Archives for posts with tag: News of the World

My watch cost more than my car

After it’s six month epic repair my gold watch finally came home from Boucheron.  The Mec, designed by Solange Azagury.  Bought after seeing it on her husband at a party for Bella Freud.

Sparkling rose gold and new black leather strap, the small gold button that had popped off for no reason last year was finally repaired, the scratches erased.

I bought the watch with the money I was paid by The News of the World when I sold my Elizabeth Hurley ‘tell all’ story after the making of my film, The Method.  My sweet revenge for her appalling behaviour, the treatment of me and others and general vileness.

Most of all I sold that story because it galled me daily that a talentless witch like Hurley could steal a paying job from a real actress.

Going into that project I rather stupidly thought that I could give her the benefit of the doubt and coerce a performance out of her.   When she told me rather grandly the first day of shooting not to direct her because she was a ‘a celebrity, not an actress’ I really had nowhere to go.

A grueling 3 months followed.

The keystone cop like producers Brad Wyman and Donald Kushner were not interested in making a film, rather they were busily conning money out of the British tax system, which at the time had an incentive designed to help the British Film industry but had been so bastardized that films made in Romania with American producers armed with dodgy budgets..qualified as BRITISH.  The BUDGET for The Method that the government saw was no way translated into what the local Romanian crew were paid..about $100 a week.

I told Will Self about this terrible con which, during the time it was operational, must have funneled as much tax payers money out of the country into American bank accounts as it would have cost to pay for several new British hospitals.

Will was appalled.  Deborah Orr was appalled.  everyone I mentioned it to was appalled but nobody did anything about it.

Thankfully Gordon Brown finally put an end to this theft overseen by the worst kind of British film producers.

If you think I have been nasty to Jake..read what I wrote about Elizabeth.

The Architect stayed over last night.  It’s not happening again.  I am waiting for him to leave as I write.  No sex.  I cooked dinner.  He smokes really hard.  He makes a kind of gay purring ‘ah ha’ when he means to say yes and his perfume and shoes are CHEAP.   His hands on me in the night caused pain in my skin his attention was so unwelcome.  He was all over me like a rash.

He just left.

I may be a perfectionist, as Jake said,  but when I loved him..Jake was my perfection.  I simply loved touching him, kissing him, rubbing his head.  I loved him laying beside me.  I loved his smell and his eyes and soft mouth.

Which makes his treachery that much worse.

I hate him perfectly like I loved him perfectly.  For a short while the search for my illusive man was over.  For all his miserable flaws and inappropriateness and unavailability I loved him.  I really loved him.

They ask me privately:  How then, if you say you love him, can you treat him like that?

Anyone who asks that audacious question has never truly been in love and I pity you.

My perfect hatred for him is built like a leaden, black as night, tar wall between what is and what was.  A black tar wall erected between me and him so I never yearn for him, never cry for him, never love him ever again.

It is the only way I know how.

When I think of all the arguments I have heard for why he was not right for me I am dumb-founded by how pedestrian they are.  LOVE, love when it comes should be fought for!  I tried every thing I knew to keep him and when I failed, when I failed I couldn’t be his friend.  Listening to him tell me about other men.  Listening to him reveal in every sordid detail of who fucked who, how many times they came.  The rides home to Washington Heights.  Those despicable stories are etched into my brain.

The drinking and driving.  The man he slept with for over one year who never let him know until it was over that he had HIV not just risking Jake’s life but the life of his girlfriend!

I really loved him and he tormented me with what he did with others.  He tormented me because he saw that love weakens me.

This morning, after the architect left I opened all the windows and doors.  I stripped the bed and I wept because I miss the familiarity of my lover.  I miss you so much and I never get to tell you.  Instead, I have to tell you that I hate you.  That I want my money back.  That you betrayed me.  I don’t want to tell you any of those things.  I want you to know that I miss you, that you left something indelible that I try every single day like an idiot savant scrubbing a tattoo out of his skin…to forget.

duncan roy as anthony rendlesham

This week, we met Thomas Salme and Adam Wheeler, the former fined for lying about holding a commercial passenger pilot’s licence and the latter for reinventing his academic career.

