Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist
 

Margaux Hemingway Interview -


Her name was her calling card and in the decade of the Beautiful People she was one of the most stunning participants chasing nothing more elevating than a good time. After a while such pursuits became hard work for the woman named after a bottle of fine Bordeaux wine.

She is Margot Hemingway on her birth certificate but for the parties, premieres, people and paparazzi of the celebrity circuit she was Margaux.

Last night (TUESDAY) she was dead and dental records ruled there was no question of the identity of the body of the woman who never really knew herself. An autopsy was going on to determine the cause of death. She suffered from epilepsy. Was it a seizure? Was it suicide?

At 41, the grand-daughter of Ernest Hemingway was discovered alone in her apartment overlooking the Pacific in the Californian coastal town of Santa Monica west of Los Angeles . She had not been seen for three days.

Many of Warhol's 15-minutes ago in the the Manhattan nights of Studio 54 that time lapse would have been social suicide. The evenings were for drinking and drugging and dancing without inhibition. From the outside the razzle and dazzle all seemed so carefree but it was so often only a sparkling veneer.

The six-foot tall Margaux Hemingway lurched into victim status long before her body was discovered inside the cheerfully pink and burgundy painted apartment block. To her friends and agents it appeared that she had overcome a chronic alcohol problem after treatment at the Betty Ford Centre in the Californian desert eight years ago. She had also, they believed, recovered from bulimia.

She had seemed to be a survivor of overnight excess. She told her story and we learned that during two bad marriages and a stumble of a film career she had considered suicide -- I wondered if life was worth living' -- and finally realised she was killing herself with drink.

There must have been moments during her short, difficult and ultimately tragic life when she blamed not herself but her heritage.

The story of the Hemingway clan is one of bitterness, jealousy, mental illness and of fame and literally fatal flaws. Her uncle Leicester, depressed and unhappy, shot himself to death in Miami in 1982. Her great-grandfather Clarence Ed' Hemingway killed himself years earlier.

His famous son Ernest who never forgave his father for his suicide was three weeks shy of his 62nd birthday when he blew away the top of his head with both barrels of a 12-gauge Holland and Holland shotgun.

On the day of his funeral, July 5,1961 , his three sons Jack, Patrick and Gregory -- known as Bumby, the Mouse and Gig -- found they had been disinherited. A lawsuit changed that but not the memory of the father the trio had all wanted desperately to live up to. And of their foiled expectations.

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