According to Peter Biskind's new book about actor Warren Beatty, the screen lothario has allegedly had "flings with approximately 12,775 women."
Approximately 12,775 women? Approximately? That sounds like a pretty specific count to me.* It's not like you can narrow it down to 12,775.5 women, especially given Biskind's clarification that the number doesn't include "daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on." Given that statement and assuming Beatty's "casual gropings" average would be comparable to his actual "scoring" average, this leaves open the possibility that the complete number is well above 20,000. It also means that "fling" is a well-defined term in Biskind's tome. I wonder if there's a checklist: "Dinner? Check. Sex? Check. Flowers and poetic break-up note? Check. Cab? Check."
Now, even if we stick to the "approximate" 12,775, that still calculates to 35 years of one "fling" per day. Warren Beatty is 72 years old. So, if the allegations are true, at the very least he's had a fling with a different woman on average every other day since the age of two.
Is this even possible. I mean, even if Warren Beatty were the vain, immoral, creepy sociopath some have suggested; even if he is the chap in the Carly Simon song "You're So Vain;" even if he's possessed by the spirits of Don Juan, Casanova, Wilt Chamberlain, and the late President Kennedy simultaneously, is it physically possible that he's been that busy? Wouldn't he need the occasional celibate weekend to recover his mojo, replentish personal bodily fluids, or to refresh whatever alien blood courses through his extraterrestial veins?
More to the point, are there really 12,775 different women who couldn't see through lines like "I'm a movie star, baby...how about you and me do a love scene?" Sure, maybe 6,000 or so wine-cooler addled groupies, but over 12K? Wouldn't the word have gotten around just a bit at Hollywood cocktail parties? Wouldn't they have noticed the other women disappearing behind the hors d'ouvres table with Warren?
I would also like to suggest that given we are speaking of averages, Mr. Beatty's numbers are quite likely to have declined a bit once he hit his sixties, not to mention after his marriage to Annette Benning (one would hope). This means that in his younger days his bedroom would have to have had a revolving door to keep the pace up.
Also, what of sexually transmitted disease? Was the man on a constant penicillin drip? Did he travel with a U-Haul trailer full of prophylactics hitched on to whatever 60's era van he tooled around in (no pun intended)? Does he have a personal physician who manages a quick blood test of every prospective conquest? ("Mr. Beatty is so completely enamored with you that he requires a vial of your blood as a token of your everlasting love, and he'll be with you in just about 20-40 minutes depending on how fast the results come back.")
Among Beatty's reported paramours are Madonna, Julie Christie, Jane Fonda, and Joan Collins. No word on whether they were all in the same room at the same time.
It all beggars the imagination, except for, possibly, that of Peter Biskind. One can only hope that the book isn't too detailed. ("Day One: Mary Sue, Ginger, and Nanny Marjorie.")
Mr. Beatty's lawyer has denied Biskind's claims, which is an unsurprising but sensible response. The kind of behaviour described is reprehensibly irresponsible. Even American frat guys are sitting around thinking, "What kind of crack was that dude on?" Somewhere, Austin Powers is thinking, "The chap's a desperate shagaholic!"
Still, maybe somewhere Tiger Woods is reading about Beatty and thinking, "there but for the grace of God..."
*It's enough to make you wonder if there were receipts.