Throughout my adult life, I’ve regularly had bottles of bubbly or wine sent to my restaurant table by men I don’t know.Once, a well-dressed chap bought my train ticket when I was standing behind him in the queue, while there was another occasion when a charming gentleman paid my fare as I stepped out of a cab in Paris.This isn’t the first time such paranoia has gripped the women around me.

While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.

If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering.

Because my husband is ten years older than me, his social circle is that bit older too. As a result I find dinner parties and social gatherings fraught and if I can’t wriggle out of them, then often dress down in jeans and a demure, albeit pretty, top. Take last summer and a birthday party I attended with my husband.

At one point the host, who was celebrating his 50th, decided he wanted a photo with all the women guests.

If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room.

Taken: Samantha with her French husband Pascal Rubinat.She laments that not one of her girlfriends has ever asked her to be a bridesmaid - perhaps from fear of being overshadowed by her looks And, according to our mutual friend, she is adamant that something could happen between her husband and me, ‘were the right circumstances in place’.Yet I’m happily married, and have been for the past four years.But a year in, her attitude towards me changed; the deterioration began when she started to put on weight.But while the male executive signed the paperwork without hesitation, my immediate boss refused to sign.She laid into her bewildered partner for ‘fancying’ me, then turned on me, calling me unrepeatable names before ridiculing me for dying my hair and wearing lipstick. Therapist Marisa Peer, author of self-help guide Ultimate Confidence, says that women have always measured themselves against each other by their looks rather than achievements — and it can make the lives of the good-looking very difficult.‘Many of my clients are models, yet people are always astounded when I explain they don’t have it easy,’ she says.