When I read about men like this, I remember the time I was, in the words of the News of the World, “The Lord of The Lies”.  I was the “Credit Card Earl” who apparently funded his “jet-set lifestyle” by spending money on his credit card with no intention of paying the bill.

For this petty crime I was sent to prison for 10 months.  I was 23.  Made an example of just in case there was some other working class lad who thought he could con his way into the aristocracy.

Wheeler, also 23, was “showered with scholarships” and will be harshly punished; Salme has escaped with a smallish European fine.  Yet, even as they wish to punish them, the public’s attitude toward accomplished liars will be tempered by some envy.

Yes, of course, it’s scary that a man with no formal training can fly commercial passenger jets but, really, who gives a damn if Wheeler reinvented his CV so that he might enjoy the delights of a great university?  Wouldn’t we all, at some level, like to reinvent ourselves?   Public condemnation conceals a private longing for becoming who we always wanted to be.

Come on! Let’s face it, we all tell lies. Some of us just do it rather grandly.

I was 18 when I changed my name. The press loved to describe me as coming “from humble beginnings”.  I would describe my childhood differently: born into a complicated family shamed by illegitimacy.   I realised that there was a better life, a simpler life to be had by telling a lie.  Lying from the earliest age because I simply had no idea what the truth was. My family was riven with lies. My father was in fact my stepfather and the entire family colluded to keep a secret from me, a small boy, by telling lies.

I ran away to Paris, away from the tears and the drama, the secrets and lies. I took the truth by the scruff of the neck and chucked it on to the Rue St Anne. I not only changed my name to Anthony Rendlesham but also appended a delicious title.

Lord Anthony Rendlesham.

Oh, just remembering it now, that moment in Paris after nearly 30 years of not lying about my name causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. It was so bloody exciting!

When I first lied about my name I expected the lie to vanish after a few hours. In fact, I would tell the same lie for nearly three years. Every time I said my name I buried my sad and ghastly past under the psychic woodpile.

Both the fake pilot and the fraudulent Ivy Leaguer must have known that they would one day get caught. Yet, from my experience that risk fades into the back of one’s mind as the lie grows exponentially. The lie becomes one’s life; the past becomes hard to recognise as one’s own. I often wondered when the ghost of Duncan Roy would come claim me.

For some, pretending is cathartic – a rubbing out of the past one seems to have no control over. I can spot a liar at 50 paces and can tell the truth about others like no one else I know, but the truth about myself was far too excruciating.

Telling the truth is made harder because we live, in the words of Michael Moore, in “lying times”. Honesty has very little currency in modern life – especially in the US where everyone feels that to tinker with the truth is essential if one is going to get on – from the monumental lies politicians tell about weapons of mass destruction and secret torture to the grotesque micro lies we tell ourselves when we allow the plastic surgeon to reinvent our faces.

Both of this week’s imposters worked very hard on their lies: Salme trained all night on a flight simulator; Wheeler became a convincing academic. I was a mere amateur compared with these two. I did not profit from my lie (the credit card was in my own name – I used it right at the end of my adventure, to pay for dinners and shirts).

I simply changed my name and learned how to hold a knife and fork properly. The various aristocratic tribes I infiltrated seemed to accept what I told them as the truth because I sounded right and I was a great deal of fun. They liked having Anthony around.

Of course I didn’t know how (Anthony’s) friends would react to finding that they had a dog in their aristocratic manger. Years later, however, a few of them contacted me, invited me to dinner and told me how sad they were that I had vanished, that they wanted me to know they had liked me, whoever I was pretending to be.

It was a very moving moment. Yet, regardless, they didn’t really know me.  I didn’t really know me.

It would take years of therapy, trauma work and sobriety for me to get to know who I am and put a stop to the fear and shame and resentment.

Like Wheeler and Salme, I know how it feels to be thrust back into one’s own skin.

Part of me will always be Lord Anthony Rendledsham. Anthony is the dynamic, charming, forceful part of me that gets things done. He is stronger than the Duncan me. He protects me when I feel vulnerable or afraid. He is the furious part of me, the catty, sharp-tongued bitchy part  of me who can make terrible enemies. I know that he wants me for himself.

Recently in therapy I realised that I can take what I need from Anthony, the good parts, and leave the rest.

