John Clark Pro Se Blog

Actor, Producer & Writer

Rasputin Lives

Posted in COMMENTARY-Passing parade, Links to Cases & Litigants, Links to legal, self-help sites, LYNN REDGRAVE

A new book, just out and available on Amazon.

Letters to Lynn Redgrave: Martial Enlightenment for Modern Women (and Men) by Jeri Massi

Jeri Massi is a fourth degree black belt in Taekwon Do Chung Do Kwan, a Master. She holds belts in other martial arts, including Shotokan karate and Tang Soo Do. She writes

“I am a woman martial arts master. In 1999, When actress Lynn Redgrave’s then husband John Clark was harassing her, I asked her to let me instruct her in the principles of martial enlightenment. She consented. This book is our correspondence.

It is based on Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings. It should be helpful to anybody in desperate circumstances. The lessons calmed and guided her. War begins in the mind, and an intelligent, calm fighter can defeat an opponent by exploiting the undisciplined fears and desires of his or her opponent.”

Wow!  I was so impressed, I just HAD to get this book. She focuses upon how she masterminded Lynn’s financially successful lawsuit for divorce against me. I was stunned. Not being an attorney or a medical doctor, I wonder how Lynn’s attorney Emily Edelman felt about that during the case? Or how Judge Gold would have felt about that while it was sub judice? Or the State Bar of California?  Or the office of the District Attorney (Statutes about UPL).  Or, come to think of it, my own team of attorneys for not asking the right questions. I bought 14 copies, enough for a jury and backup.

Check it out.

I gave it one star only on Amazon, because as I said there in my comment

As the husband she physically threatens throughout this book, I am fascinated by her rendering of a non-existent person. I would have given it 5 stars if it was intended as satire, for here are the makings of a great Saturday Night Live sketch. But since there is no such disclaimer by the author, a non-lawyer religious fundamentalist black belt kickboxer, I have to conclude that she is serious. Hence one star.

Since it was against my wife’s nature to live according to this Rasputin’s instructions which she readily obeyed, nature took its course. Karma lives, she didn’t! My kids, who followed along because they’d benefit from the living trust she immediately created, explains why we are alienated. Shame on them.

Law students should continue to read the following, but others may not wish to, because it goes into much detail and is time-consuming.

**********************************************

I read the L.A. Times report again, this time with the knowledge of this explosively revealing book. The article, under Ann O’Neill’s byline, demolished me the defendant, and was actually written by their journalist Louise Roug who daily attended the trial. If the media had known that Lynn’s animosity towards me and adamant refusal to submit to mediation or interviews was being directed, not by her attorney, but illegally by this woman, the result would have been vastly different. Undoubtedly, the judge would have sanctioned Lynn and Emily Edelman, Esq. for contempt of court.

Now I understand why I was evicted from the 1999 SAG Awards and she called the police on me to make sure I was not allowed to attend the 1999 Independent Spirit Awards to watch her success for Gods & Monsters and Shine, or the 1999 Oscars where she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – both of which I put her into and negotiated! (No agent.)

This revelation opens up a whole new avenue for me, and the clock starts running now.

The L.A. Times report, combined with my itemized response to each point, is an important document, and you can read it here if you wish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Pathé Opens Its Vaults

Posted in A SPACE FOR NOSTALGIA, A SPACE FOR REFLECTION

I appeared in a few of Pathé Pictorial’s onscreen newsreels, seen before the feature in the old days (with perhaps a cartoon), or to pass the time while waiting for a train. Now we can watch many of these old clips again.

This is great news! With funds from the National Lottery, they have digitized their inventory.

I’m writing a play which includes my childhood actor days back in the forties (I’ve been accused of being Britain’s Justin Bieber back then!)   There’s going to be a reunion in London, and I hope to be at the Cinema Museum to join them. You can skip what follows if you wish, otherwise you might find it of interest:

Three of us young kids were chosen for this newsreel, because we were “making a name for ourselves“.

It’s fun to see, and then go fast forward to our adulthood, and see how it panned out. First there was me, no secrets here. Then there was Peter Katin, a still living and busy concert pianist.

Finally, Victor Feldman, and if you are a jazz enthusiast, you know who he is, or was. Sadly, he died a few years ago. I ran into him at a club in North Hollywood one evening, asked him if he remembered when we last met, and he said he couldn’t remember anything that far back! He was considered the young Gene Krupa on the British scene, but then went on to other instruments. An all around musician.

Here are some others:

This is the only remnant of the radio Will Hay Programme that I can find. That the BBC didn’t preserve those shows for the record is shocking.
My transition from Will Hay to Just William.
Here were the actors of yesterday, now living at Denville Hall, London, followed by the promising stars of tomorrow.

My play will be attempt at an autobiography as told from the stage, hopefully entertaining. I plan to use some frames as stage projections.

And if you got this far, thanks for indulging me.

Just William Society Magazine interview

Posted in A SPACE FOR NOSTALGIA, A SPACE FOR REFLECTION, ACTORS' & DIRECTORS' CORNER, Links to Media, My Family and Me

John, I see you were born in London in 1932 and attended Watford Grammar School. Given that you started working for the BBC in 1944 you must have planned to be an actor from a very early age. Was that always your ambition? Did you have early training?

Three nos. I had no plan to be an actor, no ambition, and no training. When I went to Kings Langley’s Rudolph Steiner school (locally known as the “do as you like” school), at the age of ten, I was cast in the annual school play, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed outdoors in the garden. But that was it, and I hated doing it, it seemed kind of gay; I was not turned on to acting, and had no thoughts along those lines. 

Your first show on BBC radio was The Will Hay Programme in 1944 where you acted as D’Arcy Minor, the swot of St. Michael’s. How did that come about? And was it fun working with Will Hay?

My family lived in Chipperfield, Herts, in those days, and I was coming home on the bus after school one day in August, when a man came up to me who I recognized, for he lived down the road. His name was Alick Hayes, and he asked me if I was a good reader. I told him yes, and he said could I come over later, meet his wife Zillah, have a cup of tea, and read him something out of the Evening Standard, so after supper I did. He tested me for fluency, to see if I could read without stumbling, and he was pleased that I could. He then explained that he was a BBC producer, and was about to start a new BBC radio comedy series, but the young actor he was going to use had just got sick, and he had an emergency, and maybe I could help out.

The show was The Will Hay Programme (The Diary of a Schoolmaster) and the part was that of a very clever young swot who said very long multi-syllabic words instead of shorter ones whenever he answered the schoolmaster’s questions. Mr Hayes wanted me to play it, just the first show, and he said it would save him from having to find another actor quickly from an acting academy. It was going out live in front of an audience from the Paris Cinema, a basement BBC studio off Piccadilly Circus, in just three days’ time.

I raced home, told my parents, said please let me do it, it sounds like fun, and it pays money. So my mother took me up to London next day, and that is where I met Will Hay and the rest of the cast – one schoolmaster and three students, so-called. Smart was the cheeky one (played by the very professional actor Charles Hawtrey), Beckett the dumb one (Billy Nicholls, on his day off from the RAF), and D’Arcy Minor, the studious swot (me). The joke was that I was the only real schoolboy (eleven years old). Will Hay was repeating the same schoolmaster act he had done in several of his films (Good Morning Boys, 1937, etc). It will be remembered that the comedy came out of the fact that he was a hopeless teacher, and the students took over.

That first day I remember well. Continue Reading

33 Years. A Review and a Complaint

Posted in A SPACE FOR REFLECTION, ACTORS' & DIRECTORS' CORNER, LYNN REDGRAVE, My Family and Me

June 1st. 2013

I see that my late ex will be having an Off-Broadway theatre named for her at a June 3rd 2013 ceremony in New York. The 45 Bleecker Street Theatre will thereafter be called the Lynn Redgrave Theatre. I am pleased for her. I plan to be there, and to become re-acquainted with my children and old family members and friends.

This has given me occasion to reflect on our life together.

