Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Note on the DNA Sanctioned Oppression, Suppression and Lying....

In 2003, I interviewed retired television producer and noted Valentino memorabilia collector William Self. At the time, a visit with Bill Self involved a flight from Oakland to Burbank, a rent-a-car and some sure traffic on the 405 freeway. Even with the flight being only an hour each way, it still made for an arduous day and usually cost me just under five hundred dollars. Needless to say, I came prepared for each interview to maximize the cost and inconvenience of getting there.

I think I went down to Bel Air to visit with Bill Self about four times with the 5th visit, for me, being the most revealing. I have described this visit before but this was when he told me Jeanine Villalobos, the Alberto Valentino family spokeswoman, told him he could no longer speak to me. It was also when he told me abruptly he had “nothing to do with those cartons stolen from George Ullman's garage.” That was pretty much the extent of that visit and I was not so happy that I came that far to hear just that. I would soon realize that brief visit was all too valuable. 

At the time I was not yet writing Affairs Valentino, I was still researching. By then I had not yet found the copies of the original stolen file of Valentino's probate court records... which according to Donna Hill and Bill Self, were returned to Jeanine Villalobos by a collector in exchange for one of Valentino's shirts.

At the time, Self did know I located the Ullman family and Ullman's 1975 memoir. I know now the Alberto Valentino family had the memoir in their possession but kept it secret for decades. So at that time, in 2003, I wondered why Self would obey Jeanine Villalobos so blindly when he was extremely interested previously in meeting with me.

Of course it would have been easier for me and less expensive if Bill Self just picked up the phone and called me, or sent an e-mail and canceled the visit. But I think despite all... he had respect for me and did not want to liquidate me like that. He was a well-mannered man and had to tell me to my face. 

In doing so, he did me a great favor on two accounts that day. He told me that Jeanine Villalobos even does things like that, revealed she had such power over collectors and he also admitted to knowing about a theft we had yet to discuss at all. All of those documents Ullman had in his files in those cartons in his garage... from his years as Valentino's manager which we now see online and in collector's boastful posts? Those were stolen from Ullman's garage.

I now know why they (those loyal collectors) work so aggressively to discredit me.... calling me “mad”, a “fool”... my books the "writings of a mad woman"...all while claiming the very documentation they have had access to for decades is “fiction”. They did this because they could not control me.

Michael Morris once said I was a “rogue” writer on Valentino. I was so because "they" wanted nothing to do with me and I was shunned and expelled early on. They set out to destroy me and impede my work from the moment I told Bill Self I found the Ullmans and had that 1975 memoir.

Unable to intimidate me into doing what they told me to do, they set out to shut all possible doors on my research and Jeanine Villalobos has remained silent, feigning disinterest... as the brazen bullying of us has gone on for more than a decade.

Its all too obvious any more and I have Bill Self to thank for knowing the true dynamic of what is going on. And now I guess, according to their posts and Tweets...they all await our deaths... which are endlessly mentioned and referred to by them... so our work can be buried finally along with us.


To those who genuflect before the DNA controlled relics I say...Oh for god's sake, what are you people.. mindless drones of the state? Does gaining favor from the Alberto Valentino family mean that much to you that you would be so weak in your obedience? 

It is sickening to me personally...because we are the ones they are oppressing, suppressing and lying about. I again by definition have to cry cult because of this level of veneration. 

It is not so much the veneration of Rudolph Valentino as it is the veneration of the things he once owned and photographs of him. This is the controlling power which has persecuted innocent people, such as ourselves... and this is the power which maintains the ancient and completely false narrative about all the players in this story and this is the currency by which we have been systematically tortured.

