Tina Brown, with all the dignity that comes with a lifetime achievement award, declares celebrity journalism has made America sick. "We're at a point where we're in a giant reality show," the former Vanity Fair editor tells the Naples News-Press. "I'm not interested in digging into someone's private life just for the hell of it." Oh yes? Tina's tenure of Vanity Fair was a success because she turned the title into an upmarket supermarket tabloid. And the purpose of this interview with the obscure Florida newspaper was promotion of The Diana Chronicles, Tina's gossipy account of Princess Diana's affairs. After the jump, a summary of the Dianamen, the succession of cockney bodyguards, riding instructors, rugby stars and phone sex buddies, whom Tina Brown inventories with lip-smacking relish.
She, worldly piece of work that she is, thinks everything would have been hunky-dory if Di had only got it on with Prince Philip, the Queen's consort. He fancied her anyway, and it would have kept the fuss inside the family. But Di aimed lower. Her first affair, Tina believes, was with Di's cockney bodyguard Barry Mannakee. For this flash, Tina pumped Di's pal Dr. James Colthurst, who helped the Princess tape all the dirt used by Andrew Morton in Diana: Her True Story, the H-bomb dropped on the House of Windsor in 1992. Not only had Diana admitted an affair, Colthurst said, but she thought Barry was "bumped off" when he died. Next came the red-haired Life Guards Maj. James Hewitt, her (and the boys') riding instructor. Later, when the discarded and broke Hewitt sold his memoirs, he was widely scorned as the Love Rat.
Was he or was he not the father of ginger-haired Prince Harry? Tina thinks so. "Well, I don't know what she was doing at the time," Prince Charles once responded, not too gallantly, when the subject arose. A succession of tall, handsome beaux, both before and after the official royal separation of Dec. 9, 1992, were dubbed "the Dianamen" and the "42 Longs" by her bodyguards. She fell hard for married art dealer, Oliver Hoare, becoming his "phone sex pest." She carried on with Will Carling, the rugby star.