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hollywood_dirt a INTERNET-SOAP.COM
hollywood_dirt a INTERNET-SOAP.COM
Dom 23 Dic 2001 10:17:15 CET
tinseltrash / adj / 1. a person who's achieved great
wealth, fame and/or power in the field(s) of film,
television and/or music, who remains unable or unwilling
to improve upon the bad conduct and/or low morals
imparted upon them in their youth 2. something you
throw away after Christmas
Hello, my name is Jeff Abugov. I have been a professional
Hollywood writer for fourteen years -- you can check me out
because my resume is all over the Internet. I've written for
"Cheers," "Golden Girls," and "My Two Dads." I've written and
produced "Roseanne," consulted on "Caroline in the City,"
executive-produced "Roc" and "Grace Under Fire." I wrote and
directed an independent feature film called "The Mating Habits of
the Earthbound Human" which you may have never seen, and you
should, but that's not the point. The point is I know what I'm
talking about when it comes to show business.
So, I'd like to tell you a story about a good friend of mine,
one of the nicest guys I know, who simply got a bum rap in the
press. Yes, he deserved it, because he screwed us all, but as I
see it, he had no choice. You can decide for yourself when you
hear his story.
Today's portion of this internet soap opera is free. If you
like it, chapters 2 through 5 will be free as well. After that,
all I ask is a dollar a chapter because I have to make a living
the same way you do. It's just a buck, for crying out loud. But
don't worry about that now. Just read, and enjoy.
by Jeff Abugov
A very good friend of mine was the biggest star on TV about
ten years ago. I can't tell you his real name because the story
that will follow is perverse and horrible, so to protect him and
his family I'll call him "Robby Rockman." I'll say Robby is
six-foot tall with a slender build, blue eyes, reddish-brown hair
and freckles, but I might be making that up.
Robby was the kind of guy who would pick up homeless people
and then treat them to dinner at an all-night diner. With no
fanfare or publicity, he'd pay their stay in a cheap motel until
he found them a job, then he'd move on to his next project.
Sometimes it was rescuing puppies from the pound, other times it
was lending money to down-and-out actor friends, or simply
coaching his little son's t-ball team. When there was a problem
on his sitcom set, it was Robby who smoothed over the wounded egos
and got everyone back on track. There wasn't a benefit he turned
down, a charity he refused, or a secret he couldn't keep. To know
this guy was to have a lifelong friend you could trust forever.
Robby received several Emmy nominations for his sitcom which
I'll call "School, Sweet School," of which he won two. He
received four Golden Globe nominations and won one. He should've
won an Oscar because his film performance was brilliant even
though the movie tanked. It deserved to tank, it wasn't good, but
that's not the point.
You know who I'm talking about. If you're young, you grew up
with him as a role model. If you're older, you watched him with
your kids. He brilliantly played a nice guy, I'll call the
character "Mr. Bell," the loveable teacher at "School, Sweet
School," even though he didn't really play a teacher and it wasn't
really a show about a high school. Everyone thought, including
me, that the only reason Robby was so great at playing a nice guy
was that he WAS such a nice guy. The truth is, he was a brilliant
actor who could play a jerk as well as anyone. And that, my
hopeful readers, is how he reached his legendary status. He
didn't do it on the big screen or the little screen, but in the
press, the tabloids, and in his best performances, on the nightly
This is the downfall, the comeback, and the personal
destruction of the one we'll call Robby Rockman.
There are many places to begin Robby's story, but I'll choose
the night of his agent's annual Fourth of July bash because that
was the night Robby decided to alter the entire course of his
It had been eight years since Robby taped the final episode
of "School, Sweet, School." Six years since his brilliant
performance in the dull-as-hell courtroom drama movie, five years
since his big budget action picture flopped, four years since he
worked at all, and roughly six months since his agent returned one
of his phone calls.
