Yep, I’m … Game

Except for the annoying phone calls pouring in about whether she is really going to Out Herself in the book – like, hello! – it’s business as usual for Liz Smith this morning.

“Wait a minute, I’m writing something,” says Liz, her eyes on her computer screen, which her loyal elves have rigged so the words are THIS BIG. “She’s terrified of computers,” whispers her longtime assistant and pal Diane Judge. And e-mail. “Oh, God, yes. We have to do it for her.” Fifty-four years after Liz Smith’s byline first appeared in print, there are certain things she shouldn’t be asked to do.

“Heh!” cackles Liz.

In just a matter of days, the 77-year-old gossip queen’s much-hyped, supersecret, heavily embargoed memoir, Natural Blonde, will finally appear on bookshelves, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “Does she or doesn’t she?” Which means that Liz Smith, the premier purveyor of gossip in this country for nearly half a century, will be the topic of, yes, fabulous gossip! Not to mention that she’s been sitting on the hottest scoop in town. But today, she is writing her syndicated column, read by millions of people in nearly 70 newspapers a day, about … Cats. “I first saw it in London with the mighty Elaine Paige, I loved it!” she is typing, in what will be a five-paragraph eulogy for the Broadway show.

She swivels in her chair toward me. “I brought you a bagel. Eat it!” she instructs.

Two days later, while her own column in the New York Post has her waxing sentimental over Cats, and even A Chorus Line (“It was one singular sensation,” she notes), her former newspaper the Daily News has written what everyone’s been speculating for months now: that Liz Smith will finally dish the dirt on her own much-speculated-about sex life.

“Oh, for Chrissake,” says Liz, settling into a more comfortable chair in her office-apartment. On the coffee table in front of her, she has placed not her new book but a spoof of her new book. Mary Jo, another of her assistants, took the cover photo from Natural Blonde and plastered a new headline on it: the fucking book. “Isn’t this great?” howls Liz. “This is how I’ve always referred to it. The fucking book!”

So to speak. “I’m beginning to realize,” Liz says wearily, “that the emphasis, the publicity emphasis, will be on this ‘bisexual thing’ or this ‘gay thing.’ You know, my so-called mythic sexuality from the dark ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth!” She frowns. “And I find that slightly unfortunate, because that’s not what I think the book is about. It’s not about sex!” she says in her Texas drawl. “All this crap about ‘coming out’! Honey, I don’t think I have ever really been in.

Which might come as a surprise to avid Liz observers, especially the legions of gay activists (and journalists) who have been trying to coax her out of the closet for almost twenty years – to the point where she complained they were “terrorists.” It may seem unseemly, all this frenzy about the sex life of a 77-year-old woman, but then, Liz Smith isn’t just any woman. She has regularly used her powerful column as a platform to promote social issues – along with show tickets. But her relationship with the gay community has been ambivalent at best. When aids launched a new generation of activism, Smith came under constant fire not only for staying in the closet but for helping celebrities like Malcolm Forbes and Rock Hudson stay in with her.

In Natural Blonde, an advance copy of which was shared with New York Magazine, Smith does finally – stop the presses – out herself. But mostly as a shameless star-kisser. Liz is right. Her book is not about sex. It’s about love! In 445 pages, she never met a celebrity she didn’t positively adore. With a few notable exceptions. Lee Radziwill, for one, will probably not be at the book party.

Liz has never forgiven the princess for turning her back on Truman Capote, refusing to testify on his behalf in a lawsuit filed against him by Gore Vidal. According to the book, Liz pleaded with her, prompting Radziwill to deliver the coup de grâce: “What does it matter, Liz? … After all, they’re just a couple of fags.”

“Well, she won’t like that,” says Liz today. “But I don’t like her. I don’t approve of her. And I didn’t approve of the way she treated Truman.”

Liz in Natural Blonde is a beguiling combination of prude and shrewd, raunchy and naïve, Texas and New York. But mostly, she is an equal-opportunity flirt. She adores women; she adores men; she even ends up adoring Richard Nixon. It didn’t take much. After skewering him for decades, she became putty in his hands at Malcolm Forbes’s funeral, when Nixon turned in his pew and complimented her! She was mush. “I left the part out about how he was always sending me wine at Le Cirque.”

