Gore Vidal's Family Challenge His Will And Say He Was A Pedophile
Allegations have surfaced suggesting that eccentric late writer Gore Vidal was a pedophile. The claims have been made by his half-sister, author Nina Straight, and his nephew, Hollywood actor and director Burr Steers, who are in the process of contesting the essayist's will.
Vidal died last year, aged 86, from pneumonia and left his entire estate, estimated at $37 million, to Harvard University. In a feature that appeared in the New York Times, Ms Straight - who had a 'turbulent though close relationship' with Vidal - said the openly-gay author had had sex with underage men. She described the alleged circumstances as 'Jerry Sandusky acts', referring to the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of child molestation.
Mr Steers - who directed the Zac Efron film Charlie St Cloud - said that conservative columnist William F. Buckley - who had a long-running public feud with Vidal, which also played out in court - had evidence linking Vidal to the alleged crimes. Vidal was said to be 'terrified' about the information Buckley had against him. 'I know Buckley had a file on him that Gore feared,' Mr Steers said in the New York Times article. 'It would make sense if that material was about him having underage sex. 'Gore spent alot of time in Bangkok, after all.' The Thailand capital is known for child prostitution, with an estimated 2000 children said to be forced into the industry.
In 2012, Buckley's son Christopher wrote in an essay for New Republic that he had disposed of a file his father kept on Vidal. 'When WFB [William F. Buckley] died, in 2008, I found in his study, more cluttered than King Tut's tomb, a file cabinet bursting to the seams, labeled 'Vidal Legal',' Christopher wrote. 'Into the dumpster it went, and I still remember the sigh of relief upon heaving it in.'
The New York Times article also says that the ever-opinionated Vidal had a strange and controversial take on the abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests. 'He would say that the young guys involved were hustlers who were sending signals,' Mr Steers said. However the author of the article, Tim Teeman, wrote that 'other friends of Mr. Vidal told me they doubted he had sex with underage men'.
In 2009, Vidal hit headlines for referring to the 13-year-old victim in the Roman Polanski rape case as a 'young hooker'. Vidal suffered from dementia and alcoholism towards the end of his life. Mr Steers said he would drink single male scotch 'until he collapsed'. Vidal also had 'wet brain' - proper name Wernicke-Korsakoff - a syndrome characterized by a number of symptoms, including confusion and hallucination.
It is this illness that Ms Straight is using in challenging Vidal's will, saying he was not mentally competent when he filed it. Vidal changed his will the year before his death to give his entire estate to Harvard University, where he once gave guest lectures but was never a student. Having written 25 novels and 26 non-fiction works, Harvard also receives profits from the continued sales of Vidal's books.
Ms Straight said she is owed around a million dollars by her half brother after she paid his legal fees for his court battle with Buckley.
Mr Steers, who claims that Vidal had promised him his Los Angeles house, said Vidal's 'brain had gone'. He accused his nephew of being a C.I.A. spy who was trying to kidnap him.'He had all this fluid that was filling up inside him,' Mr steers said. 'They'd drain him every day.
'He had congestive heart failure.'It was really miserable.'Gore was on a planet all his own.'
Wow! The really amazing part of this whole story is that Gore Vidal has $37 million bucks?
I had no idea Vidal was that wealthy either.
I always hated him. I win.
Well we see why these brats were left out of the will.
Pray tell, what is their defense of themselves for keeping their mouths shut about it for so long, if they are so sure that it was going on?
He was entitled to leave his money to anyone he wished, of course, but there are so many organizations that do good in the world that need money much more than the already stupendously rich Harvard University.
$37M, and a devoted,furious, angry leftist.
"I'm shocked!" said no one.
BUMP. (Is that a pun in this thread's case?)
Well, he came from money. His father was successful in business. When Vidal sold his novels to Hollywood, he would have known to invest the money.
[quote]Mr Steers said he would drink single male scotch
Deliberate typo, or just the usual Daily Mail sloppiness?
He was a devoted Democrat, r6, not a monk with a vow of poverty.
Exactly, r4. Absolutely vile if it is true, they knew, and never said a word until now.
Can they be arrested for that?
He was a pederast and his cut-off age was 26.
People shouldn't be able to contest ironclad wills. They're obviously greedy. And bitter.
I doubt he was a pedophile. He was a very public person and he made ALOT of enemies, not just Buckley. If he were doing something that heinous, this info would have been released big time.
His relatives are just greedy cunts
He was out of his mind! He left his entire $37 million estate to a 17-year old male stripper!
Oh, wait, no...He left his entire estate to his bull dog named Roosevelt!
No, that' not right, either..... He left his entire estate to Harvard University! So he was obviously out of his mind!
Why is the allegation that he was a pedophile even relevant in contesting the will if the reason for contesting is that he was suffering from dementia.
And why did the half-sister pay his legal fees if he has $37 million? It's not like all that money fell into his lap the week before he died. The dispute with Buckley happened decades ago.
None of this makes any sense.
Also he had a longtime partner of many, many years, and it was the death of his partner I think that really brought about the end for him.
If these allegations are fake, then his half-sister and her son are total cunts. The only thing worse than a pedophile is a serial killer.
Why are people using "alot" in this thread?
Agreed R16 - what does the pedophile issue have to do with a will?
But I do find it odd that we would donate everything to an already extremely wealthy university where $37 million is a drop in a bucket - and a place he never attended. It doesn't really make much sense - he knew that money could be used in much better ways.
I wonder what the original will was - one year prior.
The pedophilia accusation is to turn public opinion against him, which they think will make it easier to get their grubby hands on his inheritance. Obviously Gore chose wisely writing these greedy creeps out of his will. This Steers sleezebag should have to worry that exposing himself as a ruthless vulture will backfire on his directing career, but I guess it won't, or he wouldn't be doing it.
