Monday, August 31, 2020

Affairs Valentino & Those Beautiful Court Records

 I share a further response to Tracy Ryan Terhune's statement about me made on his blog he continues to run under my book's title, Affairs Valentino, which I excerpt under Fair Use guidelines. Tracy Terhune wrote (and then deleted and then posted again and then deleted again): 


I wonder how he can feign being even mildly interested in Valentino if he states so adamantly that I... and along with all my discoveries about Valentino... reside in the "trash can of Valentino history."  If he seriously believes that, then I guess he would have you all toss the following discovery I made in the trash can?

This being, one of the most fascinating things I discovered in those court records I recovered... the business of Cosmic Arts, Inc. This was something George Ullman set up after he became Valentino's manager to reduce Valentino's liability and provide him with a corporate alter ego. Valentino's business contracts were all transferred to ownership of Cosmic Arts, Inc. 

The company was a laboratory and I write about this in detail in Affairs Valentino. I found one of the most interesting aspects of this revelation of Valentino's laboratory was that after it was purchased by Rudolph Valentino and established as his corporate alter ego, his then wife Natacha Rambova was assigned all ten shares of the company stock. 

Before she left Hollywood for New York and before that touching and infamous scene at the railroad station as they said their last good-bye, Rudolph had forced her to sign all of her stock over to him and he essentially divorced her that day. I discovered the truth about that scenario at the station. 

The many other details of Cosmic Arts., the complexities of that aspect of Valentino's story was intriguing to me and something new I brought to the Valentino history... something I know to be significant. And they are not "assumptions" but facts as presented in several courts of law. 

Here, for Mr. Terhune's benefit I share just one beautiful page from those 1000 beautiful pages of court records I discovered. And I do not believe they should "reside" in the trash bin but I sure know who should reside there... and in my opinion who already has one foot in the bin for posterity at this point. 

Here Rudolph Valentino's United Artists contract is assigned to Cosmic Arts, Inc., essentially making Natacha Rambova it's sole owner. 



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! 







Friday, August 28, 2020

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. 

Thursday, August 27, 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




Wednesday, August 26, 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...




 

Sunday, August 23, 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."


Friday, August 21, 2020

My Legendary Discoveries

 I feel the following is the fitting response to the following which was posted by Tracy Ryan Terhune on the blog he runs to divert my Valentino biography, Affairs Valentino's web traffic. I excerpt fair use from the post he made originally on August 9th but which he has since deleted and posted a few more times.


I add that I live in a beautiful home, not a trash can and reiterate there is no need to use quotation marks in referring to Renato as my husband. We are married.

And in regards to my contributions to Valentino history, I believe anyone sincerely interested in the subject would appreciate my discoveries and not heave them in a trash can. In response to Tracy Terhune I share the following:  

The following is an excerpt from a piece I wrote in 2006 explaining aspects of Affairs Valentino. I could now expand on this obviously, but for the record I share this partial listing from many years ago. 

"Most Valentino biographers previous to Affairs Valentino have relied primarily upon studio-generated, highly-fictionalized articles published in fan magazines of the day. Affairs Valentino differs from other Valentino biographies in that its primary source materials are first hand accounts by participants of the events and court documentation. Affairs Valentino also differs as it presents the first accounts of George Ullman and Frank Mennillo’s influential roles in Valentino’s life and career. In light of the newly-discovered source material referenced in Affairs Valentino, many of the events in Valentino’s life as reported in previous biographies receive a different interpretation. The following is a partial listing of the new and exclusive Affairs Valentino sources:

• Extracts and schedules from the court-ordered Baskerville Audit reviewing Ullman’s estate ledgers and the business accounts of the Rudolph Valentino Production Company.

• The second page of Valentino’s Last Will and Testament designated as “Paragraph Fourth”.

• Valentino’s household ledgers dating from January 1926- August 1926.

• Rudolph Valentino Production Company records.

• Valentino’s contract with United Artists signed on March 20, 1925.

• Business records of Valentino’s corporate alter ego, Cosmic Arts, Inc., including the contract transferring ownership of Valentino’s United Artists’ contract to Cosmic Arts, Inc.

• Copy of Valentino’s distribution contract with United Artists.

• Records of royalties earned from Valentino’s last two films as well as income collected from rental properties and other real estate.

• Valentino’s personal banking and club membership information.

• Itemization of assets and debts at the time of Valentino’s death as well as accounts paid by his estate after his death.

• Valentino’s Probate Court documents and Ullman's Appellate Court case file.

• Listings of all disbursements made by the estate.