Lynn and I, over the course of a little under 33 years, made a change in the landscape for the life of actors, for the better, I do believe. We never went looking for trouble. It came to us, and instead of burying it, we fought back.

REVIEW

First was a lawsuit against the Gate Theatre in Dublin. We put on a play starring Lynn and Dan O’Herlihy, my first directing job actually. We ran for 3 sold-out weeks (the longest they’d book us), the best box office in their history. Our deal was to split profits, which were excellent. Instead, they took half of our gross receipts. Discovery revealed that the Irish government, the owners, had years before ordered the management to make the theatre available to outside Irish companies for free. We lived locally, hired Irish actors, financed the show, and of course paid all the costs of our production. A 4-wall deal. We lost the case because their manager got me to initial a contract clause over my shoulder while I was directing a scene. The judge held me to it. We left Dublin soon after, leaving an Irish Equity with a smile on its face, for we had broken the Gate’s hold on their previous minimal actor’s salaries. It’s worth mentioning that despite (or because of) using an Irish attorney, brother of a prominent Irish actor, we lost and didn’t get our money back.

Then we headed West, back to my home town of New York, where we were soon greeted with a lawsuit filed against us by U.S. Equity who extorted 5% of my wife’s self-paid salary as dues, from a year’s tour we took across America with our own show, financed by us and directed by me. We had posted Equity bonds at each date, and they refused to return them. Again, we lost. Because of Vanessa’s political views, Lynn was under watch, and the release of her green card was held up. Equity rules defined a green card holder as actually holding it in her hand! The judge said this was a stupid lawsuit, but was forced to rule in their favor.  They returned the bonds less 5%. But, in a form of revenge you might say, we made a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, who summoned the leaders of all of the performing unions, and found that Equity alone had been breaking the law for years, penalizing foreign stage performers for daring to peddle their art in America. They had constructed a punitive discriminatory dues structure, in order to discourage them. This time we won because they won. Now foreign actors are treated equally, and have a smile on their faces too, because it has led to a relatively free exchange of actors between America and England and elsewhere. Certainly audiences have applauded this development. We however, were deprived of financial satisfaction because we were outside the Statute of Limitations (3 year rule.) Yul Brynner received hundreds of thousands of dollars which nearly broke the union, but he was very nice, he invited me to lunch with him at the Bel Air, and gave me a bunch of daffodils for her, by way of his thanks.

Next came our famous lawsuit against Lew Wasserman and MCA/Universal, when Lynn was fired for wishing to breastfeed our daughter Annabel at work. Our thoroughly compromised WMA agent didn’t help, nor did our attorneys, and UTV’s press department went to work. Our suit was quietly dismissed by a corrupted judge headed for retirement. I wrote about it in the “Housecalls, what really happened” topic on the left. Expensive yeah, and actor mothers and fathers were eternally grateful for causing all Film and TV companies to provide facilities for employees who were new mothers and their babies. That was the only positive to come out of that case. In the event, they were ordered to reimburse our attorneys’ fees. They didn’t. They’d faxed notice of a hearing to our locked office while we were performing Love Letters up in San Francisco, and avoided payment due to our non-appearance, thanks to their famed “I always win” attorney Gale Title. No transcript was made of the proceedings, so Lew kept all of our attorney fees, and we never knew how he managed to make that happen.

Next, Lynn and I were asked to lead the Players, Edwin Booth’s 1888 gift to actors on Gramercy Park, by our close friends Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. I’d been a member for many years. The club was in dire straits. No proper books, so we gave them 20 grand to construct a proper set. Then our tough love for them proved to be too much, and we were summarily ejected. They’re still floundering. I see that steps are being taken by insiders for a clean sweep to improve its chances of survival. For my trouble, I’ve been called John Sleeper Clarke.

This gives me pause. The comparisons are striking! Booths = Redgraves! Consider: Separated by about one hundred years, it produces quite startling results. Junius Brutus cf. Sir Michael = Shakespearean actors, patriarchs and family founders, both. John Wilkes cf. Corin and Vanessa = fiery political trouble-makers, both. Asia cf. Lynn = good writers, recorders of their family stories, both. John Clarke cf. John Clark (me), married to those same sisters. We are the link by our same name. We are both lawyerly, both wicked comedians, both into management, and as Asia wrote to her brother Edwin “He lives a free going bachelor life and does what he likes.”  Sorry, no comment from me there, and he’s dead! Enough already.

COMPLAINT

To bring us up to date, I am here to say that the tradition is still alive, even though Lynn isn’t. I still choose to live dangerously, sui juris, out of some kind of personality defect, contrariness, orneriness, or just some kind of survival instinct from bad ad litem experiences – it’s not for me to say. But today I filed a Complaint with the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau, and the Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs against The Breakdown Services, Ltd. This is only a start, but hopefully it will lead to a satisfactory finish. Their stranglehold on the casting process is a scandal. Read it here:

I am a British born professional actor age 80, and have been a union member in England, Canada and America since 1944 (SAG/AFTRA, US Equity, ACTRA, Canadian Equity, British Equity). I am and have been a U.S. citizen since 1965. I do not use a “manager” or an “agent” because of past conflict of interest problems with them, and the experience of a major lawsuit against the William Morris Agency. I get my own acting jobs, but am effectively prevented from doing so.

I need to avail myself of full casting information from the Breakdowns, aka “Breakdown Services” (hereinafter “BS”), which is a monopoly service employed by all big and small movie and TV production and theatre companies. Scripts and story lines are received by BS from these companies, and from them, BS creates a breakdown of story plots and characters. This information is supplied EXCLUSIVELY to agents and/or managers electronically for money and profit, which is their business practice.

Actors, the subject of these notices, are shut out from seeing all, I said all, of them!

The owner/founder of BS, Gary Marsh, told his audience at a seminar he gave the evening of March 20, 2013 at the premises where I live at Oakwood, Barham Blvd. Hollywood, to a group of child actors and their mothers that he has criminal lawsuits pending against actors who have bootlegged his information. I have done this in the past. He told me that I could not buy their services at any price, only managers and agents, and between them they set the rules. I asked him if I could receive this information if I became a manager, and he said I could not qualify because I am an actor, and if I “wear 2 hats”, I would still be denied. There were at least 20 witnesses.

If you think that Mr. Marsh is not serious, look what he did to Mr. Brian Burke. He got himself a judgment of $1.3 million, and put Burke behind bars for 20 days for not obeying his court order! That’s an abuse of power, Mr. Marsh, a terrible abuse of actors who are trying to find available  work which you keep secret except for your paying privileged customers, aka agents and managers. You claim that it is the production companies and casting directors who make your rules. That, Mr. Marsh, is BS! The best of BS!

I believe that all actors are protected from this kind of discriminatory anti-competitive practice by government law, such as The Sherman Act, of July 2, 1890, ch. 647, 26 S 209, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1–7. Permit yourself to read it, Mr. Marsh, assuming you respect the laws of the United States.

Breakdown Services operates and reaches across state lines from coast to coast, and abroad. There is no competitive service anywhere. 

As settlement, I DEMAND

That the Breakdown Services provides this information ONLINE, so that ALL ACTORS across the world have access to it, at NO CHARGE. Any cost or expense should be born by the Breakdown Services, and passed on to the production companies. It is their joint problem. Together, they created it.

This complaint will soon appear online for the inspection and I hope support of actors. No, not their managers, and not their agents, and not the production companies. They’ll hate it. Actors don’t wish to be “protected from themselves” (see Gary Marsh’s Q&A link above) and will care, and, I’m pretty sure, SAG/Aftra and Equity will care too. I hope the brave ones will flock to support the request. This is not to denigrate Breakdown Services, for they do a fine job. We just want them to open up to us, the central sine qua non of their business, and stop insulting our intelligence.

Follow along and let me know you support this complaint, so that regulators are assured that we actors and directors WANT to know what jobs are available, 100% of them, not just for our enablers (managers and agents) to know, if you employ them at all, but ALL of us. Actors have voices off camera too, in our free society. Let them be heard loud and clear.

