Andrew Morton: A biography Thursday, Jan 17 2008 

Andrew Morton
Andrew Morton (born 1953) is a former British Fleet Street tabloid journalist. He has two daughters, one of whom is Lydia Morton, a former wife and a lots of mistresses during and after his marriage. In 1992 he wrote a book about Princess Diana based on tapes she sent him.They never met and his book was based on what Lady Di wanted him to write. He made a lot of money that time.

Since 1992 Andrew Morton has not managed to reach the same hight of public attention, though he tried by writing blown up controversial books about popular figures such as pop star Madonna or the pop/sports couple Beckham. In 2004 he bled the Diana story once more in another book but was commercially unsuccessful. Since 2000 media became more aware of Andrew Morton’s mistresses and incidents of adultery than any of his journalistic publications.

In 2008 Morton tried to revive his reputation as author but he only managed to compile a piece of gossip and slander in what is allegedly called a biography about actor Tom Cruise but in fact is a vicious attack Tom Cruise’s chosen religion, Scientology.

(Last updated: 17 January 2008)

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Andrew Morton: Di scribe proves himself a pants man Monday, May 29 2006 

Princess Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton has fallen for the woman who founded lingerie chain Knickerbox.

Janie Schaffer has known Morton for two years, although her marriage of 18 years only recently collapsed. In September, she was photographed hand-in-hand with Morton near his Manhattan apartment. He has since moved back to London, where he lives within walking distance of Schaffer.

At the weekend she refused to comment on her break-up with husband Stephen, or her relationship with Morton, who amassed millions chronicling the marital problems of the Princess of Wales. Morton split from his wife Lynne last year after revelations he’d had a string of affairs.

According to friends, 44-year-old Schaffer first met Morton on a skiing holiday two years ago. ”They were with their respective partners and some other couples,” a friend said.

”But Andrew and Janie, who are both good skiers, hit it off straight away and spent a lot of time together, not least because Andrew’s wife doesn’t ski.”

(Source: Nationwide News Australia May 29, 2006)

Andrew Morton: Treachery of Diana’s kiss and tell author Sunday, Sep 18 2005 

by Dennis Rice and Ian Gallagher

HE MADE his millions exposing the infidelities of the Prince and Princess of Wales but now Royal biographer Andrew Morton’s own marriage lies in tatters.

The author has indulged in a string of adulterous affairs during his 29-year marriage to Lynne yet it wasn’t his cheating that proved the final breaking point but his decision to sell their home in London.

Morton, who now lives in New York where last week he was photographed with a mystery blonde, accepted an unsolicited Pounds 3 million offer on the family house near Hampstead Heath, which comes complete with a heated swimming pool.

It’s a home Lynne has come to adore, having redesigned it several times in the decade they have lived there but now she has to go househunting for a place just for herself.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Lynne said: ‘It is not a secret that Andrew had affairs he had two or three relationships with other women.’ But she said it was the sale of the house that had been the final straw. ‘The sale precipitated the whole thing.

We had started looking at houses and I decided that I would just find somewhere for me. Then he went off to New York and that was it,’ she said.

‘There was no point in carrying on. I was tired of all of it.’ They brought the house for Pounds 650,000 as the money from Morton’s book, Diana Her True Story, began rolling in. It is not the only property the couple have to consider there’s also a Pounds 500,000 villa in Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol, from where 52-year-old Lynne has just returned.

‘I would like to have it and he doesn’t care,’ she said.

‘He can’t use it because he is in New York. He would like to dispose of it.’ She admitted she had ‘no idea’ about the identity of the blonde seen hand-in-hand with Morton last week near the apartment he rents in Manhattan’s fashionable Lower East Side.

Morton, 51, also seems to have kept his new flame a secret from his daughter Lydia, who visited him in the States last week.

Lydia, 19, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I have just been out there with Dad, and I don’t know her.’ Morton’s previous extramarital affairs include a dalliance with travel writer Debbie Gaiger, who later said he had promised to leave his wife for her. She claimed the relationship ended as his demands for sex became ever more kinky.

At the time, she said: ‘I was really in love with him. I thought he loved me, too. Instead, he destroyed my self-respect. I now realise what a total, unscrupulous hypocrite he is’.

Keeping a brave face on the breakup, however, Lynne said: ‘We have been married 29 years. We have been together 33 years. Marriages do come to an end. There is nothing particularly acrimonious. It’s just something we agreed upon.

‘It was all my choice. Everything that I am doing is completely my choice.’

When asked about his new companion, Morton who as a Royal reporter spent years shadowing Princess Diana on a daily basis asked The Mail on Sunday’s reporter, without apparent irony: ‘Why are you following me around? What business is it of yours? Are you going to tell me who you’re seeing?’ He added: ‘I am working over here and if I see people, and if I do anything, it is entirely up to me.

‘As far as I am concerned, both Lynne and I are free to see whoever we want.’ Lynne believes her wayward husband has chosen to live in America because like Diana he feels unappreciated in Britain.

‘There’s a lot of jealousy around,’ she said. ‘The Americans respect that he is a journalist who has made a great deal of money through hard work, the British don’t.’ Morton is also able to command large fees as an expert on the life of Diana.

A week after her death in 1997, he revealed that she had been the source for his revelations about the state of her marriage and health.

Lynne made it clear that she expected at least half of the fortune Morton has amassed since first publishing the international bestseller, which caused a furore when it was first published in 1992.

‘These divorce things are a 50-50 thing, and more goes to the wife if she is lucky,’ she said.

‘There will be divorce papers filed at some point, I’m sure. But when that will happen I just don’t know. As long as I’m left financially secure that is OK.

‘I don’t want to live in America, my home is here.’ Morton, who has gone on to write biographies exposing the private lives of Madonna, and Victoria and David Beckham, did not even remain faithful to the Princess who helped make his fortune.

His admiration eventually cooled to the point where, two weeks before her death in Paris, he wrote: ‘I now know why Prince Charles spent his time talking to his vegetables because he knew he would get more sense out of them than the fruit he married.’

