Tuesday, February 22, 2022

A Tough Reality

On the subject of the promotion of Valentino being gay, the comments left on the last couple of posts had me remembering something in this regard. In 2008, Michael Morris ran into a friend of his, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and suggested there was a story to be told about the frivolous outing of dead celebrities; which was especially the case with Valentino. He gave the reporter a list of names to contact and mine was front and center because I had just written an article about the Valentino gay issue and was about to head to Turin to speak on the subject.

The reporter interviewed me frequently the end of 2008 and told me a great deal about his other interviews. He told me Donna Hill would not speak with him because she said I set the article up. I did not and her reaction was before I even published Affairs Valentino. He interviewed Emily Leider who told him I criticized her publicly for not contacting the Ullmans. I did not know how that could have been true because back then I had no public.

Jeanine Villalobos told the reporter they had a copy of the 1975 Ullman memoir which they had all read, shocking news because they “all” never made a tiny mention about its existence or content... and Tracy Terhune was interviewed and would not say he thought Valentino was gay.

The reporter also interviewed the woman at Hollywood Forever who gives the guided tours. She told him she was given two different scripts to deliver about Valentino. One for straight folks and another for gay people. Now soon after the reporter told me that, she called him and begged him not to put that in print. He did not because the article was quashed at the last moment. I believe by the Alberto Valentino family because there was too much about Ullman and my work but the reporter told me it was because the paper feared a gay backlash.

There was nothing remotely homophobic in his final article as he read it to me. Nothing at all. It is a sickening story to think this dynamic even exists at all....and if anyone is contemplating accusing me of making this up I say sorry I did not. I do not write fiction. I was told by a very reputable reporter that Hollywood Forever had their tour guide customize Valentino's history to appease or please a gay audience. I find that very homophobic to even demean someone who is gay by assuming they would want to have history customized? Insanity. Integrity matters. But I and my husband have been made to suffer unendingly for not changing history.

Having my reputation ruined by Bret, Terhune, Constable et al as they tout the party line, calling me homophobic, my work “fan fiction” and accusing me of inventing material has been devastating. And hearing their taunts repeated by their thankfully few... brainwashed followers is heartbreaking. 

On this blog I defend myself, my husband, his fine work and all of our books. I wish it were a different situation but it is not and I have no choice but to not let their defamation and slander ruin our lives and our livelihood. Their behavior is bullying by definition and a decade of evidence and a standing verdict in our favor in the defamation case I won v. David Bret, more than proves my point. How could I, or any thinking person, see these people as legitimate when they torture us for years on end to bury our books? How can they be considered legitimate when they censor our documented truths about Valentino?  How can they be considered legitimate when they contort Valentino's history to suit their agenda?