The Cult of the DNA? Not so much... in my opinion it is the cult of the relics....the veneration of those rare and valuable photographs so sweetly bestowed in gratitude. Perhaps if the favor done is of more magnitude...a sacred shirt might be the reward for some trickery and deception.... and ultimately... it is all done to control, oppress and suppress... as best they can... the absolute truths which came tumbling out when I went rogue.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Masked Model - Part Two

With a bit more to add in regards to Rudolph Valentino and “The Masked Model” tour in the spring of 1917, I share the following:

In my previous post, “The Masked Model”, I referred to Valentino's alleged firing and departure from the show, which was reported in the biography of Max Steiner, “The Masked Model's” musical director. Steiner claims at some point as the show crossed the country, Valentino (“Mons. Rudolph” as he was billed then) had a dispute with the show's director and was fired.

It is also alleged in most of Rudolph Valentino's biographies, that the show went bankrupt and folded before it ever reached San Francisco. I dispute all of these claims.

Perhaps Max Steiner had a memory to draw upon and perhaps there was a dispute between Valentino and the show's director. But according to the show's announcements and the general press still in existence today, I do not believe Valentino was fired from the show nor did he leave his position with the show in disgrace. Not at all.

The show did not go broke but toured all the way to San Francisco and beyond as it headed south to Los Angeles. “Mons. Rudolph” and his dancing partner, Edith Mason appear in the Reno show the end of May prior to the San Francisco show. I contend Reno is not so far from San Francisco!

The timing of Rudolph's leaving “The Masked Model” has recently been the subject of some investigation by a researcher friend of mine as I mentioned in my previous post. Thanks to more of their discoveries, we know Valentino did not perform in the San Francisco show but he and Edith Mason appear to have rejoined the show in Sacramento and Fresno from June 12-June 19th.

The curious timing of these appearances meant Valentino was actually performing in two shows as he is also listed in the cast of “Nobody Home” on June 11th. Granted “Nobody Home” played in Oakland and “The Masked Model” in Sacramento which is located exactly 68 miles away. It could have been possible.

But this disputes the claim by Steiner that Valentino was fired and left in disgrace. In fact we find the opposite as he is advertised for his performance in, “Nobody Home” by citing his “starring” role in “The Masked Model”. Although Joseph Lertaro (see my previous post) was clearly the star of “The Masked Model”, Valentino was billed as being the star in some of the promotional advertisements for “Nobody Home”. “Nobody Home” was billed as an, “enormous success” and he appears in the cast until early October.

After their appearance in Sacramento and in Fresno, Valentino and Edith Mason disappear from “The Masked Model” cast and he apparently works only in “Nobody Home”. We know he joined the cast of “The Passing Show” subsequently and this was how he came to Los Angeles. But I believe there was one other factor contributing to the end of Valentino's reputable and prestigious vaudeville stage career about this time.

We learn from the personal account of Douglas Gerrard as revealed in The True Rudolph Valentino by Baltasar Cue, that Valentino arrived in Los Angeles in late fall of 1917 and was suffering from a dubious reputation for having been involved with the DeSaulles divorce and John DeSaulles murder. We also read how Thomas Meighan lectured Valentino about his tarnished reputation and Alla Nazimova openly called him a “pimp”. I believe this came about because his reputation worsened after August 3rd.

On August 3, 1917, as Valentino was starring in the, “enormously successful”, “Nobody Home”, he would have learned Blanca DeSaulles murdered her husband. I contend that previous to August 3rd, he enjoyed success as a revue dancer as his reputation was not so sullied. His being involved in a divorce in New York was scarcely material to ruin a reputation.... but murder sure was.

He was not fired in disgrace from “The Masked Model” but took on another role in another show; a show billing him as a feature act. He was already well known on the vaudeville musical variety circuit and previous to August 3rd, there is nothing but more work for him and acknowledgment. He was not unemployed but over-employed.

But on August 3rd, the DeSaulles murder made national headlines and this changed things I believe and made life for Mons. Rudolph much, much more treacherous. Monsieur Rudolph's professional reputation took a heavy hit when Blanca DeSaulles fired that gun...and perhaps it was more for that reason that he leaves the cast of “Nobody Home” to head south from San Francisco.

Edith Mason vanishes after the Sacramento and Fresno shows and no trace of her later life and career can be found. There is an opera star named Edith Mason who dominates the search but this is not the seventeen-year old who danced her way across the country with Rudolph Valentino.

