Crazy town, crazy people Part 2

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Kelly Lange was a coast-to-coast TV super news star

Exorcist movie director William Friedkin scares the life out of ROGER TAVENER when he finds him at home with his wife.

I’m pretty sure I met top US news anchor Kelly Lange at a showbiz shindig in New Orleans.

She gave me her number in LA and said to call when I was next in town.

I did. Well you would, wouldn’t you?

There’s going to be a story in there somehow and maybe some friends with benefits add-ons. This is Hollywood after all.

Kelly is the first female nightly news presenter in LA and a coast-to-coast super news star. Smart, sassy and sexy. And she's got contacts to die for.

Quite why she's interested in me... I really don’t know. Or care. Just do it and see where it ends up.

The bonus is she's married to legendary movie director William Friedkin — The Exorcist, French Connection et al.

He's previously been hitched to French sex symbol Jeanne Moreau (MIA last year) and British rose Lesley-Anne Down.

I didn’t know his relationship with Kelly was about to hit the rocks. Maybe I was the final straw. They divorced a few months after I bumped into him in his kitchen in 1990...

So I made the Kelly call. We had lunch and a few drinks and she suggested I come back to her place and meet ‘Bill’.

I knew he wasn’t over-keen on journalists despite marrying one — although maybe that fuelled his distaste for the ‘profession.’

He very rarely gave interviews. So words with him would be good, especially as The Exorcist, banned for years from video release, was about to be freely available on tape.

He’d always resisted cutting the scariest film ever made. He wouldn’t let the censor touch it either.

But now the most horrifying film ever would terrify a whole new generation.

So me and Kelly are nice and cosy in the sprawling Friedkin kitchen overlooking the City of Angels.

After an hour Bill bursts in with a "What the fuck's going on here?" face. And attitude. Very scary.

Don’t worry. I’ve been there myself. I do understand.

I look guilty, although nothing’s happened.

Bill's head is spinning round like Linda Blair's in the movie. And if he could vomit green bile over me, I’m fucking sure he would.

Kelly stammers something about the young English journalist wanting to interview him.

Bill isn’t at all impressed. Or convinced. He stomps around.

It was a very tense “interview”, lasting about 15 ice-cold minutes. I couldn’t wait to exorcise myself to the nearest bar.

But I did manage to extract a great exclusive that he was back in the horror business working on movie The Guardian starring Jenny Seagrove as a  devilish nanny.

Then Jenny was the darling of Brit TV after starring in A Woman of Substance.

Front page pic. Turn to page 3. Thank you very much.

The Daily Mail is mortified.  It considered the actress their property. Ha-ha scooped again. The Express loves turning over the rival. Not in the same league any more sadly.

I can only imagine the horrific conversations that night in the Friedkin home. And they were soon to go their separate ways.

Bill married movie mogul Sherry Lansing the next year. That’s Hollywood for you. Nobody hangs around.

Kelly never remarried, but went on to become a best-selling author.

I got an exclusive.

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre