Sunday, August 30, 2020

An Army of One

 George Ullman was the hero of Valentino's legacy. There were many heroes in my opinion, but he brought something exceptional to the narrative of Valentino's life after the summer of 1923; cash value. Previous to this time, Valentino's movies were exceptional opportunities for Valentino to build an audience and in this gain power.

After the summer of 1923 and Ullman's arrival, the movies became powerful opportunities for Valentino to be very wealthy and for Ullman to generate that wealth.

Ullman seized this power and created a bidding war for Valentino's contracts, i.e. the numbers he wrested from Joe Schenck at United Artists were remarkable. If Valentino had lived he would have been a millionaire within months.

Without the strong arm of the noble and highly-qualified S. George Ullman, things would have been no doubt much different.

I have referred to Ullman as the army of one; an effective army. He was praised by the California Appeals Court judge for his service to Rudolph Valentino and exonerated on all of the expensive and totally meritless charges brought against him by Alberto and Jean Valentino.

S. George Ullman, the man who was caught in a great twist of Valentino's fate and who would pay dearly for that entrapment his entire life. 

Accept no cheap imitation versions of his story...perpetuated by those hoaxers.

Anyone appreciating Rudolph Valentino surely must give credit where credit is due and this would be to S. George Ullman; hero of the lasting legacy.

I thank him for working so hard in the months after Valentino's death to promote those last two movies.

I thank him for sending those thousands of letters which resulted in a world of Valentino Memorial Guilds and their enthusiastic members.

I thank him for negotiating those great United Artists' contracts which resulted in The Eagle and The Son of the Sheik.

I thank him for enduring three decades and counting of harassment by the Valentino family which according to what his children told me, he endured with spirit and class.

#nomoreliesaboutUllman #ignorehoaxers #exposethehoax #bewareofcroatianswhodontspeakcroatian #thankyouforreadingmyhashtags


S. George Ullman with his wife Bee and Pola Negri


S. George Ullman @ 1925



Saturday, August 29, 2020

Take Your Choice!

When I was completing Michael Morris' posthumous book, Beyond Valentino, I wanted to secure permissions to include more of Natacha Rambova's sketches. Most of them belong today to the Cecil B. DeMille estate. It was something I did not get around to doing but today I received these images and I had to share. I have never seen these designs and they are a great addition to the collection. Thank-you to a most generous friend! 







Telling the Story of the Purloined Los Angeles Times Article

Some time in 2008, Michael Morris called me to say I would be receiving a phone call from a reporter from the Los Angeles Times. Seems he met him at a book signing and a lengthy conversation was had. Michael told the reporter about Affairs Valentino, my recovery of the S. George Ullman memoir, the court records, etc. He also told him I would be delivering a speech the following February, a few months later, in Turin upon the invitation of the University there and speak on Rudolph Valentino's sexual orientation or the history of the literary treatment of said subject.

The reporter sensed a story and so it began; a few intense months of interviews, long phone calls and the subsequent subterfuge of his wading into this mess of a story involving many of the characters which I have been writing about previously on this blog.

Of course I was excited to think I might be getting some great press for my book Affairs Valentino. At the time I was still writing the book and my literary agent in New York was constantly trying to get me to pursue some press. So there it was... an article about my discoveries in the L.A.Times.

Michael cleverly timed this to coincide with our reading of our speeches at the Convegno Valentino in Turin and so a few months prior to that appearance I began interviews with the reporter.

I first met him in a restaurant in Long Beach where he interviewed me for an hour or so. After this he phoned me and I recall about once a week. He told me he would be interviewing other people in the “Valentino World” and asked me for names. Now this was before 2010 when Terhune and Bret allied openly to ruin me. And I suggested he speak with Donna Hill, Emily Leider, Tracy Terhune and Jeanine Villalobos. He also interviewed a few members of a forum which was then run by Hill and Terhune.

I grew accustomed to answering my phone to hear the reporter's voice telling me about his previous interviews and thoughts. He was candid. And at one point he wanted to interview Rudolph Valentino's manager, George Ullman's daughter Bunny. Her brother Bob was by then deceased.

Bunny agreed and there was much ado about this interview with the L.A.Times. Reporter arrived at Bunny's home with a photographer who took pictures of Bunny and I for an hour. The reporter arrived and it did not take so long before it all fell apart. Bunny refused to consent to allowing the L.A.Times to publish her legal surname and her location for fear Valentino fanatics would harass her. Reporter would not budge and said without her agreeing to be identified the interview would not happen. It was a discouraging moment. Bunny made every effort to look lovely and have her home in order. But the reporter and his photographer up and left in a huff and that was that.

More phone calls revealed reporter had interviewed everyone and I learned the following:

From his interview with Tracy Terhune: He said that when he asked Terhune if he thought Valentino was gay, he demurred and told him he was not sure. Reporter told me Terhune said Valentino “might have been bisexual.”

From his interview with Donna Hill: Reporter told me Hill refused to be interviewed at all because she said I set the whole thing up. I did not and state for the record it was Michael Morris' project from day one.

From his interview with Emily Leider: Reporter told me she said I had attacked her by making public statements impugning her for not contacting the Ullmans. What public? In 2008 I had no public.

From his interview with Jeanine Villalobos: Reporter told me the shocking news that Villalobos admitted to have a copy of the 1975 Ullman memoir and to having read it. This triggered a certain anger in Bunny Ullman as she believed she and her family always held the only copy.

Now at some point the reporter called me while I was at work one day and read me his entire article which was ready for front page publication. He said he would time the publication with my speech and the speeches of Michael and Villlabos in Turin. This was but a few weeks away.

So I went to Turin knowing that during the week, the article would appear in the L.A.Times. I was thrilled. The article was a comprehensive and intelligent one about the postmortem outing of celebrities and profiling Valentino and the story of my Ullman discoveries. It was a brilliant piece of journalism. I felt the weeks of effort I invested in this project to have been well worth the effort.