(Source: Mail on Sunday, September 18, 2005)

Summoned by a Princess to Air Dirty Royal Laundry Friday, Aug 30 2002 

By ANITA GATES

The first thing you might expect from a film called ”The Biographer: The Secret Life of Princess Di” would be Princess Di. Or, more accurately, Diana, Princess of Wales. But no.

As many television viewers are already aware, this weekend is the fifth anniversary of Diana’s death at 36 in a Paris car crash. This film, which has its premiere Sunday night on CBS, is not about her life or death, except secondarily; it is about the difficulties of writing and publishing a book that may incur the wrath of the British royal family. As Michael O’Mara (Brian Cox), the would-be publisher, says jovially, ”Then we lose our jobs, reputations and houses.”

The hero is Andrew Morton, author of ”Diana: Her True Story,” the 1992 best seller that told the world the stories of Diana’s emotional suffering at the hands of her husband and her in-laws, Prince Charles’s adultery with Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana’s suicide attempts behind palace walls.

In telling Mr. Morton’s story, the film uses re-enactments, in Fox reality-series style. Viewers see a woman’s hands, wearing a sapphire-and-diamond ring like Diana’s, having breakfast, clicking the television remote, using her tape recorder. Unnecessarily it includes a shot from the back of a Diana look-alike kneeling in a royal bathroom vomiting. The film also includes numerous film clips of the princess at public events.

Mr. Morton’s experience, as reflected in Joshua Lacey’s genial if slightly breathless teleplay, does have detective-story leanings. It begins when a total stranger walks up to Andrew (Paul McGann), who is gazing at multiple images of Marilyn Monroe at an art museum, and asks his opinion. Being a polite sort (or a terrible pedant), Andrew gives him an answer about the nature and commodification of celebrity. Little does he know that he has just said the right thing, indirectly, to the Princess of Wales. The stranger is her go-between as she looks for someone to inform her devoted public of her pain.

Naturally Andrew’s publisher assumes the audiotapes he is given are done by an actress imitating Diana’s voice. ”Well, Andrew, I’d love to do this book with you,” Michael O’Mara says. ”Unfortunately, Jesus Christ has just asked me to publish his autobiography.” Later Diana sends Michael a signal to convince him of her involvement.

Audiotapes are surreptitiously delivered to Andrew, sometimes in pizza boxes brought by fake deliverymen. Mysterious telephone calls are made and received at phone booths. One friend of Diana’s offers to set up a person-to-person meeting, then greets Andrew at the door with ”Get out of here, you scum.” Andrew’s marriage is strained because his wife, who is told he is writing a book about Eric Clapton, never sees him anymore.

For Mr. Morton, the story had a happy ending. The book made him internationally famous. It also brought the royal dirty laundry into the light and led to the divorce of Charles and Diana. In the film’s last scene, two years after the princess’s death, Andrew bicycles to his usual newsstand, where the tabloid headlines are about Charles and Mrs. Parker Bowles’s first public appearances together.

Maybe Diana doesn’t have to be physically present for her story to be told. Jonathan Dove’s made-for-television opera, ”Death of a Princess,” takes place after her death. (That show has its premiere on the Trio cable channel tonight at 9 p.m., Eastern; 8 p.m., Central; and 6 p.m. Pacific time.) It is not, as a public accustomed to having its worst expectations met might guess, an opera in which a soprano Diana bemoans her emotional injuries and loneliness. Instead, it is the story of several ordinary British citizens and their reactions to Diana’s death. This is probably the most thoughtful idea yet for an exploration of Diana’s life, which after all is fascinating only because of everyone else’s identification with her. But ”Death of a Princess” has re-enactments, too, and something close to a nude scene.

(Source: New York Times, August 30, 2002)

The Monday interview: Andrew: his true story: Andrew Morton’s biography of Diana shook the monarchy. Since then he’s dished the dirt on Monica Lewinsky, Posh and Becks, and now Madonna. But how did he feel when his lover dished the dirt on him? Monday, Nov 5 2001 

by Simon Hattenstone

Where do you go once you’ve written the most significant biography of modern times? It’s almost 10 years since Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story unmasked the monarchy. We discovered that Diana was bulimic, that she’d tried to kill herself, that Charles had continued seeing Camilla all along. Morton, a former royal reporter for the tabloids, shattered the royal fairy tale, started a national debate about a republic – and made millions in the process.

He was rubbished by many people; his sources were questioned. His vindication came with Diana’s death, when he revealed that she was the main source and that he had the tapes to prove it. The book was republished: Diana: Her Own Story – In Her Own Words.

So where did Morton go? To Kenya, to trail President Moi for a new biography. There was little interest. He returned to the celebrity trail with a vengeance: Monica Lewinsky, Posh and Becks, and now Madonna. As time has gone on, he has had less and less access to his subjects. His two most recent subjects refused to cooperate, and the Beckhams took him to court.

Morton is sitting on the desk of his office. He’s tall – 6ft 4in – and handsome in a bland way – chunky white teeth, broad shoulders, regular features. At the Daily Star they told him he looked like Clark Kent, and transformed him into Superman for the readers. He speaks with a flat, friendly Yorkshire accent.

What is Lewinsky like? “Pretty damaged, self-willed, extremely young.” Madonna? “Intelligent. Remarkable. Highly insecure.” I tell him he seems to have created a genre out of desirable but damaged women. “Oh yeah, and Moi, that Kenyan pin-up.” Moi is his passport to gravitas. He says that writing about the autocratic Moi enabled him to examine wider subjects such as the IMF, the World Bank, and post-colonialism. He has been a member of the Labour party for 20 years.

What book is he most proud of? “I’m pretty proud of this one, actually,” he says, pointing to his Madonna book. Morton is a pro. At the beginning of Madonna, he describes himself as a detective. But he’s managed to detect little here. Yes, he talks about the abortions and betrayals, yes, he’s hired researchers in New York and London – but this is tame stuff. However voyeuristic, his work has always tended towards the gushing.

