In between fixing their hair and updating their wardrobes, Bar Refaeli’s closest friends were biting their nails with suspense. Just before the surprise party for the thriving model’s 21st birthday, about a month ago, the tension was about to break new records: Will he show up or not? Who? The boyfriend of course - Leonardo DiCaprio. Well, he didn’t.
Though, it’s not like they didn’t try. Close friends of Mother Tsipi Refaeli made calls around the world in an attempt to fix him up with a quick timeout from the filming of “The Blood Diamond”, currently taking place in Mozambique. However, his tight film schedule did not give way to a Happy Birthday song at arms length.
The compensation prize showed up few weeks ago, when the Hollywood 32-year-old star made some room in his tight Mozambique filming schedule to meet his young lover in Barcelona - where a fashion show was held with the participation of Refaeli.
She landed in town three days before the show. DiCaprio showed up the next day, escorted by his mother and grandmother. The group stayed in two adjacent suites in a hotel. It was the first time that Refaeli met the boyfriend’s family. He himself has yet to meet her parents.
Bar Refaeli. Photo: Eyal Nevo
Rumors about DiCaprio’s landing in Barcelona quickly spread around town, and hundreds of Paparazzi ambushed the hotel entrance, trying to get a picture of the couple. Refaeli was stressed, according to close sources, but DiCaprio, who is used to evading photographers, did not let all that mess up his vacation plans.
The couple escaped the hotel through a side entrance, and drove to tour the historic sites of the city; there they were caught on film by a People Magazine photographer, when Refaeli smacked a kiss right on DiCaprio’s head.
From Barcelona, Refaeli continued to Los Angeles, and DiCaprio returned to Mozambique for filming. But if everything goes according to plan, and assuming the relationship will hold, it looks like before Refaeli celebrates her 22nd birthday, DiCaprio may even visit Israel.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Refaeli mark half a year of a relationship that stirs up doubts and concerns. And the top one is how serious is the transatlantic relationship, born by coincidence in a party in Las Vegas.
The experienced DiCaprio makes sure to hide his private life away from the media, but sources close to Refaeli tell of a relationship that is getting stronger, although still mostly on a mobile-phone basis.
Two months ago, DiCaprio invited Refaeli to join him in South Africa. The star wasn’t satisfied with having a limousine waiting for her at the airport and came to pick her up. From there, they drove to the villa where he stayed during the shoots, where Refaeli stayed for five days.
Before flying to join him in South Africa, and even before the movie shoots in Mozambique, the couple was seen shopping in the streets of Paris. Earlier, at the outset of the relationship, DiCaprio took her to his favorite city, Las Vegas, where the couple had fun in the casinos.
Nice non-Jewish boy
The person directly responsible for the shidduch is Israeli Danny Avikazer, 33, a party producer who lives in New York. The couple met on the night of November 4th of last year, a few weeks after DiCaprio ended his relationship with supermodel Giselle.
Avikazer was invited to organize a party in Las Vegas for U2 band members who were in town. DiCaprio, like hundreds of other celebrities, was invited to “decorate” the event. Also, Refaeli, who knew Avikazer from the glamorous parties he holds in New York, was invited to the private party and arrived escorted by her friend, model Adi Neumann.
Leo, according to Refaeli’s friends, meets the highest standards. When she stayed in New York for auditions, a messenger showed up every morning at the same time, with a huge flower bouquet. This went on for 10 days. “He pampers her a lot with things she loves, like special chocolates and cool text messages,” reveals Roni Ron, a close friend of Refaeli. Refaeli herself stubbornly refuses to speak about the affair.
DiCaprio’s name has been tied with two major love affairs in the past: with Demi Moore, back in the days she was still married to Bruce Willis, and with supermodel Giselle Bundchen, who left him about seven months ago, after a five year relationship. Even Refaeli has had a few relationships – the longest lasting was with Uri El-Natan, whose mother is now married to Erwin Eisenberg. Her résumé also includes Baywatch star David Charvet.
The world across the ocean was exposed to the Bar Refaeli phenomenon thanks to a photograph published last December in the American tabloid “Daily Star”, where Refaeli was seen racing away in a Six Flags rollercoaster in the outskirts of L.A., next to DiCaprio who was screaming in fear (or pleasure).
Since the photograph was published, people in the U.S. are wondering who is the Israeli model who stepped in Giselle’s shoes. And this true not only in the U.S., French magazine “Elle” has dedicated a four page spread to her, entitled “Leonardo DiCaprio’s little mermaid.” The British “Sun” was wondering who was it that DiCaprio was sending chocolates to, and dedicated its famous page 3 to Refaeli.
It’s hard to currently predict where the relationship between DiCaprio and Refaeli is heading, especially in light of the many obstacles, as the careers of the couple take place under tight deadlines in different countries, almost since the moment they met. DiCaprio’s film is due to end filming in October.
Until then it is likely that Refaeli will find herself in Mozambique once again. When DiCaprio will return to New York, it is likely that the couple will find the time to nurture the relationship. We will keep our fingers crossed.