During the week in Turin, I checked online several times a day awaiting the article. It did not appear. As each day went by I was increasingly discouraged and on my flight home knowing it never happened I was morose. To make matters worse I sent many an email to the reporter asking what the hell happened to his article.

No answer. None at all for another week. I was in shock. At last a phone call from the reporter who told me the following:

That the paper decided at the last minute to can the article because they feared a gay backlash. Ridiculous as there was nothing homophobic at all in the article.

That the paper could not afford a lawsuit... I asked what lawsuit?

That the paper was about to go bankrupt and needed subscribers... etc.! A this point I knew what had happened.

I had already had so many doors closed to my work by then. Villalobos refused to be interviewed for the book citing the “personal nature of their documentation”, Campbell's Funeral Church shut me down saying the documents belonged to the family, and Bill Self told me that Jeanine Villalobos told him not to speak with me anymore as she demanded an exclusive relationship with him.

So I was not surprised and suspected the obvious. The L.A. Times did not want a lawsuit.

But despite my bitter disappointment I learned a few more things:

Donna Hill apparently hated me, Tracy Terhune was not as convinced Valentino was gay as he let on publicly, Leider had some issue with me and Jeanine Villalobos had a copy of the 1975 memoir and told no one over the years.

Shortly after the failed article, the same reporter published an article in the paper on Michael's religious movie poster collection and I felt this was done as a sort on compensation for the debacle of the article which was scheduled to be on the front page of the L.A.Times during the Convgeno Valentino.

I never heard from the reporter again and forged on. I guess by that point I realized no one in the Valentino world at that time, other than Michael Morris was about to help me in my quest. And that was that. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

My Reaction To It

 #gaslighting

“Psychopaths & Narcissists blatantly deny their own manipulative behavior & ignore evidence when confronted with it. They'll be dismissive & critical if you attempt to disprove their fabrications with facts. Instead of addressing their own inappropriate behavior, somehow it will always be your fault for being “too sensitive” and “too crazy”. Toxic people condition you to believe the problem isn't the abuse itself, but instead your reaction to it.”

#tracyterhune #davidbret #takedownthatblog #gaslighters #thankyouforreadingmyhashtags




Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Fitting Rudy Tribute

I will never cease to praise and honor Renato for his hard work and dedication. At one of the lowest points in the saga of Affairs Valentino, when I had given up, he arrived. I guess you could say that it was “in the cards”, “fated”... because our story defines magic, serendipity and true love. I find it perfect that our books, our efforts on behalf of Valentino all happened because of love. Kind of a fitting Rudy tribute I think.

Under a “natural arch” on a road trip a few years ago...There's a new sheriff in town and he's Italian!"




Tuesday, August 25, 2020

In My Defense

Some time in 2013, the cyber-bullying attacks against me online were so bad I felt I had to respond by video. This because the haters accused me of being someone else, accused someone else of writing my written responses. I did not like to be on camera and still don't. The video responses were a daunting effort for me but an important one. With Renato filming we would make 29 short responses to Tracy Terhune, the "team" and David Bret. Oh they hated my videos and still weep and wail about them. 

They mocked me as crazy for making the videos and it seems all so long ago now. But little has changed in the ensuing seven years. No one would want to be put in a position to make videos like this and especially because they wrote a book on Valentino. 

From my terrace, on a cold Italian day...




 

Monday, August 24, 2020

A Commentary on the Whitley Heights Doors & Collectors as Appraisers in General

I recently received screenshots from a person I consider to be a Valentino expert who wishes to remain anonymous. The screenshots were of an exchange between Tracy Terhune and Ms. Wendy Winquest. Ms. Winquest shared images and the history of an antique door she purchased which was once a part of Valentino's Whitley Heights home.

Terhune weighed in as an “expert” to inform her that her beautiful antique door was not on the premises and I quote, “during Rudy's time.” Was Ms. Winquest deceived when she purchased the door? I believe she was not. 

Although Ms. Winquest agreed her door was not the front door which was on the home during Rudy's residency, Terhune was wrong in my opinion in telling her the door was not there on the home during “Rudy's time.”

Upon examination of her door, the unique hardware, the rivets, especially the precise spacing of those rivets and in comparing photographs of her door with a photograph of Valentino in front of the garage doors of Whitley Heights when he lived there... we find the answer. 


     (above) The original garage facade configuration of Whitley Heights during Valentino's residency. 

When the home was subsequently owned by the Maybelline family, they initiated extensive renovations which included the removal of the massive garage doors as we see here.



In examining the images of the original garage doors...



... and the images of Ms. Winquest's door and another similar door on the property during the Maybelline residency.. the evidence of just what no doubt occurred is apparent.




Ms. Winquest's door was once a part of the original garage doors. The spacing of the rivets is identical to the original garage doors and the hardware, whether retooled to this downsize or recreated creates a beautiful tribute to the original. When the Maybellines removed the original doors, they apparently did not dispose of them but reconfigured them for use.

As someone who appraised antiques and restored them for a living for over thirty long years, I can say there are more specific ways Ms. Winquest can analyze her door. The saw cuts are important to look at, the iron rivets can be dated, the wood dated and a determination of where the wood came from can be made. Varnishes and patinas used can be analyzed and a myriad of other processes available could be pursued. In this case however, an immediate confirmation of the source of her door can be made from photographs and this alone establishes significant provenance for her intriguing piece.

However, this process of verification and appraisal should be conducted by a professional appraiser and in my opinion never by anyone with a potential financial interest in the antique. I recommend specifically never consulting a collector for an appraisal. The collector's assessment is inherently based on the financial exchange system of the Valentino memorabilia market and where there is a profit to be made, the appraisal is more often than not compromised, if not corrupt by the hope of securing a choice relic.

I am sure in telling Ms. Winquest the bad news... that her beautiful door was never on the premises “during Rudy's time”, said collector was ready to take that door which he declared worthless... off her hands.