He knows that, really, he has only one great story to tell. “Obviously the most difficult one to do was the Diana one. It was extremely nerve-wracking.” Why? “If you’re going to put your head above the parapet, you’re going to get it shot off.” His critics said it was a fluke, that Diana had been presented to him on a plate. But Morton had been on the royal circuit for years, had got good contacts, and had already written a handful of royal books.

How did he get to know her? “We had mutual friends in common, a whole panoply of friends.” Morton is fond of words like panoply. Perhaps it helped that he was six-four and had a touch of the Will Carling about him? “Well, I mean, I never met her face to face. The interviews were done through an intermediary.” She simply answered his questions into her tape recorder and the tapes were passed on to him.

Why did she trust him? “Because she knew that I sympathised with her . . . from her point of view it was pretty reckless, but she did it. I think she was very happy with the result.” In the very first interview, she talked about her bulimia and Camilla. Morton says she was desperate to break out of her Kafkaesque prison, to tell the truth, to be heard.

I ask Morton whether he considers that there was a moral justification in the Diana book. Was it in the public interest? “I think there was a justification because it was her true story. The truth as she saw it.” It must be so strange, living vicariously through these celebrities for months, maybe years at a time; to know every intimate detail about a subject without knowing them personally.

Has he met Prince Charles since the Diana book? After all, it was as much about him as the princess. “No.” Has he met Madonna? “No.” The Beckhams? “No.” He pauses. “No, I’m sorry. I met Victoria Beckham once at some big awards thing, briefly.”

Morton, who studied history at university, considers himself to be a contemporary historian. Was he nosy as a child? “Inquisitive. In the global village you want to know what’s going on in the big house.”

Morton, 47, lives in a big house in Highgate, north London. And a couple of years ago, the tabloid press decided to take a peek in. I ask Morton whether he was surprised at being targeted. “Not really, no. If you’re seen as controversial then people take a pot at you from the day of the Diana thing onwards.”

What’s the worst thing that has been written about him? “Well, when the Diana thing came out, it brought the latent class prejudice to the surface. They called me a reasonably pejorative name.” The papers did patronise him as a northern oik, but Morton is being a little disingenuous. A year ago his former lover, Debbie Gaiger, revealed all to the tabloid newspapers – how he promised to leave his wife and two daughters for years, but never did; how he enjoyed kinky sex; how selfish and egotistical he was. The piece was accompanied by pictures of Morton tying her up and kissing her. It was tacky and cruel and yet somehow it felt justified. After all, Debbie’s story was not dissimilar to the ones Morton had told of Diana and Monica – the story of the underdog, the victim, the woman spurned by the powerful man.

Wasn’t Debbie’s expose more painful than being called a northern oik? Morton colours. His forehead gently perspires. “Um.” What did it feel like? “Extremely unpleasant, just unpleasant.”

Did he feel that it was a fair cop; live by the pen, die by the pen? “Well, it’s just one of those things that was particularly unpleasant, very hurtful, but then you have to move on from there.” And was that easy? “No. My wife and I . . .” His words slip away.

The sweat is now pouring off his forehead and down his cheeks. He ignores it. I sense he would like to tell me to get lost, to mind my own bloody business, but he knows he can’t.

Did he feel betrayed? “Yes.” So what was the difference between, say, Diana revealing all and Debbie revealing all? “Well, the difference is, I try and write fair-minded books about people who are either iconic figures or people who want to tell their stories, like Monica and Diana.” Like Debbie.

Did it make him want out of this game? “I think the next book I do will be on Aeschylus.” Really? “It was a joke,” he says. The sweat is drip-dripping on to his shirt. I can’t help thinking of Clinton when he was testifying to the grand jury about Monica Lewinsky. There is something touching about his sweat, something honest in it.

Morton says that ultimately it has strengthened his relationship with his wife Lynne; that they’ve worked hard at making the relationship work. “As far as I’m concerned, that is something that’s in the past now, and I’ve tried to move on from it. To go over it again is really something that’s not helpful for me. You’re bringing up something I’m trying to forget about.”

But isn’t the trouble with biography – and interviewing in general – that we don’t let people move on? We insist that our subjects carry their history round with them, especially the most tawdry and unhappy bits. “Umm . . . umm . . . Well, you try and move on, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Did he consider it a lesson? “It’s something that you try to come to terms with and as I say you try to move on,” he repeats, like a mantra.

Morton finds the interrogation painful. I do, too. He also gives me the feeling that he isn’t used to it. After all, most of his work is done at a distance from his subjects; he meets his anti-heroes, those who don’t want their stories told (Charles, Clinton) even more rarely than he meets his heroes (Diana, Monica).

If he were a biographer profiling the writer Andrew Morton, how would he describe him? “Focused, hard-working, determined.” And his weaknesses? “Rather reckless.”

Eamonn, the photographer, asks if he can take a picture. Morton says he must make a quick trip to the bathroom. He returns with his brow and cheeks mopped. He talks, easily and charmingly, about football, pop music, his darling daughters, how the developed world exploits the developing world.

On the way out, Eamonn says to him he’s always wondered what Madonna really looks like close up, in the flesh. Morton opens his mouth and nothing comes out. He stammers, till the facts come to his rescue. “She’s . . . she’s . . . she’s five foot four and a half.”

(Source: The Guardian (London), November 5, 2001)

Andrew Morton: his true story Wednesday, Sep 5 2001 

Andrew Morton’s biography of Diana shook the monarchy. Since then he’s dished the dirt on Monica Lewinsky, Posh and Becks, and now Madonna. But how did he feel when his lover dished the dirt on him?

by Simon Hattenstone

Where do you go once you’ve written the most significant biography of modern times? It’s almost 10 years since Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story unmasked the monarchy. We discovered that Diana was bulimic, that she’d tried to kill herself, that Charles had continued seeing Camilla all along. Morton, a former royal reporter for the tabloids, shattered the royal fairy tale, started a national debate about a republic – and made millions in the process.

