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Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity

ISBN: 978-0-471-45051-1
416 pages
February 2004
Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity (0471450510) cover image
Hollywood, Interrupted is a sometimes frightening, occasionally sad, and frequently hysterical odyssey into the darkest realms of showbiz pathology, the endless stream of meltdowns and flameouts, and the inexplicable behavior on the part of show business personalities.

Charting celebrities from rehab to retox, to jails, cults, institutions, near-death experiences and the Democratic Party, Hollywood, Interrupted takes readers on a surreal field trip into the amoral belly of the entertainment industry. Each chapter — covering topics including warped Hollywood child-rearing, bad medicine, hypocritical political maneuvering and the complicit media — delivers a meticulously researched, interview-infused, attitude heavy dispatch which analyzes and deconstructs the myths created by the celebrities themselves.

Celebrities somehow believe that it's their god-given right to inflict their pathology on the rest of us. Hollywood, Interrupted illustrates how these dysfunctional dilettantes are mad as hell... And we're not going to take it any more.

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Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

PART I: IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR.

1. Hollywood Family Values: A New Weird Order.
Hollywood families exposed for not only not upholding family values but pissing all over middle-class mores. Rethinking the life and death of River Phoenix. Familial implosions exposed. It’s gotten so bad we argue for sterilization of the celebrity class.

2. In Loco Parentis: Hollywood Nannies.
Hollywood nannies speak out and tell all—“There is no laughter in this house.” Nannies so stressed they’ve formed a Beverly Hills support group. A nanny gets blacklisted.

3. Hollyweird High.
Inside Crossroads School for the Arts & Sciences, where Hollywood elite send their children, and we find, like any other school in the Western world, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Unlike other high schools, we also discover Crossdressing Day, Ménage à Prom, death, and a mandatory pseudo-therapeutic program called “Mysteries.”

PART II: FEAR AND LOATHING IN LOS ANGELES.

4. Screwball Tragedy.
Hollywood’s strange history with insanity, drugs, and therapy.

5. Doctor Feelgoods.
Not feeling so hot? Call the doctor. Top Gun producer overdoses. Winona’s Dr. Feelgood loses his license. Oliver Stone signs a medic. Lily-livered Hollywood “heppers,” including Stripperella, try anything.

6. From Rehab to Retox.
Rehab centers to the stars get visits from Matthew Perry, Robert Downey Jr., Ben Affleck, among others. Celeb rehab spas offer a panoply of treatment programs from equine therapy to brain wave analysis. Not on the menu—sex in the bathroom.

PART III: THE BELIEVERS.

7. Karma Chameleons.
Madonna and friends converge on Kabbalah. Hollywood cults run amok. Established religion is evil.

8. Shilling for Scientology: I Want Your Body—Thetans.
Scientology rocks!

PART IV: CALIFORNICATION.

9. Sex in This City.
The pornification of America. There’s a whorehouse in Beverly Hills. Swing Kids club hop. Hugh Hefner is a porn baron. The Heidi Tapes.

10. “Sexual Perversity” in Los Angeles.
Eddie Murphy plays good Samaritan to a Samoan transvestite hooker. Hollywood attorneys employ shady PIs to bend laws. Peter Pan picks a porn producer.

INTERMISSION.

Heroine.
Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Courtney.

PART V: THE LEFT WING.

11. Reds.
Celebs embrace hate speech. Everyone’s “Friend” Jennifer Aniston calls Bush names and taunts daughter Jenna. Robert Altman and Alex Baldwin threaten to leave the country. We love dictators! Hollywood warmly embraces Castro.

12. Blue Country Haze.
Hollywood ground zero for the culture war. Rosie, the lesbian, swoons over the heterosexual Tom Cruise. Oprah dictates politics. The war of the ribbons (can you support PETA and be for AIDS research?). Flacks make celebs pick a cause.

13. The Death of Comedy.
Hollywood kills Andrew “Dice” Clay and Sam Kinison. Can’t get no comic relief. “South Park” rails against Rob Reiner.

PART VI: LIES, MORE LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE.

14. Hollywood Pan Men.
Hollywood A-Team of B-list celebs goes on the road to sell pans of lies for fast cash and cheap thrills.

15. The Lying Game.
Fictionalized documentaries. Scripts are stolen. Friends cover up. We expose Hollywood’s own Jayson Blair.

PART VII: AMERIKA ONLINE.

16. Hollywood Online.
Where the stars go and what they do when they virtually get there.

17. www.americahateshollywood.com.
Media Berlin Wall falls. Newfound freedoms expressed in cyberspace. The gigabyte is up. America talks back.

Epilogue.

Notes.

Index.

