Magazine article Out

Wait 'Til You Hear This!

Magazine article Out

Wait 'Til You Hear This!

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Richard Dupont's breakfast used to consist of "these beyond-divine peanut butter chocolate bars made by the new lesbian baker at the Ace Hotel," and he can still taste "this yummy Dr Pepper cake" he and his roommate, Robert Downey Jr., once ate at the Van Ness Recovery House some years back.

Now he's "obsessed with Cinnabons," which is why we're motoring swiftly through downtown Palm Springs. At Harvey Weinstein's Oscar party, The Artist's Jean Dujardin told him that cinnamon buns were his favorite thing about America.

At 54, Dupont says he loves sugar, and he thanks Whitney Houston for finally making him realize that harder drugs were a mug's game: "I remember her crawling around on my turquoise carpet, lookingfor drugs. She was picking up lint, thinking it was coke."

Dupont and his identical twin brother, Robert, met Andy Warhol in the 19703 when, as teenagers, they ran away from an unhappy life with adoptive parents in Connecticut. Andy loved identical twins, so he paid the Duponts in Quaaludes and drawings, and got them to sleep with rich guys at Studio 54 so they'd commission portraits.

It was a whirlwind of Halston and Bianca and Liza, yet while all that's behind Richard now, he somehow can't open his mouth without some gem coming out about Truman or Andy or Freddie Mercury. He lived in L.A. for a while with fellow Factory alum Holly Woodlawn, but it was what he calls "guacamole brain" that drew him to move to Palm Springs five years ago. It's a fitting town for Warhol superstars to retire to - and not only because it's all about surface. The fact is that desert heat is like being on Valium; the intense dryness makes you turn your head off. Dupont reminds me that his friend Truman Capote got writer's block when he came here in 1968 to try and finish Answered Prayers.

"I don't think Anne Rice wrote anything since she moved here either..." he drawls, cracking open his 12th Diet Coke of the day.

Dupont hoped that the Palm Springs sun would displace his love of compulsive tendencies. On the whole, it has, although he's having problems with condo politics. The superintendent has deemed that no more than five floatation devices maybe in the (champagne-cork-shaped) pool at any one time. And sometimes the weather can be anxiety inducing: "They say it won't reach 70 until the weekend..."

His ex-boyfriend, Freddie Mercury, used to warn him about his obsessive side.

"One time at the St. Régis, I tried to get him to come over by promising him take-out from Andy and Halston's favorite Chinese restaurant, Pearls," says Dupont. "Freddie loved Chinese, so I'm screaming down the phone, 'I got all this champagne and food from your favorite Chinese restaurant, please come over!' "

He and his twin brother lived in Salvador and Gala Dali's suite at the St. Régis for two years. Philippe Mora, director of the new Dalí movie, The Surrealist, starring Alan Gumming, recently approached him for consultancy work. "I'll probably end up with an associate producer credit," Dupont says, pointing out his favorite local fast-food restaurant, "Jacques du Boîte," as he calls Jack in the Box.

Dupont makes everything in Palm Springs sound exciting. He says he has a friend with a waterfall in his house, and he prefaces many of his sentences with "Wait 'til you hear this! " As we get closer to Koffi, a town café, he points things out: the Caliente Tropics hotel whose architect was married to murderer and Elizabeth Taylor impersonator Sante Kimes; the posh restaurant, Spencer's, where Tom Ford goes to eat ("I hear he's in town visiting Demi Moore at the Betty Ford Center"); and Warm Sands, the gay swingers area. …

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