Like her column, her book is an ongoing cocktail party, funeral, and press release. And that’s why it, like her column, will be successful. “We need Liz,” as rival gossip columnist Michael Musto of The Village Voice puts it, “because we need someone who actually likes celebrities. We knock everyone down, and then she builds them back up.”

And yes, she also reveals – though mostly in carefully coded language (she does not, for example, actually use the G-word or the L-word, or even the B-word) – her tendency to have pretty intense feelings for both teams. But alas, despite all the hoopla, she really fesses up to only one intimate relationship with a woman. In 1946! Her “affairs” with men get much more airtime, even the unconsummated ones. In Natural Blonde, Liz comes close to bedding everyone from Warren Beatty to bandleader Artie Shaw.

In 1957, while in Rome, she becomes “ga-ga over Rock” – yes, Hudson – doodling “Mrs. Rock Hudson” on a tablet all night after meeting the actor over dinner. “On my last day in Rome … Rock’s handsome face appeared. ‘You’re leaving, Liz? Give me a good-bye kiss, girl.’ I touched his perfect lips with mine,” she writes, deadpan. She also goes on to say that while Hudson “never confessed the nature of his problem,” he once turned to Smith when he was about to be blackmailed over his homosexuality by a female acquaintance. Liz responded by handing him a thick file of material she had gathered on his tormentor, helping Hudson turn the tables on the blackmailer – and keep his secret for another two decades.

But Liz didn’t limit her affections to closeted gay men. There was the night Artie Shaw begged Smith, while in the backseat of a car, to go home with him. “I was sorely tempted. He was damned sexy,” she writes. But the thought of his having been with Ava Gardner and Lana Turner made her feel faint. Now, she says, “I wish I had let him take me home. At the very least, I’d have been talked to death in a most interesting manner.” We also learn that Warren Beatty once confided to an acquaintance that there was “one particular woman in the world he wanted to sleep with… . It turned out to be me.” And did we mention her crush on Robert Redford? “Here was the most beautiful man in America … munching a crunchy drumstick,” she writes, about watching Redford eat Kentucky Fried Chicken. “He wanted me to stay and have dinner with him in his motel room!” But Liz had a dinner date with her mother.

In all fairness, though, she often admits to having been “potted to the gills.” In one memorable scene, even Norman Mailer – out on the town without his wife Norris – tries to bed her. ” ‘I guess you know,’ he said, ‘that you are a very attractive woman.’ (Yes, I thought, especially when I’m drunk.) ‘Can you tell me,’ asked Norman, ‘why you and I have never gone to bed together?’ ” To which Liz Smith replies, “If I go to bed with any of the Mailers, I’d rather it be Norris.”

Who knew that Liz Smith was such a sex magnet?

“You think so?” she says, blushing. “Oh, I’m so silly. You know, I used to be really cute when I was young … but I never could make too much distinction between men and women. I really couldn’t. I was always amazed at the depth of my own feelings.” So she’s … ?

“I don’t even want to use the term bisexual,” says Liz. “Because it seems weaselly. It’s a weasel word! And I’m not gonna categorize myself. Because I might change my mind tomorrow. But I don’t care if other people do. I’ve had a lot of sniping and gossip and rumor and damaging things said about me since I became a public person. That’s the fate of public people.”

Liz Smith’s office-apartment is about 90 percent office and 10 percent apartment. She has lived and worked in this antiseptic high-rise in the East Thirties since 1976 – moving from one rent-controlled apartment to another. “Oh, I don’t own anything!” she confides. “Except this house in Texas my mother died in. And I do have a car.” (An old navy-blue Mercedes.) But basically, as she puts it, “I’m still living like a college sophomore.”

She stands up and ambles toward a tiny bathroom decorated only with electric curlers. “I’m gonna go to take my medicine now, as much as I hate to,” she gripes. “Oh, you know, blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis … and the good ol’ hormone,” she says, winking from the bathroom door. “Let’s not forget the hormone!”

“Lizzie?” asks Diane Judge. “Do you need taxi money? I’m going to the bank.”

“I’d love some cash – thank you, honey,” says Liz. Diane, who’s known Smith for 45 years, handles all her money.

