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'I don't let fame define who I am' - Hollywood star Eva Longoria

ACTRESS Eva Longoria has told the Web Summit that she does not let fame define who she is.

The Hollywood star, who starred in the hit series Desperate Housewives, told the gathering that she was glad she became famous late in life. She gave a talk on the obstacles women in business continue to face.

"I don't allow fame to define me.

"No one wants to hear a famous person complain. They think, oh, boo hoo for them.

"I became famous quite late in life - I was 28 or 29. I already had my BA, my education and I was quite set in who I am," she said.

"If you allow the media to define you as 'America's sweetheart' or the 'funny woman', that's where you get into trouble. Because I was so set in who I was, it brushes off me," she said.

Ms Longoria said that her education and not her acting career was the proudest achievement of her life.

Ms Longoria was later snapped going for a meal at the trendy Lock's Brasserie in Portobello.

Also there for dinner were English philanthropist Jemima Khan, PR guru Matthew Freud and model Lily Cole.

Growth

The attendance at the summit, which is the largest tech gathering in Europe, is around 22,000, with people coming from 109 countries.

It has grown considerably since the first event in 2010, when it was attended by just 400 people.

A total of 600 speakers have been lined up to speak over three days while the venue boasts nine stages and a cinema for summits based around music, film, sport, food and technology.

Also speaking at the conference was John Scully, former chief executive of technology giant Apple, who argued that Ireland risked losing its edge if the controversial 'double Irish' scheme was scrapped.

"When I was with Pepsi we were the first international company to agree to locate in Ireland," he said.

"When I was with Apple we were the first high tech company to agree to locate in Ireland."

He told the summit that the IDA was an exceptional organisation and part of the reason the companies located in Ireland.

But he added: "It is going to be a challenge to get as much enthusiasm from international companies to locate in Ireland if there is a tax advantage somewhere else."

Independent News and Media, the owners of the Herald, is the Web Summit's media partner.

INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rae chaired a discussion on the online future for newspapers.

Mr Rae said the newspaper industry had seen "more disruption than any other [industry] in the last 100 years" with leading industry professionals saying there won't be one single business model for newspapers in the future as the business transitions from print to online.

Fans

Elsewhere, speaking about reaching sports fans online, Manchester United group manager Richard Arnold told the summit that interaction with fans online was part of the club's appeal.

"We have to give the fans a reason to come back to us."

Meanwhile Taoiseach Enda Kenny rang the Nasdaq opening bell from the centre stage of the summit yesterday.

He was joined by co-founder of the event Paddy Cosgrave, along with other business leaders and politicians as he undertook the honours.

hnews@herald.ie


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