He was rubbished by many people; his sources were questioned. His vindication came with Diana’s death, when he revealed that she was the main source and that he had the tapes to prove it. The book was republished: Diana: Her Own Story – In Her Own Words.

So where did Morton go? To Kenya, to trail President Moi for a new biography. There was little interest. He returned to the celebrity trail with a vengeance: Monica Lewinsky, Posh and Becks, and now Madonna. As time has gone on, he has had less and less access to his subjects. His two most recent subjects refused to cooperate, and the Beckhams took him to court.

Morton is sitting on the desk of his office. He’s tall – 6ft 4in – and handsome in a bland way – chunky white teeth, broad shoulders, regular features. At the Daily Star they told him he looked like Clark Kent, and transformed him into Superman for the readers. He speaks with a flat, friendly Yorkshire accent.

What is Lewinsky like? “Pretty damaged, self-willed, extremely young.” Madonna? “Intelligent. Remarkable. Highly insecure.” I tell him he seems to have created a genre out of desirable but damaged women. “Oh yeah, and Moi, that Kenyan pin-up.” Moi is his passport to gravitas. He says that writing about the autocratic Moi enabled him to examine wider subjects such as the IMF, the World Bank, and post-colonialism. He has been a member of the Labour party for 20 years.

What book is he most proud of? “I’m pretty proud of this one, actually,” he says, pointing to his Madonna book. Morton is a pro. At the beginning of Madonna, he describes himself as a detective. But he’s managed to detect little here. Yes, he talks about the abortions and betrayals, yes, he’s hired researchers in New York and London – but this is tame stuff. However voyeuristic, his work has always tended towards the gushing.

He knows that, really, he has only one great story to tell. “Obviously the most difficult one to do was the Diana one. It was extremely nerve-wracking.” Why? “If you’re going to put your head above the parapet, you’re going to get it shot off.” His critics said it was a fluke, that Diana had been presented to him on a plate. But Morton had been on the royal circuit for years, had got good contacts, and had already written a handful of royal books.

How did he get to know her? “We had mutual friends in common, a whole panoply of friends.” Morton is fond of words like panoply. Perhaps it helped that he was six-four and had a touch of the Will Carling about him? “Well, I mean, I never met her face to face. The interviews were done through an intermediary.” She simply answered his questions into her tape recorder and the tapes were passed on to him.

Why did she trust him? “Because she knew that I sympathised with her . . . from her point of view it was pretty reckless, but she did it. I think she was very happy with the result.” In the very first interview, she talked about her bulimia and Camilla. Morton says she was desperate to break out of her Kafkaesque prison, to tell the truth, to be heard.

I ask Morton whether he considers that there was a moral justification in the Diana book. Was it in the public interest? “I think there was a justification because it was her true story. The truth as she saw it.” It must be so strange, living vicariously through these celebrities for months, maybe years at a time; to know every intimate detail about a subject without knowing them personally.

Has he met Prince Charles since the Diana book? After all, it was as much about him as the princess. “No.” Has he met Madonna? “No.” The Beckhams? “No.” He pauses. “No, I’m sorry. I met Victoria Beckham once at some big awards thing, briefly.”

Morton, who studied history at university, considers himself to be a contemporary historian. Was he nosy as a child? “Inquisitive. In the global village you want to know what’s going on in the big house.”

Morton, 47, lives in a big house in Highgate, north London. And a couple of years ago, the tabloid press decided to take a peek in. I ask Morton whether he was surprised at being targeted. “Not really, no. If you’re seen as controversial then people take a pot at you from the day of the Diana thing onwards.”

What’s the worst thing that has been written about him? “Well, when the Diana thing came out, it brought the latent class prejudice to the surface. They called me a reasonably pejorative name.” The papers did patronise him as a northern oik, but Morton is being a little disingenuous. A year ago his former lover, Debbie Gaiger, revealed all to the tabloid newspapers – how he promised to leave his wife and two daughters for years, but never did; how he enjoyed kinky sex; how selfish and egotistical he was. The piece was accompanied by pictures of Morton tying her up and kissing her. It was tacky and cruel and yet somehow it felt justified. After all, Debbie’s story was not dissimilar to the ones Morton had told of Diana and Monica – the story of the underdog, the victim, the woman spurned by the powerful man.

Wasn’t Debbie’s expose more painful than being called a northern oik? Morton colours. His forehead gently perspires. “Um.” What did it feel like? “Extremely unpleasant, just unpleasant.”

Did he feel that it was a fair cop; live by the pen, die by the pen? “Well, it’s just one of those things that was particularly unpleasant, very hurtful, but then you have to move on from there.” And was that easy? “No. My wife and I . . .” His words slip away.

The sweat is now pouring off his forehead and down his cheeks. He ignores it. I sense he would like to tell me to get lost, to mind my own bloody business, but he knows he can’t.

Did he feel betrayed? “Yes.” So what was the difference between, say, Diana revealing all and Debbie revealing all? “Well, the difference is, I try and write fair-minded books about people who are either iconic figures or people who want to tell their stories, like Monica and Diana.” Like Debbie.

Did it make him want out of this game? “I think the next book I do will be on Aeschylus.” Really? “It was a joke,” he says. The sweat is drip-dripping on to his shirt. I can’t help thinking of Clinton when he was testifying to the grand jury about Monica Lewinsky. There is something touching about his sweat, something honest in it.

Morton says that ultimately it has strengthened his relationship with his wife Lynne; that they’ve worked hard at making the relationship work. “As far as I’m concerned, that is something that’s in the past now, and I’ve tried to move on from it. To go over it again is really something that’s not helpful for me. You’re bringing up something I’m trying to forget about.”

But isn’t the trouble with biography – and interviewing in general – that we don’t let people move on? We insist that our subjects carry their history round with them, especially the most tawdry and unhappy bits. “Umm . . . umm . . . Well, you try and move on, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Did he consider it a lesson? “It’s something that you try to come to terms with and as I say you try to move on,” he repeats, like a mantra.