Ms. Wendy Winquest was not sold a bill of goods when she bought the door, not deceived in my opinion and in the opinion of the expert who sent this along. Before its reconstruction, her door did hang on the Whitley Heights garage during what Terhune refers to as, “Rudy's time”. What a treasure!

I would advise Ms. Winquest to not sell the door so cheaply, as I allege it was certainly there during “Rudy's time”, as we can see in the photo of him sitting proudly in his roadster... and yes, I believe her door was refitted, and beautifully, artfully so, from Rudolph Valentino's original garage doors.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Renato Floris Responds to Tracy Terhune and David Bret's Insults

 Renato writes:

"Insults: The Weapon of Cowards!

For years now, we have suffered the vile attacks of Tracy Ryan Terhune and David Bret.

They initially disguised their attacks as criticisms of Evelyn's book Affairs Valentino and did so, and continue to do, from a blog that happens to be titled Affairs Valentino. Since criticizing her book was not enough, they began to criticize all of our publications, a legitimate action if supported by intellectual honesty but their criticism of Affairs Valentino evolved into a bloody autopsy of our works.

Having found nothing truly to complain about, they began just accusing me of grammatical ignorance pointing out simple printing errors and a few typos.

While Evelyn and I defend ourselves from these two ghetto bullies, they have added even heavier insinuations to their generic insults both about our marital relationship and about my manly qualities.

They try to ridicule me because Evelyn and I decided to keep the pen name with which she has been known for a long time, Zumaya. There are no alpha, beta or gamma husbands, there is only one husband and that would be me!

In addition, a photograph of myself has been published while I was wearing in Morocco robe, a very common Maghrebi male suit and for this reason to Tracy Terhune I have become the husband “who wears a dress”.

I am amazed that two defenders of homosexuality, Tracy Terhune and David Bret, use references to homosexuality to offend, insult and ridicule. Depending on what they want to say, their use of the term “homosexual” can be praise or an insult?

This is an absurd contradiction for two self-appointed champions of the "politically correct". An absurd contradiction for them to use the word homophobic to disgrace their imaginary enemies. I say imaginary enemies because we are actual victims.

I wonder: do they really have nothing else better to do? It would be useful, given that they pass themselves off as Valentino scholars and “experts” who are most often wrong about everything, that they dedicate themselves with the utmost humility, a skill that they lack, to better investigate Rudolph Valentino.

I also recommend to Bret, the new Dogberry and Trinculo jester, not to bother to cite Shakespeare and his great work Othello so haphazardly. I'm sorry for Bret's lack of knowledge about Shakespeare, but the term, “cuckhold” (which he and Terhune now use to describe me) this word which amuses Bret as he cites it to Iago's line, has nothing to do with the context in which he tried to use it as a weapon against me. This is because I am more than sure of the fidelity of my beloved wife.

Bret should study and above all stop telling his indefensible stories. In his case, the Emperor has no clothes but continues to brag about his beautiful clothing.

As Tracy Terhune plays with his Rudolph Valentino toys and goes unpunished for what he does to us, I advise him to go ahead and, “Play, Tracy play,” but leave the adults alone and non rompere le scatole.

What began as their phony excuse of an Affairs Valentino Critique on their hate blog targeting us, has evolved now into their weapon of high level deceitful cyber-bullying and something I think they can not be proud of. I will say this, our books are so powerful that they are still attacking them and us after more than ten years."


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Calling Out Some Stereotyping

In response to Tracy Terhune's post, in which he refers to us, on his designated hate Affairs Valentino blog...which he has posted two times and then two times deleted, with the original post appearing first on August 9th, I quote, citing as fair use with this screenshot-tino:


I realize they, Terhune and Bret have never met my husband Renato Floris, nor me for that matter but they seem to think they know us. For the record, I divorced my previous husband long ago and I had my reasons. They are personal ones and nothing which Tracy Terhune or David Bret have the slightest knowledge of. I kept the last name as my pen name as my books were then known by this name and published before I married Renato.

I met Renato Floris through Valentino, at the Convegno Valentino held in 2009 in Turin as I was invited by the hosting University to speak on my research into the controversy of Valentino's sexual orientation. Renato worked on a Valentino documentary produced by Italian television in the mid-90's and in this capacity he attended the conference. So that is how we met.

It was love at first sight and despite the bureaucratic complications of his being Italian and my being American we have been together ever since.

I refuse to take Terhune and Bret's outrageous stereotyping bait... as they try elicit a defense from me for their portraying me as a woman who dominates, who would be attracted to a man just to control him and who would still perceive someone I divorced almost two decades ago as being an “alpha” anything. How misogynistic can they possibly be? And again I call them out for mocking a photograph of Renato wearing a Morrocan robe as being a man wearing a "dress". I repeat that is homophobic, transphobic and drag-phobic. 

But for the record, Renato Floris is not just my husband, my partner, my best friend and confidant and my great love but he is the witty and knowledgeable guru of the great and passionate opinion. We appreciate every single day just how blessed we are to have found each other and are grateful we met when we did and how we did. A true Valentino love story.

I would not use the word, “alpha” to describe my ex-husband but I think in describing Terhune and Bret we could sure call them “Omega”.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Sticks and Stones

 I am absolutely blown away that in August of 2020, I am forced to respond to such extreme levels of political incorrectness which is being directed towards my husband Renato and myself.

I respond to the following:

About twelve hours before this writing, Tracy Terhune reposted his tirade from August 9 in which he said I was in such “ruins” that even Renato could not save me, that I belong in the trash bin of Valentino history, repeatedly called Renato the “man who wears a dress”... and he added a new reference to Renato calling him a “cuck”, meaning an unmanly, effeminate man who is dominated by a controlling woman.... short version of cuckhold.

Terhune rationalizes this name-calling by pointing to my using the name “Evelyn Zumaya” as my pen name. Despite this being none of his business, this really, really bothers him and he hits on it consistently. I think it is so obvious why I use the name that it barely merits explanation. It is obviously part of the Affairs Valentino brand at this point after some twenty years.