What r14 said. Vidal reveled in pissing off right-wingers and despised the GOP; if he really had been diddling underage boys the right-wingers would have made sure that info would have gotten out long, long ago. This is just a money-grab from disgruntled relatives.
Vidal was nothing else if not a snob. Of course he would leave money to Harvard.
His asshole relatives sound like homophobes.
r6 sounds like the idiot he is.
R19, not everyone thinks about where money is most needed. He may have simply respected the institution, or perhaps some of the faculty, many of whom he may have known personally through professional or personal connections.
There is no way to know why he chose Harvard. But the fact that he chose a well respected institution over family members, I think, indicates it was not an oversight on his part.
I'm surprised he didn't leave it St. Albans School, where his beloved Jimmy Trimble and he met. Trimble died young, and Vidal said Trimble was the love of his life -- essentially a boy was the love of his life.
Maybe they're pissy because they kept his dirty secrets all these years and that's how he repaid them. The guilt should still be overwhelming.
Did Trimble love him back or did they have a relationship of any kind?
Why did Gore get engaged to Joanne Woodward at one point?
Perhaps he didn't leave money to St. Albans because he found out that Jimmy Trimble was in love with a woman?
The link is interesting. He met JT's mother. She showed him letters from JT to her about his love for Christine White.
They mention there is one tryst in the bathroom at a dance when they're 17 years old, that was it, I suppose Gore sucked him off then.
JT never mentioned GV ever. GV was in love with a figment of his own imagination & OCD.
And r25, maybe it's easy to make any kind of accusation without a shred of proof, and especially when the person accused is dead.
In Palimpsest, Vidal talks about he had his first sexual experience with Trimble - I think they jerked each other off (Trimble gripped him like a baseball bat, I think he wrote). But that seemed to have been around 8th grade or so.
He could have really made a difference with that money had he left it to institutions/individuals who needed it. Oh well...
Actually, his relatives are despicable either way. If they are lying out of greed and avarice, then they are terrible people. But, if they knew Vidal was a pedophile for all those years and kept quiet so as not to threaten their inheritance, then they are criminal accomplices themselves.
Leaving it to Harvard, though largely pointless, is still better than leaving it to greedy, backstabbing relatives.
What R32 wrote.
I agree, r32. Are we talking pedophile or ephebophile though?
If it was the latter, it makes more sense that they said nothing. Not that I agree with it, but there is a difference in a lot of people's minds between, say, a 9 year old and a 17 year old.
The weird thing is that Gore Vidal made most of his money from a now-forgotten series of mystery novels he wrote under a pseudonym, Edgar Box, in the Fifties. That furnished his major real estate purposes like the mansion on the Hudson and his beautiful house on the cliffs of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. he got a lot of money when he sold the latter.
He admitted during his lifetime that he regularly used underage boys around Ravello for sex (he would pay money for it, just like Sebastian in "Suddenly Last Summer," for which he wrote the screenplay). I'm not at all surprised then if he had sex with other boys who were underage. He was a pretty amoral person--he was one of the worst liars of the 20th century. Remember when he announced that he was related to Jimmy Carter, and then to Al Gore? or when he said he only hired Fred Kaplan to write his official biography, after he didn't like what the latter had written about him, because he was under the mistaken impression he was Justin Kaplan?
We procured for him!
No one should entertain these accusations without any proof, it's too easy to just make shit up about people you hate, such as rich relatives who didn't leave you anything. Or that fag who didn't leave us anything. If we can't get the fag's money, at least we can smear his good name, and tarnish his legacy. And the beauty is every homophobe will believe it without a shred of evidence.
So Vidal's 'family' are now doing what Buckley never quite did.
Either they kept quiet on the expectation of a nice slice; or there's nothing beyond what Vidal made known, which was 'paid sex in the afternoons' with young hustlers. It's beyond cynical to link the latter with the Sandusky case.
Plainly Vidal had their number, wet brain or not, and they are now underlining his judgement.
Harvard is the college he declined to attend, though things worked out quite well for him anyway. Harvard will protect and promote his legacy in the way he would have wanted. The facts of his singular career will easily see off this sordid cash-grab from his 'family.'
Re: the $37m. Vidal always credited his late partner Howard with being a very good manager/businessman. Film fees were clearly invested well; and their last home in Ravello would have sold for a healthy sum.
Obviously he sought to burnish his legacy by associating his name with hallowed Harvard.
His relations sound like money grubbers, but what do they have to lose?
With a first name like Gore, there was bound to be trouble.
I met Gore about two years ago and he was not anywhere near "brain gone." Very witty and gave a lecture on his thoughts of current states of the world. These bitches probably got what they deserved....nothing.
With a half-sister named Nina Straight, there was bound to be more trouble.
Those Straight girls.
Most old gay men of means are pedophiles... FACT
We'll never know, of course, even if some youngsters purporting to have been used by him come forward. However, his spending a lot of time in Thailand is damning indeed.
R18 made me laugh.
R45 I hope you burn in Hell, you piece of shit. Making disgusting remarks about older gay men on this site, just fuck off back to the turd dwelling where you belong. Just fuck off.
Pedophilia = sexually interested in pre-pubescent youth.
Are they saying he was diddling little kids, or 15 year olds with pubic hair?
Was Burr Steers named for Aaron or Raymond or Tilstrom?
If they guy was into kids, why would his relatives want even a paper clip that belonged to him? I remember when they had Micheal Jackson's auction. Like hell would I want a pencil that was once belonged to someone who was a molester.
