In the last month of her life, Casey Johnson grabbed headlines with a messy engagement to reality star Tila Tequila. How a billionaire socialite wound up in bed with a hardknock stripper, filming soft-core porn on a webcam.
Before their engagement, both women were minor tabloid figures who sailed into the limelight with sordid, humiliating tales of crime: Tila as the victim of a confusing domestic violence case, and Casey as the accused perpetrator of a scandalous psychosexual theft. When the chips were down, the women found each other—then lost each other, in mysterious circumstances amid a torrent of contradictions.
Tomorrow I'll sort out the myriad Rashomon-like narratives, villains, heroes, and victims. For now, though, just the facts over the course of the two emotionally-packed months in the lives of four Hollywood sapphists, one football player, and a family billionaires. (Which seems short, but remember: Romeo and Juliet did it in four days.)
- Nov. 3: Tila's alter-ego Jane Cordovez—whom she has describes as the "SASA FIERCE" of her Dissociative Identity Disorder—hijacks Tila's Twitter account, proving that Tila is not always in control of her digital, communicative, or mental selves.
- Nov. 17: Tila realizes she is not bisexual—as was the premise of co-ed dating show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila—but a lesbian who has long been in denial.
- Nov. 19: Tila plays with a gun and knife during a nude rant on her Ustream webcam. Horrified fans begin to suspect Tila is not well.
- Nov. 21: Jane Cordovez puts a gun in Tila's mouth on her Ustream webcam. Horrified fans are now certain Tila is not well. Is there any way we can intervene?
- Nov. 30: Casey Johnson is arrested for breaking, entering, robbing, and discarding a used vibrator in fellow heiress Jasmine Lennard's Hollywood home. Jasmine accuses Casey after the latter's girlfriend—Yahoo! heiress and self-proclaimed "lesbian Don Juan" Courtenay Semel—texts Jasmine and tells her to call the cops because Casey "is wearing your underwear."
- Dec. 2: Jasmine Lennard tells Page Six the Johnson clan has cut Casey off in a bid to force her into rehab, and that the heiress now lives in squalor. (Subsequent reports confirm.) Jasmine suspects Casey is not well.
- Early Dec. (estimated): Tila and Casey, who "used to hate each other" but are drawn together because they are "going through the same stuff." (break ups with Courtenay?) The duo have their first sexual collision, and the prelude is straight out of pervy straight man fantasy:
[S]he came over like a trainwreck. I had to tell her, "Casey, calm down. Breathe. It's not the end of the world." I fixed her hair a little bit, we starting playing dress up... and then, next thing you know, we got engaged.
- Dec. 7: When Tila says "next thing you know," she means it. The pair announce their engagement via livestream webchat, in lacy push-up bras, painted eyes, and gloss-slathered lips. Tila celebrates a "17-carat diamond ring from my baby."
They make out on the red carpet for Travis Barker's clothing line. A bottle of pills falls out of Casey's purse; Tila screams "she has diabetes," which is true: Casey has twice fallen into diabetic comas.
- Dec. 8-10 (estimated): Co-habitation begins. As Tila explained two weeks later in a phone interview during as Casey wandered around their home:
The first week after announcing our engagement, we had a lot of talks. Within a week, I felt like it was five months. ... it's like the U-Haul stereotype, moving in the next day. She brought in her two dogs—you can hear them barking now [laughs]—and all her stuff. And it started driving me crazy, because I have to work.
- Dec. 10: Courtenay Semel renounces Casey to Page Six: "I wish her well—but well away from me." She continues, "I have suffered emotional torture and manipulation at the hands of this woman, and never before has she suffered consequences for her actions. ... The truth is that she needs to get serious help. But what worries me is that she will hit rock bottom before she does that."
- Dec. 10: Tila reiterates on her blog that Casey is hers, and rich: "TILA TEQUILA IS ENGAGED TO HEIRESS CASEY JOHNSON OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON EMPIRE."
- Dec. 11: Courtenay Semel says the ring is a fake, just like the engagement. She tells Radar, "the engagement ring given to Tequila by Johnson was not purchased for her. It has previously been worn by me, a statement i can back up with photographic evidence." The lesbian Don Juan continues, "It is absolutely not real and Casey is well aware. I would not expect Tila to be able to differentiate a real diamond from a fake one. Her ring is as real as her engagement!"
- Dec. 18: TilasHotSpotDating.com, a dating and social networking site, debuts.
- Dec. 19: Tila tweets a "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT" that she will be a surrogate mother for her brother and wife. In subsequent tweetss, however, she says she has more, bigger pregnancy news coming up (OctoTequila?), refers to herself as "Mommy" and "MILF," and discusses parenting—suggesting that she either does not know what surrogacy is, or isn't actually a surrogate. Or is going the free-spirit alternative family unit route?
- Dec. 24: Tila spends the holiday in Houston, rebuilding bridges with her estranged sister and nephew Marco. She also tweets a promise to livestream a Casey-Tila sex session some day
- Dec. 25: Casey spends the holiday tweet-attacking Courtenay Semel's friends.
- Dec. 27: Tila returns to L.A. and Casey picks her up at the airport. The pair vascillate between "fighting" (as Tila would later say) and being in love (as their contemporaneous social media say)
- Dec. 29: Casey tweets about buying a car with Tila, Tila tweets a celebration of Casey's 5000th Twitter follower "since we got engaged! Wooohoo! Follow her!" Later that day, they fight. Casey drops her dogs off at Tila's house and disappears, apparently turning off her cellphone. This is the last time anyone sees or hears from Casey. Tila goes on to announce the launch of Tila Tequila Records and a "gossip blog" to compete with archnemesis Perez Hilton's. She says the cellphone outage prevented her from getting in touch with Casey.
- Jan. 4: Casey's body is discovered in her home and pronounced dead at 11:51AM. Investigators say it was there, untouched, for several days, and will later conclude that there is no evidence of foul play or suicide. Tila—who has been blogging and tweeting consistently since her last contact with Casey—appears to find out about the death at 8:37PM, after the news breaks on TMZ. She tweets frantic misinformation.
- Jan. 5: Tila speaks to the InTouch, calling Courtenay Semel a "crazy vile woman." She falls into a depression and awaits aid.
Jasmine Lennard, meanwhile, tells Radar Tila was a crazy enabler: "Casey's family tried desperately to help her ... Tila got a hold of her and said, 'hey, come out with me and we'll show them!' ... Tila is a sick, sick girl. On one occasion she called me and a male friend screaming, saying people were breaking into her home. When I arrived, she was naked with a kitchen knife screaming, but no one was there. Everyone who crosses her path suffers consequences."