Monday, September 27, 2010

My interview on page 6, of the New York Post. Not too happy with the spin they put on my great-uncle's life.

Cosmetics king's secret life

Maybelline founder Tom Lyle Williams kept his homosexuality under wraps -- even from his own family, says Sharrie Williams in her book "The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It." Lyle founded Maybelline in 1915 and was a reclusive figure until his death in 1976. Though Tom Lyle married a woman and fathered a child at 16, he was gay and had a 50 year romance with advertising executive Emery Shaver. To hide his lifestyle, Tom Lyle eventually bought Rudolph Valentino's villa in Hollywood, and planted hundreds of palm trees around the property so he could run the Maybelline empire from protected confines. "It was never discussed," said Williams of her uncle. "We didn't think anything of it, when he had his own makeup on. We just thought he was a glamorous man. We adored him so much that it wouldn't have mattered." Shaver died of a massive heart attack in 1964, after which Tom Lyle fell into a deep depression.
Read more: Posted on page 6, September 24, 2010 in New York Post archives...

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