Those of you who ask if he was into little kids or 15 year old hustlers is a ridiculous question.Having sex with teenagers is still sick.I don't care what the age of consent is according to the law. It is sick for someone who is 10, 15, 20 years older going after a teen. If you don't want someone your own age or someone a bit younger than your age,you have major dysfunctional problems.
"Well, if we can't get any of the estate back, we've set the stage for a good 'tell-all' book deal"
Sickening what people will do for money, how low, asserting a relative was something he was not. Pitiful relatives, they deserve nothing.
He was a fucking pedophile but we still want his money.
The Jackson Family.
Oh, wait, we're talking about Gore Vidal's relatives this time.
He was a nasty homophobe.
Vidal's relationship with Howard Austen was sexless. I don't doubt that Vidal liked them young, but I don't think he went THAT young. Though he claimed not to give a shit about what other people thought of him, he was aware that he had a number of enemies. This would have come out years ago I imagine. Will be interesting to see if Joanne Woodward addresses the claims - she must be one of his only close friends still living.
Vidal was good friends with Jay Parini, who is now his official biographer.
I imagine Parini will observe family ructions and cash-in books with cool interest; then deal with them summarily in his big book.
Big it will need to be, since Gore had quite the life. Knowing what we do about Vidal's character, I imagine he still has surprises in store.
[quote]Vidal was good friends with Jay Parini, who is now his official biographer.
He already had an official biographer: Fred Kaplan.
"Most old gay men of means are pedophiles... FACT"
No. Most of them are bottoms (like most gay men in general) who want to get topped by burly guys, not little kids.
"Those of you who ask if he was into little kids or 15 year old hustlers is a ridiculous question.Having sex with teenagers is still sick.I don't care what the age of consent is according to the law. It is sick for someone who is 10, 15, 20 years older going after a teen."
Poe married his cousin when she was 13 and he was 30-ish....are you going to go to the library and burn every Poe book? Are you going to protest the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and get them to de-induct Jerry Lee Lewis?
The New York Times article was written by Tim Teeman. Teeman recently publshed a book on Vidal, "In Bed with Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood and The Private World of an American Master." It's not a Darwin Porter-type bull-shit book
His nephew, Burr, took care of Vidal during the last years of his life. Burr believes he had been promised Vidal's Hollywood house, as stated in the article.
Teeman likes Vidal, but Gore still comes across as an entitled, selfish asshole who believes his books have not received the praised they deserve. Good luch with that, Mr. Vidal.
A less self-involved person would have split the will between the people who took care of him in his last years and Harvard University. I agree that Harvard was a poor choice, but fit with Vidal's upper-class ways. I should say that I liked Vidal before reading the book, not so much now.
The British pronounce oedophile with a long e. I think it sounds ridiculous, like someone who pees on others for sexual pleasure.
The long-term question is not whether Vidal had sex with underage boys. It's whether his writing will stand up fifty-seventy five years from now.
That's why Vidal chose Harvard.
I would love Lily Tomlin to revive Ernestine to give her take on "Mr. VEED-duhl"'s final days.
[quote] She described the alleged circumstances as 'Jerry Sandusky acts', referring to the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of child molestation.
Well I guess that makes her just as guilty as Joe Paterno if she knew it was happening and said nothing. Interesting to frown upon child molestation yet tote it all out in public after you're cut out of said molester's will.
Is that someone who likes young wines?
[quote]The British pronounce oedophile with a long e.
They also spell it PAEDO, not PEDO.
I suspect R62 is correct. Nobody reads his books now, except maybe the essays (and those not for much longer) - certainly not the novels.
I typo'd. You caught me.
I'm with those who are critical of Harvard as his heir. Despite many and multifarious progressive teachers and students, it's really an elite, reactionary institution. I'm not surprised, neither am I dismayed, by the size of his fortune, nor does that disqualify his status as a progressive, which is a fatuous idea. I think he was a great essayist, but not a very nice person. But what does "pedophilia" mean? How many gay folk, especially those who are older now, haven't had sex with a willing 17 year old. When I was a young man on vacation, a 14 year old Puerto Rican looked at me (Old San Juan) and mouthed the words: "I want you to fuck me" to me. But he was really MUCH too young, despite my incredible (!) temptation!!
Yes, but who reads anything good nowadays, anyway? Very few. Vidal is clearly a gifted essayist, though not much of a novelist (except for Julian), I agree.
"How many gay folk, especially those who are older now, haven't had sex with a willing 17 year old"
And of course many, many straight men would love to have sex with a 17-year-old girl
Why would they even want the money of a pedophile? Greed is amazing.
Straight men would fuck 15 year-old girls if they could get away with it.
Gore was also obsessed with the Oklahoma bomber too, remember? And he defended him too.
What Gore Vidal did or did not do during his lifetime is completely irrelevant to how his estate should be handled after his death. He was under no obligation to anyone to justify who he left his estate to.
The only argument his relatives could possibly have is that he was not mentally competent to decide how the estate should be handled after his death [italic]AND[/italic] that someone was unduly influencing him to change his will to their advantage (for which there is absolutely no evidence).
Promises made to relatives in the past do not count, nor is he obligated to repay favors they may have done for him.
Discussion of what constitutes pedophilia and whether or not Vidal was a pedophile are completely beside the point, no matter how titillating the discussion might be.
[quote]Discussion of what constitutes pedophilia and whether or not Vidal was a pedophile are completely beside the point, no matter how titillating the discussion might be.
Beside the point to the question of his will, yes; but absolutely not beside the point more generally. It's very interesting.
In his first memoir, Arthur Laurents wrote that Gore had more sex than anyone he knew.
Even if the allegations are true how will the family prevail in challenging Gore's will ? They don't have an iceberg's chance in Hell.
Oh, please. He was not a pedophile, he was a "pederast", continuing the great tradition of Greek "man/boy love". That's how all these great "gay" artists like him, Wilde, Gide etc. would justify their perversion.