My Twitter handle is John Clark@johnclarknew. Click on it. I need feedback!

I hope it will not be necessary to file a lawsuit against Breakdown Services, because I don’t like lawyers either. And this would need one. I’m also too old to see it through the byways of the U.S. legal system. Here’s another example of what I’m talking about.

 

Am I anti-semitic?

Posted in Judge Gold revealed. Am I anti-semitic?

August 11, 2006

People have often asked me this question.  They say “Look what the Jews did to you”

Indeed. Judge Arnold Gold put me in jail the day before I had to appear in court to start defending myself in my two cases initiated by Lynn and Nicolette (working together or separately, I never knew). He kicked me out of my house to sell it and pay for the fees of opposing counsel (who filed suit against me in the first place) who were 1. my wife’s killer “divorce designer” attorney Emily Shappell Edelman (Jewish) and 2. Nicolette Hannah’s killer divorce attorney (Jewish), James R. Eliaser, whose evil tactics deprived a small boy of his father, and who, I discovered quite by accident, used to be an employee of the judge’s law firm Pachter & Gold.  These two Jews conspired to conceal the fact that they used to work together, knowing full well that Judge Gold should have automatically recused himself under the rules. When I challenged them in court – wait for it – they both chimed in their answers, that they had quite forgotten about it, and then Judge Gold said that it would hardly make any difference, and I, unbelievably, BELIEVED HIM and didn’t enforce the rule.

So, in its good time, I would find that my opponents would have their wishes granted. Gold evicted me from my home, sold it, gave me just a couple of thousand dollars as my community property share, gave my co-op apartment at The Osborne opposite Carnegie Hall away to my wife, granted full custody of my son to his mother thus causing the loss of his Dad to him, and him to me, and caused the exodus of the entire Clark family, less me, to the East Coast, and the fracture of the Redgrave brand.

And so there I was, from my day one of proper pro se, caught up in a hellish circle of interlinked Jewish characters ritually conspiring in a fore-ordained dance which, in the case of my wife Lynn Redgrave, became a dance of death (which I truly believe.) Listen to the charade, and follow along on the revealed theme.

There was Family Court Supervising Judge Aviva Bobb, who I believe is Jewish, who backed Gold up, kept awarding new fees to Eliaser, and then refused to let me buy my guest house so that I could continue to live in Topanga, keep my dogs, and not store my belongings and not live in a trailer. Here is a reminder of my expectations that celebrity pandering could not happen in Hollywood’s hallowed halls of justice.  We read this

on the wall next to the entrance to the filing office.

An Appeal to the Second Circuit got me a negative review from Justice Miriam Vogel, also Jewish.

Judge Gold, meanwhile, escaped the wrath of his brothers on the Judicial Council by “retiring” right after disposing of me and my case, thus avoiding their oversight and possible disciplinary action. Must have been nervous. For my discovery of the foundation of his  personal character, read about this in the sidebar.

An Appeal to the Supreme Court, after I had written to Chief Justice Ronald George (whose office manager had encouraged me to appeal) who I believe is also Jewish, was turned down.

And the media, which wouldn’t stop, appeared to get more fodder from the site of Hebrew University, where one of their professors made me her target for an absurd made-up story setting out to prove her totally inapposite use of me in a legal paper.  Eliaser advocated for her, her name was Hila Keren, and to this day, I have received no response from her. I hope her students hold her to account.

And then of course, there was Lew Wasserman, the top Jew in Hollywood, from the old House Calls breast feeding case.

Well, my answer to this ALL-IMPORTANT QUESTION is that far from being anti-semitic, I am, perhaps surprisingly, PRO-SEMITIC AND HUGELY ENVIOUS OF THEM. Here’s why:

I have always respected the culture of the Jews, and their education, which certainly exceeds mine. I look up to them, and their low numbers among the world’s population has always astonished me.  Always an outsider, I even believe I have the soul of a Jew. I have made a point of making close friends with Jewish people.  (In fact, more than one of my girlfriends was Jewish.)

I WANT TO BECOME JEWISH, so that I could be completely like them, recognizably the same, but without their religious beliefs, a secular Jew.

I believe that there is the APPEARANCE of networking and mutual backscratching taking place.  Of course, business is all about mutual backscratching, nothing wrong with that, but if I am right, I want to be a part of THAT network.

It is absolutely no coincidence that I believe I could then enter the places where Jewish mingling and socializing take place. Clubs, temples, agents’ offices and so forth, where right now I would be unwelcome and refused entry. Perhaps because I am no longer attached to a celebrity.

It was Adolph Zukor, that originator of things Hollywood, founder of Paramount Pictures, who ages ago gave this deathless advice to newcomers to the Hollywood scene: “Talk British but think Yiddish!” That was right up my tree.

To this end, I have entertained the thought of taking a hint from Careen Johnson, a struggling black bricklayer and funeral parlor assistant who, dying to become successful as an actress, changed her name to Whoopee Goldberg.  She was smart, it got her an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony and a Grammy. And of course she had the great talent to back it up.

Now me, I could change my name to Clarkstein or Clarkberg, but would it help? Not bloody likely! If I became a Jew aspiring to become successful as an actor or a celebrity, I would surely be advised to change it back to Clark.

Don’t think so?  Look at Emmanuel Goldenberg, Muni Weisenfreund, Julius Garfinkle, David Kaminsky, Bernard Schwartz, Jacob Cohen, Joyce Frankenberg, Aaron Chwatt and Ephraim Goldberg.  They changed their monikers to Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni, John Garfield, Danny Kaye, Tony Curtis, Rodney Dangerfield, Jane Seymour, Red Buttons and Frank Gehry respectively. And then there was Larry King (interesting choice, but what is wrong with “Larry Zeiger Live”?)

No, I’m afraid that that can only be my fantasy.

But getting back to the law, I did make a point of hiring Jewish lawyers, who always keep their original names perhaps as a badge of office, oh, and a Jewish press agent, thinking that would help.

The first to defend me was Melvin S. Goldsman, and Marci Levine, Esqs. of Freid & Goldsman, their names giving them away.

I fired them when I found that my Mel allowed his Jewish adversary to write a time sensitive stipulation to Nicolette that could have led to the cessation of hostilities, didn’t read it because he was out of the office and there’s no money in ceased hostilities, and told his secretary to tell me to sign it, which I did.  Boy, was I green at the beginning.  Perhaps they were old friends. Perhaps they performed regularly for the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

My next was Steve Mindell, Esq. I fired him because he was about as  aggressive as my little son’s kindergarten teacher.  When I asked him to get Lynn to open a joint bank account with me so that she could pay her share of the upkeep of our joint property during the three years of my lone occupation, he simply told me she wouldn’t agree. When I asked him to get our joint stock portfolo released from the freeze put on it at the height of the dotcom bubble so we could cash out, again, he wouldn’t do it. It would have meant getting a court order, and he wouldn’t go to court for it. Nothing appeared to be happening, other than his endless bills.

So then I hired noted hit man Mike Kelly, Esq., a referral from a Topanga millionaire divorcee lady friend. He’s Irish, (the worst kind, I hear someone shout – but that’s a joke). I disliked him from the start, he was of the “nudge nudge wink wink” variety, veiling the suggestion that he really knew I was trying to get away with something, but he’d-do-his-best-to-save-me. I fired him after stretched out three hundred dollar an hour months when he yelled at me for trying to get Nicolette evicted from her little house by not paying the property taxes, causing it to be sold by the taxing authorities. He hadn’t bothered to read the 1-page notice, which had been sent over to him by Eliaser, whom I’m sure had read it. Of course, it wasn’t for me, it belonged to another John Clark, on a rundown foreclosing property in South Central Los Angeles!