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Andrew Breitbart has played the low-key online sidekick to Matt Drudge on the infamous Drudge Report for five years. From his newsroom-cum-home office in LA, Breitbart has shared site chores of keeping up with the demanding 24/7 news-cycle for an audience that now reaches well into the millions. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, and New York Post, among others. Breitbart also co-produced a documentary set to air on the History Channel in 2004. He has worked as a researcher and webmaster for Arianna Huffington and MAD TV, among others, and delivered pizzas to the stars in Brentwood. Breitbart lives in Los Angeles with his wife Susie and their two children.

Mark Ebner is an award-winning investigative journalist who has covered all aspects of celebrity culture for Spy, Rolling Stone, Details, Los Angeles magazine, Premiere, Salon, Spin, and New Times among others. He has repeatedly positioned himself in harm's way, conducting over 50 in-depth investigations into such subjects as Scientology, pit bull fighting in South Central Los Angeles, the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, celebrity stalkers, sports groupies, college suicides, and Hepatitus C in Hollywood. Ebner has produced for and/or appeared as a journalist-commentator on NBC, MSNBC, A&E, FX, E!, Entertainment television. He hosted the nationally syndicated radio program, Drastic Radio in 2000 and is Editor at Large for LA Innuendo magazine. Ebner lives in Venice, California, with his two dogs, Roxie and Poorboy.

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“Literary assassinations don’t come any more vitriolic than Hollywood Interrupted…fascinating stories and explosive revelations…” (Daily Record, 24 April 2004)

“… capitalises on our base interest in the more scandalous antics of the showbusiness elite…” (Birmingham Post, 17 April 2004)

“…makes for a riveting read.” (Hotdog, May 2004)

"...a wildly... entertaining jeremiad against the entertainment industry...against the perverts, flakes, egomaniacs, junkies, bullies and criminals..." (Rick McGinnis/Metro Toronto)

“…lifts the lid on some of Tinseltown’s weirdest and most notorious celebrities…” (Western Daily Press, 3 April 2004)

"...the industry has never been without a scandal, as this jaw-dropping book reveals..." (Hot Stars, 3 April 2004)

ANY ENTERTAINMENT hack worth his saltpeter understands that he is compromised - effectively neutered from word one . . . in toto, entertainment journalists are disgruntled; they are professionally castrated. And to top it off, these masochists are in turn, castigated and hated by the stars they've just fluffed up."
So write Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner in "Hollywood Interrupted." Hmmm . . . interesting point. As a lowly gossip columnist myself, I'd say the authors hit the nail on the head.
This book, which will land on the best-seller list next week, is an unabashedly right-wing, conservative one-note samba on celebrity culture. Is it the truth? Sure - from the authors' point of view, but with no balance. All stars are the devil here. I can't say I enjoyed this one; it's tone is often nasty and even petty - "the aging actress" . . . "the portly actor . . . " But as an antidote to much of what passes for entertainment coverage - or even this column - "Hollywood Interrupted" has appeal and certainly it has shock value. After a while, however, shocks lose impact. Chapter after chapter on those bad people in show biz! And it's not as if anybody's going to stop attending the movies, buying records or being fascinated with celebrity just because these writers are able to reveal clay feet under every heavenly Hollywood body. (The New York Post, Liz Smith, March 15th)

Not since Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons have two journalists (Breitbart feeds stories to Internet scandalmonger Matt Drudge and Ebner wrote for Spy) gathered more mean-spirited gossip about celebrities they condemn as sick and depraved. (Publishers Weekly, February 2, 2004)

CELEBRITIES are skewered like shish kabobs in Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner's upcoming book, Hollywood Interrupted (Wiley). The veteran journalists air embarrassing anecdotes about everyone from egomaniacal producer Robert Evans to Tinseltown train wreck Courtney Love to fallen power agent Michael Ovitz. The authors disclose a previously unheard 1993 wiretap of Evans chatting with Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss in which Evans seems to be ordering up a 17-year-old girl he calls "the little one." A chapter titled "Heroine: Love Means Never to Have to Say You're Courtney" was so damning in its details of Love's many meltdowns that her agents at Vigliano & Associates demanded that it be cut from the book (it wasn't). The tome also recounts how, after being terrorized by Ovitz's spoiled b rat childre n, the power agent's nanny quit and was subsequently blacklisted from working in Hollywood households. (The New York Post, Page Six, February 5, 2004)

