Guy Adams: In the land where free speech is sacrosanct

LA Notebook

Share
Related Topics

I've no idea whether Warren Beatty really has slept with 12,775 women, as claimed in a new biography. But I do know that I really, really enjoyed reading the gory details of how the 72-year-old star lost his virginity at 20 and then supposedly seduced an average of one new female a day throughout the ensuing 35 years before settling down in 1992 to faithful domesticity with his current wife, Annette Bening.

Mr Beatty is particularly partial to spanking, claims Peter Biskind's scholarly tome, and has devoted life away from the screen to sexual encounters including "daytime quickies, drive bys [and] casual gropings." His libido even prompted Joan Collins to end their relationship because, "I don't think I can last much longer. He never stops. It must be all those vitamins he takes."

These revelations, I think, belong to a brand so extravagant that they could only belong in Hollywood. Where else, after all, would Mr Beatty have been able to seduce (among others) Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Julie Christie, Madonna and Carly Simon – who chronicled his bedroom manner in the song "You're So Vain"?

Where else, more to the point, would Mr Biskind have found a publisher willing to put his biography into print? Not in Britain, that's for sure. Mr Beatty has claimed the book contains "many false allegations" and most UK celebrities, in his shoes, would have already applied for an injunction and be hoping for a disgustingly large compensation cheque.

Americans do things differently, though. Despite it being a comically litigious nation in most other respects, libel and privacy laws here are oddly liberal. Indeed, it's virtually impossible for a public figure to sue a writer or journalist. Free speech, in other words, is considered sacrosanct.

Interestingly, people who defend Britain's laws say that without them public figures would be unable to defend their reputations. But America's celebrity classes do fine without them. In fact, for all his complaints, I can right now think of about 12,775 reasons why Warren Beatty's market value has never been higher.

The 'diet' that's not a diet

Taco BellL, the ubiquitous purveyor of pseudo-Mexican junk food, is bombarding US consumers with adverts starring a woman called Christine Dougherty who claims to have lost 54 pounds on what the chain calls its "drive thru diet".

This involves eating lots of cheap tacos in which (and here's the "healthy" bit) the normal cheese topping has been replaced with salsa. Taco Bell's small print, which presumably they think customers will be too stupid to read, carries my favourite disclaimer of modern times: the "diet" regime "is not a weight loss programme".

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Rafael Nadal is down and out, beaten by Dustin Brown at Wimbledon – but an era is not thereby ended  

Sad as it is, Rafael Nadal's decline does not mark the end of tennis's golden era

Tom Peck
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy