Barbara Amiel on Being Mega-Rich, Marriage to Conrad Black, Jail, and Having a Lot of Fun Sex

Barbara Amiel on Being Mega-Rich, Marriage to Conrad Black, Jail, and Having a Lot of Fun Sex

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Barbara Amiel, author of the memoir Friends and Enemies: A Life in Vogue, Prison, and Park Avenue, the astonishing, salacious, bitchy and utterly unputdownable inside account of her life inside the global super-rich club and subsequent fall into (very relative) penury, is discussing the great fear of every autobiographer: being seen as dull.

“Lives are just so boring, unless you’re Einstein or you know, Anna Pavlova or something,” she sighed down the phone, “It was really a question of making what I thought was, basically, an ordinary life, at least readable by decent writing.”

Some highlights of the “ordinary” life of Barbara Amiel include (deep breath): her four husbands; her career as a newspaper editor and columnist; Kerry Packer giving her £200,000 after bringing him luck at London casino Aspinalls; getting picked up by a guy on the street who took her back to his apartment, sprayed whipped cream on her and got his “beautiful” Doberman to lick it off; giving head to her boyfriend, the publisher Lord Weidenfeld, to avoid having sex because she found him physically repulsive; ruining a chandelier in an ill-fated suicide attempt; marrying Sir Conrad Black, media boss and one of the richest men in the world; spending $10,000 a set on sheets; hanging out with Nancy Kissinger; being able to afford anything; losing it all; seeing her husband thrown in jail and being dropped by almost all her erstwhile friends; and even being banned from shopping at Manolo Blahnik by, of all people, the store manager, as a result.

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