Celebrity excess is being skewered in a pointed new book about the alleged bad behavior of some of Tinseltown's bigger names.
Hollywood Interrupted is the work of writers *Mark Ebner* and *Andrew Breitbart.* While writing the book, the authors parted ways with their literary agent, *David Vigliano,* over a less-than-glowing chapter they penned on another of his clients, *Courtney Love.*
Some examples: *Barbra Streisand*'s ex, *Elliott Gould,* is criticized as an absent parent.
*Cher* gets praised as "a wonderful mother."
*Suzanne Hansen,* a nanny who worked for power agent *Michael Ovitz,* claims Ovitz and his wife, *Judy,* spent so little time together that they communicated via notes sent through the office mail of Ovitz's Creative Artists Agency, where Judy also worked.
The authors recommend mandatory sterilizations for aspiring celebrities. (Daily News, Rush & Molloy, February 5, 2004)

"The perfect Oscar-Night side dish...Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner's Hollywood, Interrupted is a terrific book, both snappy and snappish.... The next best thing to a Los Angeles friend with a nose for juicy gossip. (The Wall Street Journal

"A Hollywood horror-fest. Celebrities are skewered like shish kabobs in Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner's... Hollywood, Interrupted." (Page Six, New York Post)

"Entertainment journalism has become a stampede of a-list a**-kissing. The authors of this bracingly impudent expose, however, have declined to pucker up." (Penthouse, February 2004)

"In this juicy Hollywood exposé, a pair of investigative journalists talks to the hired help, including former butlers and nannies, to peer inside the bad behavior of stars like John Travolta, Liz Hurley and Winona Ryder. Shockingly delicious!" (Star magazine, March 1, 2004)

The entertainment industry ...takes a beating in [this] scathing collection of revelations about ... scores of luminous entertainment media personalities. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"This is a fun book!" (Jon Stewart, The Daily Show)

“Fearless. Vicious. Hilarious. Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner prove conclusively that radical family values + infinite financial resources + cultural idol worship = moral chaos.
Celebrity is the modern American version of aristocracy. Hollywood, Interrupted shows that our celebrities are every bit as mad, corrupt, and unaccountable as their Medieval European counterparts (albeit with better teeth). And like the old aristocracy, they really are one big, incestuous family.
What you don’t understand—what you could not possibly understand—is that not only are these people nuts: They’re nuts who all know each other. Hollywood is the most dysfunctional family in the history of the world and Hollywood, Interrupted reads like a transcript of their therapy session. It’s cheeky, sophisticated, and authoritative.”
—Jonathan Last, Weekly Standard

“Hollywood hypocrites are going to simmer with fury at the painful barbs, backed up by plenty of facts, that these two sleuthing authors toss at some of the i ndustry’s most beloved stars and wags. If you love Larry King and Oprah, you’d better get ready to defend their honor, because this book deftly melts the shine off their armor.”
—Jill Stewart, “Capitol Punishment” syndicated columnist, radio and television political commentator

“‘The rich are not like you and me,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald said. Hollywood, Interrupted demonstrates that the rich and famous are not like anybody—at least anybody you’d want to be, or even shake hands with. In the deliriously scandalous tradition of Hollywood Babylon, Breitbart and Ebner’s juicy dispatch from the spiritual capital of the Porn Belt reveals Tinseltown to be a glorified cathouse populated by collagened sociopaths. These also happen to be the people who drive American popular culture. Be afraid, be very afraid.”
Rod Dreher, Dallas Morning News

“In Hollywood, Interrupted Breitbart and Ebner dig deeply into the very heart of our greatest export—pop culture—as produced by Hollywood, the movie industry and the people who affect and infect America. You cannot take a more fascinating or terrifying trip. There are tales of the fabulously famous here you would never know if not for their work. Hollywood, Interrupted is a book you have to put down frequently in order to catch your breath. Absolutely riveting.”
Lucianne Goldberg, Publisher, Lucianne.com
News Forum and Talk Radio Network host

“This book blew me away. It’s more than I wanted to know, but I couldn’t stop reading it.”
—Orson Bean, actor

“Reading Hollywood, Interrupted is like sitting on a stakeout and having a telescopic view into the darkest reaches of the corruption and perversity of today’s celebrity culture.
From the very first page to the last, Breitbart and Ebner’s probing reporting spells out in graphic detail how Hollywood lives by a set of norms the rest of America finds appropriately appalling—and endlessly fascinating. The authors have the unusual courage to take on Scientology. They provide revelations about Michael Jackson’s sickness that go beyond even today’s headlines. They rip the phony veneer off the political correctness of Rosie O’Donnell and Barbra Streisand.
They give readers a behind-the-scenes understanding of how snooping private eyes and ruthless information brokers feed scoops to the tabloids. And, in one riveting chapter, they document how a young woman in the AOL backroom unmasked the bizarre fetishes of some of Tinseltown’s top names. Hollywood, Interrupted is no ‘E’ channel fluff.
It’s disturbing stuff. But it’s all too real and it’s utterly riveting.”
—Richard Gooding, investigative reporter

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