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Anjelica Huston‘s memoir, Watch Me, pulls no punches.
The actress delivers a raw look at her intimate world of Hollywood relationships, including her tumultuous affairs with Jack Nicholson and Ryan O’Neal, her vantage point on the Roman Polanski child rape scandal and, of course, her own career.
Here are some of the more revealing anecdotes she outlines in the book:
1. She writes that she beat up her lover Jack Nicholson.
After finding out about one of Nicholson’s numerous other women — which a friend had read about in Playboy — Huston “beat him savagely about the head and shoulders. He was ducking and bending, and I was going at him like a prizefighter, raining a vast array of direct punches,” she writes. But ever the cool cat, Nicholson commented the next day: “Goddamn, Toots, you sure landed some blows on me. I’m bruised all over my body,” she writes. Her response? “You’re welcome, Jack — you deserved it.”
2. When Nicholson confessed to knocking up Rebecca Broussard, he didn’t want the fact that he had gotten another woman pregnant to interfere with their relationship.
“Someone is gonna have a baby,” Nicholson announced over dessert, and told Huston that nothing had to change between them. She felt differently, writing: “There’s only room for one of us women in this picture, and I am going to retire from it.”
3. In a more alarming incident, another one of Huston’s boyfriends — Ryan O’Neal — allegedly beat her.
At a party in a Beverly Hills mansion, she walked around a belly dancer to avoid crossing paths, which allegedly set off O’Neal. “He turned on me, grabbed me by the hair and hit me in the forehead with the top of his skull,” Huston writes. “I saw stars and reeled back. Half blind, I ran away from him.” Later, she yielded to his pleas to let him into the bathroom she’d locked herself into to recover. “No sooner had I complied then Ryan was in the bathroom, batting me about the head with open hands. Then, abruptly, he left,” she writes, adding that she broke up with O’Neal after the attack.
4. Huston didn’t think anything of Polanski and a 13-year-old girl roaming Nicholson’s house on that fateful day.
“He introduced me to her and said they had been taking pictures…. I thought no more of it,” she writes. The next day, LAPD detectives busted her for cocaine as they searched Nicholson’s house. “They started to go through my handbag, where they found a gram of cocaine. Roman and I were bundled into the back of two separate police cars. We were under arrest.”
5. The raven-haired actress based her character Morticia Addams in The Addams Family movie on a friend.
“I decided on my friend Jerry Hall, the beautiful Texan model, feeling that her kind, gentle disposition and utter devotion to her children might lend some warmth to Morticia’s chilly, unflappable nature.”
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