Let's play the feud!
We love surly girls. And we love a good feud--nothing is more exciting than two well-matched opponents going at it. Jackie was no saint, she drank, she swore, and she'd mix it up with anyone who tried to mess with her. Here's a handy primer compiled from Barbara Seaman's bioLovely Meto some of her more notable bouts--
Douglas Watt--A drama reviewer for the Daily News who gave Lovely Me (a play co-written by Jackie) an absolutely savage trashing. One night at Sardi's Jackie ran into Mr. Watt outside the Men's room, asked if he was Douglas Watt then hauled off and slugged him in the face. TKO
Johnny Carson--Carson was amusing a group at restaurant with some card tricks when Jackie turned to him and snapped that he wasn't the slightest bit funny.Carson insulted her and Jackie tossed her black Russian in his face. Carson reportedly had to be restrained from assaulting Susann and was finally evicted from the establishment. He refused to book her on his show, but Jackie got the last laugh after her book sales were so huge and she became such a phenomenon that Carson had to invite her onto the show. 3 Stars
Truman Capote--On the Johnny Carson show he called her a truck driver in drag and then apologized to truck drivers. Jackie's only acknowledgement of Capote's remarks came when Carson later asked her on his show what she thought of Truman and she responded that she thought he was a fine president. Truman--TKO. Susann-- 2 Barbed Tongues.
Berney Geis--The only of Jackie's feuds to be settled in a courtroom. Jackie accused Geis (the publisher of Valley of the Dolls and Everynight, Josephine) of withholding money from her and wanted out of her contract with him. After much bile from both sides, Geis hinted that Jackie did not write VotD and refused to let her go, they drunkenly agreed to settle the matter by having a peeing contest at a restaurant to see who could pee further. The outcome of the contest is unknown but Jackie did win the lawsuit and Geis went out of business a short time later. 3 Rolls of Toilet Paper.
Irving Mansfield--Her publicist husband who one night bore the brunt of Jackie's incredible fury when he tried to take his tipsy wife home whilst she was in the throes of a wild lust for Ethel Merman. Jackie ended up turning over a dinner table on him and screaming at him to get lost moments before following the Merm back to her apartment where she was denied entrance and created yet another scene by yelling at the door "Ethel I love you" until the cops had to called. 3 Stars for the table tipping but minus 6 Stars for major denial.
Ethel Merman--After that night, Jackie spent years attacking Merman in the press and gossiping visciously about Merman's inability to land a "real" boyfriend. 1 Barbed Tongue
Norman Mailer--In Once is Not Enough, she painted him as a hideously behaved over-blown writer called Tom Colt who had to write his sexual fantasies because he was both impotent and underendowed. 2 Poison Pens
Gore Vidal--Remarked that Ms. Susann did not "write, she types." Susann did not offer a response to this one except to say that "to many men write for critics. I will not write for men with pipes and patches on their sleeves. I write for the public." Vidal--10s across the board...Jackie was a busy best-selling authoress so she had to let a few things slip here and there, but she would have had her revenge had she lived a bit longer.