Morton finds the interrogation painful. I do, too. He also gives me the feeling that he isn’t used to it. After all, most of his work is done at a distance from his subjects; he meets his anti-heroes, those who don’t want their stories told (Charles, Clinton) even more rarely than he meets his heroes (Diana, Monica).

If he were a biographer profiling the writer Andrew Morton, how would he describe him? “Focused, hard-working, determined.” And his weaknesses? “Rather reckless.”

Eamonn, the photographer, asks if he can take a picture. Morton says he must make a quick trip to the bathroom. He returns with his brow and cheeks mopped. He talks, easily and charmingly, about football, pop music, his darling daughters, how the developed world exploits the developing world.

On the way out, Eamonn says to him he’s always wondered what Madonna really looks like close up, in the flesh. Morton opens his mouth and nothing comes out. He stammers, till the facts come to his rescue. “She’s . . . she’s . . . she’s five foot four and a half.”

(Source: The Guardian (London), November 5, 2001)

Diana, Morton and me (Daily Mail) Saturday, Oct 21 2000 

Daily Mail October 2000 - Page 2 and 3
Daily Mail
From Princess Diana to the Beckhams, he’s made millions from exposing the private lives of the famous. But here, exclusively, is the one explosive story that Andrew Morton would rather you didn’t read…
by Angela Levin

ON THURSDAY night the Queen found herself the latest candidate for the Andrew Morton special kind of treatment, in an hour-long documentary on ITV. Morton, as everyone knows, was catapulted to fame with his book Diana: Her True Story. This revealed, for the first time, the misery of her marriage to Charles, that Charles had a mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, and that Diana had tried several times to commit suicide. It earned him upwards of GBP 7 million.

He didn’t need to work again, but his special brand of disclosure seems to have become a compulsion.Since then the 46-year-old, former Fleet Street royal correspondent has written books on President Clinton’s mistress Monica Lewinsky and, more recently, David and Victoria Beckham. The golden couple tried to prevent the book’s publication in court, but Morton won. Yet, only the bare facts are known about Morton himself, while his motivations and techniques for getting people to talk have remained largely guesswork.

Instead, he has presented himself as a man of beguiling charm, happily married for more than 20 years to his childhood sweetheart, Lynne, who he met when he was 17. They have two teenage daughters.

Morton initially achieved worldwide fame by unearthing the truth about the Princess’s life, but what is the truth about his own life?

The first cracks in what now seems to have been a carefully constructed facade occurred in August this year with the publication of photos of him passionately kissing a woman who was not his wife.

His appalling behaviour since has convinced this woman, travel writer Debbie Gaiger, 42, to tell the truth about the man who has been her lover for more than three years.

MORTON, whose charm seems to be irresistible to some women, comes across as a deceitful, predatory man who enjoys gaining the confidence of women only to humiliate them.

More than anything it is the tale of a selfish and manipulative man, and a gullible, if somewhat confused, woman who is not nearly so innocent as she makes out.

The saga’s value, however, is that it provides a fascinating insight into how Morton persuaded two of the most famous women in the world to open their hearts to him – making him a millionaire.

Again and again in her talks with me, Debbie provided a searing insight into how Morton managed to gain the trust of Princess Diana by exploiting her vulnerability.

She reveals his inner coldness when, on the day of Diana’s death, he persuaded Debbie to meet him for a night of passionate lovemaking.

She tells how he frequently spun that cliched, old yarn of how his wife didn’t understand him, but how their sordid romance was conducted in a double bed at his office as well as his home and in hotels round the world, and how he made her engage in bizarre sexual practices.

Of course, such things take two. But Debbie, who comes out of this sorry tale almost as badly as Morton, claims she was persuaded to pander to his demands by his technique of persuasion, sulks and coercion.

She admits, in retrospect, that she has been naive and downright stupid. But she says: ‘I was really in love with him. I thought he loved me, too, and needed my support and guidance to get out of what he told me was his desperately unhappy marriage. Instead he destroyed my self-respect.

‘I now realise what a total, unscrupulous hypocrite he is. He criticises others, but his behaviour is far worse than the people he writes about.

‘He always takes the woman’s view and goes on endlessly about how Diana and Monica Lewinsky were so badly treated. Yet, in his own life he is manipulative, has no conscience and has behaved appallingly badly to me and his wife. I think he is a very damaged human being.’ Debbie was born in London in 1958 into a middleclass family. Her father is a retired estate agent.

She left school at 17 and, after working in programme sales at the BBC, became a director of the Camerapix magazine, a company run by the late, legendary TV cameraman Mohamed Amin, whose work with Michael Buerk highlighted the 1984 Ethiopian famine and prompted the Live Aid campaign.

Amin lost an arm during the Ethiopian war when an ammunition dump exploded, but worked until he was killed in an air crash in 1996.

Debbie first met Morton, who lives in a mansion which overlooks Hampstead Heath in London, in March 1997 when a photographer friend called Duncan came over from Nairobi for Amin’s memorial service.

‘I picked him up from the airport and he told me he was staying with Andrew in Highgate,’ she says. ‘I drove him there and Andrew invited me for a glass of wine. I also met his wife, Lynne.’ DEBBIE, then 39, admits she was ‘instantly attracted’ to Morton.

‘He was charming, good looking and entertaining. I fancied him from the moment we met.’ No doubt Morton, with his ultra-sharp antennae, recognised a certain vulnerability in her too. Debbie had just been dumped by her American boyfriend after a two-year relationship following her admission that she wanted to get married and have a baby.

‘I’d given up my job with Camerapix and my London home to be with him in the States. I’d only recently come back to London. I didn’t have a job because Amin had died. Nor did I have a home to go to. I went back to live with my mother in West London.’ She, Morton and Duncan attended Amin’s memorial service, and the next day went out for dinner. Andrew’s wife was away at a health farm.