“Come,” Liz says, leading me into the bedroom – the only room not overrun with files, papers, books, and ringing telephones. On her bed, she has an enormous red pillow with a Texas logo. Another is embroidered with the words i don’t repeat gossip, so listen carefully. Lying on top of a simple white bedspread is a remote control and a book about Richard Nixon. On her bedside lamp, a crucifix is draped around the shade. “Don’t read too much into that,” she laughs. “I just thought it was pretty.”

Liz is installed at her usual table in El Rio Grande, the hokey Tex-Mex restaurant in the lobby of her building where she takes “too many” of her meals. She is talking about what a pain in the ass it was to write “The Fucking Book,” how she resisted the idea for years, fearful that she “wouldn’t remember anything,” worried that she’d piss people off. She didn’t give anyone a peek until the past few weeks. “I didn’t even show Barbara Walters what I’d written,” she says, until the other day. And? “She says she loves it! I was really worried that she might not, because, oh, I owe her so much. She forced me down people’s throats! She’d invite me to parties and I knew I wouldn’t have been at those parties without her intervention.”

And, well, Barbara has gotten mad at her before. “Oh, yes. Frequently! You know, she’s hot-tempered,” says Liz. “She thinks I’m part of her family, so she’s always telling me off. She thinks I’m stupid! She’s always telling me, ‘You talk too much, you tell too much.’ So I was delighted that she likes the book.”

Natural Blonde is filled with Barbara-is-marvelous stories. “I consider her the biggest star and the grandest VIP in the world,” Liz writes, with her usual understatement. In one memorable scene, Walters invites Liz to Egypt with her and her then-husband, Merv Adelson, promising her the last seat on Linda Wachner’s private jet to see the pyramids with a group that includes Mort Zuckerman and the Leonard Lauders. But when they took off from New York, “I discovered,” writes Liz, “that there wasn’t really a seat for me on the plane. Barbara had erred on the side of generosity,” as she puts it. And so “I slept stretched in the aisle overnight under a blanket.”

It is vintage Liz Smith that this is gleefully relayed without the slightest trace of humiliation. Later she describes her dilemma in being “inside” but never really inside: “I seemed always to be passing awkwardly through first class,” headed back to coach as her fancy “friends” sipped champagne and waved. But she rewarded them nevertheless with glowing items in her column.

Over the years, Smith has broken numerous scoops (just last week, the Gotti divorce), but as she’s gotten more inside, her columns have gotten more fawning. Her gushy valentines to favorites from Joel Schumacher to Madonna – people often ask her, “How much is Madonna paying you?” she admits – got her famously skewered. In the eighties, Spy magazine ran a monthly “Liz Smith Tote Board,” itemizing her ass-kissing. Of course, that didn’t stop Smith and Graydon Carter, Spy’s then co-editor, from becoming fast friends as soon as he became editor of Vanity Fair. Today, over a bowl of hot chili, all seems to be forgotten. “Oh, I just adore Graydon,” she says.

“How ‘bout dessert?” she asks. “Yes? … Oh, I love a woman who’ll have dessert! Life’s too short!”

Already, those listed in Liz’s index are sweating over how they might appear. On a recent weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, she let it slip to Vernon Jordan that “I have a little chapter about you in my book.” The next day, says Liz, Jordan cornered her friend Louise Grunwald, worried that her revelations “might upset his wife, Ann.” “You know,” says Liz, “he’s never seen a woman he didn’t like.” Then quickly adds: “He’s just nice to everybody.” (Memo to Vernon: You’re off the hook.)

Smith did share her book with director Mike Nichols, whom Diane Judge describes as “her real bosom buddy.” Nichols calls or faxes her every day. Liz was thrilled when she got his fax from London raving about the book. “That was a real triumph,” says Liz, though she confides that her editor at Hyperion made her trim down the Mike and Diane Sawyer chapter because it was filled with a bit too much praise.

In the end, Natural Blonde is the story of a woman who managed to become a quintessential New York icon against enormous odds. Smith was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, in the thirties (before the invention of plastic, she notes), the daughter of a priggish mother who was “southern Baptist to the core” and a father who was both a gambler and a moralist. She describes her daddy, Sloan Smith, who sold cotton for a living, as “masculine but dandified.” A man who frequently shot his wad at the racetrack and “faltered in his mortgage payments” but was so fastidious that he would shave under his arms. “I realized early on that he was eccentric and no yardstick for what to expect of males in general,” she writes. Though she had two brothers – with whom she was extraordinarily close – her father used to call Liz his “best boy.” As she writes in her book: ” ‘My best boy!’ he’d whisper, holding me between his legs, scattering ashes over everything… . Hello, Dr. Freud!”

