By David Hennessy
Cork born singer Havana, real name Carol Athony, is known for combining a latino sound with her sultry looks to success like that enjoyed with her Ibiza hit, Dance Like That. Also a television presenter, actress and model, Havana is getting ready to release her next album that includes collaborations with names as big on the urban music scene as Busta Rhymes, Tyga and Drake.
However, recently Carol has found herself the subject of tabloid scandal with revelations of an alleged affair with Liverpool FC legend, Ian Rush which it cited as the apparent cause of the former footballer’s marriage. Carol has known Rush for years and been working with him on her forthcoming documentary series, Living with Legends, but denies any affair and told The Irish World just what an upsetting time the sensational stories in The Sun have caused her.
“It’s just been horrific,” says the London based artist who grew up in Glanmire, Cork. “I’m a strong person normally but it feels like it’s been happening for three weeks even though it’s only been a week really. The first few days were the worst ever.”
Speaking to The Irish Independent recently Carol, who is married herself, admitted to sleeping in the same bed as Rush and that this is something she is not proud of: “The press portrayed it as being a sordid three year affair and it wasn’t that at all. It was just a couple of frivolous nights out and it’s just turned into a circus making me out to be something that I’m completely not.
“Ian Rush and myself are really good buddies, we always have been. We would go to the horses, put a couple of bets on, stuff like that but I’ve done that with a lot of other people. I’m doing a new TV show at the moment called Living with Legends and Ian was actually involved with that. I just went to Ian because he was a friend of mine. That’s the way it happened, it was like a call from a buddie.”
Asked if she knows where the story comes from, Carol says: “I’m not too sure. I just don’t know. I mean people speculate what they want to speculate but (it was just) going out, having a laugh, having a few drinks. I was going to say pints there but that sounds very unladylike but I’m half a tomboy, that’s probably the reason why. That’s the problem, you see. I have a lot of buddies that are male.”
The headlines Carol wants to see written about herself in future would be concerning her new album that features massive American hip-hop stars including Busta Rhymes: “There’s three people looking at it at the moment to fire it out, so we’re going to have a really good think about it over the next few weeks and who would be best for us to go with. The album’s there ready to go but it’s just a matter of making sure the right people are going to put the right weight behind it.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what people are going to do with this album as well because it’s a really good album, nice names on it and I’m as proud to have collaborated with those people as anything.”
After impressive auditions, Carol was flown to New York for the recording: “It was brilliant, being out there with the likes of Tyga and Busta was absolutely crazy. Sometimes you’re saying: ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m doing this with these people’. It was a huge experience.”
For the full interview, see the June 22 print edition of The Irish World.