Debbie says: ‘During our meal Duncan left the table for a few moments.

Andrew seized the moment, leant over and kissed me full on the lips. I was shocked and then flattered. He had such an enigmatic charm, and talks to you as if you are the only person on the planet.

‘My ego needed boosting, too, after such an unhappy time, and my emotions were extremely raw. I was also upset about Amin’s death, and at one point burst into tears at the table.

‘Andrew took great pains to talk to me about my feelings as a woman, and I found myself telling him all about my broken romance. He asked lots of “How do you feel?” sort of questions, which most men never do.

‘In retrospect I realise he kept bringing the conversation round to sex, but in a way that didn’t make me feel uneasy.’ A month later he called and invited her to lunch. They met at a French restaurant in London’s Charlotte Street. ‘He’d offered to give me some friendly advice about possible jobs, so I saw no harm in going,’ says Debbie.

But as soon as they met, it quickly became obvious that he had another agenda.

‘We sat at a discreet table in the corner and drank champagne and two bottles of wine, and he played a lot of footsie with me under the table,’ Debbie recalls.

They left the restaurant at 3.30pm for the Groucho Club where they stayed, drinking until 6pm.

‘He held my hand and kept staring into my eyes,’ recalls Debbie. ‘Looking back it was a completely reckless thing to do, almost as if he was asking to be caught out.’ This recklessness became a pattern in their relationship.

Within days they had become lovers.

Debbie, who admits she’d had previous affairs with married men, says she didn’t feel guilty about Morton’s wife.

‘He’d spent a lot of time telling me what a bad marriage he had. He said they never made love and that the marriage was over bar the paperwork.’ The scene for their illicit union was Morton’s office, above a restaurant behind Tottenham Court Road. ‘He has one room that overlooks the street which contains his desk,’ says Debbie. ‘The other room has a double bed and some filing cabinets and faces the back.

‘That first time we were both very nervous. I suppose you could say he was an average lover. We then started to meet twice a week, either at lunchtime or in the evening.

‘Sometimes we’d have a meal or a drink followed by lovemaking, but mostly it was just sex. I soon began to realise he was just using me. Because my self-esteem was low I didn’t stop seeing him, and although I know I sound pretty stupid, I kept trying to convince myself that he cared for me.

‘I think in some ways he thought of himself as a Prince Charles or President Clinton figure – playing out the role of a powerful man manipulating a vulnerable woman- that he had given them in his books.

‘I now believe he wanted to write the Diana book partly as a control thing – to see how much power he could exert over a beautiful woman.

‘It was the same with Monica Lewinsky. He wanted to control the mistress of the world’s most powerful man. He made lots of claims about what they both felt about him, too.

‘I can understand that Monica might have thrown herself at him, but I don’t want to discuss what he said about Diana. He’s proved he has no interest in protecting her two sons, otherwise he’d have sent back the tapes Diana made, but I don’t want to make their lives any more difficult.’ Debbie was still involved with him in August 1997 when Diana died.

‘He was at the Edinburgh Festival with his wife and two daughters at the time, and phoned to ask if I’d heard the news.’ While most of the rest of the world felt numb with shock and cancelled their arrangements out of respect, Morton, who one might have thought would have felt some pangs of conscience, set about persuading his mistress to meet him.

‘He explained he was flying down to London to do various Press interviews during the day and asked me to meet him that evening.

‘We had sex and I stayed with him at his office until about 5am. He told me he felt quite tearful and I tried to make him feel better. He is good at playing the “I am a little innocent trying to do the right thing” sort of role. I became quite used to it.’ By the time they had been together for a year, Debbie had got her professional life back on line, and early in 1998 signed a contract with American publishing firm Globe Pequot to research a series of travel books.

It gave her the courage to stop seeing Morton. ‘I told him I wanted more out of our relationship,’ she says. ‘He said he couldn’t do that, so I stopped seeing him in June 1998, and went off to the Caribbean to research my books.’

ANDREW telephoned her six weeks later. ‘He said he couldn’t bear to live without me and begged me to meet him in New York. I agonised for days about it, but he really pulled at my heartstrings, and I flew over to see him.

We had dinner and, frankly, he totally overwhelmed me.

‘He kept on about what a dreadful state his marriage was in, that he really wanted to be with me, that he was on the point of leaving Lynne but needed to be sure I would be with him. I believed he was genuine, so I slept with him.’

Debbie agreed to abandon her work and return to London a few weeks later. A day after her return, Morton told her he had changed his mind and was trying to make a go of it with his wife after all. She was ‘devastated’ and returned to the Caribbean feeling hurt.

This on-off pattern was repeated countless times during their relationship.

Morton seems to have used her like a piece of elastic, pulling her back whenever she left him, and behaving so objectionably when she returned to his arms that it forced her to leave again.

When I ask Debbie why she gave him countless second chances, she replies: ‘My pea brain just wasn’t working properly. I kept telling myself I didn’t need Andrew Morton in my life. I kept telling him to leave me alone, but each time he managed to win me round.

‘He has a schoolboy charm, a razor-sharp sense of humour and is very intelligent. It’s a winning combination.

Also, I always believed that he would leave his wife.’ A more streetwise woman might, of course, have been more influenced by Morton’s constant rendition of two tired old tunes. One that ‘at long last’ he and Lynne had agreed that their relationship was over, the other that he ‘loved me so much and couldn’t live without me’.

He even proposed regularly.

From August 1999, says Debbie, Morton was more manipulative and selfish than ever. Instead of letting her try to make something of her life and find a more suitable relationship, he seems to have become fixated by his increasing need to possess and control.

‘He kept phoning me every day, asking me to go back to him,’ says Debbie. ‘I pleaded with him to leave me alone, but he kept saying: “I love you, I love you. I’ve finally sorted it out with Lynne. Come with me to the South of France.” ‘ Incredibly, Debbie believed him, joining him in Cannes and, she says, melting when he bought champagne and toasted ‘my future wife’.

