Sure, naming names in a Hollywood expose can snag you publishing-industry clout, bestsellerdom, and a sense of moral rectitude. But won’t it also wedge shut some pretty significant doors? Maybe, maybe not. Check out the recent career turns taken by past chroniclers of moviemaker excess.
Book: Indecent Exposure Author: David McClintick, former Wall Street Journal reporter Scandal: The 1977 check-forgery and embezzlement imbroglio surrounding then Columbia Pictures president David Begelman. Aftermath: ”It did ruin relationships,” McClintick admits, ”but it’s a very short list, counted easily on one hand. Less than one hand.” Current Project: A biography of Frank Sinatra (for Pantheon).
Book: Final Cut Author: Former United Artists senior VP Steven Bach Scandal: The making of UA studio sinker Heaven’s Gate. Aftermath: Preempted. Bach says, ”I made a decision when I wrote the book that I would never again take an executive position.” Current Project: A bio of Mozart (forthcoming from Knopf).
Book: Fade Out Author: Peter Bart, former senior VP of MGM/UA and reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Scandal: MGM’s fall from renowned studio to indebted breach-of-contract defendant. Aftermath: ”There were absolutely no negative consequences,” claims Bart, who’s presently editor of the trade mag Variety. ”It was a delightful experience, from beginning to end.” Current Projects: ”Nothing I can talk about.” Okaaay.
Book: The Devil’s Candy Author: Former Wall Street Journal film critic Julie Salamon Scandal: The making of Warner Bros. money sucker The Bonfire of the Vanities. Aftermath: ”Bruce Willis really hated me,” Salamon recalls. ”He was quoted in your magazine saying really terrible things about me.” Current Project: The Net of Dreams, a family memoir just out from Random House.
Book: You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again Author: Oscar-winning producer Julia Phillips Scandal: Too many to count. Aftermath: ”The first consequence, which was widely publicized, was that David Geffen fired me from Interview With the Vampire, which I brought to him. Which I do think is extreme. Now people are afraid to tell me anything because they’re afraid I’m gonna write it. Mostly what people tell me, though, is so f—ing boring.” Current Project: An apocalyptic thriller called L.O.V.E. S.T.O.R.Y.: A Hate Story.