Taki

Sex, lies and videotape

Broadsides from the pirate captain of the Jet Set

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New York

Except for the people, this is a wonderful time of year to be in the Bagel. Summer’s blistering heat has gone the way of Britain’s Davis Cup hopes — tiny Austria, using natives, has just eliminated big-bully Britain, which was using Gurkhas like Rusedski — the days are getting shorter but crisper, and Mother Nature is putting on quite a display of colours. Shades of yellow, red and gold, and orange are the order of the day. Autumn is by far the most colourful time of the year in the Bagel. It also inspires people.

Take, for example, Paris Hilton, the monosyllabic hotel heiress. She has just joined Flaubert, Charles Spencer (Diana’s little brother) and Papa Hemingway as an author. The opus is titled Confessions of an Heiress, and its style makes it obvious that Paris had Teddy Kennedy take her English high-school exams for her.

‘Never be too easy,’ she advises; ‘play hard to get.’ This is excellent advice, reminiscent of that last, wonderful book of Lavrenti Beria How to Make People Love You. Alas, there are threats of a lawsuit. Paris has been videotaped doing what comes naturally, and some bore has brought up truth in advertising and all that.

Mind you, Paris is not alone. Gloria Vanderbilt, too, has joined the ranks of the immortals. (Eat your heart out, Michel Deon.) Gloria has written about her past lovers, who include many stars such as Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Claus von B