Response to our cover story on Brett Butler (PEOPLE, April 22) and to the excerpt from her book Knee Deep in Paradise was, on the whole, positive. The feature touched a sympathetic chord among most correspondents, but irritated others, who profess to be weary of stories of stars overcoming adversity and addiction.
Thank you for your balanced and inspirational article on Brett Butler. Her story is a fine example for those fighting the scourge of alcoholism. Brett’s ability to overcome the negative influences in her life offers people hope, that most precious of commodities. That she drew strength from self-help groups can serve as a model for others so afflicted and addicted.
TOM McDONOUGH Ponce Inlet, Fla.
Ah, yet another inspiring tale of a Hollywood celeb who dragged herself out of the gutter. Perhaps you could instead tell of women who, also suffering from domestic abuse and a broken home, did not resort to alcohol, illegal drugs and desperate sex, but instead threw the bastards out, supported their kids, worked hard and got on with their lives. Many of us know such women.
DAVID GAIER, Chicago
Let’s see, the alleged Unabomber, a playwright winning a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, Stokely Carmichael’s battle with cancer, battered women requiring plastic surgery to correct the horrors of abuse, a nun who was raped and tortured, an Olympic heroine filing for bankruptcy, a business executive killed in a Bosnian plane crash, two maimed women who lost their families in the Oklahoma City bombing, a British teen dying of CJD, Brett Butler’s depressing and abusive past and a teacher who was brutally raped and murdered—all in one issue? Pass the Prozac.
ANDREA FEENEY, Newtonville, Mass.
You say it was composed in the late ’40s, yet when I was attending grammar school from 1940 to 1944 I danced “The Hokey Pokey.” Unfortunately, Larry LaPrise has passed on and cannot clarify this discrepancy for us.
GLORIA A. LAURIANO, Gilroy, Calif.
Since the death of Larry LaPrise, a “Hokey Pokey” controversy has arisen, with American ex-GIs claiming to have danced it during World War II and others suggesting it was once a Shaker song called “The Hinkum-Booby.” LaPrise, however, made the first known record of “The Hokey Pokey” reportedly in 1949.—ED.
We write in reference to the article appearing in the April 15, 1996 issue of PEOPLE magazine entitled “Making His Day: Clint Eastwood weds a 30-year-old TV anchor—and not at gunpoint.” It is an article so patently reckless in its execution that we can only conclude that PEOPLE favors sensationalism (and, at that, mean-spiritedness) over the truth.
In the last paragraph of the article, the writers note that Mr. Eastwood was recently awarded $650,000 in a case against the National Enquirer “which had printed a phony interview with him in 1993.” It is astonishing then that the PEOPLE article lifts two quotes directly from the fabricated National Enquirer “Exclusive Interview.” For PEOPLE to excerpt quotes from an “interview” it knows—indeed, reports—to be phony reflects either shoddy journalism in the extreme or flagrant disregard for the truth. Given the snide tone of the article, we can only be left with strong suspicion that PEOPLE’S disregard for the truth is motivated by malice toward Mr. Eastwood.
By this letter, we hereby demand that PEOPLE print, in equally prominent fashion, an acknowledgment of, and apology for, an article which was a marriage, in its own right, of bad journalism and bad taste.
GANG, TYRE, RAMER & BROWN, INC.
(Attorneys for Clint Eastwood)
If our commentary appeared mean-spirited, we apologize to Clint Eastwood and Dina Ruiz. Furthermore, we acknowledge that our story attributed certain quotes to Eastwood that previously appeared in several publications, including the National Enquirer. As we reported, Eastwood successfully sued the National Enquirer on the grounds that the interview was fabricated. Those quotations should not have appeared in our article, and we also apologize to Eastwood and our readers for their use.—ED.