WTF?! He didn't leave his money to his partner of 50 years?
Vidal's partner Howard Austen predeceased him by several years.
[quote]Oh, please. He was not a pedophile, he was a "pederast",
You say "to-may-toe," I say "to-mah-toe."
I read the article in the NYT, and it doesn't say he was a pedophile. It says that Vidal was afraid that Buckley had information saying that Vidal was a pedophile. That's two different things. In other words, the article gave me the impression that Vidal was afraid Buckley would just make shit up.
But if Nina corroborates that he was "Sandusky-like" he probably was. Interesting that Buckley's son got rid of the file.
Vidal was indeed NOT a pedophile, ever.
R82. Did you read my whole reply? I think you didn't.
I agree with R69 that Harvard is an elitist school (no one would disagree there), but why is it necessarily reactionary? If Harvard is reactionary, so are all the Ivy colleges, and Stanford, University of Chicago, etc. Frankly, that seems like an argument Gore Vidal in his prime would have made successfully or not.
For the record, his name was Eugene Gore Vidal, he dropped Eugene early on.
I found this (from the Daily Beast article linked above) interesting:
[quote]Fifty-three years after he first met Trimble, Vial had lunch with his great love’s mother, Ruth Trimble Sewell, in a Washington hotel. She wanted to speak to him about the dedication “To J.T.” in his novel “The City and the Pillar,” a story of the love between two young men.
[quote]“Kind friends wrote me from all over to say how upset I must be,” she told Vidal by his account, then adding “Perhaps, I overreacted.”
[quote]The mother stunned Vidal when she suggested that she had split with her second husband because he was gay and that he might have molested Trimble—in her words, “liked him rather too much.”
[quote]For the record, his name was Eugene Gore Vidal, he dropped Eugene early on.
Actually he was born Eugene Louis Vidal, later changed to Eugene Luther Vidal. At 13 he was christening and added "Gore" (so he was Eugene Louis Gore Vidal); at 14, he dropped "Eugene" and "Louis" because he thought "Gore Vidal" sounded more fitting for a great writer or a great national leader (he wanted to be both).
He was pretty batshit crazy, his whole life. A textbook narcissist with huge delusions of grandeur, and a consistent liar.
I believe you, R89. I met him at one Book Expo in NYC (before his illness) and he was surly, churlish, ornery.
r59, Poe did marry his thirteen year old cousin, but it's doubtful he ever actually fucked her.
I don't have trouble believing Gore Vidal was a pedo, but if these people knew all about it and covered for him when he was alive, only to go public because they're trying to get a payday out of it, they need to die in a grease fire.
Harvard probably promised to house his original manuscripts and give them the praise and attention he thought they deserved.
Those family members are making a good case for why they should not see a cent.
I went to Wikipedia to read up on Jimmy Trimble. I wonder who wrote it up -- certainly not an English-as-a-first-language person.
I seriously doubt he was a "pedo," I.e., into children under 12; it would be extremely difficult for a famous and controversial out gay man to engage in that type of behavior over time without being exposed. And though it is extremely politically incorrect to say so, rates of sexually interaction between adults and children (not adolescents, but children) have been vastly overinflated. In the classic iteration of rape it is an accusation easily made and virtually impossible to disprove; anyone so accused will always be soiled regardless of how flimsy the evidence, and their accusers (often adults with an agenda) will always be able to simply wail "think of the children!" and most people will turn their reasoning skills and skepticism off.
Why would they want to inherit money from an alleged pedophile?
I love that they brought this about after the man is dead.
The one who says she is owed $1 million, just file a claim against the estate
Gore could give a good read/dressing down like few others! I used to love him in Bill Maher's old show Politically Incorrect-"My memory is quite sound,THANK YOU!"
"We were whole" -- Gore Vidal's version of "he fucked me."
Vidal was a top. He also seemed to think that this among many other things made him not a homosexual but a homosexualist. He didn't "do labels" long before it was cool to make that claim.
I find him fascinating but infuriating.
I can understand feeling hurt and entitled to something from the estate because one of them was a caretaker and the other supposedly loaned money for the legal fund. Especially if someone was caretaker for someone with dementia. It's really hard and taxing. However, these people are just so, so low. Makes me wonder if they learned it from the master himself. Another crazy family story. Wills and bequests (or the lack of) bring out the worst in people.
Jackie's half-brother, James Auchincloss, who was also related to Gore in an extended family way, was jailed on child porn charges.
Some random information that has not already been mentioned:
In addition to everthing else, Gore Vidal was also diabetic near the end. Drinking so much only made things worse, if that is possible
I have some sympathy for his half-sister and nephew. Vidal also had a nephew who died of AIDS. Gore helped him financially, but refused to publicly endorse AIDS organizations that helped his nephew.
Gore did publicly scold Jacqueline Onasis for not also pitching in with money, but she was a more distant relative than Gore.
Is this half-sister Nina who's making the claims originally an Auchincloss? And Jackie O's step-sister. apologies if it was already noted here.
As r100 said Nina's younger half-brother (and Jackie's) was jailed recently for kiddie porn and is a pedophile. What's with that family?
STOP DISCUSSING THIS PEDOPHILIC HOMOPHOBIC AIDS-RIDDEN BITCH WHOSE LOOSE PROSTATE IS NOW EATEN BY WORMS!
"STOP DISCUSSING THIS PEDOPHILIC HOMOPHOBIC AIDS-RIDDEN BITCH WHOSE LOOSE PROSTATE IS NOW EATEN BY WORMS"
Thank you, Bill Buckley.
R104 Papa wouldn't have written anything so jejeune
Good luck fighting Harvard lawyers for the inheritance. They will make minced meat out of nasty shit stains.
