Princess Di’s onetime lover spills all.
Remember James Hewitt? He’s the handsome military man and polo player who romanced Diana while giving her riding lessons. Here, he explains that when he met the princess, the royal marriage had already begun to fall apart. Charles had taken up with Camilla again, Diana was battling bulimia, and Hewitt became confidant, hero and beloved to the princess during a five-year affair. After it ended, Hewitt was frustrated that he had kept a low profile and still got a bum rap, while the royals told their stories to the media. So he responded positively, if warily, when journalist Anna Pasternak asked him to give interviews for a biography. As Hewitt tells it, he was hoodwinked. Pasternak’s publishers made her tart up a tame account and publish something steamier. The result was Princess in Love, a book, declares Hewitt, “which I have never read but which has been a cross I have had to bear.” His participation in Pasternak’s project didn’t endear him to British society, and when he took up after Di’s death with a woman who eventually stole some of the princess’s letters to him, the resulting tabloid feeding frenzy and paparazzi-fest only made Hewitt further persona non grata. Here, he attempts to rehabilitate his image. After chapters detailing his romance with Diana, he “explains” the sordid mess with the stolen letters. Then he recounts his efforts to move on, becoming a minor star on the reality TV circuit in such hits as The Games, The Penthouse (“I had to spend twenty-four hours locked up with Jodie Marsh—not the most penitential experience!”) and Back to Reality. Oh, there was also the much-publicized arrest for cocaine possession, but that was just a mix-up, Hewitt assures us.
Sure to stir controversy in England and titillate Anglophiles everywhere with its tawdry, even pathetic, pandering to royalty voyeurs.