist here in London and told him I wanted to stop drinking. He said: 'Oh my God, man, whatever for?' '

Oscar-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice is used to putting on a show, but he didn't expect to be quite so involved in a performance last week.

The 76-year-old, whose hits include Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita in the West End, and Disney's The Lion King, took to the stage for the official re-opening of the Hall for Cornwall theatre in Truro. 

But as he approached, he took a tumble in front of the 1,354-strong audience.

'It might have been the highlight of the evening for the audience except for the fact that the debut show for the Hall for Cornwall reopening was even more ecstatically received,' he tells me.

Jodie killing 'em at the box office

She rose to global superstardom as a stylish assassin in Killing Eve, and now Jodie Comer is set to make a killing on stage in London.

Tickets to see the 28-year-old in gritty West End play Prima Facie have almost all gone — even though it does not open until April and there were 62,000 seats available.

My man in the wings tells me: 'Many of the shows are virtually sold out already, with just the odd seat dotted around the auditorium.'

She rose to global superstardom as a stylish assassin in Killing Eve, and now Jodie Comer is set to make a killing on stage in London. Tickets to see the 28-year-old in gritty West End play Prima Facie have almost all gone — even though it does not open until April and there were 62,000 seats available

The Scouse actress is the star of the gripping solo crime drama about a tough barrister who defends men accused of sex crimes but is then attacked herself.

Jodie, who will appear in the 78-show run until June, says: 'I look forward to bringing Tessa to life and introducing her to audiences at the Harold Pinter Theatre.'

Theresa May has been given a knighthood! 

I can reveal that on a holiday to San Marino last week, the former prime minister was made a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of St Agatha. 

Maurizio Bragagni, the honorary consul to San Marino, said at a glamorous awards ceremony that she is being honoured for her 'work as a politician' and championing the small republic, which is landlocked in northern Italy. 

Perhaps Boris will take note and give her a peerage here in the UK?

Sad Eliza loses beloved Duke 

Described as 'the wild one' of the family, the Duke of Rutland's youngest daughter, Lady Eliza Manners, is not feeling her usual spirited self this week after the devastating loss of her equine friend.

'My darling horse, Duke, has slipped away into horsey heaven,' explains the interior designer, 24. 'The relationship you have with your horse is indescribable.

'You wholeheartedly trust them. Duke was only four but had the wisdom of an old man. 

'He passed away on the Welsh hills where my mum grew up riding. There is something beautiful and poetic about that.'

Described as 'the wild one' of the family, the Duke of Rutland's youngest daughter, Lady Eliza Manners, is not feeling her usual spirited self this week after the devastating loss of her equine friend

'My darling horse, Duke, has slipped away into horsey heaven,' explains the interior designer, 24. 'The relationship you have with your horse is indescribable. 'You wholeheartedly trust them. Duke was only four but had the wisdom of an old man'

Fans of the late Dame Diana Rigg will be shaken and stirred to hear her estate is selling a host of her treasured awards.   

Gongs including a Bafta award certificate for Mother Love, Emmy, Olivier and Tony Award nominations, as well as her invitation to the 2013 Oscars are due to go under the hammer at Bonham's next month. 

Dame Diana was known as one of the most beautiful and successful actresses of her generation, famously playing James Bond's wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Chocs away for Harper 

Following in her mother's footsteps! Harper Beckham has a flair for fashion like mum Victoria. 

On a trip to a chocolate factory in California, she designed a pink chocolate high heel shoe. 

Harper  said she won't be eating it but will be wearing it. 

Dad David joined the fun, too, giggling that he was making 'chocolate balls'. Referring to his old footballing nickname, his wife added: 'Not golden [balls]!' 

Following in her mother's footsteps! Harper Beckham has a flair for fashion like mum Victoria. On a trip to a chocolate factory in California, she designed a pink chocolate high heel shoe. Dad David joined the fun, too, giggling that he was making 'chocolate balls'. Referring to his old footballing nickname, his wife added: 'Not golden [balls]!'