For the past twenty years I have been beaten over the head by a book, the book? Dark Lover by Emily Leider. It is a unique and rather ugly story for me concerning Ms. Leider's Valentino biography. It is nothing personal and does not have much to do with what is inside the book, good or bad, false or accurate... it is that Dark Lover has been weaponized against me from day one; Dark Lover was published in 2003 and Affairs Valentino in 2011.
I have stated some opinions here and there and made my comments on the book, but how could I possibly be objective when it is used to bully me?
I believe “they”/haters, embraced Dark Lover because Ms. Leider pandered to the ambiguity angle regarding Valentino's sexuality. Because I did not pander, and I came out exposing the situation and those culpable... Dark Lover, as their sacred tome, was hurled up side my head with years of insults... cruel comparisons and plenty of snide demeaning of Affairs Valentino. It was and still is god awful and abusive behavior and even in reading this, I am sure they are working up their balls of spit for me... how dare I criticize the sacred tome?
I have been asked a few times if I am planning to vet Dark Lover. I will probably never do a full review because I do not have the steam any more. I have Michael Morris' copy with his notes in the margins and that, for me, is the sacred tome.
Today I respond to Ms. Leider's page 271.
She writes about Rudy and Natacha's trip to Paris and the welcoming they received from the director of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Jacques Hébertot. She states as fact that there has been “speculation” that Hébertot's hospitality was because he “happened to be” a homosexual and then poses the question, was he planning a play on Rudy?
First of all, I believe Jacques Hébertot did not “happen to be” homosexual. He was homosexual. She makes it sound like an accident happened or he won some prize. Imo you are or you are not homosexual.
Her source for that “speculation” about Hébertot was David Bret. After posing her question, she proceeds to laboriously repeat his hysterical claim that way back when, barely-known French actor, Roger Normand had a one night stand or some such thing with Jacques Hébertot. And it was then Hébertot told Roger Normand that Valentino was gay, etc etc. And then Roger Normand told David Bret. I am not sure why Normand was spending time in Bret's home town far from Paris and I have seen no proof Bret ever knew Normand. Bret has never produced a snippet of proof for that and I claim that his claim is not a source, it is fiction....porn fiction.
Bret gives a time frame of Normand and Hébertot's tell-all about Valentino night together as being 1940. As Roger Normand was born in May of 1926, he would have been fourteen. Is Bret advocating child abuse in Dream of Desire?
So the “speculation” Ms. Leider reports on and which I question...was by Bret and only Bret. It was a part of his great hoax.
Moving on, I address Ms. Leider's implication that Hébertot's motivation in hosting Rudy and Natacha Valentino was sexual gratification. Imo this belittles this great man to a high degree. But the "speculation" spawned by David Bret's cheesy hoax was enticing enough to devote a few more pages to his authoritative lies and the innuendo rolls on.
Jacques Hébertot, Rudolph Valentino, Rolf de Maré , Natacha Rambova, René Clair, etc....these were exceptional artists and professionals at the pinnacle of their respective fields. I think they welcomed and enjoyed a great deal other motivations in life than just sex.
True or not, it appears that for those hoping against hope David Bret is not lying and Valentino was actually gay... this was a great launch of innuendo on that issue in Dark Lover. Even as Ms. Leider goes on disputing Bret's claims, to a degree, she includes them and for that... Bret worships Dark Lover. It is one of his favored weapons to use against me.
Jacques Hébertot deserves more than a wink, wink, nod, nod in the Valentino history... and is it not a bit like emptying a feather pillow in the room? Then saying... oh let me pick up a few of these feathers to look good. But fact is there will always be a feather there from now on.
I also find it a homophobic stereotype to always portray homosexuals as sexually motivated... I think art, creativity, and for Hébertot the connections were their inspirations. He made connections to form theater groups, ballet troupes, and in the adjacent Comédie des Champs-Élysées and Studio des Champs-Élysées, he made an important contribution to the renewal of the French cultural scene. He had so very much more to him than maneuvering people into superficial sexual situations.
Sourcing Bret guaranteed Ms. Leider, she would not face what I faced for calling the Porn Fiction Writer, a porn fiction writer.
Dark Lover, whether Ms. Leider knows it or not, is their weapon and has been for 19 years.
Let's see how many times they can send in comments and use the phrase, “Gold Standard” in what will assuredly be a wide array of insults. So here it goes.