If Terhune finds this to be anything else at all, he is delusional. In my opinion, he has an issue with aliases and stage names. He called Hala Pickford a fraud for years because she used a stage name. I am not sure why this is a big deal for Terhune other than it being an absurd point from which to fire his poison arrows at us. If he wants to be the outraged alias police he can begin with his pal David Spurr, a.k.a. David Bret, a.k.a. Albert Morris. 

Of course Terhune is free to say anything he wants to about us... that is his right. But to post things like this... name-calling and insulting us to such a high degree... and broadcast it to the world on a blog he admits he runs maliciously under the title of my Valentino biography, Affairs Valentino... well that is what I challenge. I have been challenging him in this for years and will continue to challenge him until he closes that blog and returns the URL to its rightful owner... me. 

While he continues to run that shady, shady Affairs Valentino blogspot and do his slight-of-hand post and delete routine...I will defend our right to do business which should not include someone like Tracy Terhune massacring our very existence under the banner of Affairs Valentino. It is a criminal act to stand in front of a restaurant telling anyone arriving that the food is poison. That is impeding the establishment's owners right to conduct business. How is this any different?

How does Tracy Terhune get a pass for being so politically incorrect in the very least and especially now? And in regards to demeaning and insulting a man by calling him less than manly... did that not get corrected universally decades ago? And is this not an exact replay of what Valentino was subjected to by the author of the Pink Powder Puff editorial back in 1926? Has Tracy Terhune not evolved at all about saying these types of things? Maybe he needs to check his calendar because it is 2020 and not 1820.

Within hours Terhune deleted the post again for the second time... but not before this champion captured the screenshots.



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

On The Subject of Masks & Hypocrisy

 Oh imagine my surprise to see Donald Garner selling his friend's Valentino masks in a Facebook group run by Tracy Terhune (this according to Cindy Martin). Well. Well. Well. Not so long ago when I did the same, I was viciously and instantly assaulted online by Tracy Ryan Terhune for daring to commit such blasphemy as to put Valentino's face on a mask and sell it. The outrage was so high, it was as if I did something criminal.

On May 13th, Tracy Terhune posted with the headline reading... (Excerpted as Fair Use to illustrate my point)


Yes... he wrote: ”Evelyn Zumaya's Atttempt to “CASH IN” By Selling Coronavirus Face Masks of Valentino”, subtitle asks...” Are Evelyn Zumaya and Renato Floris completely tone deaf?”

So logically I have to ask...where's the outrage targeting Donald Garner for doing the exact same thing?

And as to Donald Garner... he used to be a friend on Instagram and I found him charming, witty, genuine and friendly. Then one day he posted a picture of his copy of my book Daydreams. I knew it would not be long and sure enough it wasn't. He not only unfollowed me but blocked me. How does someone go from nice and friendly to that instant level of banishment? Because he was told... and he obeyed the outrage and he was propagandized against me. I am sorry about that still.

I guess this year it will be hard to recognize the sycophants because they will all be masked. But I am sure there will be a few front row seats of honor saved for the loyalists who worked so hard the past year in Terhune's “Campaign Against Evelyn”, as Cindy Martin called it.

For his miles and miles of hateful screed against us, posted in violation of a court order, I am sure David Bret will be seated front and center in the graveyard. And no doubt he will be seated next to Ms. Cindy Martin who has certainly done her best to incite outrage towards us.

And to the masked audience in Terhune's graveyard fete? I invite you to read some of the previous posts about this man on this blog which I was forced to write in response to his attacks...and visit the designated hate blog he maliciously runs to divert my Affairs Valentino web traffic. Yes, head over there to see what he has been up to this past year in regards to his excessive savaging of us and our work.

To Donald Garner, I guess according to Terhune's logic and feelings on the matter... you are attempting to cash in and are tone deaf. I add that I do not share that sentiment and do not fault you for promoting your friend's masks...not at all...so I say ignore the mind-boggling hypocrisy if Terhune dares to heave his judgment your way. In my opinion, he is the king of "Cashing In" on Valentino.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Beyond Valentino

We made this little video (below)...shortly after Michael Morris' posthumous book was published in 2017. I was honored to have been working on this book with him for several years before he passed away. In his final weeks he tried to hurry to have it completed but this did not happen. It was emotional work for me as I gathered up his archive and his nearly completed work and labored for the next year to finish his mighty tome. 

I completed the work with the generous assistance of his family and the Dominican diocese. I will admit I did not edit out so much from the materials Michael wanted to include because I knew he would not be revisiting the subject of Rambova. His discoveries were substantial, such as the images from Mallorca and as I completed the book, I went on to make a few more, such as the Mark Hasselriis story and images.



 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

What Would They Think?

Below....my and Renato's contributions to Valentino history to date. As Tracy Terhune wrote, “Evelyn Zumaya belongs in the trash bin of Valentino history” ….I am calling him out for an apology.

In that same post he bullies my husband by calling him, “the man in a dress” for wearing a Moroccan robe... which is not only homophobic but Islamophobic, trans-phobic and drag-phobic. And he gloats how I am in such ruins (from his decade of savaging) that even Renato can not save me.

He deleted this post on that point blank bullying hate blog he runs under my book's title. But what kind of person, I ask... runs blogs under another author's book titles to “ruin” them (Terhune's own word) with vicious lies, ageism, a whole lot of death wishing and just about anything else under the category of mean, cruel and sick? Who does that? Tracy Terhune does that's who.

On that blog Tracy Terhune likes to call me “obsessed”. Well there is nothing wrong with a productive level of obsession if it is motivated by the good and not evil. I am obsessed … obsessed with exacting justice for Renato and I for what we have been subjected to by Tracy Terhune's assaults to our truth. And yes if he continues in this manner, I will be obsessed with exposing his cruel behavior.

