Does John Dean Finally Know Who Deep Throat Is?

Does John Dean Finally Know Who Deep Throat Is?

Does John Dean Finally Know Who Deep Throat Is?
An email conversation about the news of the day.
June 4 2002 2:59 PM

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You did say that plagiarism was like shoplifting yesterday. I just reread it, and I can't believe you said it. You didn't say it flat out, but you definitely said it. This morning I looked at Winona in the newspaper and thought to myself, shoplifting is a lot like plagiarism. I was incredibly proud of the insight. I was thrilled with it. Then I wrote it to you, and it turns out it was your idea in the first place. So what does that make me? Don't tell me.

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Thanks for asking about my play. It is not a musical. I always have to say that. It has music and songs, but it's not a musical. It was, however, identified as a musical in Variety some months ago, and since then almost everyone who's written about it calls it a musical, and then I call them and pathetically say, but it's not a musical. I mean, a musical about Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy is a fairly ridiculous idea. Anyway, the play (which has music) is about these two women, who barely knew one another but were rivals for years, constantly taking little jabs at one another. Then, when McCarthy was 67 and Hellman 74, McCarthy appeared on television and called Hellman a liar. "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the,' " McCarthy said. Hellman sued her for libel and asked for more than $2 million in damages. The lawsuit became a kind of dance of death. I've always been fascinated by them and with the idea that these two women, who wrote so much and lived such full lives having nothing to do with one another, ended up tied together, each the third paragraph in the other's obituary. And that's one of the things the play's about. It begins rehearsals in August, opens at the Globe Theatre in San Diego in September, and if all goes well, it will open on Broadway in December. Dec. 12. Save the date. But in pencil.

As for the Larry McMurtry project, I'm about to start writing the script with my sister Delia, based on his book Desert Rose. I've always loved the book, and it takes place in one of my favorite places, Las Vegas.

As for John Dean, does he finally know who Deep Throat is? I have no idea, but if memory serves (and it rarely does), this is not the first time John Dean's claimed to know who Deep Throat is. I think he once suggested it was Al Haig. Presumably he's come to his senses. When I was married to Carl Bernstein, he never told me who Deep Throat was, and he was certainly right not to since I would have told the world by now. But I always believed Deep Throat was in the FBI and was probably Mark Felt, then the No. 3 man in the bureau. A few years ago, someone at ABC claimed Deep Throat was L. Patrick Gray, then the No. 2 man. That seemed possible, too.

And to answer your final question of the day, about me and Eminem. To the best of my knowledge, I have never heard Eminem. I was considering listening to him, and then one of my kids said to me, "He's politically incorrect, he's really good, and the world doesn't need you to have a moral opinion about him, Mom."

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You never told me the l9th century was involved in your novel. What about it?

Nora Ephron is a screenwriter and director. Her films include Sleepless in Seattle, Michael,and You've Got Mail.