Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Veritas: Life, times and Rupert Everett's cockring: An interview
Is that Veritas next to the statuesque April Ashley?
One of the stars of Madame Arcati is a mystery man called Veritas. He came to my attention when he revealed here that he had lost a crown to Rupert Everett's cockring: some doubted his story, but I tended to believe it. So, I asked Veritas to cough up more details of his intriguing life - one that has been inhabited by the likes of Andy Warhol, Boy George, Diana Dors, Kirk Douglas (and Kirk's encounter with 80s drag popsinger Marilyn is (D)divine) and many other stars. A movie beckons, the spirit world is manifest. Read on and embrace celebrity culture and the afterlife you godless goatherds ...
Veritas! Mystery man! Well, I assume you're male ... do you dress left or right?
Left. When I was 13/14 I was slightly confused as I lived with an aunt who loved to dress me in drag. She owned a pub so I tended to look rather tarty. The pub was a favourite with the local coppers who came in for payoffs and free drinks. Can't imagine what they thought seeing this young drag queen hanging about the place.
You first came to Arcatistes' attention when you told us of your encounter with Rupert Everett and how you'd lost a crown on his cockring. What were the circumstances of the encounter? And did you find that Rupes is a noisy cummer or whatever?
I had been at a dinner party given by Lady Edith Foxwell at the Embassy Club for some of her movie pals. Norma Heyman, Richard Johnson and guest of honour Zsa Zsa Gabor who Edith stayed with in LA. Edith had a young black boyfriend, Winston, at the time and Zsa Zsa said during conversation that there was no way Edith could bring him to stay. Edith threw a bread roll at Zsa Zsa and the dinner party sort of broke up after Zsa Zsa stormed out.
I was giving a French friend a lift home and we saw this tall, leather-clad boy hanging around out the front of the Embassy. We thought he was a hustler and asked him to get into the car - he did and invited us to his flat just off the King's Road (in the basement of his parents’ house). I didn't really fancy him but my friend did but Rupert preferred me so the French friend pissed off. Rupert was very wham-bam-thankyou-mam! And then kicked me out to sleep in another room although I was awoken for an early morning encounter and then booted out into the street as he had to go to a fencing lesson.
Now why the nom de plume? And tell us a little bit about yourself past and present - I understand you travel a lot ....
I'm anonymous at present because of some work I'm doing which would take too long to explain. I was rejected for the first 2 jobs I went for when I was 15 which I found paralysing as I'm very shy so since I've only ever taken jobs people have offered me.
It's meant I've been a short order cook in a Soho Bar, written a social/gossip column for a major newspaper, a PR agent for some stars, promoted films and records, worked on films as a gofer and acted in one, spent a few months putting up business cards in phone booths around Bayswater for a house full of hookers, waited in restaurants, run a King's Road shop, run a porn shop, worked for the Sultan of Oman and I was the official photographer on Princess Diana's final charity event shortly before she died. I can't remember all the jobs I've had. It's also meant I've travelled the world at someone else’s expense- to New York to promote a band or Monte Carlo for a party on the Kashoggi yacht, etc.
Clairvoyantly, the word "toyboy" comes to mind. Am I on the right lines about you?
My ex-wife was the first one to use the word "toyboy" when she was planning a photographic book on pretty boys. The (distinguished London) publisher John Blake wrote a story about it years ago - it was the first mention of the term. Even the Guardian took it very seriously. It was way ahead of its time but it didn't happen. Years later her friend Germaine Greer channelled her with "The Beautiful Boy". Then I was featured in a Sunday tabloid in a spread called "A Toyboy Tells All" - scurrilous but harmless tales about some celebrities. But I was paid well.
In one message you said that you're planning to make a movie of your life. Could you tell us more? Would it be a Brit or US movie?
Not about me but someone else who was well known who I worked with. I've been working on it for 20 years and had put it away in a drawer. Then, as so often happens, I was approached by a well known music figure who knew I had the project and within weeks we had a successful Hollywood producer interested. He loves it and the wheels are in motion.
Would you say you've lived with or worked around celebs all your adult life? Could you name-drop a few more with any stories ...?