I am curious about Max Steiner's memory of Valentino being fired somewhere on the tour and having to be fed and housed by cast members. Perhaps there was a falling out along the way, but Mons. Rudolph and Edith Mason appear in every show all the way to San Francisco.

“The Masked Model” did not fail financially and I think Rudolph found more employment and left the show in a smart career move. No doubt he was ready to leave the competition with Joseph Lertaro behind for a more starring role in “Nobody Home” and perhaps for the opportunity to dance with Miss Jane Urban!

Jane Urban was hugely popular at the time, a powerful force in the Bay Area's theater scene and the director of the Orpheum Theater. For Valentino to accept a position as her dancing partner then was a savvy career move and he would have benefited professionally. Although he appeared on stage with the impressive Ms. Urban, his rise to even more fame did not occur.

I think we can also add to the reasons why he left San Francisco when he did and why.. the reality that his reputation was savaged when Blanca DeSaulles shot and killed her husband. Did he become a pariah? Did Jane Urban want nothing to do with him?

It makes one wonder where he was when he heard the news and how quickly the fallout affected him. He would turn to friends, Norman Kerry, Frank Mennillo and head out of town to try his hand in a new profession; the movies. I guess the young vaudeville variety dancer, seeking to reinvent himself.. had some very heavy baggage to carry at the time.

I say August 3rd was the game changer.

More to come?

The Fresno Morning Republican - June 12, 1917

The Fresno Morning Republican - June 19, 1917

The Sacramento Bee - June 9, 1917

The Sacramento Bee - June 9, 1917

Valentino is not mentioned as star in The Masked Model

Valentino dances with Jane Urban


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mr. Bernard V. Bothmer

Yesterday I posted this image on my Beyond Valentino Instagram account and wanted to expand to say more about the gentleman on the left of the photograph, Bernard V. Bothmer. I had a special mission to accomplish in finishing Michael Morris' last book and this involved this iconic Egyptologist. 

Left to right: Bernard V. Bothmer, Alexander Piankoff, Helene Piankoff & Natacha Rambova

When Michael Morris published Madam Valentino in 1991, he did not know the identity of the gentleman on the left of this fantastic photo and labeled him as "unidentified Egyptologist". He learned about him after publication and wanted to remedy this oversight in Beyond Valentino. As I completed Michael's book after his death in 2016, I was in contact with the Chicago House in Luxor and it was then I learned Bernard V. Bothmer was devastated that he was not identified in the image. 

I made sure he was in Beyond Valentino. I want to share some pages from his diary from his trip to Egypt in 1950; pages in which he speaks about meeting "Miss Rambova" beginning on his "January 20" entry. His entire diary is available. I cite credit to these images to the publication: Oxbow Books, 2003, Edited by Emma Swan Hall. I have also shared a couple of links to the book and to a piece on Bothmer because he was quite a remarkable man. Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Renato Floris Defends His Wife, Evelyn Against Tracy Terhune's Bullying

The following is my dear husband Renato's response to Tracy Ryan Terhune's disgusting, ageist and defamatory post he made on my birthday on the blog he has run for eight years and counting under my book's title to deceive my web traffic. I should feel sorry for someone like Tracy Terhune, who can only wish he had the kind of love Renato and I share. For if he did he would not be so eager to insult and cruelly torture the elderly. And I am proud to say that is what we are.

Renato responds to this latest and mind-bogglingly ageist BS. I warn any of Tracy Terhune's associates and friends that if they are of any advanced age... this is what Tracy Terhune thinks of you. Making fun of someone who was and is fortunate enough to have lived this long only reveals his true nature.

Renato writes:

“Tracy Ryan Terhune says Evelyn is deteriorating....

This as his happy birthday wish for the seventy-two beautiful years Evelyn has lived. Tracy Ryan Terhune dared to write and I quote verbatim:

"It's sad seeing deterioration.

