Irked by salacious excerpts that have appeared here and there (like in Sara Stewart‘s story in today’s N.Y. Post), Warren Beatty has issued a statement through his attorney that Peter Biskind‘s “Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America” is “not an authorized biography.”
Biskind hasn’t responded to an e-mail I sent him a while ago, but as far as I can discern he’s never claimed that the book is authorized. He’s been a little vague about it (like Beatty tends to be about many things), but has written that Beatty spoke to him off and on, but not, apparently, in a way that added up to very much. My impression is that Beatty’s input wasn’t substantial.
Biskind says in the introduction that he’s talked with Beatty many times over the years and that he “sat down [with Beatty] a few times” as part of his research. He also writes that during these sessions Beatty “was clearly uncomfortable, watchful about what he said, dispensing his responses one grain at a time, telling me nothing I didn’t already know.”
He also says Beatty told him during a lunch “that the only reason he had agreed to do the book was because he thought that once word of [the] book spread around, the other writers with books in progress, specifically Ellis Amburn and Suzanne Finstead, would just go away…in other words, he was just using me to scare other writers off.”
In a statement to the Huffington Post, Beatty’s attorney Bert Fields states the following: “Mr. Biskind’s tedious and boring book on Mr. Beatty was not authorized by Mr. Beatty and should not be published as an authorized biography. It contains many false assertions and purportedly quotes Mr. Beatty as saying things he never said. Other media should not repeat things from the book on the assumption that they are true or that the book is an authorized biography.”