I did not sleep with Russell Crowe, Julia, when I went to Australia to interview him back whenever that was—in the late 90s. I didn’t. I slept in my hotel room every night, despite the fact that I was afraid, as usual, of being raped by strange Australian men and gouged by camelions. O.K., he wanted me to smoke a joint with him the first night, I imagine so that he could have something on me—to level the playing field (he was just experimenting with pot, of course). So I did. (Sorry, Maud!) First, though, I made him promise to drive me back to my car which was, like, a million miles away on some road somewhere in Australia, and follow me home. I also made him promise that if I got paranoid, he’d take care of me. He promised. He had a quick temper (he is exacting, which I sympathize with) but he was a gentleman, and very fun.
I wrote that story for GQ—a cover story—and it was pretty good, as GQ stories go, and they never gave me another one after that. I always wondered if it was because they thought I was sleeping with Russ, and therefore shouldn’t have expensed the $250 a night hotel room. That was the sort of thing that drove Art Cooper, the editor in chief, crazy. Oh, well. He’s gone, the world has changed, and assistants are doing all the writing. (Ethics lesson #1: Young ladies, don’t sleep with your subjects, unless you’re planning on disclosing it in the story.)