September 07, 2004

Who is Kitty Kelley?

Kitty Kelley's new book The Family is causing quite a storm. Perhaps the biggest revelation in the book is that George W. "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either." Quite a shocking revelation, if true, and sure to reinforce the convictions of those who believe that George W. Bush is an overgrown frat boy who never really grew up. But who is Kitty Kelley and can her work be trusted? Is this, as she claims, a family biography or does her work represent nothing more than the National Enquirer in book length form?

Kitty Kelley's books include the 'biographies' of Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra, and Jackie Kennedy. Kelley once coined herself 'the Queen of sleeze' and if the subject matter of her books doesn't warn you of the type of reading material she supplies than this might: her book which 'researches' dirt on the House of Windsor has been banned in Brittain for it's libelous accusations.

Kitty Kelley has a penchant for ascribing inflamatory quotes to famous people, often relying on scorned lovers or others who have a bone to pick with her biographical subjects. For instance, in her unauthorized biography of Nancy Reagan she claims Nancy said that President Reagan:

orders killings like he orders linguine.
Kelley also accused President Reagan of abandoning a girlfriend after impregnating her. According to Kelley, Reagan denied the child was his and walked away from the relationship.

If that wasn't bizarre enough, Kelley also accused the President of being a rapist:

He pushed his way inside and said he just had to see me. He forced me on the couch . . . and said, 'Let's just get to know each other.' It was the most pitched battle I've ever had, and suddenly in a matter of seconds I lost. . . . They call it date rape today.
Kelley also accused Nancy Reagan of having an affair with Frank Sinatra, and that the two had sex in the Governor's Mansion while Reagan was Governor.

As you can see, Kitty Kelley is no stranger to using unreliable sources to make her point: she has never met a celebrity without a sordid past. Kelley herself has been the subject of at least one unauthorized biography Poison Pen, written by former Reagan aid George Carpozi, Jr. The book is not one I can heartily recommend, as it uses Kelley's own libelous tactics against her, but it does debunk much of the myth that Kelley does her homework. This book documents case after case where Kelley uses unreliable sources to put her subjects in the most unflattering light.

And what kind of sources does Kitty Kelley use? Kelly claims that Bush used coke at Camp David based on Neil Bush's scorned ex-wife's word. Professor Bainbridge quotes the Mirror article cited above as naming the source:

She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."
And Talk Left exposes the relationship Sharon Bush has with George:
The former President Bush refused Sharon's request for a $467,000 loan to keep her Houston mansion, telling her to find something cheaper. "The divorce is final," the elder Bush wrote, "[and] the best thing for you to do is get on with your life. Close the unhappy chapter with Neil, find a job, and look to the future, not the past."
Sharon is also not the most stable person:
After Sharon pulled some hair out of Neil's head, his lawyers accused her of practicing voodoo. But Sharon shot back: "I pulled Neil's hair out because I wanted to get it tested for cocaine, not because of voodoo."
Kitty Kelley has a history of using unreliable sources to make her subjects look bad. Her books are inflammatory and filled with half-truths, lies, and inuendos. Kelley's work represents the worst of the worst in writing, a cross between the fiction of the Weekly World News and the gossip of the National Enquirer. If ever there was an author worthy of contempt, Kitty Kelly is it.

Update: The source for the cocaine allegation is publicly saying she never made the statement. Kitty Kelley just makes things up.

Others ripping this book apart: Prof. Bainbridge, Talk Left, Say Anything, Jeff Goldstein, Tac Jammer, Everything I know is Wrong, Captain Ed

Others who say inane and stupid things: Wonkette (right, who cares if the accusation is true....In that spirit my 'sources' tell me that Kerry of kills puppies for fun.)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:11 AM | Comments |