Is Evelyn Zumaya in control of her faculties? Asking for a friend ... Just a guess ... Maybe Renato was on the back-porch sipping on Ensure while she typed her 72nd Birthday rant?" 

... and so on and on.

First of all I suggest to Tracy Ryan Terhune that he has to wash his mouth with strong soap before daring to even speak Evelyn's name.

I did not marry Evelyn to allow Tracy Ryan Terhune to insult her, on the pirated blog Evelyn created to tell about her book, a decidedly innovative book.

I did not marry Evelyn to allow Tracy Ryan Terhune to give his condemned altar boy David Bret a pulpit from which to spit his poison.

I didn't marry Evelyn to allow Tracy Ryan Terhune to offend us because we lived "too long".

In these times when the "politically correct" rages, I wonder how a person like Tracy Ryan Terhune is allowed to gather some fans of Rudolph Valentino around the Hollywood Forever crypt.

I wonder why he is allowed to freely insult, ridicule and abuse two elderly people who care about the true story of Rudolph Valentino.

If there is an authority, a serious authority, whether they are descendants of Valentino, the Hollywood Forever administration or any other authority, I ask that because of his actions abusing the elderly and because of his ageist attacks, that Tracy Ryan Terhune not only be prevented from celebrating his macabre rite, I ask that he also be prevented from even accessing the grave of Valentino because for us as his victims...his presence there offends Valentino's memory.

Valentino's descendants may very well be upset with Evelyn because she unearthed the skeletons they jealously kept hidden in ancient trunks in dusty attics. I tell you, “Valentinos”, if you have a bit of dignity left, it is time to clean your conscience and admit the truth. This regardless of your opinions towards Evelyn because a person who acts so publicly like Tracy Ryan Terhune dishonors your relative's final resting place.

If Valentino's descendants want to continue celebrating their benefactor's memory, they could certainly find people far more worthy of the honor than Tracy Ryan Terhune.

I say to the Hollywood Forever cemetery management that I hope you realize that a person exhibiting such behavior as Tracy Ryan Terhune's, does not add luster to your establishment but only brings discredit.

I read, almost every day, about people whose shows are canceled, important contracts closed and people who must hide because maybe they have made a gaffe, a certain bad gaffe. Tracy Ryan Terhune does not make gaffes but worse... he knowingly insults, abuses a woman, ridicules people who are over and brilliantly seventy years old. To me he is one who wants only to show off his toys and recite a psalm from the Holy Bible in a boring, hypocritical, minced and retracted ceremony; supported by the cultural comfort of his companion David Bret. It is my strong desire that Tracy Terhune's Dance Macabre should cease!

Who will provide a good cleaning and honor the memory of that eagle born in a vulture's nest!

I didn't marry Evelyn to allow Tracy Ryan Terhune to continue in his game of massacring her, as long as I live I will fight for a character like Tracy Ryan Terhune to have nothing more to do with Valentino's world.

I say to Tracy Ryan Terhune, Evelyn is far from deteriorating and I think she grows more intelligent and beautiful every day. I am not sipping “Ensure” but my good Italian red wines and if I was drinking Ensure that would be fine too.

If he wonders why I married Evelyn; I married her because of two reasons. The first one is because I love her and the second one because she loves me. I say this so Tracy Terhune knows how much we love each other as by his actions he shows he is one of those angry loveless people who find joy only in hurting others.

#hollywoodforever #tracyterhune #ensure #elderpride #evelynzumaya #renatofloris 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Masked Model Mystery – Part 1

In a previous post on this blog, titled "The Masked Model", I shared a notice sent to me regarding the book "Max Steiner" by Stephen C. Smith. I learned Max Steiner was the musical director for the road show “The Masked Model” which traveled the U.S. via“the northern route” in the spring of 1917. Rudolph Valentino was a cast member in the show and this is how he left New York City for the west coast.

Max Steiner recollected how Valentino was fired after a disagreement with the show's director and cast members secretly provided Valentino with food and a place to sleep until the show reached San Francisco.

