Veteran womaniser Beatty gets Tiger off front pages
Writer claims Warren Beatty had 12,775 lovers - excluding ‘drive-bys and gropings’
Wherever Tiger Woods is hiding - one latest report says the disgraced golfer has disappeared to Africa - he will be thanking 72-year-old Warren Beatty, or if not the actor himself, then his new biographer, Peter Biskind.
Suddenly, Tiger's 17 - or possibly 18 - mistresses look like small beer alongside the extraordinary tally of sexual encounters Biskind has come up with for the Hollywood star of Bonnie and Clyde and Shampoo (not to mention Ishtar).
Biskind, who claims to be Beatty's "official" biographer - a claim refuted by Beatty's people - estimates that the actor bedded 12,775 women before he met Annette Bening in 1991 and settled down to monogamous married life. And we are not talking about Vegas cocktail waitresses: they include Brigitte Bardot, Isabelle Adjani, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Joan Collins, Britt Ekland, Bianca Jagger... and Madonna.
Nor do these 12,775 conquests include - as Biskind puts it colourfully - "daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on".
Quite how Biskind has come up with this figure - and what he can possibly mean by a "drive-by" - is now exercising US media commentators. The general consensus is that Biskind - who until now, at least, was considered a reasonably serious writer on Hollywood - has simply added up the number of days there were between Beatty losing his virginity at 20 and the day he met Bening on the set of Bugsy and worked on the assumption that the actor bedded on average one woman a day.
Beatty's lawyer, Bertram Fields, has told the Huffington Post that Biskind's "tedious and boring book" was not authorised by his client and has accused the writer of making "many false assertions".
But according to the New York Post, which has spilled some of the beans ahead of publication of Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America at least some of Beatty's conquests have spoken to Biskind about their affairs with the actor - including the English actress Joan Collins, whom he bedded after dumping Jane Fonda.
"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.' "