I seem to have encounters with celebrities without seeking them out. I was Diana Dors’ publicist for a record she made. I once lived in Dodi Fayed's flat for 6 months, long before he met Diana.
He had a reputation then as not being able to get it up because of his cocaine habit. One night I was there with her, a friend and a very famous film star who began to choke on some peanuts after a heavy coke session. I saved her life with the Heimlich manoeuvre. She never thanked me!
Peter Allen (Liza Minnelli's ex) was a great friend and took me to a New Year’s Eve party at Studio 54 in New York (he was a huge star in the US). We were sitting in a booth with a group of friends - Andy Warhol, Diana Ross, etc. A girl came up and slumped against my then wife who was applying eyeliner. We were all covered in glitter that was an inch thick on the floor. Suddenly cameras started flashing and Peter said, "Quick move away." The poor girl was dead from an overdose (one of 2 that night). "You don’t want to spend all night at a police station" said Peter. A month later Women’s Wear Daily did a front page feature on what was In and Out. They said staying home watching telly was in and going out was out! Illustrating this was a big photo of my wife in a hot pink dress putting on make-up whilst slumped on her shoulder is this dead girl. "Out" was right !
I remember you mentioned living with the 80s singer Marilyn and his encounter with Kirk Douglas - please, don't hold back. How close were you to the Boy George and the Blitz crowd?
I had a small mews flat in Notting Hill for 15 years and after each Tuesday night at the Blitz loads of kids used to flop on my floor, including Boy George, Marilyn, Steve Strange, Billy Idol - none were famous then.
I had a friend staying who was transport captain on a film being made at Pinewood starring Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett Majors (before drugs took their toll). I was working as Kirk's gofer which entailed things like picking up fish'n'chips for him, taking it to his hotel and charging him 20 times the price. We both slept in one Wednesday morning and there was loud banging on the door. It was Farrah's driver who said, "I've got Farrah and Kirk downstairs - Kirk's furious because you forgot to pick him up." We were dressed and downstairs in a flash. All the neighbours were now out and pointing at Farrah who was admiring the little houses and signing autographs – a grumpy Kirk leaned against his limo. As we all piled in the 2 cars and backed out of the Mews, out of my front door came a screaming Marilyn Monroe pounding on the car window screaming "Kirk, Farrah, I love you!" Kirk was mortified. He didn't speak to me for 2 days. Christopher Logue from Private Eye who lived at the end of the street later said, "I can't believe you people - you not only have Hollywood movie stars visiting you in the morning you have dead ones as well!"
Would I be right in thinking you're in your mid-late-40s now?
39- have been for a few years.
Tell us about the clairvoyant(e) who predicted you'd live a champagne life on beer money, or something like that. What else did s/he say? Do you believe in an afterlife?
My mother was a Spiritualist so I was brought up around them and have always believed. I think I attended services at the Notting Hill Spiritualist Church every week for 15 years. My ex-wife is a clairvoyante. I've seen things in séances that are simply extraordinary - materialisations and such. Naturally I believe in the afterlife - I've been there and been re-born many times. I've been told so many times to never worry about money when I have none so I don't - and something always turns up!
Where’s the movie now? Aside from Rupes, any other names who'd have anything to worry about?
The film script is in its third draft - no-one has been cast. I'll be an extra. Actually there is a great role Rupert would be ideal for.
How do agents/producers et al react to your story?
I have an agent and publisher for the book of the film - that came first. But it's Hollywood - who knows? My friend Stephan Elliot who made Priscilla, Queen of the Desert went there after he got an Oscar and hated everyone in the business. They offered him the next Bond film.
Where do you live?
Sydney, Bangkok and 2 months of the year in London.
What's your brand of toothpaste? And do you wax or gel your hair?
Bigger Brand - you get it in Thailand. Where I get my teeth fixed.
Don't you think cockrings are bad manners?
I'd never seen one before I encountered Rupert's . I thought it was a prosthetic device so didn't ask him about it. Whatever turns you on!
Veritas, I wish you all the best fortune with your project and please stay in touch MA x