My last lawyer did not appear for me, he was a sort of advisor. His name was Cy Schaffer (also a Jew), to whom I paid $50,000.  In court, Judge Gold said he had made an order that I was not to use funds from a tax refund to pay this lawyer, and he should immediately refund it to me. Schaffer elaborately protested in court. Gold hunted for his order, then said he couldn’t find it, and told him he could keep the money. Of course. Naturally. I never did get a bill, or an account of his hours. I don’t forget that he got me to type up a brief for him, in his apartment. Couldn’t figure out the “Word” software.

So now I was out of lawyers because I got sick of their dishonesty and stopped believing in them.  More importantly, I’d lost six hundred thousand dollars to them, and had no more money. That’s how I came to represent myself in court, and had to learn what it is to be a PRO SE.

Having wised up, my first appearance before Judge Gold was over the unread-by-my-attorney property tax inquiry. There was Eliaser, sputtering to the judge that I was trying to get his client evicted. I showed the court a copy of the receipt to prove I had paid the property taxes, and then the 1-page notice showing it didn’t belong to me. Judge Gold just smiled, and thanked me for being smart enough to catch it. I asked for a money sanction against Eliaser for wasting the court’s time. Not granted. Of course. Naturally.

As for my Jewish press agent, a gentleman named Michael Levine, a self-styled media expert, I hired him to give me advice on handling the media now that I was suing Larry Zeiger -sorry, King. I got no advice at all; he refused to visit me at my house, but I did find that my money, about thirteen thousand dollars, went towards starting his new wannabe Drudge Report, aimed at bringing down the likes of Mel Gibson and Michael Jackson and maybe me and others who APPEAR to be breaking his moral code (chuckle chuckle). Networking again, is my opinion. But unlike Red Buttons, I did get a dinner, several actually. It wasn’t until after I had dropped him that I discovered that he used to be married to King’s current wife by whom he had a child. I think he should have told me about that before I paid him a penny.

So thanks, Arnold Gold, but no thanks. However did you get your robe of office? Must be quite a story, which I tell if you click here, and then scroll down a bit to where it says “Genesis”.

If I ever get as drunk as Mel Gibson, I’m told that I tend to act out my Jewish fantasy while singing the freedom chorus of the Hebrew slaves in their banishment.  My God, the middle one looks like HIM!

But when I sober up, I get to thinking more about what “they” did to me.  Here I am, my possessions lost or stolen, alienated by my kids and my family (I face back East to see them), removed from my house and my wealth by quasi-military enforcers, and exiled from Topanga, my Homeland. Then these words come to me.

As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
. . . . . . . . . .
Our hope is not yet lost.

And Barbra comes to my rescue in song.

 

Lynn Redgrave, Jailed (not really)

Posted in Links to Cases & Litigants, Links to Media, LYNN REDGRAVE, My Family and Me

How would this headline have looked back in 1999? Because that is what I was trying to prevent and DID prevent, at great cost to me as it turned out.

 

LYNN REDGRAVE, SON, NANNY JAILED

Illegal Green Card Scam. Feds step in.

Lover Revealed.

   By ALISON BOSHOFF

   29 March, 1999

John Clark today reveals the truth about his 32 year marriage to actress and star Lynn Redgrave in this exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, now that his wife is headed for jail. He says he does this to “clear the air”, but that it gives him no pleasure whatsoever.

He says that about ten years into his marriage, Lynn revealed that she began a secret affair with actor Brandon Maggart, following in the same footsteps as her mother, actress Rachel Kempson, who maintained a secret 40 year affair with noted theatre director Glen Byam Shaw, bi-sexual husband of Upstairs Downstairs actress Angela Baddeley. She told John that Brandon wanted her for himself, that they loved each other, but that, like her mother, she would not dump John because of their small children, in much the same way that Rachel’s husband Sir Michael Redgrave wanted to keep his 50 year marriage going as a gay cover. However, she said she would continue the affair, and in fact arranged for Maggart to join her in the next dressing-room in the failed 1989 ABC-TV series Chicken Soup, where she co-starred with comedian Jackie Mason. Maggart proudly posted these pictures on his vanity website, as trophy proof which are worth a thousand words, he says. They show her at the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica, then the two of them with Bill Clinton, and finally, in a picture take by their daughter Annabel, revealed her relationship with the Maggot (as John refers to him.)

 

This picture, taken from the website, shows John’s family, (and on the left Maggart’s son also named Brandon, who the court put in charge of the house during the term of his eviction.)

According to John, she became pregnant by him, but aborted the baby during rehearsals for Saint Joan, a Broadway play he directed for her. She told him that he would be “kept on” to continue to organize, manage, and assist in all aspects of her career, at her direction, so as to be able to dispense with agents, publicists, lawyers, money managers, and for protection from the press. And to continue to run the home, chauffeur the kids, and feed her horses. For his part, he says that since it was his only job, he told her “O.K. but all bets are off” as far as his own personal life was concerned. So he became the cuckolded husband.

He went on to present her in her first solo Broadway show Shakespeare For My Father, which he put together from her first scribblings, re-wrote parts of it, financed it alone, produced it alone, and directed it alone. That show was nominated for a Tony. He continued to stay in the background, uncredited, for that’s the way she insisted it be. He later found out that was a bad idea. She erased him from the record.

When the sister of their former English nanny Adeline came to live with them in 1990, the family dynamics changed. Nicolette Hannah was a “failed” Jehovah’s Witness who had been banished from the sect for having an affair with a married man. In her misery, and to help her carry on with her life, he suggested that a baby would be in order, and that he would arrange for its birth and send them both back to England where she could start a new life, and that he’d send her money until she found a husband.

Lynn was aware of this arrangement, and heartily condoned it. In fact, the day his son Jonathan was to be married in Dublin coincided with the day the baby was going to appear. He couldn’t be in both places at the same time and so, at Lynn’s suggestion, he attended the birth at a hospital in Santa Monica, and sent Benjy to Dublin.

His son from his first marriage, Jonathan, was a last minute baby appearing after his separation from Canadian actress Kay Hawtrey years before, in 1963. Furious because of his marriage to Lynn, she, using a Toronto family-law lawyer, denied him access to Jonathan in his growing years, ignoring court orders. John did not press for jail-time for Jonathan’s mother.

When Nicolette’s baby turned out to be a boy, he inevitably replaced the missing years of Jonathan. They named him Zachary John, and the only problem was that he was captivatingly adorable, and the family fell in love with him. Annabel got a brother, Lynn a grandson, and Zach got a father (but didn’t know it), raw irony at its fullest. Nicky, as she was always called, had named John as surviving parent in  her holographic will, in case anything happened to her. He became his guardian angel of a sort, and John says his first duty was to make sure the boy was happy and had a place to play and call his second home. John unwisely introduced Nicky to his and Lynn’s porn publisher friend Al Goldstein, whom they had helped save from prison in a midwest trial over his controversial Screw Magazine, being mailed across state lines. Nicky swooned into his ready arms, and decided she wanted to marry him, a horrifying outcome from Zach’s point of view.  He interceded successfully, and then the next danger came from an entirely unexpected source, Ernesto, his married Mexican plumber. He had hoped for a better quality husband for her, a nice rich jewish Beverly Hills corporate lawyer, perhaps. But it was not to be. (She did marry him, years later.)

While Lynn knew what was going on, they made sure that their children did not, and arranging for mother and child to stay in America meant careful planning, which turned out disastrously.

John is sorry that Lynn and Benjy and Zachary’s mother are in jail. It turned out to be unwise to meet with agents of the Justice Department using the “I am a celebrity” approach in an attempt to make sure they would not check up on Benjy’s arranged marriage, (for which he was well paid by Nicky.) They did check up. Was John involved in this attempted scam? Yes, he says, he was. And he wrote privately to tell them he was, and did not hear back. They left him out of it.

Meanwhile, the culprits have yet to appear in court to answer a few questions, for celebrities cannot be seen to get special treatment. In fact, they should be aware that celebrities are often used, depending on who they are, to set an example for the general public to know that they are not exempt from the harsh punishment of the law.

