As I have mentioned I have legal custody of Michael Morris' archive, what is left of it that is.
Earlier today I was sifting through the boxes and found his copy of Emily Leider's book, Dark Lover. He annotated here and there, in his hand writing, and some of the comments I found interesting. I share a few and say that except for the one comment (included)...he seems to have been inspired to write in his copy more out of criticism. It was almost as if he was correcting a term paper. (I excerpt under Fair Use guidelines to illustrate this post's narrative):
I note another mislabel I found today in the photograph section preceding p. 211...Leider has incorrectly labeled the man on Valentino's right as Jacque Hebertot but it is Andre Daven, the man who ripped Valentino off for a tremendous amount of money. (more on that here)
There were a few times when I was initially researching Affairs Valentino when I ran into Ms. Leider's professional researchers who were out there doing the leg work. However when I discovered the Ullmans and the court records, etc. my research took an entirely different direction.
I found it odd she included collector Bill Self in her interviews because he told me he never spoke to her. Also she cites Michael Morris as being interviewed when he told me how in one phone call with Ms. Leider he said there was nothing new to be learned about Valentino. (He loved to joke how I proved him wrong about that) He was miffed at Ms. Leider because although she mentions citing Madam Valentino in a few of her notes...she did not include Michael's Madam Valentino in her bibliography.
I think anyone knowing my story would understand my primary issue with Dark Lover because Leider's use of innuendo diminishes the integrity of the book for me in a great way.... and the innuendo is extensive. It is always been my opinion that Ms. Leider pandered to the gay Valentino radicals for fear they would do exactly what they did to me.
The innuendo is all she had of course to keep a gay/bisexual narrative going to make them happy. Because there has never been a shred of proof Valentino was anything but what he was. Heterosexual. But Ms. Leider iced her cake with extra layers of “what ifs?” and “bisexuality is always an option” and “certainly implies” and commentary on whether it is acceptable or not to be gay which in actuality says nothing. But she pandered in my opinion and I guess I stand as the great lesson to anyone who does not pander to the Valentino was gay fundamentalists.
In Ms. Leider's case the innuendo all worked very well for her. Kim Edelman/Albert Morris/David Bret has recently and feebly tried to show support for Dark Lover by calling Leider the “Honest wife” and referring to me... the one he dare not refer to by name... just a “Valentino widow”.
It must be pointed out that this “widow” and “wife” tagging by Bret reveals a great deal about him psychologically. The whole topic of wives of dead husbands, wives who do not dare tell a lie...one being bad and the other good? He uses the "widow" phrase with great joy and because it is death related, it has become his new zinger. It is not insulting to be a widow and name-calling like that is still, still, still a very tasteless and ignorant thing to do. Go figure. But I guess being an ass is always an option.