Interview 39

"In Hawaii I am creating a family of my own"
(July 2007)

Together with his younger life partner the star of "The Thorn Birds" is realizing an extraordinary project on the island he has chosen for his home.

For several years Richard Chamberlain has been living in Hawaii. His life partner, the film producer Martin Rabbett, has taken over several of his obligations by becoming his manager and dealing with professional matters. Chamberlain for his part has adopted the Hawaiian placid ways and enjoys life. His house is decorated with fine wooden furniture. He likes plain designs, Asian details, candles and Buddha sculptures. He reads the books written by the Dalai Lama which for him are a "source of wisdom and inspiration". In the past he often moved from one place to another within the archipelago. But now the Hollywood star has moved to Maui to start a project he had been dreaming of for a long time: "to create a family". A special extended family!

Who will be part of your family?

Close friends. Each one of us will live in his own villa on our big estate, have his own private and totally independent space. The doctor will live next to the artist, the politician next to the free thinker, a variegated bunch of people. But we will be a family, we will talk, discuss and help one another.

In other words an upstanding housing community for seniors?

Well yes, we all belong to the same generation. There is not enough warmth and too much anonymity between people. Here we have created a small space where things work differently and we are very proud of it.

Have you completely abandoned acting?

I still act in films and series but these last years I was very busy with my personal development. My book "Shattered Love" was part of it.

You outed yourself in this book. Were you ever afraid of AIDS?

I wasn't. I have had only one relationship and have always been faithful to Martin.

Aren't you worried about the fact that Martin is 20 years younger than you are?

Not at all, Martin and I share everything - our finances, our job. Together we have achieved a lot.

Were you bothered by the worldwide discussion on your sexuality?

I wasn't, I fostered it myself yet I am grateful it is no longer a topic in the media. I do not need to justify myself, it was a personal decision. Martin and I are partners and we made public a relationship that had been known for a long time by our friends and our acquaintances. And by the way by a great number of fans as well.

Didn't you disappoint a great number of female fans?

I don't think so. Of course there were unpleasant reactions too, but they were an exception. I am grateful for the support and loyalty of my fans. I still receive many letters especially from Germany. "The Thorn Birds" are incredibly popular in your country. Quite amazing!

In your book you wrote about your childhood

Yes, I did. My childhood was not always nice. I especially suffered under my father ("Chuck" Chamberlain had been an alcoholic, he later became a speaker for AA). But isn't it amazing, when I now think of my childhood I see things differently. I understand it better. These were different times, it was a different generation. My parents could not act differently. There were nice moments too.

Did you talk it out with your father?

When my father passed away in 1984 we were not enemies. We were in contact till the end.

(This article is courtesy of Christel & Berit. It as been professionally translated from German into English and is © 2007 MC. This translation may not be reproduced partly or fully without the prior permission of MC.)