Because I intend to leave a record; a record of what happened and what is happening. One of the last things Michael Morris said to me was “Time's a' wasting!” He was correct and in his case he had about two weeks left to live when he said that. A desire to not waste a second of time is one reason I am addressing this story but there is one other reason; I am now able to validate this story through a third party voice.
This voice being Ms. Cindy Martin, who shared a veritable wealth of inside information which confirmed the workings of the “team”. This “team” being a group of people who have publicly bullied and allied to “ruin” us and our work; now twelve books.
Of course we knew what was going on and the cast of characters.. but with evidence presented from a third party and someone who was actively involved with these people it became possible to reference Ms. Martin's commentary as a knowledgeable expert if you will. Regarding the workings of this group she shared the following insights which are excerpted from her May 29th 2019 messages to my husband Renato:
“Now I have my own group and am still on the We Never Forget group, only because Tracy has fought against Donna to keep me on there. Donna would love to throw me off, and I keep waiting for THAT to happen.”
“Now we see Eleanor, Simon, Bret (who goes by Albert Morris) Donna Hill, Christopher Riordan and Tracy along with their various minions all ganged up on myself and my group.”
“Tracy has always been the puppet master. No one else has ever pulled the strings. Even David would read his entire statement for his blog to him before posting it.”
“...when Tracy found out that Donna had given up that shirt in the cafe (which Tracy had given to Donna) For that information, he was REALLY MAD at Donna and never really trusted her again. He still doesn't. Donna has been trying to get back into Tracy's good graces ever since. So it makes perfect sense to me that she has been sending him the information behind your backs.”
How valuable her words are, as now this story is no longer being told only in my words. But is it not sad to see how very little this purported band of colleagues and friends actually respect one another? The back stabbing and distrust; the shaky alliances and power trips reveal a most unhappy and duplicitous bunch.
In a post I made recently on this blog, I shared an email exchange I had in November of 2003 with Donna Hill. She was then a supportive friend, or so I believed. I posted her email she sent to me the day after a heated exchange I had on a Valentino chat room with Tracy Terhune over my discovery of the Ullman memoir. (see post titled, “The Day After..Seventeen Years Ago, Some Comments on 'Backstabbing' and 'Wheedling').
Shortly after I posted Donna Hill's response to me, it disappeared from my blog. Perhaps that email is something "they" needed to hide. But in that email, she apologized to me for what I experienced in that chat room exchange, told me that she was “not out here to wheedle info out of you only to turn around and stab you in the back.”
Then, in my opinion she appeared to do just that to Emily Leider when she admits to having praised her Valentino biography, Dark Lover, only to say differently behind her back to Michael Morris by calling the book, “boring,” and a “ lot of magazine rehash”.
I admit I was woefully naive back in 2003 when I first stepped out into the Valentino sphere. It took me a while to wise up and see that these people were not my friends and in my opinion the following was the case at that time.
“They” had little real interest in the Ullman 1975 memoir because they all knew about it and had read it. My discovering it and announcing this discovery presented them with an immediate challenge; to stop its publication and stop me... whether by calling me names, calling me a forger.. or threatening me directly as the Valentino spokeswoman Jeanine Villalobos did after my speech in Turin.
She told me if I dared to publish the memoir, it would “kill her mother” and the family would release damaging material about Ullman. This proves they all knew about the memoir (if they had not read it then why fear its publication?) but they could not admit this because their cover up of this remarkable historical document would have been exposed. In my opinion they befriended me to see what collectibles the Ullmans might have about (I was asked) and to troll the status of Affairs Valentino.
So yes, Time's a'wasting! And I would wish for "them" that they might cultivate more loyal friendships with more honest people. Maybe they are just not good judges of character or maybe they all hold so many sinister secrets against each other.. at this point they can only manipulate their relationships in a form of extortion.
There now is so much more evidence of their duplicity and with that evidence in hand... I tell the story.