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Factory Boys

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Robert and Richard Dupont, photographed in Los Angeles on September 28.   

Robert: We always said no when Andy asked to film us having sex or pose naked. “You’ll be famous,” he always said. “You’ll be a star. We’ll make a movie.”

Richard: There’s one afternoon in 1979 I’ll never forget. It was winter, and Andy’s “Shadows” paintings were up. He, Rupert, Robert, and I went to lunch on Canal Street, and this short man came and joined us. After lunch, it felt like I’d had six drinks instead of one. I must have been drugged.

Robert: Me too.

Richard: We went to this loft with high windows.

Robert: It was all white and very sterile.

Richard: And there was a bed. Somebody started to unbutton my clothes. And there was a video camera there. The short man wanted Robert and me to do it together. Andy was watching.

Richard: I was like, What the hell? What’s the scene, Dean? I said, “No! This is freaky!” And I just stormed out. Andy followed. Two blocks away, Andy went into a store and bought me a down coat from Japan.

Robert: He felt guilty and he bought us something.

Richard: One night when I was dating Egon Von Furstenberg, we were at Studio and Truman Capote was in the D.J. booth, like always. Egon’s friends laughed and said to me, “Why don’t you go tell Truman he’s a tired old queen?” So I did. I was a kid, and I’d do anything an adult told me to—especially when there were drugs involved.

One night we were at studio and Truman Capote was in the D.J. booth, like always. Egon Von Furstenberg’s friends laughed and said to me, “Why don’t you go tell Truman he’s a tired old queen?”

Some days went by. Andy took me to this party at Truman’s house, but I didn’t know where we were going. When we got to the door, Truman saw me and said, “Uh-uh. You’re not coming in here.” He told Andy what happened, and Andy made me apologize.

After that, Truman became a friend. I drank with him at Studio and went to lunch with him at La Petite Marmite and to dinner parties at his apartment at U.N. Plaza. I remember once sitting with a plate of cocaine on my lap, facing the Pepsi-Cola sign on the other side of the river. I was looking at the clock, waiting for Bloomingdale’s to open so I could get out of there and go somewhere—anywhere—or go to the train.

I don’t remember much of what Truman said to me that night, but he did say, “Stick with the winners.” He told me that our debutante friend Cornelia Guest was a winner.

I only realized much later where he got the phrase. “Stick with the winners” is what people say in AA.

Robert: I had become friends with Halston over the years, and one night, while we were all high at Studio, I saw Halston in the balcony. He invited me over, and after giving me some more coke he asked me to go home with him. I remember not knowing what to do, so I asked someone—I don’t know who—if I should. That person said yes, so I did.

It was winter, and I didn’t have a coat on, and I was freezing. When we got back to his house, we sat in the living room and did more coke. His boyfriend, Victor Hugo, and the house man, Mohammed, were both there. Halston left the room and went upstairs to his greenhouse to do something about the orchids.

Sitting on the sofa, I could see another guy walking around upstairs. He called me up and invited me to do a three-way with him and Halston. It was wild! But then Halston wanted to be alone with the guy, so I slept in Bianca’s room (she was out that night).

In the morning, I went downstairs and Mohammed cooked something. Halston said I needed a coat, and he gave me a black cashmere one of his. It was so beautiful—a big, long, one-of-a-kind coat that I wore to death at Studio. I lent it to this friend of mine named Milan, one of our only friends from those days who’s still alive, and I never got it back.

Richard: Andy brought us to dinner one Sunday with Salvador Dalí at the Versailles Room at the St. Regis. Dalí always had these dinners, and there were always a lot of drag queens. One named Potassa would be wearing a beautiful gown from Oscar de la Renta or Halston, and she would run around with a big bottle of Champagne and say, “Cham-pan-ya!” After we met her, she would always let us know when Dalí was in town and invite us for these dinners. Sometimes Andy wouldn’t be invited, which would make him upset.

Robert: One Easter, we were living at the Holiday Inn on 57th Street because they had a swimming pool and we liked to swim. We went to Crisco Disco after Studio, and when we came home, there was a plug in the keyhole to our door. It turned out we hadn’t paid the phone bill. What were we going to do? It was raining. So we called up Dalí, and he put us up at the St. Regis.

Richard: Sometimes we’d be in the back of the limo, and Dalí and Potassa would say, “Pull it out, pull it out!” Dalí had a word for orgasm—I don’t remember it, but he would say it and I would do it. I don’t know why. Maybe I felt like I had to in order to get invited to dinner or something. I remember doing it for Andy in the balcony at Studio, and in the back at the Factory.

One time I did it for Andy and Dalí together. We were in a black limousine, going uptown on Park Avenue South. Potassa and Dalí’s wife, Gala, were there, too. I don’t know why Andy grabbed me; maybe he was trying to get Dalí turned on, or maybe he just wanted to show that he had control. At first I was scared. But Potassa was pouring her Champagne and saying, “Cham-pan-ya!,” and Andy was saying, “Do it, do it!” so I just did. Gala was laughing, and Potassa was clapping. It was like theater for them, I guess.

Robert: After I broke up with Rupert, I started dating Fred Hughes, who was president of Andy Warhol Enterprises. He was such a gentleman. He had real style, and wore Penhaligon’s, and Lobb shoes. One night after leaving Xenon and walking Diana Vreeland to a cab, a bunch of us went back to Fred’s house, including the singer of a well-known rock band, and a beautiful, blond freshman at Columbia.

When we got to Fred’s, everybody went upstairs to do coke. You know, things happen even with straight guys when they do a bunch of drugs. Everyone was fooling around, and they all wanted to get in the freshman boy’s pants. He started to freak out, so I said, “Let’s go.” Maybe I grabbed him and got him out of there because I was thinking, “Who wants to be fucked up like I am? Surrounded by all these crazy people.”


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