Feature

Author of the week: Scotty Bowers

For decades, Hollywood lore circulated about a man named Scotty who ran a prostitution ring for stars who were gay or bisexual.

Scotty Bowers waited 60 years to kiss and tell, said Brooks Barnes in The New York Times. For decades, Hollywood lore circulated about a man named Scotty who, during the industry’s golden era, ran a prostitution ring for stars who were gay or bisexual. His clientele allegedly included A-listers like Cary Grant and Rock Hudson, Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh. In his new memoir, Full Service, Bowers, a former Marine who says he started pimping while working at a Hollywood gas station, cops to running precisely the operation that’s been rumored. “I’ve kept silent all these years because I didn’t want to hurt any of these people,” says Bowers, now 88. “All of my famous tricks are dead by now. The truth can’t hurt them anymore.”

Eat your heart out, Heidi Fleiss, said Joanna Walters in the London Guardian. If Bowers is to be believed, the so-called Hollywood Madam was a two-bit operator by comparison. Bowers certainly doesn’t skimp on lurid details, dishing on his own long list of trysts with the likes of Spencer Tracy, and revealing the sexual predilections of Bob Hope, Laurence Olivier, and many other customers—not all of them gay. Bowers says he ran his operation, with nary a sniff from law enforcement, until AIDS scared him out of the business in the mid-’80s. “It was too unsafe a game to play anymore,” he writes. Expecting attacks on his credibility, Bowers confesses that he’s never quite understood why such secrets are considered scandalous. “So they liked sex how they liked it. Who cares?”

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