Obsessed? I am... with receiving his apology and it must be loud and clear and sincere and everywhere. How preposterous for him to behave like this on his dirty little secret Affairs Valentino blogspot...while trying to act the victim. He might have deleted that post but he wrote it and it was broadcast to the world for a while.

I am proud of these books and our contribution to Valentino history. And god willing there might be a couple more on the way. Die Evelyn Zumaya Die has been in the works for seven years and another new book has Renato and I inspired.

I ask myself the following: if all the attendees and Valentino's relatives at the Valentino crypt ceremony on August 23rd... emceed by Tracy Terhune....if they were to find on their chairs a full print out of what he has written on that blog...what would they think? His contribution to Valentino history? How would he explain that level of hate and obsession to his audience?  

Does he not realize that running that blog ensures my response? Because every single day that blog is online under my book's title, Tracy Terhune, administrator...is bullying me.




Saturday, August 15, 2020

Affairs Valentino Sources & That Italian Hospital Visit

 As we have nearly concluded recording my reading Affairs Valentino, I realized something which I want to mention. I wrote the book in a narrative non-fiction style but I included all of my sources in my 40 plus page end notes section. I invite anyone reading to or listening to me read Affairs Valentino to follow along in this section to discover my sources and see how I built the narrative.

I am proud of my research and my sources and want them to be known.

As the Affairs Valentino haters scoff, shun, accuse and insult...my sources defy them because they are solid and shared.

Apparently one of my unique sources was being sought out in the past few days; the story of Rudy and his secret visit to the Italian Hospital in London. As this article (below) was tucked into George Ullman's archives, this was the first and as far as I know the only time the story was told... in Affairs Valentino. 

For future reference I share this article and I apologize for the poor quality but this is exactly how Ullman's copy looked. 



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Expanding on my Response to Tracy Terhune's Trash Bin

I was not the first person to feel the wrath of Tracy Ryan Terhune and David Bret. Not at all. And before I clarify this statement I want to say that as far as Tracy Terhune's running around pulling his hair out, yelling in his capital letters that I am “obsessed” with him... let me say this; I am not obsessed with him but yes I am very obsessed, obsessed with responding to Tracy Terhune's brazen bullying of us, obsessed with defending us against his hateful lies, his hosting the likes of David Bret, and I am obsessed with responding to his running that shit show all under the title of my book.. Affairs Valentino.. A book which is the culmination of a decade of hard work by many intelligent people, including the children of Rudolph Valentino's manager, the family of Rudolph Valentino's godfather. Yes...I am obsessed with defending these fine people and their work and the stories they shared about of their beloved father and grandfather which contributed so incredibly to Valentino's history. According to Tracy Terhune this all belongs in the trash bin.

I respond again... and he can add this to that long tally of times I was forced to respond...because Tracy Ryan Terhune wrote last week that I, Evelyn Zumaya, belong in the “trash bin of Valentino history”. I ask.. “really”?

I sit here with the hard drives of several computers full of terabytes of Valentino data and in an office stacked to the ceiling with plastic bins full of Valentino history documentation; both my archive and that of Michael Morris. This massive archive represents decades of research on Valentino and Rambova. Perhaps Terhune forgot that I discovered those historically valuable copies of the stolen Valentino court records which“they” all had and still do have their sticky little hands all over. Our books stand as evidence to our labors in regards to our contributions to Valentino history. My husband (no quotation marks there) and I have worked extremely hard publishing our books and Renato arduously translating some he felt would contribute to the Valentino history. And etc. etc. etc...

I was not the first person to be the target of the wrath and bullying of the team of Tracy Terhune and David Bret. Before I stepped forth on the stage in Turin in 2009, Bret was doing the exact same thing he would do and does to us to the fans of Mario Lanza. How they hated him for his treatment of Lanza in that tawdry bio...and the rhetoric he abused them with was the same. I have a great deal of evidence in saying this because while I was suffering his abuse, they found me and sent it all my way hoping I would do something to stop him. Over the years I heard from many folks he was abusing online in the same manner.

And I heard from people Tracy Terhune angered substantially including a woman who sent me the entire transcript of some exchange she had with him in a chat room long ago. At least I guess I can say he has not yet physically chased me... As he once did to another one of his perceived enemies some eight years ago now. Yes he once chased a young woman and her father through a parking lot in Utah yelling, “You're going to jail!” over and over and over as he tried to stop her with his citizen's arrest. The frantic foot chase went on as he ran after her and her Dad...through the courthouse and out into the parking lot...this while waving an expired bench warrant... Her father stopped and confronted Terhune, saying, “You tried to push her (his daughter) to suicide!” To which Terhune replies, “That was David Bret!” Father replies, “What will it take for you to stop harassing my daughter?” Terhune replies, “She has to guarantee that Affairs Valentino never happens again!”

Now this young woman published the First Edition of Affairs Valentino way back when but we had parted ways a couple of years before Terhune's chasing her in Utah. She had nothing to do with the book at that point. But I ask... in light of history such as this... who are the bullies here? And who is the one who is “obsessed”, or as Ms. Cindy Martin called it “wigging out over a book”? I think it is remarkably unambiguous just who is obsessed in this saga and who are the bullies.

It is so rewarding to be in touch with people I consider to be the true authorities on Valentino. They are intelligent, open-minded, excited for new discoveries and appreciative of documentation, ever generous in sharing ideas and expert on the smallest detail of the man's life. This, to me, is the absolute guardianship of Valentino's history.

It is seriously deplorable that these two men so ravage the “Valentino history” with their lies and innuendo and censoring of new discoveries; with their sadistic bullying and cruel name-calling and malicious alliance. In my opinion their biggest lie is that they feign having any role in Valentino's history or any real interest in him. If Rudolph Valentino was still about I think I know well who he would be heaving into the trash bin.

And if you want to see what Tracy Ryan Terhune and David Bret's contribution to Valentino's history truly is... head on over to that Affairs Valentino blog which Terhune runs and check it out.