Also, YES, the GOP would have used this "proof" if they had it, long, long, long ago.
The issue is, what was in the prior will, and was he competent to change it without being unduly influenced.
That will be the fact to prove. The rest is just noisy distraction.
Even if he were a pedophile, why would that entitle his family to his money if he didn't leave to them??
They are just hoping for a book deal. They can say all kinds of sensational stuff to sell it.
Real scumbags. If they knew about it all those years ago and didn't report it aren't they accomplices? If they are just inventing it, they are just as bad.
I have no idea if he was or wasn't a pedo but they sound like greedy scum.
How papally glamorous!
Gore Vidal was always wary about family (especially his own) and American puritanism and hypocrisy. His life's work is housed in the manuscripts collection of Houghton Library at Harvard, where his money will be much better spent.
[quote]Gore Vidal was always wary about family (especially his own)
And yet paradoxically enough he milked every cent he could out of his family connections, and kept claiming he was related to everyone famous even when he wasn't. That is, he was descended (not directly) from people like Aaron Burr and his grandfather was a senator, but he also claimed he was related to people like Al Gore whom he was not related to at all, and claimed "his family" had "governed" the United States since the seventeenth century (which is not true).
"Those of you who ask if he was into little kids or 15 year old hustlers is a ridiculous question.Having sex with teenagers is still sick.I don't care what the age of consent is according to the law. It is sick for someone who is 10, 15, 20 years older going after a teen."
Poe married his cousin when she was 13 and he was 30-ish....are you going to go to the library and burn every Poe book? Are you going to protest the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and get them to de-induct Jerry Lee Lewis?
R59, you are a lunatic! I said it was sick behavior to have sex with kids and teens. I didn't say I was going to change society dumass! Also, did I point out gay guys? I said ANYONE! which means gay or straight who have sex with kids and teens. I think Jerry Lee Lewis is repulsive.
About Edger Allen Poe, it was very common back in the 1800s,1700s, etc. for people to marry at a very young age because they did not live long. Also, there were cases in which men, such as Edger Allen Poe, who would get married after they were able to establish a career and make money so they were able to provide stability to marry and have a famliy. They usually married someone much younger who was able to bear children and who was able to outlive them. If they died when they were established in their lives, they were confident knowing that their wife and children were taken care of.
BTW, my great, great, great, grandfather married my great, great, great, grandmother when she was 16 years old and he was 28 years old in the early 1800s.
I had hoped to open this thread and find erotic stories about Gore and Paul Newman.
But nope, just standard DL pointless bickering and bitchery.
It's well known that Gore Vidal hired many, many hustlers in Italy and now we know about Thailand. What we do not know is whether Vidal hired under-age guys either over seas, or in the U.S.
So far all we know is that William Buckley's son threw away a file on Vidal kept by his father.
For his immediate family member to notify the authorities, they would have to present specific information not just rumors.
If Joanne Woodward would ever write a candid autobiography, it would be an immediate best seller.
I love that one delicious quote from Vidal when Christopher Hitchens interviewed him back in the early 90s. Hitchens asked him about Martin Amis, and in bitchy Vidal fashion, he said: "I will say that he writes better than his father, but then so do most people."
I don't believe for one minute he was a pedophile. Buckley and his crew would have revealed that shit ages ago when Vidal was at the height of his career. Vidal was apologetically liberal, WASPY and bisexual, and such information would have buried him because he was already seen as too much of a threat.
[quote]had had sex with underage men
if they were underage, then they were not men.
Gore Vidal spoke at the Miami Book Fair in 2008 and his mind was as clear and lucid as ever.
Vidal was on Bill Maher's show about two years before he died and he was totally lucid, witty and bitchy.
Posted this once before but can't see it on the thread. Met him at Book Expo in NYC before his illness and he was the petulant, surly, churlish, ornery Gore that made him infamous.
Can someone elaborate about Newman, Woodward and Gore? People keep alluding to it but I don't know what it's about.
"About Edger Allen Poe, it was very common back in the 1800s,1700s, etc. for people to marry at a very young age because they did not live long"
It was never common at any point in the 1800s for grown men to marry 13-year-old girls. We have these things called statistics....maybe you have heard of them. Most women married in their late teens or twenties. And they usually married men who were relatively close to their own age, usually just a few years older.
(Kind of funny how society loves to attack men who have sex with young boys but men who have sex with young girls are lauded. Jerry Sandusky is a monster...but Roman Polanski is just a tragic misunderstood soul! Let's sign some petitions in his defense! I always thought it was homophobic straight men who were guilty of this kind of thinking but you find a lot of it at the datalounge, too)
Wasn't Roman Polanski some kind of fugitive? His HW friends supported him but the public at large saw him (and still does to an extent) as a child rapist.
Vidal was a bundle of contradictions. A liberal firebrand who like to drop royal and blueblood names... a gay man with a yen for hustlers (ldunno about them being kids), but devoted to one fellow for most of his adult life.
It is strange that he left his money to Harvard, and institutino he reviled for much of his adult life. One would think there were some people he would leave something to in his presonal life-
Article in the NY Times last week painted a nasty decline and late life alcoholism- as well as a mean streak which I thought was a hallmark of his character ever since I became aware of him which was in the late 60s.
I was not and am not a fan of his. I guess he was a good writer, but he was kind of like the Oliver Stone or authors- hysterical conspiracy nut. His writing was also much too self conscious for me- it reeked of I like readers to know first and formost that I am a great writer.
And his nonsense about not being homosexual... speaks for itself.
Not my kind of hero- not even all that interesting because he was so full of bullshit.
"Wasn't Roman Polanski some kind of fugitive?"