Little Mary Elizabeth took refuge in the movies – which cost a dime and were the only “minor pleasure,” she writes, that her mother did not consider “a sin.” To this day, writes Liz, “I almost always and invariably dream of famous stars.” In her childhood dreams, “I was in the movies. I was Tom Mix. And later I was Ginger – and Fred.” This didn’t go over big in the Smith home. “My mother spent an entire summer going mad,” she writes, “while I marched up and down in our driveway shooting off my cap pistols and yelling over and over, ‘I’m Tom Mix! I’m Tom Mix! … Mother would jerk me into the house exasperated. ‘Stop this silliness. You are Mary Elizabeth Smith. Get out of those dirty coveralls, take a bath and put on a little dress before Daddy comes home.’ “

And, of course, she obeyed: “I was a horrible little coward and I did want to please Mother and Daddy.” Every Sunday night, she would listen to Walter Winchell on the radio. She was also obsessed with the film The Gay Divorcee. She learned all the lyrics to “Night and Day” and would sing it in the driveway until one day her mother told her to “hush up,” because her aunt was upstairs recovering from a broken heart. “No more love songs around this house,” her mother yelled.

Smith met her first husband while she was a freshman in college. Eddie Beeman was a “tall, dark and handsome right tackle of the football team, and I had been told … no girl could get to first base with him. I decided I’d go for a touchdown, to mix a metaphor.” Soon after they started dating, he enlisted in the Army during World War II. “My unexamined life would stumble on to the altar. No guy who had flown 25 missions over embattled Europe deserved what Ed Beeman was about to get – me for a wife.”

The marriage lasted little over a year, and most of that time, Beeman was at war. When they divorced, Liz was all of 21 and her parents were furious. “They never did forgive me for divorcing Eddie,” she says today. “You wanna see a picture of him?” On her desk, she keeps photos of Eddie Beeman – who 56 years later runs a coffee shop in Texas – with his grandchildren. “He’s still a wonderful-looking guy, isn’t he?” asks Liz.

Soon after her divorce, Sloan won some money on a horse named Soapstix and sent her to the University of Texas. It was there that Liz Smith discovered journalism. And women. She started writing for the college humor magazine The Texas Ranger. “Then – bang, something incredible happened,” she writes. “I fell in love … the only problem was … the object of my affection was a woman.”

Liz Smith’s take on this love affair is undoubtedly the most painful and revealing part of Natural Blonde. She writes about how “amazing” it was, and how “neither of us stopped to feel guilty, just a bit confused.” But her lover was engaged to an Army officer overseas, and so “part of the time we were fixated on one another. Another part of the time she was planning her wedding.”

When they were apart, they wrote love letters. Until their “smartly suspicious parents … decided to read our mail.” Both women were yanked out of school. Both were “shattered,” writes Liz. “We must never see each other again,” she remembers being told. “Both of us must ask God’s forgiveness… . I had committed a sin, a blasphemy against nature.” Liz tried to appeal to her mother. “I thought if I could make her see how strong and pure my feelings were, she’d understand. But the more she wept and prayed, the more I saw how useless it was.” Finally, writes Liz, she realized that if she adopted “the words of the future, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ she would be fine… . I had broken their hearts and they had broken mine.” Afterward, writes Liz, “I don’t believe I ever said an unfettered, open, frank, or totally honest word to either of my parents again. I told them what they wanted to hear.”

She writes that she tried to contact her love, but “she refused to speak with me or even to say good-bye.”

“It was very sad,” Liz says today. “But everything is live and learn, you know?” She stirs her coffee. “Actually, I think it was very clever of her not to stay in touch with me.” Clever? “Well, you know, she headed in a delightful way. I mean, she got married, had kids … Yes, I know where she’s living and what she’s doing and so forth, but we haven’t been, you know …” Her voice trails off. And then she perks up. “Oh, listen. What? When you’re young, you’re supposed to fall in love and be heartbroken. I just wasn’t prepared for that. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought it was great and I couldn’t understand why everybody didn’t approve.” She pauses. “Look, it was a great thing to happen, I think, to somebody when they’re young. To get sort of jerked around by your feelings. And, um, to encounter so much disapproval. Moral disapproval.”

She leans in closer. “You know, one of the things I’ve always feared most was public humiliation. And I think that was sort of like public humiliation. But I don’t blame my parents. I don’t know how else they could have reacted. It was not an enlightened time in 1945, ‘46. But I don’t know that things are that different today. I don’t think parents are just jumping up and down all over America hoping their kids will turn out to be gay, do you?”

The waitress wants to know if Ms. Smith wants more coffee.

“I probably wouldn’t have written this book if they were still alive.”

Liz Smith bought a one-way train ticket to New York City in 1949. She arrived in Penn Station with two suitcases and $50. She found a typing job and started to apply to the places “where I felt I belonged.” The New Yorker, the New York Times, Time, and Newsweek. But her University of Texas degree “didn’t stagger anybody,” she sadly learned. “Young women wanting to work in publishing in 1949-50 needed to be debutantes who had gone to Vassar, Smith and Bryn Mawr.”

“I’m telling you, I almost starved to death,” she says, “but I was so enthralled with New York, I didn’t even notice.” Desperate and broke, she went to a pay phone on the street and called up the actor Zachary Scott – whom she had profiled in college for The Texas Ranger (the story is framed in her apartment, with the caption first byline). She reminded him of who she was – “We met at your delightful mother’s house in Austin” – then cut to the chase. She needed a job. It was her first valuable lesson in schmoozing and schnorring. The next day, she had a job as a writer for Modern Screen, the cloying celebrity magazine of the time, whose editor declared, ” ‘You have a very virile writing style’ – I had to go … and look up the word virile in the dictionary.”

Those who know Smith well say that deep, deep down, she always wanted to be a “legitimate” writer. Well, maybe not so deep down. “The New Yorker was my ideal. It still is,” says Liz. “Or Time or Newsweek. I thought for sure I could get a job at one of them, but I couldn’t get arrested.” If only she’d had the right credentials, says Liz, “I might have become a respectable reporter.”

What is staggering about Liz Smith’s résumé is how many media outlets she did work for. Long before, and even after, she was Liz Smith, Gossip Queen, she wrote for nine New York newspapers (most of which she has outlived) and dozens of magazines, from Vanity Fair to Cigar Aficionado to New York. She became the only person, let alone woman, to write simultaneously for Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated – a time during which she segued gracefully between the estrogen-charged Helen Gurley Brown and the testosterone-fueled boys at S.I. All of whom she, of course, loves and adores. In the fifties, she toiled for Mike Wallace (“I loved him the instant we met”) at CBS radio and suffered through a miserable year at Candid Camera, working for Allen Funt, who once had her arrange an abortion for his mistress. At one point, Gurley Brown assigned her a story on what the stars ate for dessert. “Those were the good old days,” writes Liz, “when the press still asked what stars ate, not who they ate!”

Along the way, she acquired another husband, Freddie Lister, “a dapper and elegant travel agent from South Africa.” She agreed to marry him, but only if they “kept it quiet.” This continued for five years, through “some rather stupid playacting in the bedroom… . But we lunched and gossiped with gusto. He became my travel agent, of course,” she writes. Liz never even told her family about Freddie, who mysteriously disappeared one day on the Long Island Rail Road and was never seen again. When he was finally declared dead, it turned out he had a fortune. “If only I hadn’t divorced him,” says Liz, “I’d be rich today.”

One of the biggest secrets about Liz is that she never made any serious money until she was past retirement age. It wasn’t until she broke the biggest scoop of her career – the Trump divorce in 1990, when she was 67 – that she suddenly became a hot commodity. New York Newsday lured her away from the Daily News for a reported $500,000 a year. Then, when she was 72, when the New York edition of Newsday folded, she was scooped up for an undisclosed sum by the New York Post. She also landed a series of increasingly high-profile (and lucrative) jobs on television. But she still can’t balance her checkbook. “The fact that in the end I may be making a lot of money is a real fluke,” she says. “And in a funny way, I think I’ve suffered some for that, because a lot of people really resent that I – I cashed in.”