• Itemization of Valentino estate worth as submitted to the court by appraisers.

• Listings of his real estate and business holdings.

• Documents revealing Natacha Rambova’s ownership of Valentino’s contracts as majority stockholder of Cosmic Arts, Inc.

• Income reports on earnings from Valentino’s last two films.

• Court testimony regarding two life insurance policies held on Valentino by Joe Schenck and the Cinema Finance Corporation.

• Court transcripts from the settlement of his estate including testimony by the principle participants, i.e. Valentino’s brother, his attorney, his sister and others.

• Documents submitted to the court as exhibits.

Exclusive access and licensing to George Ullman’s 1975 personal memoir.

• Personal letter sent to George Ullman from Valentino’s attending physician at the time of his death, Dr. Howard Meeker explaining the medical details of Valentino’s final days.

• The original managerial contract Ullman signed with Valentino.

• Ullman’s personal correspondence and archive of articles and photographs.

• Frank Mennillo’s personal photographs and archive. 

• Campbell’s Funeral Home invoice and records relating to Valentino’s funeral.

• The private collection of and interviews with collector William Self.

• The archives and photograph collection of Natacha Rambova’s sole biographer, Michael Morris.

• The archives of Valentino biographer, Irving Schulman housed at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. According to university archivist Claude Zachery, the Schulman archive had never been accessed for research purposes.

Partial Listing of Valentino Myths Dispelled in Affairs Valentino

Differentiating specific new aspects of Valentino’s life as contained within Affairs Valentino from those commonly-held to be the truth today.

1) It is asserted Rudolph Valentino came to the U.S. as a poor Italian immigrant. This was originally purported in his ghost-written, rags to riches autobiography first published in Photoplay’s January/February 1923 issue.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*Valentino had a wealthy benefactor from the moment he arrived in New York City to his dying breath. This Italian importer, Frank Mennillo, sponsored his arrival in New York and supported him throughout his life. (He was also a guest of Ernesto Filomarino, his sister-in-law's uncle.)

2) It has been asserted that although both Frank Mennillo and George Ullman were characters in Valentino’s life, neither of them wielded a tremendous influence over him or played a noteworthy role in his life.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true.

* Both men played significant roles in Valentino’s professional and personal life and this has never been addressed in any book or article about Valentino to date.

3) It has been asserted Rudolph Valentino and his brother Alberto were very close and that during Valentino’s final months of life he brought his brother to Los Angeles as solace after his divorce from Natacha Rambova.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* Valentino fought with his brother and evicted him from his home, Falcon Lair. At the time his brother Alberto left New York to return to Italy, Valentino told George Ullman that he “hoped he would never see the bastard (Alberto) again.”

4) It has been asserted Valentino left his estate divided equally between his two siblings and his ex-wife’s aunt.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* According to the second page of his will, which has never been made public, he left his estate to his sole heir, his “nephew” Jean.

5) It has been asserted Valentino was an overly-groomed, bookish intellectual.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* Whenever Valentino was at home he was most often in his garage working on his cars or caring for his horses and dogs. According to George Ullman, he seldom read and Valentino's brother Alberto told Valentino memorabilia collector William Self the only book Rudolph ever read cover to cover was E. M. Hull's The Sheik.

6) It has been asserted Valentino was a weak-willed lounge lizard who was subjected to the whims of his controlling wife.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* Valentino was an aggressive and involved businessman who ran his own production company and owned and operated several businesses. He was not submissive with his women especially with his wife Natacha. He hired detectives to pursue her and eliminated her from his business the day they separated.

7) It has been asserted Valentino was a cheerful, happy person with a carefree attitude about life.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* Valentino was prone to prolonged bouts of melancholy and on one occasion he attempted suicide.

8) It has been asserted Rudolph Valentino only drank wine with meals and never consumed hard liquor.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* At the end of his life he spent thousands of dollars a month on bootleg whiskey. His drinking not only contributed to his early death, but may in fact have caused it.

9) It has been asserted Valentino was outgoing and trusting to a fault.

- According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* Valentino was paranoid, insisted his personal correspondence be encrypted in ever-changing codes and both he and George Ulllman carried loaded revolvers for their personal protection.

10) It is asserted Valentino lived his life as that of a closeted homosexual and never slept with his wife Natacha.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*There is no basis in fact, and no source exists regarding this assertion and first-hand accounts of his daily life reveal the contrary was true. Valentino did sleep with his wife Natacha as was witnessed by George Ullman and his many affairs with women were also witnessed and are well-documented.