Yep. But he is attracted to the opposite gender unlike me so the world defends him
Jerry Sandusky, in prison while Polanski lives it up
R128 - charlie?
r129 I don't want to derail the thread but how is the world "defending" RP? He is considered by most people a pedo and rapist. Unfortunately, his victim came to his defense a few years ago which might have helped him but I doubt the average person thinks better of him still or would leave their young daughters in his presence.
Also, wasn't it France that gave him shelter all those years? If anyone is to blame for him not being punished, it's them and they are not "the world".
Why are you pissed off about Sandusky? You make it sound like he's some kind pf persecuted gay man when all he is is a child rapist and deserves to burn in hell.
France does not extradite its citizens. It's not a particular shelter for citizen Polanski.
"Why are you pissed off about Sandusky? You make it sound like he's some kind pf persecuted gay man when all he is is a child rapist and deserves to burn in hell."
I didn't say he didn't deserve to be in prison. I'm just pointing out that heterosexual men (and probably some gay men, too, based on things people have posted here) would defend him if his victims had been girls. But it's useless trying to argue with someone who thinks hell actually exists.
[quote]I'm just pointing out that heterosexual men (and probably some gay men, too, based on things people have posted here) would defend him if his victims had been girls
And what does THAT tell you? Because to me it means that things are fucked up and that it's misogynistic.
I also don't know how you concluded that "heterosexual men" would defend an adult man raping a 12-13 girl.
[quote]I'm just pointing out that heterosexual men (and probably some gay men, too, based on things people have posted here) would defend him if his victims had been girls.
Gore Vidal is not and never was progressive or clear-minded. If he sounded somewhat progressive in the last ten years of his life, it was because the nation had become a toilet of right-wing lunacy, not because he himself had any kind of brain. Gore Vidal will never be taught in upper level American Literature, at Harvard or anywhere else.
If his will requires it they may offer a novelty class in him but he will never make the mainstream.
"I also don't know how you concluded that "heterosexual men" would defend an adult man raping a 12-13 girl."
Maybe you could ask Roman Polanski fanboi Johnny Depp. Or the many celebs who have worked with Polanski. Or the media outlets who barely gave any coverage to guys convicted of abusing young girls like Chad Curtis. I started a thread about Curtis here that hardly got any response. If he had been convicted of abusing boys the media would be frothing at the mouth. The media was frothing at the mouth over Sandusky before he was even convicted of anything. The media was frothing at the mouth over Bernie Fine even though his accusers admitted they were lying and the police didn't arrest him because they didn't have enough evidence against him.
People who couch their arguments in absolutes will lose their arguments, e.g. "heterosexual men will do this thing," or "gay men believe this..."
I don't agree with that, R137. For his essays alone he will be remembered, and he was certainly America's greatest and funniest essayist since H.L. Mencken. His book of essays 'United States' is a classic.
Even if one ignores his essays, 'The City and the Pillar' and 'Myra Breckinridge' will forever be discussed in regards to its contribution to queer literature. No one in this country were writing novels of that kind before Vidal.
r139 First of all, you are preaching to the choir. I'm all for rapist scumbags being punished severely, no matter who their victims are.
Second of all, I don't know why you're giving me celebrities as proof that the mainstream feels the same. As far as I'm concerned, HW and shobiz celebs aren't rolemodels or moral examples I look up to.
I also want to understand what you're saying. Are you claiming that the media somehow sees male child/teen rapists as GAY and that's why they make a fuss while they ignore/don't make a fuss/even condone when rape case victims are female?
They sound like angry greedy people
The family strikes me as a bunch of greedy, entitled, self-centered bastards who will do and say anything to get their hands on money.
Yes, that is the impression I get, R145
[quote]Even if one ignores his essays, 'The City and the Pillar' and 'Myra Breckinridge' will forever be discussed in regards to its contribution to queer literature.
I have to agree with the poster(s) who said that these two are setting themselves up for a book deal. And maybe even a film. Harvard's lawyers will make mincemeat of their contentions and the legal fees are going to be huge if they decide to pursue. They're probably writing the book as we speak.
R141: I read a relatively short book of Vidal's essays from the 1960s recently. They are dated now. He was obsessed, of course, with the Kennedys and other subjects that are dated in 2013. Vidal writes well. So does Mailer, Capote and other writers from his era.
Perhaps things will change, but college professors will assign "In Cold Blood" and "Armies of the Night" before any of Vidal's work.
No wonder Gore drank so much.
How much of Vidal was a legend in his own mind?
If Little Nina thought Gore owed her a million bucks for that old Buckley case, why didn't she sue him for it while he was alive? I don't believe a word she says. He may have promised Burr the house, that at least seems reasonable, but Burr will have to prove it and I doubt he will be successful against a wall of Harvard lawyers.
Gore Vidal was never a "Sandusky" type of pedophile, nor was he a pedophile of any kind. If he enjoyed himself with younger men, so what? He paid them well. I can't recall ever hearing any complaints about Vidal's sexual behavior with them nor with anyone else.
He was a guest lecturer at Harvard. He knows they will archive his papers meticulously and preserve his reputation. It's no surprise that he left them his money. Their lawyers will see to it that Frick and Frack, the greedy cunt-relatives, get nothing.
For those in this thread who are screeching terrible things about Gore Vidal, you are pathetic right wing shit-stains. You aren't fit to lick Gore's decomposing shitter.
Unlike others here, I have some sympathy for the family although their methods are questionable. Gore Vidal delighted in feuding with people and letting them down.
Somewhere, Gore's arch enemy Truman Capote is smiling.
Why is everyone referring to him as a gay man? Wasn't he openly bisexual?
So in the Gore v Capote feud, which side do you fall on?
Gore never referred to himself as gay or homosexual. In his words he was a homosexualist.
