Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

I smell a rat when it comes to Harvey Weinstein. Let's take it from the start. The telephone rang very early in the morning and a woman's voice told me that Harvey Weinstein wanted to speak to me. I was put on hold. I waited. And waited, and then waited some more. The reason I didn't hang up was that I wanted to tell Harvey that if Queen Elizabeth had made me wait as long as he had I would have hung up. 'But for you, Sir Harvey, I'll wait an eternity.'

Well, Harvey is a Commander of the British Empire but I upgraded him a notch because, as strange as it may sound, he and I are buddies. Harvey's a committed lefty, Hillary's pal, and he thinks that the Germans were all bad 70 years ago (he's totally and catastrophically wrong on all counts). But I really like him. He comes to my parties and I go to his. Last Christmas, at my New York bash, I introduced Harvey to around 20 women, and he hit on all of them. Good for him.

His former lawyer Lisa Bloom was also on the telephone and asked me if I could confirm the details of a meeting between Harvey and a pretty assistant of his who had testified against him in a sexual-harassment lawsuit. Michael Mailer and I had been present because Harvey was interested in Nothing to Declare, the greatest prison book ever, written by one Taki. (It was published 27 years ago, about an event that took place 35 years ago.) The assistant kept Michael and me company while we waited for her boss, and once he had joined us and apologised for being late I said that his assistant had been extremely pleasant company because, unlike him, she was great-looking. 'And she is very good at her job,' added Harvey; the point of the story being that if anyone had suggested anything it was me, when I complimented her on her looks.

In America today, this could get you ten years in the pokey. The S- and R-words are what the J-word was in Berlin circa 1935. Juden has been replaced by 'sexist' and 'racist'. It is Nineteen Eighty-Four again. In Harvey's case, there is a lot to hang him with, and now that it's out in the open, they are all creeping out of the woodwork. Even an ugly waitress has suddenly recalled that she served the 'pig' while he hit on women. It's funny how feelings of anxiety and degradation suddenly appear when these kinds of revelations hit the papers. What I'd like to know is why it's taken some 20 years, and others ten years, to come out with it. …

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