John says that Lynn was always a woman living “under the influence”. By that he meant that due to her strange upbringing, she was ill-equipped to handle life when she suddenly became a celebrity in competition with her already established and ambitious older sister Vanessa, and the intrusions of her father and his boyfriend’s planned projects into her evolving career. John says that, having lived the celebrity life before he met her, he was just the person to be her partner, and help her feel safe, secure, and well promoted upon their move to the United States where he was a citizen. And that if she were to leave him she will fall under another influence, probably through the advances of the always roaming sexual predators, and find that her days are numbered.

However, now that John sees his life with Lynn has come to an end, he breathes a sigh of relief, and wishes her and their kids well, and looks forward to getting back to his first love, which is acting and directing and film making, and to be a part of Zachary’s Topanga Canyon life as he grows up. He says he has no regrets at all, and perhaps his only failure, as a Redgrave, was not being a homosexual.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Google my name John Clark, and I just found that the Daily Mail was at it again. They’ve “updated” that article from 1999 when it was all happening and it was all about damage control caused by Nicolette’s lawyer James Eliaser, Esq., and attached it to the comments I made to a couple of reporters from the gossip agency Splash at my door on the occasion of Lynn’s death a couple of years ago. The Splash folks turned around and sold our conversation to the Daily Mail as though it was they who had interviewed me. Now, due to Google’s improved software, anyone googling my name comes up with that article, with the headline

The love child who broke Lynn Redgrave’s heart: In the week the actress died, her ex-husband tells of his shame and regret

By Alison Boshoff

UPDATED: 19:42 EST, 7 May 2010

I had already reported their dishonest tactics to the Press Commission in London (see that subject dealt with on the left).

There are two new biographies of the Redgrave family about to appear. One is the Donald Spoto biography titled The Redgraves: A Family Epic, and the other is The House of Redgrave, The Secret Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty by Tim Adler. I fully expect to be slaughtered again, with the same Daily Mail courtesy, a blood sport indeed. I shall buy them, read them, and report on them. As for me, an interview I gave to the Just William Society will be appearing shortly in their magazine, which will start me off on my book, yet to be finished.

In the meantime, in the sure knowledge that these authors will have got it wrong as far as my life with Lynn is concerned, let them read and ponder the facts, as filed under oath in my COMPLAINT against Larry King and CNN in District Court in Los Angeles on September 23, 2004. Here they will find out the whole story. That’s how I’ve been spending my time. Some retirement! But I think it is useful to educate the public on the workings and failings of our judicial system in these United States of America.

Anyway, it is for these reasons that I cannot let these false impressions of me sit there any longer, for there are still Lynn fans out there who refuse to accept me. It’s the same with professionals and the media, and it interferes with my rights, civil and professional, and my ability to make a living. I figure that after 12 years, the statute of limitations will have run its course. Both ladies hoodwinked me and hoodwinked you, with the help of a court of law, an evil judge, and evil attorneys by the name of Emily Edelman, and James Eliaser, all in it together for the money.

I think that readers can see from this that I have no “Shame and Regret” whatsoever. But please be advised that I was never interviewed by Alison Boshoff. If the Daily Mail cares to print this now, they have my permission, freely given.

To Lynn’s fans who are furious at me for bringing this up saying “let the dead R.I.P”, I have this in reply. I firmly believe in L.I.P. (Live in Peace). Anyway, how do we know that the dead are resting in peace? We don’t. I know that Lynn certainly didn’t die in peace, for she was essentially a good person (or I wouldn’t have agreed to marry her) and knew exactly what she was secretly doing to me, motivated by her lover, his 2 sons, a highly paid trickster of a lawyer, and a judge with a shady past. Her death resulted from something called Karma.

I needed to attend her funeral for many private and personal reasons. My son, feeling loyal and bound by her orders, forcibly stopped me at the church in Kent, Connecticut, and I nearly met my own death in a nearby hospital. I wish I could report that my kids are back with me now. Not so. I haven’t heard from them since. Meanwhile, the First Congregational Church and the Actors Fund adored her. In return for their adoration, she bequeathed $10,000 to each in her will. She later got a memorial fundraiser for the Fund, so good for them. They need the money.

In 1999 The Daily Telegraph wanted to pay me a million dollars, which would be split with their writer, for a joint book, and I turned them down, because Lynn’s life would have been destroyed, and I would have looked like a short term husband on the make. I am not, and have never needed to be, that kind of a person. I told them that when the time came, I would be writing my own book, alone, and I’ve kept their correspondence as proof. (n.b. It will not be called “Enter the Plumber”). And, BTW, I’ve never accepted a penny for an interview.

That time has come. Stay tuned. From now on I’m ready, maybe to self-publish if I have to. I need to be paid!

 

Tooting My Horn as JUST WILLIAM

Posted in A SPACE FOR NOSTALGIA, ACTORS' & DIRECTORS' CORNER, COMMENTARY-Passing parade

Hey folks, this is quite exciting! Terry Taylor, the editor of a magazine which is put out twice a year for the Just William Society in the U.K., had been in touch with me a few weeks ago to ask if we could put together the story of my life. Daunting!

Not quite the whole story but a lot of it, starting with my being “discovered” as they used to say, on a bus in Chipperfield, and my beginnings as a child actor in wartime London with comedian Will Hay on BBC radio.

We performed the act for the King, Queen, and Princesses 4 days before the war ended. What followed was my being cast as “Just William”, and the downward spiral of my life as an actor to the present day. That’s 69 years! Here’s what he had to say:

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FLIGHT

Posted in ACTORS' & DIRECTORS' CORNER, COMMENTARY-Passing parade

Saturday, November 3rd. 2012

I don’t bother with moviegoing much any more. My time is taken up with real life things, and I don’t need to escape into worlds of action, horror, fantasy, and in-your-face scatology, and I fear that the same might be said for the general population, as the new economic/political scene gets under way.

However, partly to celebrate my 80th birthday, and partly to see something I could relate to (I have a pilot license and owned 2 planes), and as a SAG member for the past 50 years, I decided to accept Paramount’s invitation for actors to see a special screening of this movie yesterday at the Writers Guild Theater, and interact with the makers at a Q & A afterwards.

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Parental Alienation, Syndrome or what?

Posted in COMMENTARY-Passing parade, Links to Courts & Judges, Links to medical sites, Links to new justice

URGENT UPDATE

December 14, 2012:
With the terrifying news out of Newtown Connecticut this morning, it is now more clear than ever that psychological profiling of any student demonstrating possibly dangerous behavior be ordered, and to hell with their personal right to privacy. When lives and guns are involved, emergency methods must be taken. It seems that these perpetrators are seeking closure of some kind. When that involves mass killing and the taking of their own lives, society is at risk, remains unprotected, and learns nothing.

It’s time the American Psychiatric Association got its act together. Let the ruling body immediately review the latest DSM-5, and “clean it up” to the extent of including a requirement that any individual inflicted with the pain of Parental Alienation (PAS or whatever)  HAS A FORM OF MENTAL SICKNESS. Until this is done, students wracked with overwhelming conflicts lurking in their inmost family relationships will continue to seek relief. It is worth noting that the first victim of this latest outrage by a twenty-year old male student was his sleeping gun-loving mother, and then on to the elementary school to take down teachers and babies. This happened in the peaceful Connecticut countryside community of Newtown. 28 people have died, including himself, and still counting!

[Piers Morgan on CNN publicized his opinions on gun violence, and incredibly, the NRA is asking for his eviction from the shores of the USA! This column appeared in MailOnline on December 30, the end of the year. He says it better than I could have done]

December 13, 2012:
I see in an article in the current Time Magazine (Dec. 17), a report on the new guidelines for Mental Illness. It summarizes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), used by doctors for their purposes and insurance companies, on which to base their decisions. The new features of the DSM-5 have just been approved, and will be published in May 2013. They’re just “cleaning it up” until then.