FURTHER trysts in New York and California followed, and in January this year – after he spent Christmas with his wife and children – he took her to the luxurious L’Hermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills.

On previous trips he’d bought her jewellery including a gold and diamond necklace. But on this occasion Morton insisted they went shopping for some fetish clothing. Debbie’s heart sank.

‘I felt uncomfortable, but Andrew insisted,’ she says. ‘He bought me three ghastly, black PVC outfits and a pair of black stiletto heels.’ Today she seems genuinely nonplussed by her behaviour. ‘Why do you think he wants to control and degrade women?’ is all she can say.

Equally relevant is why would Debbie allow herself to be so degraded? She is an attractive woman who you wouldn’t imagine would have much difficulty in finding a decent man.

‘I tried to tell him I felt humiliated by the experience, but he somehow managed to turn the whole thing round to make me feel that I, rather than him, was the culprit,’ she says.

‘When I said no he would say things like: “I thought you were my soul mate but you have lied to me.” He always seemed so terribly upset if I didn’t go along with his plans. But when I agreed, he always asked for something more.

I’d certainly never done anything like it before.’ On another occasion she arranged to meet him in a hotel in Bray, Berkshire, after a friend’s funeral.

‘He turned up with an overnight bag full of bizarre clothing. I said: “How can you do that when you know I’ve just been to a funeral?” I think he’s a man without a conscience.’ Morton also enjoyed the risk of being caught.

‘He enjoyed making love in public places, and especially in his car,’ says Debbie. ‘He enjoyed playing with danger which was odd because he was convinced that he was really famous.

‘Whenever we were in a restaurant, he would always ask me if I thought people recognised him. But really, he is just a reporter who has had a couple of lucky breaks, and not the star writer he likes to think he is.’ Morton also enjoyed making love to Debbie at his family home. ‘Whenever Lynne was away he would persuade me to go round. I felt really uncomfortable there, especially when he insisted I also put those awful clothes on.’ In June this year, Morton suggested they get a flat together. Debbie found one in London’s Maida Vale and signed a year’s tenancy.
‘Andrew agreed to pay half the GBP 1,500 monthly rent, but said he had to pay in cash because Lynne dealt with all his finances,’ she says.

Barely two months later, pictures of the two kissing on the balcony appeared in the papers.

HER lover’s response was instant. ‘He immediately went scampering back to Lynne. He refused to see me or pay any more of his share of the rent. I was devastated. Bearing in mind that he is a multimillionaire and I am not, it wouldn’t have hurt him to pay six months’ money up front to enable me to stay in the flat and sort myself out.

Instead, I had to grovel to the landlord, asking if I could break the annual agreement.

‘Andrew also pleaded with me in tears over the phone to destroy compromising videos. For two weeks after that I barely ate or slept, then went to stay with friends in Antigua in the Caribbean.

‘I’ve come back feeling calmer, and now feel really sorry for Lynne and what I have done,’ says Debbie. ‘I have been so naive. I’ve talked to a therapist to try to understand why I allowed myself to go through all this.

‘My explanation so far is that he has a very polished way of first getting under your skin and then chipping away at your self-esteem. It’s a help to think that if he could persuade Diana and Monica to bare their souls to him, what chance did I stand to resist his charms?’ This is, of course, a flimsy argument. I told her I believed that women should, by any standards, take responsibility for their own actions. ‘I am appalled at myself,’ she agrees.

‘My behaviour is indefensible.

‘Had I realised his marriage was intact, I would never have gone down this path. I certainly didn’t intend to break up his marriage. What really baffles me is that he can set himself up on a pedestal as a judge of other people’s behaviour, while he does far, far worse.

‘He seems to have lost the understanding of what is right and wrong. Perhaps he just has an over-inflated idea of his own fame.’

(Source: Daily Mail London, October 21, 2000)

Morton: His Blue Story (Sunday Mirror) Sunday, Sep 3 2000 

Sunday Mirror Sept 3 2000 - Page 4
Sunday Mirror

‘HE PROMISED TO LEAVE HIS WIFE AND MARRY ME, BUT ALL I GOT WERE PHONE CALLS TO SAY OUR AFFAIR WAS OVER… AND HE WANTED OUR SEX VIDEOS BACK’ EXCLUSIVE

by Andy Buckwell and Rupert Hamer

A BEAUTIFUL travel writer who had a torrid affair with millionaire author Andrew Morton yesterday revealed the full story of their three-year relationship. Debbie Gaiger and her friends told how Morton, whose book Diana: Her True Story rocked the monarchy, repeatedly promised to leave his wife of 23 years.

But he never did. Instead the author – who this week won a courtroom showdown with David and Victoria Beckham over his new book – ended their romance and is battling to save his marriage.

The story of Morton and Debbie’s love affair is as sexy and secretive as anything he has chronicled in his career.

It is peppered with scenes like the exclusive pictures on this page, which show Morton playfully tying darkly-attractive Debbie, 42, to a balcony railing as he kisses and caresses her.

Other encounters include love-making captured on home video and passionate clinches in a swimming pool hidden behind the high walls of the millionaire’s home.

The settings were straight out of the exotic worlds portrayed in Morton’s best -selling books: Beverly Hills hotels, trendy West End restaurants, romantic drives into the Californian desert, jewellery from Tiffany’s.

Then there were the “cooling off” periods when they were apart both physically and emotionally as Debbie wondered if her love for a married man was futile. But they kept returning to each other.

And there was the deceit. The couple spent nights together at Morton’s pounds 1.5million family home in literary Highgate in North London while his wife and two young daughters were away.

They spent 10 days in Beverly Hills when he was “on business” in America, driving out into the Californian desert.

He also flew to meet her when she was working in New York.

Once she phoned him in a panic as he drove to Heathrow to collect his wife and children. She warned him she’d left her expensive sunglasses in his car and was worried his wife might find them.