His agent, whom I'll call Artie Eichman, was
five-foot-eight, with a muscular build due to a personal trainer
and a full mane of sandy-brown hair due to cosmetic surgery. He
signed Robby when both of them were nothing, and took him from
good reviews in an Off-Broadway flop to the lead in "School, Sweet
School." During the run of the show, Artie used the leverage from
representing Robby to make himself one of the most powerful agents
at his mammoth agency. Let's call it "the Mammoth Agency."
Today, Artie is among those who run this town, and he wouldn't
have had any of it without Robby's talent and loyalty, but he
still sees no reason to return his calls.
So when Robby got Artie's invitation out of the mail, he
didn't even have to open it to know that he was on his way back.
Artie had been having these parties since the third year of
"School, Sweet School," and he always invited only the top people
in Hollywood, and only his working clients. Robby was not working
but clearly he was about to, and he had a pretty good idea of what
the role would be.
For weeks, Robby had been begging Artie - actually Artie's
secretary because Artie wouldn't return his calls -- for an
audition with a certain well-known director, let's call him
Anthony dePaulo. dePaulo, you know him, too, is one of America's
greatest directors. From the Spielberg-Lucas generation, his
movies may never have made as much money as theirs did, but his
were better. That's my opinion and nothing more, but I'd bet you
agree. dePaulo had helped mediocre actors become great, and had
helped great actors carve the character for which they'd be
forever remembered. He had made stars out of nothing, and turned
has-beens into icons. With an actor as brilliant as Robby, the
sky was the limit, and everybody knew it.
Robby knew that the invitation could only mean that Artie had
somehow gotten him the part in dePaulo's new film. The rest was
up to him, and he knew he could pull it off. Especially with a
director as brilliant as dePaulo!
Something you should know about Robby is that he always hated
Hollywood parties. At the peak of his popularity, he couldn't
stand the sycophants sucking up to him so they could tell the
other sycophants he was their pal. Since his decline, these same
sycophants ignored him like the plague, which Robby hated even
Robby's wife, whom we'll call Trudy Rockman, was a beautiful
yet petite waif of a woman with straight, jet black hair to her
mid-back and zero streaks of red. If you ask me, it would've
looked better with a little bit of red, but Trudy didn't want to
"go Hollywood." Trudy was just one year younger than Robby, and
they had been high school sweethearts. She had stuck by Robby
through the lean years in New York, the insanity of superstardom,
and the dark years that followed. Everyone who knew them agreed
that their marriage was as good as one could get in Hollywood.
Trudy knew how Robby felt about parties. She also knew he
shouldn't go to this one because Artie never meant for him to be
invited. Artie believed unemployed clients made him look bad, and
Trudy could only deduce that Artie's secretary had sent out the
invitation on her own. Why the secretary had done that Trudy had
no idea, and I'll get to it later. Still, Trudy knew that Robby
was not welcome at the party. The reason she knew this was
because she was secretly having an affair with Artie.
No one was aware of it at the time of course, including me.
Like I said, we all thought Robby and Trudy had the perfect
marriage. But after watching her husband grow sadder and sadder
with each passing day for eight years of his vanishing career,
Trudy finally couldn't take it anymore. The least Artie could do
is return one of her husband's calls, she felt. So, a couple of
months before the bash, she got into her red Cherokee and drove to
the Mammoth Agency building in Beverly Hills to confront him.
Artie greeted Trudy with warmth, humor, and friendliness.
Instead of denying her accusations, he explained them away.
"I serve him better by speaking to studio heads on his behalf
than using the same time to tell him that I have nothing to tell
him," was one of his defenses.
"He already knows no one will hire him, but when I tell him
he just gets more depressed," was another.
"I'd be nothing without Robby," he'd begin my personal
favorite with total sincerity. "It pains me that you'd think I'd
actually give up on him."
Trudy pointed out the fallacies of each of Artie's defenses,
and Artie countered brilliantly. It wasn't that she believed
anything he said, but the repartee, the give-and-take, the warmth
and the smile was something she hadn't had for a very long time.
