HST & Friends+ HST's lady friends
+ Oscar Zeta Acosta
+ Tom Benton
+ Bill Cardoso
+ Russell Chatham
+ Warren Hinckle
+ Samuel Johnson
+ H.L. Mencken
+ Ralph Steadman
HST's Lady Friends
Page added Oct-26-99
Last updated July 2003
Behind every great man, there's a great woman, right? Or in HST's case, a very tolerant and patient one. Many people have written to me wondering who his current girlfriend is. Well, personally I don't know. There seems to be a benefit of being HST's girlfriend, and that is he will dedicate a book to you. For instance, Generation of Swine is dedicated to Maria Kahn, Campaign Trail is dedicated to his first wife, Sandra Dawn Thompson Tarlo, Better Than Sex is devoted to the mysterious Nicole, and Songs of the Doomed is lovingly inscribed to "the woman with solid gold balls" Catherine Sabonis-Chafee. In her biography, E. Jean Carroll noted that as HST gets older, his girlfriends get younger. Myself, I'm reminded of a famous scientist who dated women around the age of 26 and 27, because at that point they're like a ripe avocado (wow, how romantic!). Anyway, here's a rundown of some of the women that have shared HST's life. One person (sorry, I lost your email!) asked what it took to become HST's girlfriend - did you have to be beautiful, gun-crazy, etc (I guess those last two couldn't hurt). A 1998 issue of POV magazine might have the answer - an "exclusive" story about HST's inner workings by a former assistant.
Sandra Dawn Thompson Tarlo - I think there is enough about HST's former wife to make an entire page for her, so I'll just be brief here...quite frankly I'm happy for E. Jean Carroll's biography because Sandy is so ignored in all the others. With HST, she had numerous children, but most of them didn't live for very long, except Juan Fitzgerald. Divorce proceeding began against HST around 1978, about roughly after 14 years of tumultuous marriage. Sandy later remarried, and then divorced again. She was stunningly attractive in her youth. Many believe that HST's writing deteriorated after she left him. Many pictures of Sandy are in the E. Jean Carroll biography.
Deborah Fuller - HST's long time personal assistant and secretary. HST shot Deborah by accident in July, 2000. He meant to shoot at a bear outside her cabin, but she was hit when she opened the door. No charges were laid and Deborah recovered :-)
Lynn Nesbitt - Up until about 2002, Lynn Nesbitt was HST's literary agent. HST had a falling out with the agency and switched to The Wylie Agency.
Laila Naibulsi - petite and attractive, Laila was HST's girlfriend from about 1979-1984 and lived at Owl Farm with him. She went along for The Curse of Lono - the book is a "Laila Nabulsi Production". She produced short films for Saturday Night Live and the FLLV movie. There are pictures of her in Saturday Night and Paul Perry's biography. The FLLV press kit mentions that both Naibulsi and her mother are members of the Daughters of The American Revolution.
Maria Kahn - daughter of Frank Kahn, described in E. Jean Carroll's biography as a "red neck golf champion". She appeared in The Crazy Never Die, the half hour film about HST made by the Mitchell Brothers. She is petite, dark haired and was wearing glasses. I would peg the relationship at 1985-1989. She seemed like the quiet type. Prominently featured in Generation of Swine. In the column "Saturday Night in the City" she allegedly gets a tattoo on her back of a giant striking panther.
Catherine Sabonis-Chafee - not a whole lot is known. She lived on Owl Farm from about 1989-1991. She was quite tall and fair haired. She was at Owl Farm during HST's ill-fated "lifestyle bust" in January of 1990. There's pictures of her in E. Jean Carroll's biography. Catherine tried to convince Gail Palmer-Slater that it would be a good thing if she went in HST's hot tub.
Cheryl Della Pietra - wrote an article for POV magazine about what it was like to be an assistant for HST.
Nicole - who is Nicole? This much we know: HST's youngest brother Jim mentioned her in E. Jean Carroll's biography, which is from 1991. Better Than Sex is dedicated to her, and that was published in 1994. She was actually with HST from 1992-1994. Of Nicole, someone wrote in:
"Nicole was not with hst for a long time, but long enough. Midwestern and slightly younger than one third HST's age. Cute & petite and usually blonde. Partied like a rockstar. Discharged firearms within the house, but rarely in anger. Has since settled down into a normal life with a job, husband, etc., and is grateful to have survived the experience with sanity intact. "
Heidi - Heidi seems to be a research assistant of HST's. She is both mentioned in Anthem and several magazine stories about booksignings for The Rum Diary.
Anita Bejmuk - A long time assistant and lovingly mentioned in many Hey Rube! columns, HST and Anita wed on May 1, 2003. Her picture appears in the back of Kingdom of Fear. About a month before they were wed, Nadine, a gonzo fan who attended the NY booksigning for Kingdom of Fear "just knew" that the two were in love :-)