More Love in L.A.: Chapter 13
Anytime Eric or I had a question about the film or Felipe, we naturally called Pam. She always had the scoop. Unfortunately, when it came to the new tabloid scandal, she was clueless. We all knew that Felipe was not gay, and wondered why someone would leak such silly lies to the press. Who would be mad enough at Felipe to do such a thing? I started making a mental list of people that should be pissed at Felipe right now and could think of no one except Eric and maybe that guy Sigebert who was out of a job in a big movie.
I called some of my contacts at the tabloids and started doing a little digging around and sure enough, I got an unofficial confirmation that Sigebert may have leaked the story. I went on the internet and read all I could find about the movie Felipe had produced in which the brothers starred. I wondered who would know the real dirt. Again, I called Pam because she knew the most of anyone else in that office. While I had her on the phone I suddenly had an idea. “Pam, can you find out who Felipe’s assistant was on that gladiator movie?”
“I don’t see why not. Let me make a few calls.”
By the end of the day I had a meeting scheduled with Victor’s former assistant.
The following morning I met Sandy Sechrest for coffee at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She was now a successful producer herself and had nothing but praise to offer about Felipe. I may have fudged a touch and led her to believe that I was Felipe’s publicist and was trying to fix the tabloid scandal. She wanted nothing more than to help Felipe in any way she could. She insisted that there was no truth to the gay rumor, and we both agreed that whoever planted that story had a bone to pick with Felipe and it was personal. I casually asked if she knew anything about Felipe’s relationship with Sigebert and she said that poor Sigebert was having such a hard time getting work and had gone through a terrible depression after his brother’s death. He had called her several times and asked for meetings regarding work on her current project and swore that he was now clean and sober, but there were simply no parts in her film for him and she told him she would keep him in mind for future projects. He asked if he could have that in writing and she kind of got the creeps from the way he said it. She said that he seemed kind of threatening to her and she hardly knew him. She could only imagine how much he must have pressured Felipe because they were fairly close after shooting the gladiator film. Before we parted she said, “You know. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but Felipe and I actually dated briefly.”
“Really? Is that a secret?”
“Not at all. That’s why I thought you may have already known about it.”
“So, you’d be comfortable talking about it publicly?”
I thanked her for her time and went back to my office and made a plan to find Sigebert myself.
The following day I had a lunch meeting with Sigebert. He recognized me from my own tabloid scandal and I explained that I was Eric’s girlfriend but that I was also a publicist at Herveaux Public Relations. I told him the truth—that I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on with Felipe and him and the film. Surprisingly, he was really a nice guy and openly discussed the situation once I’d told him that I knew he was the source of the gay tabloid scandal. He had fallen on hard times and was having trouble getting work and first asked Felipe for a part in the vampire film. When he said no, Sigebert got desperate and threatened to blackmail Felipe if he didn’t write him a part.
“Blackmail him with what?”
“Well, that’s the funny thing. I don’t actually have anything on Felipe. He’s squeaky clean and a decent guy as far as I can tell. But I told him that my brother Wybert had told me something that I would use against him, but I was completely bluffing. It spooked him enough though and before I knew it, he had written me a part and we were scheduling the shoot. Unfortunately, your boyfriend wasn’t on board with the changes to his film and Felipe canned him. But then the studio wouldn’t approve the re-shoot anyway and the part went away. I was so pissed. I fell off the wagon and got really drunk and I know it was shitty of me, but I just lost it and that’s when I called the tabloids and told them that Felipe was gay. I’m sorry now that I did it. I was just so frustrated and mad at the time, and drunk, but I know that’s not an excuse. I could take it back now, but you and I both know that my retraction would never make the front page or really maybe any page at all.”
“You know what, let me worry about that. Would you be willing to take it back?”
“Yes, I would. I really do feel bad about it. Felipe’s a nice guy and my brother thought he hung the moon.”
“I’ll call you later and let you know what I need from you, okay?”
“Okay. You know I hear really good things about Eric Northman’s work. I know he’ll be fine in spite of what just happened at Paramount. Talent’s talent. He’ll land on his feet. I’m sorry that I may have had a part in why he was fired.”
“I’ll tell you what. Fix this mess you’ve made and I’ll tell him that you’re a stand up guy. I’m not saying he’ll give you a part or even a reading, but it’s a place to start. I know he’s got a bright future and there will be more films. But you can’t go around threatening people to get work.”
“I know, I know. Like I said, I am sorry.”
I left feeling more than a twinge of guilt, knowing that I myself had used a form of blackmail to get Victor Madden on Eric’s first film. This sure is a strange town and a crazy business. I wasn’t sure how happy I was that I seemed to be learning how it worked so quickly and that I was fitting right in.
Things at home were going great in spite of Eric’s losing his job. He and I had spent every night together since he had recovered all of his memory and he was so sweet to me. He had started writing a script, expanding a story he had started in film school and when he mentioned once that he was really still burned about Felipe I told him that it wasn’t over ’til it’s over. He didn’t know that I’d already started the wheels turning to get to the bottom of things and hopefully to get him his job back so he would get credit for all of his hard work.
Maybe it was because I had just gone through the trauma of losing my memory not once but twice and also recovering from being shot by a stalker, but I was taking the loss of my film fairly well. I felt like I had learned a lot about what was really important, and what mattered the most to me was Sookie. I could always get another film or at the very least another job, but what I had found and then rediscovered with Sookie was what was really important. I wanted to be with her every night and was more determined than ever to marry her. Of course, I needed to make more money, but there were always other ways to make money. Rather than dwelling on the lost film, I decided to make my own work and started writing again. I pulled out an old script idea and poured myself into that and was really enjoying it. And, of course I was really enjoying Sookie as well.