He did like men younger than himself but I know this in part because he came on to me when I was 40 an he was 78. He had a rapier wit and little reverence for for other peoples mores. He did like men for rent. I met a few over the years but none of them had been under 18 when they met him. It might have been different in Ravello. I only met them in NY and LA. He was a flawed and angry man but the charges of his sister are a bit far flung. She echoes his mother in her anger and bitterness. Burr on the other hand he was very proud of so this is sad.
[quote]For those in this thread who are screeching terrible things about Gore Vidal, you are pathetic right wing shit-stains.
FWIW Mia Farrow defended Polanski. Just another reason she's a skank.
Famous Gore Vidal Quotes!
"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."
"Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an I.Q. of 60."
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."
On Barbara Walters: "A hyena in syrup."
On Truman Capote: "Every generation gets the Tiny Tim it deserves."
r160 rofl. He's entirely bitchy and fab.
According to the NY Times article, the family feels the one person who really was hurt was his personal housekeeper and chef who was devoted to Vidal. Also the article mentions Vidal felt insecure (if that was possible) because he did not graduate from a prestige university, hence his gift to Harvard. He was terrified that Buckley had the "goods" concerning his sexual encounters. He always appeared pompous.
"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."
"I can understand companionship. I can understand bought sex in the afternoon, but I cannot understand the love affair."
"As one gets older, litigation replaces sex."
"Never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on television."
"Apparently, 'conspiracy stuff' is now shorthand for unspeakable truth."
"I am at heart a propagandist, a tremendous hater, a tiresome nag, complacently positive that there is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."
"The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven't seen them since."
"Religions are manipulated in order to serve those who govern society and not the other way around."
"I suspect that one of the reasons we create fiction is to make sex exciting."
"You hear all this whining going on, "Where are our great writers?" The thing I might feel doleful about is: Where are the readers?"
"You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life, and I've been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country."
R159, really? wow! Mia is nuts! I never could stand her.
The media has pointed out that a lot of people in Hollywood has stood behind Roman Polanski. But, what they haven't pointed out that there is a much greater list of celebrities who are against Polanski. Melissa Gilbert was one of the names I recall who was on the list of names against Roman Polanski.
A poster said the victim is on his side is not a correct statement. She said she is disgusted and moved on in her life. She has moved on in order to mentally survive. In an interview, she seemed defeated and worn out by talking about probably because she knows it is a waste of time and justice will not be served.
Just what is a homosexualist, r98?
I agree that the essays above all deserve to last, and I believe that they will.
They constitute the intellectual autobiography of a singular intelligence. Vidal said somewhere that essay writing allowed him to continue his education throughout life. Few autodidacts are so productive, informative and entertaining.
Even if some essays are dated, they still evoke the concerns and attitudes of their time - and Vidal's unique contrary response.
His range, and love of literature, are admirable. The wit is always rewarding. I remember in one of his long essays on the NYT best sellers, he quoted a chunk of copy, then commented: "That isn't at all bad, except as prose."
St. Albans in DC would have made more sense.
With a name like "Gore" I suppose being a top is mandatory.
Please. Gore had sex with younger men who were of legal age. That is not pedophilia.
BBC Radio, on the other hand, did a hagiographic interview with Bill Wyman this week, who (like Elvis) dated and married a girl in her young teens. The BBC talks a big game about post-Savile responsibility and then they pull this kind of shit and interview Wyman breathlessly because he's a Rolling Stone.
Vidal was a brilliant left-wing essayist who reveled in exposing and mocking the illogic of the right.
I'm not shock at all by this. It used to be, all you'd need do to discredit a person was label them homosexual. Think H. Clinton. Now they have to be a homosexual pedophile.
I hate no one but the right is changing my attitude.
He probably was a pedo, but his family's case isn't helped when they would've gladly stayed silent had he left them some money.
And for the record. Gore Vidal's staunch defenders are the reason why children continue to be sexually abused. I understand the implications of a prominent gay man being a pedophile, since bigots will use it to prove a point about all shy men. However, nobody is too smart, rich, renowned, or interesting to sexually abuse children! I learned this the hard way when my young niece revealed that my brother in law had molested her. It was difficult to come to terms with an admission that tore apart the facade of their "perfect" family, but that's why a lot of pedophiles who follow through on their impulses think they can get away with their behavior.
"He probably was a pedo."
On what do you base the conclusion that he "probably was a pedo"? Because the claim has been made in a court filing seeking his money? Because someone says that William Buckley said he had a file in which he said he had "proof" of said pedophilia, but he just never bothered to use it, and neither did any of the increasingly rabid right-wingers with whom he made common cause over the years?
And for the record, children continue to be sexually abused because there continue to be adults who wish to prey on them. Including the adults who prey on them by using them as innocent weapons in their wars on other adults. His family is the lowest type who wrap themselves in flags and children to justify the worst kind of baseless accusations and protect those accusations from even the most minimal critical scrutiny.
"But, what they haven't pointed out that there is a much greater list of celebrities who are against Polanski. Melissa Gilbert was one of the names I recall who was on the list of names against Roman Polanski"
Melissa Gilbert is a Z-lister. A-listers defend him.
"And for the record. Gore Vidal's staunch defenders are the reason why children continue to be sexually abused"
So far no one has claimed to have been abused by him.
Gore very vain. Kept signed intimate pics of his conquests (like Paul Newman) in public view at his house. Lame in that his endless talk show battles with flamboyant gays like Truman were intended to imply he was superior/straight.
One of the great bitchy eps of all time though was (claimed, at least) by Gore: "Everytime a friend of mine succeeds, a part of me dies."
Weird that these revered authors (Capote, Tennessee Williams, Vidal) all seemed to have died sad and virtually alone.
