She's posed on the red carpet at Cannes in a flowing designer gown, at Deauville in a sleek black bustier and palazzo pants. She exchanges e-mails with Naomi Watts. Sean Penn hung out at her house. Not for nothing have they called Valerie Plame Wilson the Glamorous Spy.Now with a movie and what are sure to be gushing reviews she'll be all over the place, struggling to handle the real challenge of being a media darling.
And yet for years, she lived a life of secrecy that most of us would have trouble fathoming, unable to tell her best friends what she actually did for a living, or her own husband where she was flying off to in the middle of the night.
How do you go from one life to the other? Not very easily — still, she says, as she prepares for another round in the spotlight with the release Friday of "Fair Game," the movie based on her infamous 2003 "outing" as a CIA agent.
"I have found it a real challenge to be a public person," Plame Wilson said in an interview this week from Santa Fe, N.M., where she now lives with her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, and their 10-year-old twins. "I was in a world where discretion was good. All of a sudden that changed overnight. That was not easy at all."
Life must be so tough.
And to those critics who claim she's thoroughly enjoyed profiting from that celebrity — red carpets, photo shoots, book and movie deals — Wilson has this to say, her voice hardening slightly: "Listen, I loved my job. If none of this had happened, I'd still be overseas working, happily, right now. But that wasn't the card I was dealt."Of course as a paper-pusher at Langley, she never was working "overseas" to begin with, but why ruin a good fantasy life?