Fast Chat: A Life In The Closet

B.J. SIGESMUND

Sorry, mom. your favorite leading man was leading a double life. "Dr. Kildare's" Richard Chamberlain--who comes out in a new memoir titled "Shattered Love"--discusses his decades of deception with NEWSWEEK's B. J. Sigesmund.

Was it hard to lie for so long?

No, I accepted it as an absolute necessity. I made a vow with myself to be as secretive about these matters as possible. I was young, and that was my life.

Did studios set you up with female dates for premieres?

I always had great girlfriends, and if I went to a public event, I'd take one of them. That just seemed totally natural, a part of the show. But if I hadn't taken care of that myself, the studio probably would have entered into it. The publicity department at MGM was very savvy.

You were very careful not to slip up with press interviews.

The fan magazines were especially aggressive, in a covert way. They'd ask questions like, "Why aren't you married?" or "Do you want children?" I'd answer evasively, like, "Getting married would be great, but I'm awfully busy now."

The tabloids outed you in 1990.

To see headlines on something as unimportant as whether I'm gay or not... it played into terrible fears of mine.

Do you have copies of those articles in scrapbooks at home?

No. I wish I did, but I don't.

Fast Chat: A Life In The Closet | News