The article tells us that in the world of mental health, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is more or less the bible. Doctors use the DSM’s definitions to diagnose depression, stuttering, fetishism, schizophrenia and more than 300 other conditions. Insurance companies use it to justify reimbursements; without a DSM code, mental-health patients usually don’t get a dime. And the manual carries enormous cultural heft: when it stopped listing homosexuality as a mental disorder–after a 1974 psychiatrists’ debate in which being gay was deemed sane by a vote of 5,854 to 3,810–gay rights received a crucial boost.

Among the many conditions listed, those with affects caused by Hoarding, Bereavement, Binge Eating etc. are allowed; Aspergers and Autistics is a maybe, and Parental Alienation Syndrome is definitely not in.

Much has been written and much has been discredited in the efforts of Richard Gardner, who came up with it back in the early 1980s. But I’ve had personal reasons to revisit and rethink the case of Parental Alienation, and whether it rises to the level of a syndrome. There is a storm of controversy attached to it.

But first, what is a syndrome? Wikipedia comes up with this definition:

In medicine and psychology, a syndrome is the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs (observed by someone other than the patient), symptoms (reported by the patient), phenomena or characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one or more features alerts the healthcare provider to the possible presence of the others.

Let’s assume that you are a divorced or separated parent, and that your kid is firmly alienated towards you, one of the parents, and there is no underlying reason! By underlying reason, I mean that you, the alienated parent has no history of abuse, violence, or drunken behavior, and instead your behavior has always been loving and steadfast and caring, and, even better, you have always provided financial support for the kid without protest. And in fact, used to have an excellent relationship.

I believe that the condition has become hard-wired into the child’s mental processes, and is therefore a form of clinical sickness capable of being rectified.

Well, the DSMs say that, nevertheless, it is not an insurable condition. It may require medical intervention, or it may require counseling, but it’s only if you go along with their opinion and it’s your choice. As far as the courts are concerned, it doesn’t exist as a syndrome, or an identifiable medical condition, and will probably refer to the DSM protocol.

It is my view that, lacking any other probable cause, a syndrome IS operating. Professional intervention is not only advisable, but, bearing in mind the kid’s future workplace career and college education, should be required by any licensing authority, and even ordered to be tackled by the medical profession, the schools, and the courts. The official view seems to be that the individual’s and family’s right to privacy comes first, and the public’s right to be safe and protected comes second.

Whether the other parent, the one conditioning the child towards alienation, should be punished is a different issue, already in hand. That parent may well go to prison if the other one pushes for it, for the courts frown on that behavior. But if that happened, even such an order most probably will not release the child from his or her frozen mental state, might even make it worse (“So you put my Dad/Mom in prison? I HATE you”), and therapy will still be needed. Please, do everyone, and your child, a favor.

QUARTET

Posted in ACTORS' & DIRECTORS' CORNER

I saw that this film, the first solo movie directing effort of Dustin Hoffman, was to be screened at the DGA’s excellent movie house in Hollywood, and that Dustin would be interviewed by Michael Apted (our last DGA president) for a Q & A after the screening.

If controversy was sought, they couldn’t have found a better place, or subject. Apted had been involved in directing Dustin in the movie Agatha, and as some of us remember, that movie was filled with litigious controversy, and my sister-in-law Vanessa costarred. . . but more about that later. What fun! I knew I had to be there.

I think that the L.A. Times review written with intelligence by the dependable Betsy Sharkey says it best, and I agree with her view, sometime xenophobe that she can be, so link on it here. Incidentally, I enjoyed seeing several of my old British actor friends of long ago working again.

This film is based upon the retired opera performers’ home in Milan, which was built by Verde over a hundred years ago. Casa di Riposo per Musicisti has been displaced to a village near the Thames countryside, and staged at Hedsor House, going now by the name of Beecham House. Most attractive it is, with lush English gardens and busy Victorian interiors.

There’s no such real opera performers’ home in England, sad to say, but we do have a real actors’ home, Denville Hall it’s called, which is where my mother-in-law Rachel Kempson spent some demented time. Here’s a brief documentary video from the priceless Path collection of ancient newsreels. (I’m being sneaky here as you’ll see if you watch it).

Dustin gets to direct with a sure hand, especially in his management of actors and crowds, and I hope he feels encouraged to continue with that occupation. It requires the willingness to learn a new skill-set, but there’s a great satisfaction in it, extending easily from the urge to act.

In the aftermath of the Newtown horrors, we may get to see the ascendancy of films like this; no violence, no guns, little exterior “action”, but much to think about in the recesses of the mind. I do believe that we seniors will be firmly planted in movie theatre seats once again, and face it, we have more time and spending money than the kids. But no way the big 4 (Universal, WB, Paramount, Disney) will favor the trend, and we’ll have to continue to depend upon the likes of Bob Weinstein, Sony, and Fox. Now that Ismael has gone from us, is Merchant Ivory still cooking, I wonder.

 

RUNNING YOUR LAWSUIT WITH SELF HELP

Posted in Links to legal, self-help sites

I have frequently been asked by friends and others in this largely free-wheeling buyer-beware jungle of our industry called Showbiz with its circling network of lawyers and contracts and producers and unions and agents and managers and publicists and landlords and traffic courts … to help them.

They say it’s all very well, but you don’t tell us how to conduct a lawsuit or even understand what’s going on. You find yourself in court as a sue-ee or a sue-er, and I need to know what do I do now?

As you know, I am not a lawyer. I did take out my Notary license, but by law I cannot give legal advice. However, I can, and have, told you what happened to me, what to beware of, and what I learned the hard way. I could give you a nudge to point you towards a trustworthy lawyer, but I haven’t found one yet. I’d much rather find out how to arm myself (no, not with a gun), and how to do it in a professional manner. I did sign up for an online course to become a lawyer a few years ago, but gave up after listening to a few lectures. Not for me, and I don’t sell out!

I scoured the internet for self-help guides, and was not impressed. No sense of what really goes on in a court room (a parallel world, and believe me, they’re all intimidating, as are lawyers’ offices.) They give false impressions and empty comfort.

Then I found Dr. Frederick Graves online, an experienced retired Florida lawyer, like me with a mission. I bought his program and studied it. I didn’t then have any particular personal use for it, except to kick myself for being green and stupid. Now I do need it, so I recently bought his latest updated version and checked it out. I have examined it in detail, and I can say that it very effectively teaches you how to FILE AND RUN A LAWSUIT FROM START TO FINISH, or if you prefer, HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR LAWYER IS DOING HIS JOB IN YOUR BEST INTERESTS and HOW TO MAKE SURE THE JUDGE IS BEHAVING HIM OR HERSELF. Dr. Graves is very specific, and he gives away the secrets as well as the tools.

Law students and even licensed lawyers would do well to get acquainted with it, because it essentially deals with all of the common legal tricks used in battle, and takes the view to not trust lawyers or judges either. Don’t kid yourself, courtroom legal tactics are games of war, and the punishments meted out can exceed the worst of wounds by a judge who seems to take sides, and can leaves scars on the soul! And you’ll be the only advocate swearing to tell the truth!

I don’t suggest you can become a brilliant trial lawyer overnight. Just stick with Law & Order and Family Guy for that. But if you’re in any way contemplating litigation or you’re in the middle of it, you need to get the intimidation off your back, and learn how to fight by insisting that the rules be followed by the judge and the lawyer(s) you’re using or fighting. (Just an aside here, screen writers could use the practical knowledge too.)

Bear in mind that the courts are encouraging you to do it for yourself. Yes they are! They don’t provide court-appointed lawyers unless you’re indigent and in Criminal court. This is more for Civil court users, although any alleged criminals out there are welcome too. And the courts would be grateful to see pro pers and pro ses with know-how exercised respectfully. Judges are not umpires, and they don’t offer legal advice from the bench. They make rulings based upon what they see and hear, according to the law. You’ll be on your own.

