Book Article

What They're Saying About Kitty And Nancy

Reactions to Kitty Kelley's bio of Nancy Reagan -- White House staffers, family, and media have their say about the unauthorized biography

Everyone is talking about Kelley's tome, but what do people who are close to the Reagans or otherwise connected to the book have to say? ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY talked to a number of them —Jane Birnbaum, Ann Blackman, Scott Busby, Bridget Byrne, and Gregg Kilday

This is one of the reasons why it's harder and harder to get people to run for public office. —Michael Deaver, Reagan's former deputy chief of staff

Kelley has an uncharitable view of everything. She'll take anything she got and spin it to sound sinister. —Sheila Tate, Nancy Reagan's White House press secretary

All I can do is show Kitty Kelley for what she really is — a fake, a plagiarist. I want to undress Kitty Kelley in public, just as she's undressed my family. —Michael Reagan, Nancy's stepson, who says Kelley plagiarized and distorted his 1988 book, On the Outside Looking In

One morning Alfred [Bloomingdale] said to me, ''You wouldn't believe who we had at the house, a bunch of old show-business people.'' They all had teenage children and were curious about marijuana, and only Jack Benny said he'd tried it once. Alfred got a joint a hooker had given him, everybody took a puff and no one got stoned. They couldn't see why it was such a big deal. —Sheldon Davis, media consultant, confirming story he told Kelley about the Reagans smoking pot with the Bloomingdales

The woman described in Kitty Kelley's book is not the Nancy Reagan I knew. —William Novak, coauthor of Nancy's autobiography, My Turn

In terms of publishing here, it is the biggest thing that has happened since Uncle Tom's Cabin. —George Christy, Hollywood Reporter columnist

He didn't read the book Kitty Kelley wrote about him and there's no reason to think he'll read this one either. —Susan Reynolds, spokeswoman for Frank Sinatra

Originally posted Apr 26, 1991 Published in issue #63 Apr 26, 1991 Order article reprints