11) It has been asserted Valentino left his homeland of Italy because he wished to begin a new life in America.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* He left Italy in disgrace and was exiled by angry relatives in the dead of winter. 

12) It has been asserted Valentino and his co-star Mae Murray were just friends

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*They were lovers.

12) It has been asserted Valentino only took up the sport of boxing during his final weeks of life in order to prove his manliness.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

* Both he and George Ullman were avid fans of the sport as well as active participants. He owned a box of eight seats at the American Legion Arena in Los Angeles and attended the boxing matches every Friday night.

13) It has been asserted Valentino was devoted to his career as an actor at the time of his death.

-According to Affairs Valentino this was not completely true. 

* While Valentino was filming his last movie, Son of the Sheik, he confided in George Ullman saying he was tired of acting and playing the Sheik and Great Lover roles. He said he planned to quit acting altogether, try his hand at working behind the camera as a director and move to Spain to study the art of bull-fighting.

Some of the George Ullman Myths Dispelled in Affairs Valentino

Differentiating specific new aspects of George Ullman’s life as contained within Affairs Valentino from those commonly-held to be the truth today.

1) It has been asserted as executor of Valentino’s estate George Ullman embezzled money and mismanaged funds. This falsehood originated in 1930 in the wake of a lawsuit filed against Ullman by Valentino’s brother charging him with fraud and mismanagement of the estate. 

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*It has never been reported that a court-ordered audit found Ullman’s executor’s accounts to be in perfect order nor that he was completely exonerated on all these charges by the California Court of Appeals.

2) It has been asserted George Ullman negotiated a contract for Valentino with United Artists which specifically banned Valentino’s wife Natacha from any role in his future films.

According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*A copy of this contract reveals Natacha Rambova’s name is not mentioned. She was barred specifically from any executive role in Valentino’s films by United Artists’ President Joe Schenck in a memo which he wrote to George.

3) It has been asserted George Ullman was ordered to repay the Valentino estate some $20,000.00 after his tenure as executor.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*It has previously not been reported he was ordered to repay the estate over $100,000.00 plus interest nor reported most of these funds were advances he made in good faith to Valentino’s brother and sister believing they held a future share in Valentino’s estate. When it was discovered they did not hold a legal share, Ullman was ordered to repay this crippling amount of money to the very same people who had already spent the money years before.

4) It has been asserted George Ullman was a wealthy man who chose not to repay the Valentino estate.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*He struggled financially his entire life and declared personal bankruptcy.

5) It has been asserted Ullman retained possession of valuable items which he removed from Valentino’s home after his death which he later sold for a profit.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*Ullman retained some items in his possession which at the time of Valentino’s death held little to no financial value. He kept most of these items for thirty years before giving them as annual birthday gifts to a prominent Valentino collector. At the time he declared personal bankruptcy, an extensive accounting of his personal belongings did not mention these items as having worth. Also most all of his personal archive of documents accumulated during his tenure as Valentino's manager were stolen from his garage.

6) It has been asserted George Ullman controlled Valentino and exercised his will over him.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*Valentino trusted George Ullman implicitly and deferred to him on almost every decision he made. When George first became Valentino’s business manager, he negotiated a profitable contract and sweeping victory for Valentino over Famous-Player’s Paramount, brought order to Valentino’s dire financial situation and launched his return to the movies after a lengthy strike/absence. In this effort Ullman made a fortune for Valentino. Although many people resented his power over Valentino, this was nothing Valentino ever resented.

7) It has been asserted George Ullman took advantage of Valentino’s devotion to him and became a wealthy man in the process.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true.

*Court documents reveal George Ullman received a regular weekly paycheck of $400.00 and after Valentino’s death he received this same amount as compensation for his work as executor.

8) It has been asserted George Ullman caused the Valentino estate’s lengthy legal battle.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*George was financially ruined by the contentious settlement of Valentino’s estate and the lawsuit brought against him by Valentino’s brother. He petitioned the court on some forty occasions requesting that his executor’s records be accepted by the court in order to settle the estate.

9) It has been asserted George Ullman was the cause of Rudolph Valentino’s divorce from Natacha Rambova. 

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*Valentino divorced his wife after his detectives discovered her having an affair with a cameraman. On many critical occasions during the final days of the Valentino marriage, Ullman acted as peace broker in the Valentino household.

10) It has been asserted George Ullman and Natacha Rambova hated each other.

-According to Affairs Valentino this is not true. 

*They collaborated as art director and producer on several of Valentino’s films and after Valentino’s death they wrote kindly of each other in their respective books."

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.




Friday, August 14, 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.