So it is with enthusiasm that I urge you to copy and paste this link into the address bar of your browser. Be sure that this is all that appears in the address bar for it to work properly (on a Mac, the drop-down menu may say “go to site” ). When you’ve studied it, bookmark it so you can go back to it and check it out thoroughly. You won’t see legalese, and the language and instructions are pretty straight-forward.

www.HowToWinInCourt.com?refercode=CJ0021

You’ll quickly get ideas and leads on how to proceed, with free workflow charts, forms, and so on. If you decide to buy the program, all I ask is you mention my name or this site. Dr. Frederick Graves is my friend, he knows that I want to help you, and if I bring people to his website, I get a small commission, and that helps to keep this site running, and advertisement-free.

You’ll see that the cost is reasonable, less than a country lawyer’s one billable hour. And your time? Maybe a weekend of concentrated study.

If you do use it, get back to me with a story of your experience. I’m at john@johnclarkprose.com, and maybe I’ll tell it here. Maybe you’ll get a screenplay out of it. Here’s MY true story!

BTW, important, please know that there are no guarantees of success in your case, I accept no responsibility, and I can’t answer any legal questions. It’s completely up to you. A notary I am, a lawyer I am not.

How To Refinance Your Mortgage – NOT!

Posted in A HOUSE TO SELL (mine), COMMENTARY-Passing parade

My readers know that what you get here is some insight on everyday matters as a result of my “being there, did it, and this is what happened.” Anecdotal evidence yes, but that’s often better and more instructive than expert advice from expensive professionals with a conflict of interest (they’re selling services or a book.) 

Having a mortgage on my house, a 30 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage), I decided to refinance into a fixed, and get enough cash to pay off my credit cards, which are kinda maxed out at the moment plus a bit of cash besides. The Obama administration seems to want us to do that if we can, and they have encouraged, indeed ordered, the banks to loan out the money they got when the government bailed them out under the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) of 2008, and of course radio thunders the ads at us constantly, and the phone assails me with calls from brokers to get my business. So let’s see how it worked out for me with these providers: 

1. First I tried Chase Bank, who hold my current mortgage. They would surely want to let me refinance, I’ve been a steady and never-late payer on my loan for 12 years now. This is what happened:

They checked my credit rating. Mid-range, ok. They looked at my paperwork, income, all that stuff. THEN they asked “Have you had your house on the market within the last 6 months?” Yes, I said, certainly. Withdrew it only last week. Sorry was their answer, cannot consider you for a refinance because of that. End of discussion. 

2. I then tried Quicken Loans, who declare they are the best, lowest rates, etc. etc. A guy in Michigan, Reed Wilkin, handled my request. Very enthusiastic and excitable fellow. if you owned a vacuum cleaner company, you’d want him as your frontline door-to-door salesman. Or bibles. He took my information. He checked my credit score. He said “no problem”. I told him what Chase said. He said Oh dear, we can’t do it then, and hung up. Then he called me back, said his boss cleared it so it didn’t bother him anymore. Then he said was I living elsewhere as I had a different mailing address? I said that I keep an office at Oakwood where I am the Notary Public. He said nevertheless, in his view my house was my second home, and he’d go to prison if he was caught lying. I persevered. Then he said that my wife had to commute too far to work. I said 5.3 miles is too far? He finally said sorry, you don’t fulfill our requirements, we cannot consider a loan. End of discussion. 

2. Then I tried LoanDepot. Very calm, business-like guy called David on the phone, and they had an office locally. I faxed over all the paperwork. This, I figured, is going to happen. We agreed on the terms. I expected a commitment. He sent an appraiser. Fine, nothing to worry about there, I have remodeled the house. The appraiser came, personable fellow named Sean Copeland. He took a few measurements and left. His report said that I had a single family residence, and the lower unit was breaking the zoning law, because there was a stove top cooker in it. He said to get a loan, I should cap off the gas, and relocate the steps now outside, to inside. What? I pointed out to LoanDepot that the lower space did not make it a duplex. One electric meter, one water meter, one entrance. He laughed at me, and said sorry, we cannot do a refinance for you. I checked the internet, and came up with this explanation of what is a duplex, and what is a single family residence. This is what an expert appraiser says, that there is such a thing as a smaller add-on unit, an ADU, often referred to as, among other things, an in-law, granny flat, and mother-in-law suite. With cooking facilities. Read about it here. And here. Sr. banker John Zimmerman ignored the proof. End of discussion. 

3. My accountant had a great suggestion. He said why don’t you go to your local Credit Union? The banks hate them, because they are faster and usually less expensive than the big banks. So I crossed over the road to First Entertainment Credit Union, very handy. Spoke to a welcoming agent in their loan department named Ken Nakanishi. He would be my friend, I could see. He suggested I get a line of credit on my house, much more simple than a refi, and would allow me to consolidate my credit card debt. Great I said, now I feel I’m getting somewhere. A couple of days later he called. Sorry, he said, but you have a negative amortization loan at present with Chase. We cannot grant you a line of credit. But, he said, if you take out a refi with a fixed payment with us, then you could even do both. Hooray was my answer. A few days later he called, and said that when I paid off my credit cards, I’d have to close my Gold American Express card, which I’ve had for 39 years. Are you nuts, I said? No way! 2 more days. Then he called again, and said they were denying me my loan, as I had 2 units in a house zoned for single family occupancy! Nice knowing you, I said, and printed out and sent them the article so they could read it and perhaps educate their lending and banking staff on the realities, or I prefer to believe that they knew already, and hoodwinked me. 

So I got nowhere. I am convinced that this so-called lending spree is a farce, humbug,  and B/S, acted out by businessmen who don’t negotiate in good faith. Almost worse, they are time-wasters. Never mind money in the bank – at my age, I don’t have much time in the bank. And they caused me to use up about 4 weeks of it. So now I am just mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more.

What will I do now? Screw ‘em, I’m just a short walk from the Hollywood Bowl, and I shall vacation-rent it out for a few days at a time, and sleep in my office at such times, and maybe say I have a duplex!

 

Sir David Attenborough, Guilty!

Posted in A SPACE FOR NOSTALGIA, COMMENTARY-Passing parade, Uncategorized

Members of the entertainment community have always marveled at the idiocy which brought about the downright willful destruction of much of the BBC’s television and radio history. It never made any sense that those old shows simply disappeared. Now we know part of the answer.

The Daily Telegraph last week reported on statements from Sir David Attenborough, who talked with Alan Yentob in front of an audience of the time he was the policy maker during the late sixties. This was the headline:

David Attenborough: my regrets over wiping Alan Bennett ‘dross’

Sir David Attenborough, the broadcaster, admits one “scar on his conscience” from his early days in broadcasting: sanctioning the wiping of priceless Alan Bennett sketches. Sir David, who was controller of the fledgling BBC Two from 1965 to 1969, said he could not “dodge” the blame for the mistake, after making an executive decision to cut costs.

“One of the scars on my conscience is that the Alan Bennett programmes, which were wonderful, are not recorded and were lost,” Sir David said. “I mustn’t dodge it. I can remember perfectly well someone coming to me and saying ‘look, we have to build another set of vaults and it’s going to cost x million pounds.
“‘We will need that if we’re going to keep everything, so can’t you please find a way to keep the jewels and get rid of the dross? It means how many episodes of What’s My Line?’ or whatever quiz do you want?’
“And of course when you’re faced with that you have to decide whether to put the money into new products, new people, or cherishing the old. I took the decision that I did take, which was to say to every department, if you’ve got a long-running series select one out of six – or whatever it was – and save that. But be strong and get rid of the rest.
“That doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t have kept some of the Alan Bennetts; we should. Why we didn’t have some of them, I don’t know.”
[Former Director General] Alan Yentob added other programmes had suffered the same fate in different periods of BBC history.
“I think we can say the same about editions of Monty Python and others which have somehow disappeared,” he told an audience.