In Reference to the Previous Post on This Blog...

 The feedback we received from Tracy Ryan Terhune's recent post... which we refer to as the “He Wore A Dress & I Belong in the Trash” post... was unanimous; it was shocking, extremely homophobic and very heavy bullying.

Terhune deleted the post and I would hope it was because he had thinking friends and family who read that and told him it was so bad he needed to delete it immediately. This tactic to post something extremely emotional, offensive and cruel and then remove it has been going on for eight years and counting. I wonder how many awful things he has posted about us we have completely missed because we do not check his blog of hate that often.

He also removes posts to leave our response with nothing to reference. But we have screenshots and what was he deleting so speedily?

Here for posterity, in order to verify what we were responding to in our previous post, I cite his now deleted post titled, “Evelyn Zumaya Quote: “I Stand By Everything I have Every (sic) Written”... which was posted on the blog he runs under the title of my book he hates so very much.

With his blaring typo in his title, he mocked my saying I stand by everything I have ever written. I do by the way.

He taunts me saying I, “fell into a slippery slope of NO recovery.” To which I respond... one can not fall INTO a slippery slope but DOWN one and I was pushed down that slope by what he did to me with Bret since 2010. It is kind of like mocking someone for not being able to dance because you broke their legs.

He continues, “This woman who permanently resides in the trash can of Valentino history.”

This line inspires only one real response and that is that it is dripping, if not saturated in jealousy.

He goes on to write...” All the while 'her husband' parades around in a dress”.

Well Renato is my husband and no quotation marks are necessary. We did live in sin for a few years so Terhune could have been justified then with the wondering. But we have been legally married now for over five years.

And mocking any one, a man or a woman for wearing a dress, (in this case Renato was wearing a Morrocan robe) is homophobic and bullying by definition.

I could go on and cite how he asks me if I am “devoid of reality”. Now there is a philosophical question. Just by being alive I would have some reality, just by assuming I could read his insults would imply I had reality. In my opinion not a tremendous amount of thought went into that now deleted post.

His manic tallying of all the times I have had to respond to his provocations is laughable because he is basically saying, “Hey look folks... look how many times I forced this woman to defend herself and her husband?” Alot … and there has been a lot and in his tidy tally he displays all the evidence of his non-stop hate.

He ends his manic diatribe with calling Renato again my, “dress wearing husband” and saying he can not even save me from “the ruin I find myself in”.

Well in closing here I state happily that I am far from “in ruins”. Renato and I are engaged in many great projects, have published some 14 books and counting. We are in love and despite this long quarantine we are happier than ever and very productive. Our videos are being watched on Youtube, some books are selling, we hear every day from wonderful brilliant people and we are inspired to create more.

And let me say from the feedback we received about Terhune's now deleted post, that no one who contacted us read it and thought, “Oh how noble, how beautifully written... how fabulous.” No they thought it was evidence of some mental disorder, a tragically unhappy person and none of the comments registered were anything but shock.

I notice Terhune, although he deleted the post, left David Bret's slurry online there, oozing out of that rank comment section. In complete violation of a court order... and let me send a thought along to him as I know he reads this blog because he responds within minutes...

Perhaps instead of spending his days writing shit about good people for sport online... he could find a day job and begin paying us the court awarded damages from the defamation lawsuit we won against him.

And to Terhune I could pass along a note saying he might want to take that hijacked blog under the title of my book off line and return the URL to me... In this way he would remove any temptation to further parade his “tragically angry and unhappy” self around for the world to see.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Tracy Terhune Mocks and Bullies Us Again -Updated with a Comment From Renato Floris

 Dear Tracy Terhune.

All of those posts I made were in response to your evil defamation which you have posted on a blog under my book's title for eight long years. A blog where you have done nothing but bully with names trying to demean my beautiful husband by saying he was "wearing a dress". How Islamaphobic of you. That is the wear for men in Morroco. 

Your posting that long sad list of my responses is pretty self defeating I would say Tracy, "Not the King of Valentino" Terhune. And for history I say I am very proud of the original Forewarning. I had such guts to do that. Sure I would do it differently today as I have more to add... but back then I was so defeated by you and Bret that I gave up. I state here for posterity that I am so very, very proud of my first Forewarning. And guess what... it was true.

I never said you would shoot someone in the back of the head, you did actually by identifying yourself. And someone I kept anonymous told me that.  You were never mentioned in that Forewarning. And after what I had gone through in 2010... that was a mild, mild piece. 

I  respond to your mocking my using my pen name, ridiculing Renato ..who is so far your superior there are not words to describe the gap, by saying anyone who knows him will attest to the fact that he is loving, kind, gentle and learned. And when we are in Morroco and it is 120 degrees, he and all the other men in our neighborhood wear the appropriate garb.

If you are so the victim, then why are you posting on a stolen blog under the title of my beloved book. Why? Pretty cheesy behavior I think. Who do you think you really impress with your sad name calling and elder abuse?

Calm down, its just a book...close that blog and move on. We have the testimony of first hand witnesses as to your campaign and your recruiting and alliances. And you know why? Because not everyone in the Valentino world is sorely lacking in morals. There are many, many fine people who are appalled with your behavior and want this situation changed. 

And by the way mocking a man for wearing a dress... even if it is a dress.. is homophobic. Men can wear dresses all they want to with no demeaning insults being hurled their way. You sir, in using men wearing dresses as a means to defame... are being homophobic.

We rise above. My Forewarning was from the gut, from the heart... after 10 years of hard work you and Bret had hit me so hard... I wrote the response of all responses. I might need to write another one. 

Quit whining...Its been ten years already.

And by the way, every single day that blog is online being run by you.. you are bullying us. 