The end, when it came, was classic in itself. A brief, business-like telephone call from him to Debbie last week after his affair was exposed. He told her they must end their romance.

He bizarrely added: “The Beckhams are behind this. I am going to have to lie low. It’s over.” Debbie was devastated, especially when he hinted that he had other lovers. “You were not the only one,” he told her.

But even as he ended the affair Morton, 46, who had also informed his lover: “I’m going to destroy Posh and Becks,” could not bring himself to tell the full truth.

He’d told his wife Lynne, 47, that the liaison had lasted weeks, not years.

Debbie, who often called her 6ft lover “Morty”, said last night: “I am absolutely distraught. Andrew said he would leave his wife and marry me.o

“But all I got was a couple of phone calls to say the affair was over and another in which he asked for the return of sexually explicit videos.”

Ironically, it was Morton who first revealed Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles – making a pounds 7million fortune in the process.

And he also detailed President Bill Clinton’s extra-marital fling with Monika Lewinsky in another book, My Story, which swelled his bank balance even more.

The amazing details of his own affair can be revealed for the first time after Debbie’s close friend Louise Marshall and other pals decided to speak out on her behalf.

TV production manager Louise, 38, said: “They met through work about three-and -a-half years ago. A mutual friend introduced them and they all had a meal in a North London restaurant. They obviously hit it off and slowly a deep and loving relationship evolved – it was clear that it was a two-way-relationship in which they both felt the same about each other.

“Almost as soon as they hit it off, Morton was telling her how much he loved her and that he was definitely going to leave his wife.

“He would always tell Debbie that he was just waiting for the right time and that soon they would move in together.

“They went out together to lots of nice restaurants around London and would stay in hotels or at her flat.

“On one occasion, I met them for drinks at Sir Terence Conran’s Mezzo restaurant in Soho. He was sipping designer bottled beer.

“They were clearly together and looked like any loving couple. They were very tactile with each other.”

The relationship flourished with the meetings growing more frequent. Morton would often call Debbie twice a day when he could not see her.

They were even together the weekend three years ago that Diana died. He had been on business in Edinburgh and instead of returning to his wife, he went to see Debbie.

“He even spent that night with her,” another friend said.

Louise added: “They would meet at least twice a week but if Morton’s wife was away, it would be more often.

“But after a while it became clear that Morton was not going to leave his wife.”

To the outside world, Morton was a happily-married man.

He has been with his childhood sweetheart Lynne since they met 30 years ago on a caravanning holiday. They have two daughters aged 13 and 11.

But Debbie told Louise – a friend of ten years who she met while working on a BBC documentary – that the image of Morton is far from the truth.

Louise said: “He made no attempt to hide the relationship and they would go out a lot in public. They would go to the cinema together and to hotels.

“Sometimes she would stay at his house when his wife was away and other times he would stay at her flat in Maida Vale.” But as time went on, Debbie feared that Morton would never leave his wife, despite all his promises.

She decided to end the relationship in the autumn of last year.

Louise said: “She had concluded that the affair was not going anywhere and told him so.

“He was a married man and she thought she was foolish to get involved.

“She had spent some time preparing for a new travel book on the southern American states and headed off.

“But almost as soon as she arrived, he began calling her and begging her to come back. At first she ignored the calls and concentrated on her work, but they became more frequent. Eventually he was bombarding her with calls and began to say that he would leave his wife and that they would be together.

“He said how much he missed her and longed to hold her again. He told her that he could not live without her.

“It was bound to have an effect and after so much persuasion, she began to have doubts that she was right to have left him.

“Finally, she decided that she would return to England to be with him.

“Morton had promised that he would discuss leaving his wife as soon as she returned.

“Debbie’s view was that if you love someone that much, then you have to put your trust in them. But she came back to discuss it and ‘Hey Presto’ – leaving his wife was right off the agenda again.”

In all, Debbie and Morton had been apart for more than four months but as soon as she returned she was sucked back into the affair.

It was difficult to resist his persuasive charms.

Louise said: “In December last year, he bought her a gold necklace and bracelet set, both studded with diamonds, that must have cost a fortune from Tiffany’s in London.

“I think it was because it was Christmas and he was about to spend all his time with his family on a cruise. Then in early January at the end of the cruise, Morton had some business in Los Angeles. When it was over, he flew Debbie out to see him.

“He paid for the flight and they stayed together for 10 days at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills.”

The hotel is a favourite with stars such as Robert De Niro and Whitney Houston, and rooms can cost more than pounds 2,000 a night.

But once again it became clear to Debbie that despite the lavish gifts, Morton was no nearer to ending his marriage.

And like a carbon copy of her trip to the US, she planned another few months abroad to write a travel book.

This time it was to the Caribbean – but the scenario was almost identical.

Louise said: “As soon as she left, she began to get the calls again urging her to come back.

“Again, believing that he could not possibly let her down a second time, she returned.

“She really thought he could not drag her back to England twice and let her down. But sure enough, he did.

“She was crushed but still she went out with him because she felt passionately about him. She was so in love.”

But in the closing months, Morton developed a taste for filming their sex sessions. Another friend said: “As the relationship went on, Morton got very adventurous.

“He would buy things such as PVC dresses for Debbie to wear and film the two of them making love.

“Once they made love in his swimming pool and another time they became intimate on a balcony overlooking a busy street.”

Debbie and Morton’s paths crossed over their involvement in East African affairs.

Debbie was a director of Camerapix magazines, which was run by legendary TV cameraman Mohammed Amin.

Amin’s work included filming the 1984 Ethiopian famine which was highlighted by Michael Buerke and which later prompted the Live Aid campaign.

He died in 1996 in an air crash and soon after, Debbie began her own publishing business.

She has worked extensively in Kenya as has Morton who wrote a biography of the country’s president, Daniel Arup Moi.

But his most famous biographies – and the ones that made him millions – dealt with the intimate lives of the famous, headed by Princess Diana.

Louise Marshall has not been paid for this interview.

(Source: Sunday Mirror, September 3, 2000)