Elle Macpherson understood her character defects through her relationships.

The 50-year-old model has been married twice - to Gilles Bensimon between 1986 and 1989 and to Jeffrey Soffer, who she married in 2013 - and Elle says the relationships have helped make her more self-aware.

She explained: ''If you really want to know your character defects, get into a relationship. They come up all the time. When I'm alone, I have no one to fight with. I don't have to practise patience or allowance or forgiveness.

''It's easy, but I don't grow. Being in a relationship highlights things I have to work on in my own personality to help me be more open and free.''

Elle also admits to being calculating when it comes to decisions about her career.

She told The Times newspaper: ''There is an element of detachment in my decision-making. [After 'Sirens', the 1993 film in which she appeared naked], I thought, 'Hey, I've got an opportunity here.' If people want this, I can do a Playboy shoot and flood the press with images I love and I'll get paid for it.

''The knock-on effect was there was no more interest in the images but, thanks very much, I'll buy one more house with the proceeds.''