A Comment from Renato:

"Tracy Ryan Terhune's delusions of grandeur have now reached worrying levels. Not so much for us but for his loved ones, if any. To the delirium of his grandeur he adds his absolute lack of a sense of humor. I think even he does not laugh at his squalid jokes which are his pathetic attempts to provoke and ridicule me because in Morocco I dared to wear a Moroccan djellaba. And if I went to Scotland, I would dress in a kilt.

I dare say his pathetic provocations only inspire sympathy... like that due to spoiled temperamental children. Another of Tracy Ryan Terhune's points is that he is indignant at having been mentioned so many times and, as a good accountant which is his profession, he has listed all the dates on which his sacred name was mentioned.

Well, if this follows... in his hijacking the blog which belonged to Evelyn and which bears the title of her book... he is mentioning the name of Evelyn every day. In this case, let's say that as he said her name on that blog every day it is online.. the tally, beginning from August 2, 2012 when Terhune opened the blog...up to today, results in the beautiful sum of 2929 times that he has mentioned Evelyn. So let's say that in this case, it is he who wins the bingo.

I have also wondered many times what Tracy Ryan Terhune's strength was to hold the post he, in my humble opinion, undeservedly occupies. He wants capriciously to hold on and celebrate every year a ceremony which rather than being a serious occasion.. reminds me of the mad hatter's non-birthday party in Alice in Wonderland. Yes, a non-birthday party because this ceremony does not celebrate a birth but a death.

Just to make this moment a little lighter, I post a link to a song which I dedicate to Tracy Ryan Terhune who, for me, now deserves the title of Valentino's Mad Hatter."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=RdsZT7WKjW8


Defending Our Good Names Again

 There is an old familiar feeling which I have felt since 2009 and which my husband Renato and I have both felt since 2011...and that would be dread. This dread.. is what those bullying us hurl our way on a daily basis in response to us reporting the absolute truth about what has happened and what is happening to us.

We report honestly that Tracy Terhune and David Bret are still running a designated hate blog under my book's title where they brag about diverting traffic from our products and my book Affairs Valentino and write consistently about our impending deaths.

They incite hatred of us by calling us homophobic, fools, tottering elderly with no brains left. And there is ample proof to what I write. Unfortunately there is.

They incite hatred for our work, do their worst to demean and mock us and this is all documented. Unfortunately it is.

They try to portray us as the villains when what we did was to write some books; books they did not like. Their response? To mock us, call us names, post images of Satan and the Bible and lie about us and the entire situation with no mercy.

David Bret lost a lawsuit I filed against him for defamation and he knows this. This despite his years of posting everywhere on line that is was a non existent case which we made up. I don't think he is thinking that right now.

Instead of accepting there are books they don't like and moving on with their own lives, they have allied to ruin us and hopefully instill our lives with more dread. My father's memory was attacked, reports I was a criminal, a drug addict were posted everywhere by them and obituaries published claiming I was dead. My hard drive is full of sad and terrifying screenshots of their assaults on my good name, my husband's good name and the good names of many of our business and personal associates who have dared to defend us throughout the decade this hell has been going on.

What kind of people do things like this, so openly, so publicly and so proudly? I think their actions and online comments reveal more about them than us. We are not bullies, not liars... we do not run hateful blogs under their book's titles...we are not homophobic and are not stalking anyone and never have.

I call on Tracy Terhune and David Bret to close that blog and cease in their hateful diatribes and all because we wrote and published books they do not like. I stand by everything I have every written, including this today again in our defense. I am proud that at our ripe old ages we are still alive and mentally sharp and working hard to reclaim the truth about ourselves and our work and respond to their threats and endless insults.

The evidence collected over these long years speaks for itself as to the truth of this awful situation.

Bullies do not like it when their victims speak up, point out the obvious and fight back. I will never be bullied into silence. Never.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Rambova's "Egyptian Woman"

 In 2017 we published Michael Morris posthumous book, Beyond Valentino – A Madam Valentino Addendum. In the course of my completing his work, it was necessary for me to secure many copyright permissions for images. I contacted the Roerich Foundation in New York in this regard and they were extremely helpful and even contributed additional images for our use. They also put me in touch with the Roerich expert in Moscow, Dr. Vladimir Rosov.

Dr. Rosov is writing a biography of Svetoslav Roerich and plans to include a chapter on Svetoslav's engagement to Natacha Rambova. Michael Morris knew about this three year engagement but did not include it in Madam Valentino on the request of the Roerich Foundation. This was something he sorely regretted.

In 2009, Michael Morris seized the opportunity while delivering his speech at the Convegno Valentino in Turin to amend this issue. He explained why he did not include this in Madam Valentino and how it was his belief Svetoslav Roerich was Natacha Rambova's “great love.”

Dr. Rosov verified the three year engagement and also informed me he had two other portraits painted by Svetoslav of Rambova. He was not ready to share these as I believe he will make them exclusive to his book. He did however share the rare colored sketch by Rambova of “The Egyptian Woman” (see below).

Although dated 1921... this design was the inspiration for an iconic scene in Valentino's movie, Cobra...the scene where the little statue comes to life. This incredible little watercolor had never been published before until we included it in Beyond Valentino.

Curiously Dr. Rosov once interviewed Michael Morris and this entire interview is included in the book. We had the article translated from the Russian and will no doubt do the same with the chapter Dr. Rosov includes in his book on the Svetoslav and Rambova love affair.

The Egyptian Woman”. Courtesy of Dr. Vladimir Rosov


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Inoubliable, Inoublié...?

From 1921-1923, Robert Florey worked as a press agent and secretary for Rudolph Valentino. When Valentino and his new bride Natacha Rambova traveled to Europe in 1923, Florey acted as a critical advance man for the tour. It was his job to organize press in advance of the Valentino's arrival in a city by dispensing photographic materials and press releases and making hotel reservations.

