But after the marriage, “Philip never laid a hand on me again,” she says. Except for that time the following January, when she claims they had sex in Palm Beach. “I tried to seduce him. I did candles. I took him to a therapist.” The therapist sided with Philip, who was now on blood-pressure tablets. Philip took to sleeping in the den amid cutesy cushions embroidered with such legends as IT ISN’T EASY BEING KING. He’d be seated upright, one of those inflatable airplane neck preservers on his shoulders so he wouldn’t die from sleep apnea. (“This could totally kill him, having all this go on,” says his wife, noting parenthetically that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen to his brain and perhaps should be tested because she thinks he’s “gone nuts.”)
On a tour of the apartment recently, she is coaxed into opening the drawer where Philip left the now-infamous Viagra and condoms (size large). “It’s not him. It must be his lover,” she squeaks naughtily.
She says she doesn’t know what to think. “I still feel very sad about the fact that he’s going to be on his own. He’s going to be so unhappy, because I know him. But then again, I don’t know him, do I?”
The Smiths fought over things married couples fight about, the $500 shoes she bought herself for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s premiere that she says Philip claimed were leaching money from his daughters’ inheritance. “He wanted me to wear Nine West,” she says to illustrate his cheapness, then mentions that she ran into Trudie Styler, Sting’s wife, on the Concorde. Only recently did she discover he’d been making an annual $1.5 million, she says.
What if he had a stroke and was incapacitated for years, like his friend Murray? She would be forced to rely on an allowance from his two married daughters.
After he refused to make changes to the prenup, “I broke some crockery,” she admits. “I said, ‘I am not going to grovel to your fucking daughter!’ ” Namely the eldest, the one in advertising married to a paralegal and labeled NASTY, EVIL STEPDAUGHTER in her first video. (“I really don’t care to comment on anything she has to say,” says the stepdaughter, Linda Phillips.) Tricia Walsh-Smith, as she now preferred to be known, was due Philip’s Florida two-bedroom condo and a pension upon his death. “Would you be kind enough to give me the money now or sell the Florida condo so I can actually lay my hat somewhere?” she says she asked Philip. She dreamed of living in Westport and staging her plays there “like Eugene O’Neill.”
She claims Philip was distinctly unsupportive of her writing, always citing Shubert’s anti-nepotism policy. “When we first got married, Goodspeed Opera House was going to give me some development money, and he said, ‘You can’t accept that because you’re my wife and the foundation gives them money.’ ”
She believed she’d found a mentor in Bob Whitehead, Zoe Caldwell’s husband, a friendly-to-everyone guy who discovered Aaron Sorkin, and who died in 2002. “Robert Whitehead is like God. He knows talent. If he’d been alive today, I would be up on Broadway now,” she says. But somehow, efforts to stage her work always derailed just before the curtain went up. Like Addictions in London, where the producer just faded away, and there was Philip, having lunch with the guy a month later. “You should be knocking his block off, not having a friendly yo-ho-ho lunch with him,” she told her husband.
Back in 2004, she was in England visiting her mum, who now had cancer, and some American bloke made a pass at her in a pub where they’d stopped for lunch. Her Yorkshire psychic informed her the man was a detective. She should have listened, she says. Also, Philip had stopped taking the vitamins she was putting out for him, “as though I was trying to poison him. He needs his calcium!” she says. Philip was now accusing her of almost breaking an ankle in a mad dash to be photographed on the red carpet. “Tricia is probably the most narcissistic and self-involved person I have ever met in this business,” says Rocco Landesman. “She’s ferociously focused on her own ambition.”
The Last Journey was on the verge of being staged at the Westport Country Playhouse when she says she confronted Philip about writing in her signature on their tax returns. “If it went well, we were coming to Broadway. That’s huge! I was finally Broadway. You know, little girl from Yorkshire.” Later that same Saturday afternoon came word that the play was being “postponed,” she says. A source close to Smith says he had nothing to do with the show being canceled.