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)

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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)