Occasionally I can feel him surging through me.  Whenever I feel that crippling toxic shame I used to feel every day – I can feel him want to stand in front of the child me and fight those who give me pain. But now I can say to him, hey, I can deal with this. Thanks, but no thanks. And he skulks away.

As I grow older I strive for authenticity. I embrace the truth. Even though I fail, I try living without telling lies.  It is the hardest thing of all, the decision not to delude others or myself.

without beard in sydneyWhenever some catty reader tells me to go home to the UK because I write optimistically for positive governmental change, fair taxes or that there might be a public option in the healthcare bill-where am I meant to go?  I live here!  Some of you can be very cruel, writing vile and damning notes to me-do I care about your vile and damning notes?

Do I fuck!  It takes a great deal more than a few inarticulate insults to upset this old goat.

What could any of you possibly do to upset me?   Well, like my errant lover, you could keep me hanging around LA waiting for you when all I want is you beside me-that’s pretty unsettling.  I am unsettled. Bemused by adolescence.

Even though I know you are fragile, it’s hard not to be selfish.  I love you. I need you.

I want to fuck you.

However, I loved laughing with you last night Mr. Darling NYC.  Sitting together by the fire in Malibu with Chris. Laughing like we should be doing when two people meet and fall headlong into…whatever men like us fall into.  I wish there was a word for that exciting moment just before you fall in love.

I couldn’t sleep last night.   I remembered the giant from twin peaks.

This is all I am permitted to say.

So, I was thinking about just how lucky I am surrounded by like-minded friends who want the best for all of us-rather than just themselves.

I was thinking about God and how regardless of circumstance I am never alone because I have faith.

A great deal of faith.

There’s a man in a smiling bag.

I have faith that the good of the people will overcome the evil in men’s hearts.

I was thinking about being a liberal.   I was wondering what American’s mean when they say the word ‘liberal’?  When they think of a liberal what do they see?  I was thinking that in some countries even Glenn Beck would be perceived as a liberal and that it’s all a matter of context.

Actually, regardless of whichever country Glen Beck lived, he would still be a simpering, self-obsessed cretin – a suppurating sore on the backside of humanity.

Unable to sleep I was thinking a great deal last night-holding my lover in the night gently snoring and fragile in my arms.

Without chemicals he points.

Having been one, I was thinking about the British Aristocracy.   Drunk aristocrats, dressed in tartan, over glasses of port rueing the day the British media went bad, nostalgic for a truly right wing rag.

Some would raise a glass to Oswald Mosley.

I met Oswald Mosley,  leader of the British Union of Fascists and his beautiful wife Diana Mitford in Paris when I was 19.    By the time I met him he was a demented old man wracked with Parkinson’s disease.  Lunch was cancelled because he took a dump in the sitting-room-I remember the smell and thought to myself  ‘that was a stinky poo’.

Until his dying day, Oswald Mosley was convinced that the British people would eventually come to their senses and call him home to lead the country he believed vehemently he was born to lead.

Oswald Mosley was not a rogue British fascist.  It is well known that had Hitler invaded the United Kingdom the aristocracy, of whom Hitler was in awe and had great sympathy, made a pact to hold onto what they owned.  Edward VIII‘s pro-German views made him a source of concern for the British government. “He’d always admired Hitler. He was, frankly, very pro-Nazi,” says John Julius Norwich.

Edward’s affair with Wallis Simpson – an American with a racy past, who was even more pro-fascist than Edward – was of great worry to the Royal Family. In 1936, Edward gave up the throne. The couple married as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1937, and went on a tour of Nazi Germany, finally settling in Portugal. While Adolf Hitler plotted to seize the duke and use him as a puppet king, Churchill banished him to the Bahamas – where he could do the least damage to the British war effort.

I want to write about the private option.

The man I met in New York, the scruffy handsome man is gone.  There’s no two ways about it.  Gone, gone, gone. I just didn’t call him back and now friends are calling pissed at me for my summary dismissal.   One night he lays there in my arms as gently as a baby the next he is on the streets diving into gay bars in The East Village.

Jake bauman Jake Bauman

That, my friends, is the way it is in the life of a sex addict.

What do these things mean?

LUNCH:  Cold poached chicken with watercress sauce.  Delicious.

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