I had to comment at the end of the article with my 2 cent’s worth. I said

Vaults do not cost millions of pounds. Choosing between products, people, and intellectual property, the property of others, does not fly or make sense. This man has no integrity whatsoever. He should be sued to the limit, class actions, for these crass decisions which he admits. No mercy! And, this cost the corporation (meaning us and the government) many millions from future sales.
I am reminded that I appeared with Eric Porter in a BBC Play of the Month. It was “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1968. It disappeared. We were told that a technician had pressed a delete button by mistake. Now we know the truth. Thanks, Mr Attenborough.

Delta Airlines – Mayday!

Posted in Uncategorized

As the father of a Delta Airlines captain, I have a travel pass that allows me to travel anywhere on their routes for nearly free. Or does it?

Used to be I could walk up to the counter, and check in. No more. Now I’m told I have to go through my son. Trouble is, he doesn’t want to talk to me, not since my wife Lynn Redgrave’s funeral. I think he’s upset that since his mother died, I remarried. Maybe there are other reasons too, but it’s his choice.

I called Delta’s corporate head office in Atlanta to ask where he was so I could contact him. No dice, I was told that all information on their employees is confidential. I pressed. I asked if he still worked for them. Silence. I asked if he was still alive. They hung up on me.

I have to be in London for this. I promised to be there. A tiny charity is London’s Cinema Museum. Celebrities go there to meet and chat with members, and there is no money involved whatsoever. Not even expenses.

I wish I had the money to make the donation of my costs to travel and stay a few days in London, but I don’t have it. Simple as that.

So, I am asking if there are any Delta pilots or crew out there who will contact me, and tell me if they know 1. if Benjy still works for Delta, and 2. if he does, give him a message that I need his approval of my passage to London and back. You can contact me in complete confidence (I’m a Notary Public, and know what that means) at my email john@johnclarkprose.com, or at my Facebook page.

And I’d thank you much, and over and out.

WOODY ALLEN – SHE SAYS, HE SAYS (Source, NY Times)

Posted in COMMENTARY-Passing parade, Links to Cases & Litigants, Links to Courts & Judges

DYLAN FARROW SAYS:

That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself.

That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face — on a poster, on a T-shirt, on television — I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

This time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me — to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories — have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

 

WOODY ALLEN SAYS

TWENTY-ONE years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought. We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy. The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn’t even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer.

I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation. I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct. Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary’s home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I’d go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive.

Notwithstanding, Mia insisted that I had abused Dylan and took her immediately to a doctor to be examined. Dylan told the doctor she had not been molested. Mia then took Dylan out for ice cream, and when she came back with her the child had changed her story. The police began their investigation; a possible indictment hung in the balance. I very willingly took a lie-detector test and of course passed because I had nothing to hide. I asked Mia to take one and she wouldn’t. Last week a woman named Stacey Nelkin, whom I had dated many years ago, came forward to the press to tell them that when Mia and I first had our custody battle 21 years ago, Mia had wanted her to testify that she had been underage when I was dating her, despite the fact this was untrue. Stacey refused. I include this anecdote so we all know what kind of character we are dealing with here. One can imagine in learning this why she wouldn’t take a lie-detector test.

Meanwhile the Connecticut police turned for help to a special investigative unit they relied on in such cases, the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. This group of impartial, experienced men and women whom the district attorney looked to for guidance as to whether to prosecute, spent months doing a meticulous investigation, interviewing everyone concerned, and checking every piece of evidence. Finally they wrote their conclusion which I quote here: “It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen. Further, we believe that Dylan’s statements on videotape and her statements to us during our evaluation do not refer to actual events that occurred to her on August 4th, 1992… In developing our opinion we considered three hypotheses to explain Dylan’s statements. First, that Dylan’s statements were true and that Mr. Allen had sexually abused her; second, that Dylan’s statements were not true but were made up by an emotionally vulnerable child who was caught up in a disturbed family and who was responding to the stresses in the family; and third, that Dylan was coached or influenced by her mother, Ms. Farrow. While we can conclude that Dylan was not sexually abused, we can not be definite about whether the second formulation by itself or the third formulation by itself is true. We believe that it is more likely that a combination of these two formulations best explains Dylan’s allegations of sexual abuse.”

Could it be any clearer? Mr. Allen did not abuse Dylan; most likely a vulnerable, stressed-out 7-year-old was coached by Mia Farrow. This conclusion disappointed a number of people. The district attorney was champing at the bit to prosecute a celebrity case, and Justice Elliott Wilk, the custody judge, wrote a very irresponsible opinion saying when it came to the molestation, “we will probably never know what occurred.”

But we did know because it had been determined and there was no equivocation about the fact that no abuse had taken place. Justice Wilk was quite rough on me and never approved of my relationship with Soon-Yi, Mia’s adopted daughter, who was then in her early 20s. He thought of me as an older man exploiting a much younger woman, which outraged Mia as improper despite the fact she had dated a much older Frank Sinatra when she was 19. In fairness to Justice Wilk, the public felt the same dismay over Soon-Yi and myself, but despite what it looked like our feelings were authentic and we’ve been happily married for 16 years with two great kids, both adopted. (Incidentally, coming on the heels of the media circus and false accusations, Soon-Yi and I were extra carefully scrutinized by both the adoption agency and adoption courts, and everyone blessed our adoptions.)

Mia took custody of the children and we went our separate ways.

I was heartbroken. Moses was angry with me. Ronan I didn’t know well because Mia would never let me get close to him from the moment he was born and Dylan, whom I adored and was very close to and about whom Mia called my sister in a rage and said, “He took my daughter, now I’ll take his.” I never saw her again nor was I able to speak with her no matter how hard I tried. I still loved her deeply, and felt guilty that by falling in love with Soon-Yi I had put her in the position of being used as a pawn for revenge. Soon-Yi and I made countless attempts to see Dylan but Mia blocked them all, spitefully knowing how much we both loved her but totally indifferent to the pain and damage she was causing the little girl merely to appease her own vindictiveness.

Here I quote Moses Farrow, 14 at the time: “My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister.” Moses is now 36 years old and a family therapist by profession. “Of course Woody did not molest my sister,” he said. “She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him.” Dylan was 7, Ronan 4, and this was, according to Moses, the steady narrative year after year.

I pause here for a quick word on the Ronan situation. Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra’s? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that.

NOW it’s 21 years later and Dylan has come forward with the accusations that the Yale experts investigated and found false. Plus a few little added creative flourishes that seem to have magically appeared during our 21-year relationship.

Not that I doubt Dylan hasn’t come to believe she’s been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root? Is it any wonder the experts at Yale had picked up the maternal coaching aspect 21 years ago? Even the venue where the fabricated molestation was supposed to have taken place was poorly chosen but interesting. Mia chose the attic of her country house, a place she should have realized I’d never go to because it is a tiny, cramped, enclosed spot where one can hardly stand up and I’m a major claustrophobe. The one or two times she asked me to come in there to look at something, I did, but quickly had to run out. Undoubtedly the attic idea came to her from the Dory Previn song, “With My Daddy in the Attic.” It was on the same record as the song Dory Previn had written about Mia’s betraying their friendship by insidiously stealing her husband, André, “Beware of Young Girls.” One must ask, did Dylan even write the letter or was it at least guided by her mother? Does the letter really benefit Dylan or does it simply advance her mother’s shabby agenda? That is to hurt me with a smear. There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan.

After all, if speaking out was really a necessity for Dylan, she had already spoken out months earlier in Vanity Fair. Here I quote Moses Farrow again: “Knowing that my mother often used us as pawns, I cannot trust anything that is said or written from anyone in the family.” Finally, does Mia herself really even believe I molested her daughter? Common sense must ask: Would a mother who thought her 7-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a molester (a pretty horrific crime), give consent for a film clip of her to be used to honor the molester at the Golden Globes?

Of course, I did not molest Dylan. I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being. Being taught to hate your father and made to believe he molested you has already taken a psychological toll on this lovely young woman, and Soon-Yi and I are both hoping that one day she will understand who has really made her a victim and reconnect with us, as Moses has, in a loving, productive way. No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing. (This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.)