After I posted this tidbit, a friend and researcher began looking into Steiner's allegation. They have since sent me many articles and images from which I share the following commentary. I add they wish to remain anonymous.

We know the show left New York City in early April 1917 and headed to Pittsburgh for a two week engagement. During this time the cast and the show itself went through many changes in preparation for the trip west. Valentino was billed as “Mons. Rudolph”, (Monsieur Rudolph) and he was hired as a ball room dancer. He performed in three numbers, with the audience favorite being a fox trot from “Johnny Get Your Gun”. His dancing partner in The Masked Model was Edith Mason, a seventeen year old protegee who was then so popular she was challenging the reputation of Valentino's previous dance partner in New York, Joan Sawyer.

Edith Mason received far more praise for her physical beauty than her dance moves. But even at seventeen she had already earned a substantial reputation. And in every performance, she danced the ball room steps with Monsieur Rudolph (Valentino!)

The Masked Model would play in Omaha, Lincoln, Iowa City, Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno San Francisco. After their engagement in San Francisco, they would perform down the California coast to Los Angeles. The Masked Model show traveled on a special train with a troupe of sixty-five and they did not loiter. The entire tour took only about one month to reach San Francisco.

Reviews across the country can still be found online in newspaper archives, and they were by and large very positive. It is obvious the show did not experience financial problems as it is often reported to be the case in Valentino biographies. There can be found only small mentions of less ticket receipts after the show reached Los Angeles. Each review of performances across the country reports on the full house and successful ticket sales.

The Masked Model included many well-known personalities at the time including vaudevillian performer Lew Hern. And at some point during the show, a new performer was added to the bill; Joseph Lertaro.

Joseph Lertaro is a cast member of interest as he was Italian by birth and appeared to resemble Valentino. He was twenty-four years old, wore his hair slicked back and was full of old world charm. According to his reviews he could dance...but there was one big difference between Lertaro and Valentino.

Joseph Lertaro could sing. He reportedly could really fact many people compared him to Caruso and reviews praised his voice and his “pleasant” stage presence. Some local papers carried lengthy interviews with the Masked Model's star, Joseph Lertaro and he was very much a star of the show.

We learn Lertaro's father in New York was known as “The Marshmallow King” and consequently in some reviews Joseph Lertaro is referred to as “The Marshmallow Prince”. He also claims he was asked to perform with the New York Opera company but he refused the offer.

It is fairly obvious Rudolph Valentino could not sing... at least professionally like his countryman Lertaro. The two recordings Valentino made are the only record of his voice, but no matter how endearing they are...he knew he had no career in singing and reportedly wanted all copies of the recordings destroyed.

So as to the mystery of when Valentino left the show.... what was the dispute with the show's director about? When did he leave the show?

Playbills and reviews continue to include Mons. Rudolph in The Masked Model until Reno, Nevada. If he was with the show until Reno, he did not need much help surviving until San Francisco some few hours away. Was he still listed in the cast because the programs were already printed? Did the news reports reference previous notices? Did he actually perform in Reno?

I will venture an hypothesis … I think the appearance of the young, handsome Italian Joseph Lertaro with his voice like Caruso might present a possible clue as to what might have happened. Was there just not room enough in the road show for the two Italians and their mighty egos?

It is also noteworthy in reading all of the articles sent my way, that Edith Mason seems to have disappeared before San Francisco too. The plot thickens.

“The Marshmallow Prince” did not disappear and was front and center when The Masked Model played in San Francisco. His role in The Masked Model would launch his career which was a substantially successful one. After The Masked Model road tour, Lertaro went on to appear in many Broadway shows and once starred with Mae West in her, “Mae West and Company”.

The stage ballroom dancing was not over for Valentino as we know and one article of interest in this regard... When he appeared in the show “Nobody Home” in Oakland after his stint in The Masked Model, he again billed himself as “Monsieur Rudolph”.

So this is what is known to date... and cheers I say that for whatever reason, thankfully Valentino did not end up floundering on Broadway. Within a few months he would be in Hollywood and meet Douglas Gerrard.. and for the rest of that story listen to our latest podcast!