If there’s one recurring theme in Smith’s book, it’s her absolute phobia of having anyone stay angry at her. The last legendary gossip columnist, Walter Winchell, was so despised when he died that only his daughter showed up at his funeral. This will not happen to Liz. In her book, she lavishly doles out praise and gratitude to anyone who’s ever helped her and even a few who hurt her. Take Frank Sinatra. For years, Liz Smith was Francis Albert’s most prominent critic. She loathed “his chutzpah, his hubris, his attitude toward women.” She gallantly slapped him in boldface when he called an Entertainment Tonight reporter a “two-bit hooker,” and when he dared to attack Barbara Walters, well, fuhgeddaboudit. Then “he attacked me,” writes Liz. “I was a dog… . I was fat, old and ugly. He said I preferred Debbie Reynolds to Burt Reynolds.” (She left out his crassest crack: that Liz was “a big old dyke.”) But one page later, she is invited out to dinner with him. “I dressed seven times that afternoon,” Liz swoons. “I threw my clothes around like a demented debutante. I was a girl on a first date.” By the end of their meal at a New York steakhouse, Sinatra the thug has morphed into her latest crush. “I had a feeling for what it would be like to be in his strong and capable arms … his beautiful French cuffs, fantastic silk tie, wonderful hands with clean strong nails and sexy wrists. (I’d always been a sucker for wrists.) I loved his smell, the scars on his face… .

“We kissed good-bye in the drive-through of my apartment building. As his chauffeured car drove away, I realized I had thrown all judgment to the wind. I was Sinatra’s slave. Co-opted by a couple of gin and tonics. I was his for the rest of my life… . Love is funny that way.”

Yep, she wrote that.

But what Liz left out of her book is even more amazing. While she gleefully reports getting whisker burns while “wrestling” with a gentleman from The Hollywood Reporter, dancing naked in her former agent’s apartment with a TV director sporting a “hard-on,” and devotes an entire chapter to her unrequited love affair with decorator Lee Bailey, when she finally gets to her well-known relationship with archaeologist Iris Love at page 272, she is stingy in her depiction of a live-in arrangement that lasted fifteen years. Liz and Iris’s relationship was well known enough in certain New York circles that in the eighties, publicist Bobby Zarem, the only enemy Liz hasn’t made nice with, sent out 400 wedding announcements, to which some recipients actually responded with gifts. (One Hollywood producer reportedly sent the couple hers and hers towels.) The book makes no mention of this infamous incident. “I resented it a lot because my mother was still alive – it was disgusting,” is all Liz will say.

For years, Liz and Iris were inseparable, making the rounds of society parties and reading novels together in the car as they drove back and forth to their second home, in Vermont. But in the book, Smith describes Iris as a “pal” who moved into her apartment because it “was in Manhattan.”

It’s a distant and rather joyless take on their years together. Iris doesn’t like it, either, admits Liz. “But look,” she says, “everybody edits themselves. I don’t think I’m under any obligation to tell every intimate thing that I ever did. Or said or felt. And, well, maybe I feel guilty. I always felt I sort of abandoned her … I think I’m a serial relationship failure. Iris stuck around with me for a long time, but I’m not good at commitment, I guess.”

She looks down at her lap. “I also didn’t want to go into any romantic details, because it wasn’t really like that. That really wasn’t the point of it … You’re probably right: I don’t think I dealt with that part very straightforwardly. “

The phone rings. Another media outlet wanting to know if it’s true she’s outing herself. Liz rolls her eyes. “There are people, you know, who seem to think I should have never written a column without a disclaimer about my sexuality,” she says. “I’d like to say that doesn’t bother me, but it does bother me. I mean, you won’t put a disclaimer on your byline. You won’t say, you know, ‘By Lisa, devout heterosexual’ or whatever. I really didn’t feel I was under any obligation to make any public statement. I didn’t think my sex life was that interesting. And you know, it was always more about my emotional life anyway.”

The truth is, Liz has never wanted to be the role model that gay people expect her to be. Why, she once told the gay magazine OutWeek, should she have “to march down the street being an exhibitionist asshole”?

But now that she has made a public statement, does she regret it?

“Well, no!” says Liz. “I’ve led a wonderful life. I have no complaints.” As she escorts me to the door, she takes my arm. “You know what the real surprise of this book is?” she says. “That I come out as a heterosexual. Because as I get older, you know, I prefer men to women, I must say. It’s a lot simpler.”

But she’d still like Hilary Swank to play her in the movie.

Yep, I’m … Game