It's cruel that he left not a penny to his relatives. If he was so worried about his legacy, fifty thousand or so each would have been a nice symbolic gesture.
Their revenge is now he'll be remembered as a cheap, bitter, humorless old self-loathing perv.
"...the ever-opinionated Vidal had a strange and controversial take on the abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests. 'He would say that the young guys involved were hustlers who were sending signals'... In 2009, Vidal hit headlines for referring to the 13-year-old victim in the Roman Polanski rape case as a 'young hooker'."
This is the mentality of a pedophile. Pedophiles all believe that kids are constantly sending sexual signals, and that THEY are the ones who come on to adults.
"Their revenge is now he'll be remembered as a cheap, bitter, humorless old self-loathing perv."
Nope. It's the relatives who will be seen as bitter.
#173: Melissa Gilbert is such a 'Z-Lister' that she recently started tweeting about her move to bum-fuck Wisconsin.
All the millions you have. That's what it costs to get your legacy taught at Harvard. Why would a 'famous' literary figure betray his companion(s) and family, re-write his will to give all to America's premier university --though not our nation's best literature department by a long shot.
1) GV believed his oeuvre was insubstantial and harbored bitter resentment to those who more easily wrote fiction and found fame 'easily' in his view. Hence the bitchiness and jealousy --and the honesty --in his witty epigrams.
2) Knew that fiction, not at all his forte no matter how hard he tried, and he tried!, was key to fame. He shouldn't have been embarrassed, Burr was good. But he knew he wasn't canonical. Cynically, at the end, tried to buy legacy.
3) Never was there such a bitter and jealous man about others' talent. Hated geniuses, visionaries who just had 'it' . Felt it was unfair, he was so smart, why couldn't he have a spark of genius? QED. Always referred to the truly talented (Warhol, et al) as morons. Stupid. Wishful thinking. Thought he was terrible on Maher and other talk shows, since the 70s his appearances revealed rehearsed wit that soon devolved into bitter. mean, jealous diatribes. Whig.
I don't think this ever got answered. About Gore and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Gore and Woodward were pals in the 1950's when she met Newman. She and Newman fell in love but he was still married. Gore invited the couple to stay at his place together and pretended Woodward was his fiancee, not Newman's. In time Newman got his divorce and was free to marry Woodward.
Oh yeah, it would be great if Joanne wrote a memoir!
"Why would a 'famous' literary figure betray his companion(s) and family, re-write his will to give all to America's premier university --though not our nation's best literature department by a long shot."
His family members are assholes who don't deserve a dime.
Interesting post R179. Vidal's problems surely lay in his vaulting ambition. He evidently believed that being the first gay two-term President who wrote canonical fiction was within his grasp.
He was always aiming for both the Nobel Prize, and Mount Rushmore (left profile).
Thus everyone who made it to the Oval Office, or who wrote work which will Last, earned his committed sardonic attentions.
He tried to appear above the games he desperately wanted to win. That's what makes his essays, at their best, his most readable work; readable, but by definition secondary.
It had to hurt Vidal that his despised Capote wrote two works which still pour from the presses; and that Capote inspired two good films.
Vidal tried to demolish Updike in a fascinating long piece in the TLS, but it didn't take. (At a guess, Vidal hoped that his exhaustive criticism - Updike's support for the Vietnam War, for example - might just cost Updike The Nobel.)
The 'Rabbit' books will clearly last; and Updike was a more versatile essayist than Vidal, if not as witty. But then, Updike wasn't distracted by active politics.
Vidal's multifarious act somehow prevented anyone from daring to pin the label "Jack of all trades" upon him, probably because he was the best such Jack, and always good copy. Everyone however knows the Jack he longed to be.
Buckley's file on Gore included his having sex with Rock Hudson, Fred Astaire and others.
Rock, I can see, but Fred?
"Buckley's file on Gore included his having sex with Rock Hudson, Fred Astaire and others."
[quote] The 'Rabbit' books will clearly last; and Updike was a more versatile essayist than Vidal, if not as witty. But then, Updike wasn't distracted by active politics.
Updike was a boring writer and he's certainly not in the league of Vidal as an essayist. Vidal wrote with such keen insights on literature, philosophy, history, cinema, politics, religion, .etc, that he was truly in a league of his own. Even Norman Mailer thought Updike was a terrible writer (Vidal didn't agree with Mailer; Vidal's problem with Updike was that he subject matter was too mundane and his prose too pedestrian.)
His essay for TLS about Updike was Vidal at his bitchy, sardonic best. One of my favorite quips from Vidal when describing Updike's grandiloquent prose: "Might Updike not have allowed one blind noun to slip free of its seeing-eye adjective?"
Sure, the "Rabbit" books will be remembered by those New York yuppies because in the age of "Mad Men" such tales are deemed "high art," but I suspect most of Updike's novels will be forgotten by others. Twenty years from now people will still write about "The City and the Pillar" for being the first novel to boldly depict the normality of gay relationships.
"The City and the Pillar" will be remembered for the way it treated gay relationships, but not for its literary quality. The rest of Vidal's novel, with the exception of "Julian," have already been forgotten. Surely, part of Vidal's sharp decline and change of his will to favor Harvard Univ. was because he knew that he might otherwise be forgotten.
DL's motto could be his epitaph.
A life filled with gossip and pointless bitchery doesn't ensure much of a legacy, however.
Gore must've suffered demenia is he thought that Harvard needs any money.
Does anyone remember when Gore and Chuckles Heston got into a fight over the gay content in Ben Hur? The booklet that comes with the DVD release of The Celluloid Closet has bitchy letters they wrote about each other
What the hell does having sex with underage men - assuming it's true just for the sake of the question - have to do with whether one's will should be invalidated?