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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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How many women did Warren Beatty really sleep with?

Peter Biskind's new biography of Warren Beatty, "Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America," hasn't even hit bookstore shelves yet. But it's already caused an uproar after the New York Post started running some juicy excerpts from the book focusing on Topic A: Exactly how many women did the famous Hollywood lothario actually sleep with?

Warren-beatty According to Biskind, who caused a similar media maelstrom with his 1998 book, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" -- about the excesses of '60s filmmakers -- it wasn't all that hard, based on "simple arithmetic," to come up with a perfectly plausible guesstimate. According to the Post, Biskind estimates the bedded-by-Beatty women figure at "12,775, give or take, a figure that does not include daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on." (If anyone can offer a good definition of what might constitute a Warren Beatty "drive-by," we'd love to hear it.)

Biskind's literary formula, judging from his previous books, is pretty simple, combining a shrewd analysis of the filmmaking process with salacious insider stories about sexual adventures and assorted misbehavior. Judging from the Post excerpts, there is plenty of the latter. One offers a glimpse of the young Beatty's affair with Joan Collins, whom he took up with after dumping Jane Fonda. Collins complained about Beatty's insatiable sex drive. As Biskind writes:

"One Sunday morning, exhausted, Collins stumbled out of bed. Dragging on a forbidden cigarette, she said, 'I don't think I can last much longer. He never stops -- it must be all those vitamins he takes. ... In a few years, I'll be worn out.' Later, a skeptic asked her if they really had sex seven times a day. She replied, 'Maybe he did, but I just lay there.' "

Needless to say, Beatty, now a happily married 72-year-old pater familias, hasn't been taking all of this lying down. Hollywood super lawyer Bert Fields, acting on Beatty's behalf, has popped up, loudly denying that Biskind's book was authorized in any way by the veteran movie star. (Not that anyone who has ever met Beatty would ever imagine in a million years that Beatty would ever authorize a tell-all book about his life.) Still, Fields has worked up quite a head of steam, going on the offensive by telling the Huffington Post that "Mr. Biskind's tedious and boring book ... contains many false assertions and purportedly quotes Mr. Beatty as saying things he never said."

I have two thoughts on this whole issue. First off, if Fields thinks that tossing out the words "tedious" and "boring" will stop people from trolling through the book, eager to soak up all the good, sexy tall tales, I suspect he is sorely underestimating the libido of the American nonfiction reader. And secondly, if that 12,775 figure is correct, imagine how good the late NBA great Wilt Chamberlain must be feeling right now. After all, it was Chamberlain who once famously boasted about having sex with 20,000 women. If even Beatty can't top that mark, then Chamberlain's bedded-by record, along with his career points scored totals, remain records that may never be broken.   

  

 
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12,775 women (presumably not including repeats). My, my. No wonder he looks like a squeezed-out toothpaste tube now.

This dim bulb Beatty wasted his whole life being a fool for and being used by women. Warren is poosy whipped but he thinks he's cool.

Holy Chlamydia, Batman!

OK ... this is nothing to brag about ... Mr. Beatty almost certainly has genital herpes. Do the math, it isn't a stretch at all.

He puts his wife at risk and should his wife become pregnant and acquire the infection in her third trimester, there is a serious risk of brain damage or death to the baby. This isn't cute or admirable. It's simply stupid.

He also, very very likely has acquired the human papilloma virus and again, this "sexual hero" is now putting his wife at risk for cervical cancer.

Why this kind of promiscuity is glamorized is beyond me. In the days before antibiotics, this kind of behavior usually resulted in a terrible and early death from complications related to untreated syphilis and or gonorrhea. This generation has been spared only because we have antibiotics.

The increasing rates of antibiotic resistance should be a serious concern. One in four US teen age girls now has an STD. What if we lose the battle against infectious diseases ? It may only be a matter of time. Dear readers educate yourselves - this is well documented medical information available to anyone.

I do not admire Mr. Beatty. I simply pity his utter foolishness.

12775, thats a different woman every single day for 35 years straight.

Very few of the women that Warren Beatty slept with can recall the encounters , unless they were awaken by his loud snoring.

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons' new bestseller "The Book of Basketball" repeatedly hints that Wilt Chamberlain made up the 20,000 number to cover up that he was gay.

Simmons asks: How often did you see Wilt with a woman?

Personally, the only time I ever saw Wilt, he was alone, driving his purple Bentley down Ocean Blvd. in Santa Monica, shirtless, with the Bentley's top down.

On the other hand, I have a hard time imagining the world's most conspicuous celebrity having a discrete secret life in West Hollywood after spending all day playing volleyball on the beach in Santa Monica.

Surely, some LA Times readers can shed some light on Simmons' allegation?

Wilt Chamberlain is the 4th all time NBA points scorer, not 1st. Not a bad article up until that pretty big error.

Here are the lyrics from Leporello's 'Catalog Aria' which he sings in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Yes, that translates to Don Juan. Note that the count falls short of Beatty's, but then maybe it was considered outrageous enough at the time:

My dear lady, this is a list
Of the beauties my master has loved,
A list which I have compiled.
Observe, read along with me.
In Italy, six hundred and forty;
In Germany, two hundred and thirty-one;
A hundred in France; in Turkey, ninety-one;
In Spain already one thousand and three.
Among these are peasant girls,
Maidservants, city girls,
Countesses, baronesses,
Marchionesses, princesses,
Women of every rank,
Every shape, every age...

Total score: A mere 2065, and we're talking about Don Juan! I guess even he was a slacker compared to Warren Beatty. Although maybe you get extra points for countesses and princesses.

By the way, you can find performances of this aria on You-Tube if you're interested in hearing it.

 
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