Then Nicholson called, and Artie had to go. He had been
trying to steal Nicholson for months, he explained to Trudy as if
it were a good thing, then told her he wanted to continue their
conversation because he wanted to make sure Robby was happy. If
he was making matters worse, he went on, he wanted to know how to
So he asked her out to dinner. She, naive little thing that
she was, suggested it would be best if Robby didn't know about it
since it would embarrass him to learn that his wife had more
impact on his agent than he did. Artie made some vague comment
about honesty, then quickly went along with the plan.
Their first dinner was a great success and they spent the
entire time talking about Robby. No true solutions were reached,
but Trudy had a wonderful time with the gregarious man, once again
eating in an L.A. hotspot, once again being treated like Hollywood
So they had another dinner, and another. Conversations about
Robby had long vanished, and Artie spent much of the time talking
about how his first wife had taken half his money, and how his
second wife was now trying to take the other half. The rest of
the time he spent telling Trudy how absolutely beautiful she was.
Trudy kind of knew what Artie was after for she wasn't THAT
naive. They had known each other for a very long time by then and
she had seen him talk his talk with many other women, married or
not. So the fact that he was now trying to woo the wife of the
man to whom he owed so much may have repelled her, but it did not
On the other hand, Artie was not an unattractive man. She
had never been with a muscle-guy before, and had often secretly
fantasized about being with him. Of course, she had no intention
of acting on it.
Until he got her drunk.
Because she let him.
Trudy had never been with anyone other than Robby, and Artie
was very well endowed. It wasn't that he was better in bed than
Robby that got her to climax. It wasn't that she loved or even
liked Artie. She knew Artie for the sleaze he was, and it made it
all the more exciting for her. It was raw sex, it was wrong, and
as the two sweated away on the rooftop veranda of Artie's
Hollywood Hills home with the L.A. skyline twinkling in her
half-opened eyes, she knew she would keep coming back for more.
Trudy had never done a wrong thing in her life and, in her
mid-thirties, the lifelong wife of her husband -- this was the
only way she could see of being her own person.
The truly sad part is that for years Robby had been attracted
to Artie's second wife, Adona Eichman, young, beautiful, thin with
large, expensive breasts -- the trophy Artie received for
representing Robby. Adona had had a crush on Robby since she was
a kid, and would've given herself to him in a second. She had
given him all the signals, but Robby simply wouldn't go for it.
It wasn't because of Artie and it was barely because of Trudy.
As far as Robby was concerned, he was a married man and that was
So when Robby got the invitation from Artie's assistant,
Trudy knew some kind of slip-up had occurred because Artie had
already told her Robby wasn't on the list. But Robby was so
excited thinking that he got the part in a Tony dePaulo film that
Trudy didn't know what to say.
"Be realistic, he wouldn't invite YOU," she knew she couldn't
"He only invites his working clients, and you haven't worked
in years," she also knew was wrong. So, instead, she dropped
"Don't you just hate these full-of-it parties?" she asked
"Sure, but I'm in no position to turn it down," he replied.
"I'm sure whatever Artie has going for you will hold if we
don't go to this party."
"He wants me there," Robby answered. "I'm sure he has his
"Why don't you call him and find out what the reasons are?
Maybe they're not as important as you think."
"Even if they're not, it doesn't matter. He wants me to come
and I've always been a team player. I can't change now."
In the end, Trudy figured there wouldn't be any harm in
attending. They'd have a bad time, Robby would grow more
depressed, but in the end it wouldn't change anything.
She couldn't have been more wrong. It was at that party that
Robby made the very conscious, calculated decision that would
ultimately cause his life to spiral completely out of control!
And the drugs, sex and other scandals in which he'd be involved
were nothing but a by-product of that one vice-laden decision.
*** Up Next: "A Hollywood Bash" ***
The main characters in this e-novel are fictional and are not
intended to portray or resemble any actual individuals, whether
living or dead (except for Jeff Abugov who is a real screenwriter,
director and producer.) Although certain real people and
companies are mentioned in this e-novel, all of the events are
fictional and are not intended to portray or resemble any actual
Copyright 2001 Tinseltrash, Inc.
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