Richard Chamberlain is Gay
(April 24, 1990)
Shocking published reports from Paris to Hollywood claim Richard Chamberlain has come out of the closet to admit he's gay. The mini-series king – who once played lady-killer Casanova – is quoted in the French magazine Nous Deux as saying: "I've had enough pretending, and it's too bad for people who are upset by it."
According to the article, 55-year-old Chamberlain also:
Names his gay lover of 12 years as actor Martin Rabbett, and days they are building a house together.
Reveals that his long-time friend, John Allison, died of AIDS in 1986.
Says that he's tested HIV negative and doesn't have AIDS.
In addition, we have learned that Rabbett and Chamberlain have shared an address for years – and that half of a dream house being built by Chamberlain is in Rabbett's name.
The report in Nous Deux shocked Hollywood's entertainment and gay communities when they reprinted in the March 28 issue of Update, Southern California's oldest gay publication.
Update quoted Elizabeth Taylor as saying she was pleased Chamberlain had come out of the closet and hoped other stars would follow suit.
In 1986, after the death of his friend Allison, Chamberlain reportedly told Liz that he would donate 10 percent of his income to AIDS research. The actress is national chairperson of the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
The Update article in Los Angeles also announced that Chamberlain "has now told the world what those in the entertainment industry have known for over 25 years – that he's gay."
Chamberlain's publicist angrily denies he's a homosexual.
Annett Wolf says: "there's absolutely no truth to the statements. I've worked with Mr. Chamberlain for six years and there's nothing to this whatsoever. He is heterosexual."
"Richard is appalled this is being reported in the gay newspapers. Richard is shocked that everyone's running this. Richard is not gay, and never talked to anybody. It's simply not true."
Update claims Chamberlain's gay lifestyle was nearly exposed in 1965 after actress Yvette Mimieux, working with him on the set of Joy In The Morning, found out he was gay."
"Shortly after filming began, the set seethed with hostility. Mimieux began making disparaging comments about Chamberlain's manhood to anyone within earshot."
"Her very vocal homophobia became the talk of the studio and eventually was reported in newspaper gossip columns without revealing Chamberlain's identity," the Update article says.
"Chamberlain, to his credit, remained aloof, and what could have become a career-ruining scandal did not hurt his public popularity."
Neither Yvette Mimieux nor her agent could be reached for comment.
Pat Burke, editor of Update, said: "We fleshed out the story in Nous Deux with background on Chamberlain that they did not have. One of our reporters, Harold Fairbanks, who is an expert on Hollywood, had this information on Mimieux and Chamberlain. We held this until the actor openly admitted that he was gay."
"It's been around in Hollywood that Chamberlain has been gay for more than 25 years. But he was never part of the pack with Sal Mineo and that whole crowd."
For the past 12 years, Chamberlain has split his time between Los Angeles and Hawaii. Last fall, to coincide with the premiere of his CBS series, Island Son, he made the island his sole residence, selling his $2-million Beverly Hills house to actress Anjelica Huston. The series, in which he earned $100,000 an episode playing a Hawaiian doctor, was cancelled before completing its first season.
In Hawaii, Chamberlain has been living in a small Oceanside hideaway he had built 12 years ago about 30 minutes from Honolulu. It sits 20 ft. from the water's edge at the end of a small cluster of similar bungalows. About 30 minutes from that bungalow, Chamberlain has been building a mountaintop dream house for the last two years on the island of Oahu.
The house, which features ivory-coloured marble, a pool, Jacuzzi and spectacular views of Diamond Head and Waikiki, has been under construction for two years and should be completed within two months.
Records obtained by us show that half of Chamberlain's new property has been put in the name of his alleged lover, Martin Rabbet, 36.
Additional records obtained by us show that Rabbett formerly listed as his address Chamberlain's old Beverly Hills address – and had it changed four months ago to Chamberlain's Hawaiian beach cottage.
Publicist Wolf says: "Richard's not going to deny that he and Martin Rabbett are friends. They've known each other for years. But there's no personal relationship between them. I'm not going to get into any of that – whether Martin lives in Richard's house."
"and I don't care who else is saying he's gay or what's being printed in the gay newspapers or in London or wherever. All I can tell you is that Richard himself looked at the story that was printed in the French magazine and told me it was not true."
Rabbett worked with Chamberlain on Island Son. He was listed as co-executive producer and co-creator of the show.
Rabbett, who has blond hair, hazel eyes, weighs 155lbs. And is almost 6-ft. tall, told Hollywood Reporter: "Richard Chamberlain was a good friend of mine and already had a home in Honolulu. He was ready to stop globe-trotting and settle down."
"So I presented him with the idea of a show to be produced here. The show became a wonderful family-like experience."
A newspaper in London reported last October that Chamberlain met Rabbett in 1983 while filming the blockbuster TV mini-series The Thorn Birds.
"Everybody on the show knew they were lovers," a set insider told us. "But everyone respected Richard's wishes and kept it quiet."
"Richard bought Martin a black Porsche, and even though they were living in the beach house together, they made it a point to drive separate cars to work. They made it a point to leave the house at different times."
"Richard was very cautious of being too friendly with Martin on the set. They would position their chairs apart from one another, but Martin would slip into Richard's trailer for extended periods of time."
The insider says Chamberlain kept his relationship with Rabbett very secret. "Chamberlain would rarely walk on the beach with Martin for fear they might be photographed together," says the source.
When some separate photographs of Martin appeared in a London newspaper last year, Richard freaked out and tried to make his beach bungalow as secure as possible.
"He had floodlights put up and an additional security gate erected around the property."
A neighbour in Hawaii who did not want his name used told us: "We know Richard has a man living in his house. But no one cares. Different strokes for different folks."
Wolf says: "Richard is away on vacation. He doesn't want to give an interview to you or anyone."
"He's not going to make any comment on this other than what I told you. He's going to ride it out. It's a very unfortunate thing."