It was during this trip in 1923, Valentino and Rambova visited France. During this visit, Valentino faced a publicity crisis with his French public which was caused by Robert Florey. Robert Florey reported publicly how Valentino told him he found French women too fat, and followed this disparaging remark with other denigrating statements about France allegedly made by Valentino to Florey. The French responded accordingly and it was an effort on Valentino's behalf to quell the furor. French Valentino biographer, Jeanne DeRecqueville wrote about this episode and included a letter penned to the French press at the time in support of Valentino by René Clair. 

The result of this crisis was that Florey was fired; not only as advance man but as Valentino's friend. This seems understandable as the person who was hired to expedite positive press for Valentino accomplished the exact opposite.

My first awareness of Valentino firing Florey came about in one of my interviews with Valentino memorabilia collector William Self. Self, as a television producer, gave Florey work as a director in the 1950's and 1960's and knew him well.

Self told me the only person to ever speak badly to him about Valentino was Robert Florey. He then added, “But Florey was the only person Valentino ever personally fired.”

Florey admits to only having a working relationship with Valentino until 1923, but does not mention why nor does he ever address publicly his being fired over his divulging those denigrating remarks about Valentino.

In 1948, Florey published a book titled, Hollywood, Yesterday and Today in France. In this book he included a chapter titled, “The Magic Lantern” about his time spent as Valentino's press agent. I have addressed this piece on Valentino by Florey in a podcast and found it to include insults about Valentino while portraying him in a less than favorable light. It is not surprising Florey would assume this tone of revelation as he was someone who was fired by Valentino and no doubt harbored resentment.

In “The Magic Lantern”, Florey repeats the very information which had him fired in 1923. In my opinion there is no admirable way to account for his doing this. If he was such a great friend as he claims, he would not have betrayed Valentino in the first place by making comments which might have been shared with him in private. No press agent would allow such comments to be made public knowing the result they would generate.

I think the answer to the question as to why Florey would subsequently repeat them again and again is obvious; dead men don't tell tales and won't protest. In my opinion this was his means of revenge threaded into a general narrative about life in the presence of Valentino.

Which brings us to the point of today's post. In 1956, Florey reissued his “Magic Lantern” as an eight installment series on Valentino titled, “Inoubliable, Inoublié, RUDOLPH VALENTINO Survit à Sa Légende“. (Unforgettable, Unforgotten, Rudolph Valentino Survives his Legend) which he published in French in the fan magazine, Cinémonde. This was in commemoration of the thirty year anniversary of Valentino's death.

We learned of this series from David Bret on a post he made as a comment on May 23rd on the blog run by Tracy Terhune under my book's title. It was then Bret accused us of being homophobic because we did not reference Florey's 1956 series, “Inoubliable, Inoublié”.

Bret also claimed he did not reference “The Magic Lantern” as his source for his claims Valentino was gay, but it was “Inoubliable, Inoublié” instead. Now after having read this entire series, I wonder if David Bret can read French or if he has ever read “The Magic Lantern” or “Inoubliable, Inoublié” for that matter. If he did...he would realize quickly that it is the same content and anecdotes and that there is nothing new presented and nothing sexual in this publication at all.

In Bret's bibliography of his Valentino bio, he says “Inoubliable, Inoublié” was “unpublished”. I correct that and say it was published.. not once but twice.

Renato located these eight installments and has translated the entire series into Italian and English to verify as false Bret's allegation that this was his true source of gay Valentino. “Inoubliable, Inoublié” is nothing more than “The Magic Lantern” narrative with some other information cobbled together presenting an even more disrespectful portrait of Valentino.

Bret's stating we are homophobic in not referencing this series by Florey is a ridiculously false statement with no basis in fact other than the fact that Bret has called us homophobic for a decade now as he does with all of his critics. I state this is appalling behavior for someone claiming to be a champion of gay rights. No one should ever wield, and frivolously so, the subject of homophobia as a personal weapon of choice. It should not be used to incite hatred of someone he perceives as being an enemy. It is a dangerous, if not criminal, thing to do.

In 2009, Bret claimed his source for his gay anecdotes about Valentino was, “The Unpublished Diary of Rudolph Valentino”. When pressed, by me, for the location of this diary, he gave me the name of a Italian publisher. This publication he referred to was not unpublished and was in fact the Italian translation of Valentino's “My Private Diary”. Bret then referred to Florey and letters Florey published which he claimed proved they were lovers. Those letters are included in both the 1948 and 1956 Florey narratives and contain nothing but instructional information about the work at hand. And yes before 1923 it was a cordial exchange.

For me this is the end of the line for Bret's poorly executed attempts at pointing to his non-existent sources to support his claims Valentino was gay. If this was his true source, he had zero to reference; absolutely zero. For some ten years and counting Bret has pointed in many directions to divert anyone questioning his sources; and “Inoubliable, Inoublié” is another false claim and another diversion.

On May 23rd, Bret claimed this was in fact his true source and now we can say definitively this is not the source which he claims it to be.

In my opinion, I think Florey was exploiting his working relationship with Valentino and in 1956 he did so using the excuse it was 30 years after Valentino's death. He neglects to mention he was fired, neglects to mention he had no part in the actor's life after 1923. He mentions the last time he ever saw Valentino was on the street in Los Angeles as Valentino drove by with Pola Negri. I wonder if Valentino waved.

We will be publishing “Inoubliable, Inoublié” after negotiating the copyright permission with the Bibliothèque Nationale Française.



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Rudolph Valentino's Queen


Colorizing is terrifyingly easy these days. I am not so sure about it but it does contribute I think to the ability to relate to an image. How beautiful Natacha Rambova looks here with her wistful look. She was and is such a part of Valentino's story; a powerful influence, a force in his creation, the queen he loved. As my research path gave me the gift of learning just who she was and what happened to her, I felt all the more defensive of her legacy. 

The insults, the flagrant misogynist attacks on her good name and spectacular history are meaningless in their stupidity. Mrs. Valentino deserves respect. IMO. She sure looks ready to join the war effort here, doesn't she? 


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.

Hardly.

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.


Saturday, August 1, 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




Contact: evelyn@affairsvalentino.com