THE PUBLICIST: Dishing too much dirt is a sure way to get buried in Hollywood

An admirer e-mails to profess her love for the column and a desire for more dirt. Dish. Salacious details of sordid Hollywood doings. Groupies, drugs, hairpieces, balloon animals, etc.

An admirer e-mails to profess her love for the column and a desire for more dirt. Dish. Salacious details of sordid Hollywood doings. Groupies, drugs, hairpieces, balloon animals, etc.

Well, my lascivious friend, thanks for writing. And let me tell you, I could spill some stories from the movie I'm on now that would fill your diary for the next year. Illicit sex of all kinds: premarital, extramarital, lesbian, take-a-number-and-wait-your-turn kind of sex. And that's just in the trailers. You don't even want to know what happens off set. Trust me. Oh, and the parties, my god, the parties. Just last Saturday, one of our actors threw a bash that went on until 5am. It didn't end then, it just moved somewhere else. The jailhouse, I think. There were more groupies than you can shake a megaphone at. Not that there's anything wrong with that, though I tire of fending off advances from Iowa farm girls trying to break into the glamorous world of entertainment publicity. (Note to Minnesota farm girls: I'm still very much open to your advances.) Yes, indeed, I could tell you stories. But I can't. And I won't. For one thing, children read this column, for goodness sakes. I know this because my five-year-old nephew sends it to me every week with grammatical corrections, bless him. Secondly, a necessary amount of discretion is needed for me to continue working as a publicist and to keep from being tarred and feathered. I can insinuate, share anecdotes, even hint at certain - shall we say - improprieties. But I simply can't name names. As it is, film productions are hesitant to inform publicists of important developments for fear of our contact with journalists. Truth is, discretion is our calling card. So is the ability to listen. We frequently act as set psychiatrists, morale boosters, sounding boards, or scapegoats. Many an actor has confided in me, only to suddenly recoil, exclaiming, "Why am I telling you this? You're the damn publicist." (We're actually listed on crew sheets as "damn publicist.") I simply assure them by saying, "Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me. Until my book comes out. You're in for a cut." That always calms them down. So, please understand, Eva from Evansville, IL, I can't honor your request. But I hope you keep reading. And if you want to give me a call, I'll tell you about who's been making out with a certain actress by the initials C.T.
  • Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer.

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