The Bad And Not So Beautiful

If you're a player in Hollywood, there's only one way to read Julia Phillips's book "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again" (573 pages. Random House. $22). First turn to the index to see if you're mentioned in the former producer's acerbic kiss-and-tell memoir. If you've escaped her scathing scrutiny, you can relax - and start looking for names of people not as fortunate.

There are a lot of them. In Phillips's 573-page primal scream we may not learn much about moviemaking, but we get to know the personal and physical flaws of Hollywood's beautiful people. We hear that Steven Spielberg is a selfish "little prick" and a "user of children." Martin Scorsese is a misogynist. "Collagened face" David Geffen is "money-obsessed." And Warren Beatty, who she claims once proposed a menage a trois with Julia and her daughter, who was then 14, is "priapic."

Phillips doesn't let up. Cybill Shepherd is a bad actress with a "fat ass." Kathleen Turner has bad teeth and a runny nose. Goldie Hawn is "borderline dirty with stringy hair." Almost the only people who get off easily in her account of sex and drugs are either dead (Mama Cass) or professionally buried (David Begelman).

But the author does not spare herself. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke who went on to produce the Oscar-winning movie "The Sting," she outlines her own horrifying journey from the top of the film industry to the end of a freebase pipe. She survived her cocaine addiction, but her marriage to coproducer Michael Phillips ended, her so-called friends abandoned her and her attempts to make a comeback as a producer flopped.

Her effort as a writer may bear more fruit. Los Angeles bookstores report that "Lunch" is the hottest book of the year. But Hollywood insiders are not amused. "This book comes from a nasty, mean-spirited place," says Geffen. "Her account of our meeting is a complete fabrication. The woman is a sociopath who had an incredible opportunity to do something wonderful with her life and squandered it." Says agent Sue Mengers: "Every comment pertaining to me was false - except I do have fat thighs."

Phillips, 46, is unrepentant. Sitting in the Polo Lounge in a black halter jumpsuit with a front zipper that won't stay zipped, she insists that her book is not bitter or bitchy. "It's unflinching," she says, sipping her Stoli vodka through a straw. "There will be some people who are very mad about this book. So what? Believe me, I pulled my punches. They're all much worse. Hollywood is a place that attracts people with massive holes in their souls." And Phillips pointedly notes that she herself was once one of them.