Again I thank the great researcher who did find these articles and piece this together. Excellent work!

The Pittsburgh Press - April 12, 1917

The Pittsburgh Press - April 15, 1917

News Mention about Edith Mason and Monsieur Rudolph

The Ogden Utah Standard, May 11. 1917

 The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah - May 15, 1917

Joseph Lertora

The Masked Model opens in San Francisco without  Mons. Rudolph or Edith Mason
The San Francisco Examiner, May 20, 1917

Cast members of the Masked Model... Max Steiner second from left, Valentino in center, Lew Hern second from right.  Denver Public Library Photo Credit

Thursday, July 23, 2020

They Would Have to Admit

Despite the years I have spent in my life issuing every possible defense I could to tell the world the lies about us are just that... I do not hold those lower level liars completely responsible for the horror they inflict on us.

Despite Tracy Terhune's order to ghost us, he does the opposite and continues to run that blog under my book's title. If he was speaking the truth about ghosting and “canceling us” as he said... then he would close that blog immediately.

But who tells him what to do? The following is my analysis of how that works based upon my observations made over a few decades of my life and my personal experiences.

I present my thesis that it is the Alberto Valentino family and their spokeswoman Jeanine Villalobos who hold the seat of power and that Tracy Terhune, David Bret, Eleanor Gribbin, Simon Constable, Donna Hill and Cindy Martin do their dirty work.

They are the ones who act publicly on her and the family's behalf while they keep their noses clean.. as the expression goes.

Any argument from the Alberto Valentino family alleging this not to be true would require an explanation for and an admission to the following:

They would have to admit that they told collector Self not to speak with me further. This was in 2003 and I was at the time conducting interviews with him for Affairs Valentino.

They would have to admit that they told me in Turin after my speech at the Convegno Valentino that if I dared to publish the S. George Ullman memoir, they would release incriminating information about Ullman. They did not release this incriminating material because it does not exist.

They would have to admit that when Michael Morris told only them that I was living in Turin, then on the Piazza Vittorio... within hours David Bret had that information and wrote that I was in Turin and he then thanked his spy, whose name was “Vittorio”.

They would have to admit that they swapped one of Rudy's shirts for a case of stolen government documents to prevent them from being publicly available. Donna Hill told me this and I now have confirmation from Cindy Martin. William Self also wrote this to me in an e-mail.

They would have to admit they refused in writing to be interviewed for Affairs Valentino.

They would have to admit they refused to return Michael Morris' materials despite his threatening legal action to retrieve them.

They would have to admit that throughout the entire time Tracy Terhune and David Bret have been flooding the internet with defamatory lies about us and our work, they said absolutely nothing. They would have to admit that this was and is today just fine with them. And in light of all of the experiences I have had in this regard...I do not buy for one second that they are above this fray and have no interest.

They would have to admit that they are just fine with letting someone like Tracy Terhune continue to emcee that burlesque vaudeville show next to Valentino's coffin... every year.

So I don't hold the “team” entirely responsible for their obedience. I saw the look on William Self's face the day he said Jeanine told him he could not meet with me anymore. He enjoyed gabbing with me about Rudolph Valentino and was not happy he was told by the family to shut up. He looked uncharacteristically sheepish. But since it appeared most of his collection had to be purchased back by them and their hench people..after his death....maybe he found a way to be free of their tyranny and have the last laugh anyway.

What are they hiding? Why has the family gone to these lengths to stop Affairs Valentino by being a silent bystander while the “team" heads out for another day of cyber bullying to gain favor with the DNA and who knows... be rewarded with a Rudy shirt? Some photographs?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Letter to Irene Sharaff

Michael Morris contacted iconic Academy Award winning costume designer Irene Sharaff hoping she could be interviewed for Madam Valentino. Ms. Sharaff and her partner Mai Mai Sze both knew Natacha Rambova. I think his introductory letter to her is a great overview of his intentions and the direction of his research at the time. I am sharing his letter to Sharaff as well as her response.