Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scoundel of the Month - Royal Cad: James Hewitt

As I watched the royal wedding coverage last week, there were the usual suspects amongst the commentators, Tina Brown (now Editor in Chief of Newsweek), Ingrid Seward (MAJESTY Magazine), Robert Jobson and Katie Nicholls (Daily Mail). But who else should turn up like the proverbial bad penny? Why, it’s James Hewitt cashing in on the royal wedding by sitting down to have a chat with INSIDE EDITION. Yes, the same man that Princess Diana famously declared in the PANORAMA interview, “I adored him, I loved him but I was very let down.”

The ‘comeback cad’ as he’s been dubbed by the tabloid press cheekily gave the royal couple his approval. He also promoted the lavish Royal-themed day complete with a big screen TV showing the ceremony at his bar The Polo House at Marbella, Spain where he’s been living since 2007. “I think it’s great William thought long and hard about the decision. They tend to these things more sensibly these days. I haven’t gotten around to sending them a letter yet but I suspect I will,’ he told INSIDE EDITION. I’m sure that William and Kate are waiting with bated breath to get that letter. In reference to William and Harry he added, “I don’t keep in touch with the boys. I tend to have moved on and I look on my life in a slightly different way.”

Seriously I didn’t know whether to laugh or throw things at my TV when he said that. Hewitt, who is now almost 53, has been living off his five year affair with the Princess of Wales ever since he retired from the army 17 years ago. After the driving range he opened failed, he not only collaborated with Anna Pasternak on the execrable PRINCESS IN LOVE for which he was paid $300,000, but he also gave an exclusive interview in the tabloid The News of the World is said to have brought him almost $2 Million. Since then he’s written two other memoirs where he shared further titillating tidbits about their affair. Called ‘the Love Rat,’ his revelations made him persona non grata amongst their social set. Hewitt tried to rejuvenate his reputation by appearing on various reality TV shows over the years (Wikipedia has a list of all the shows. You can them out here). Heck, it was a way to make a living; although he turned down an offer to do I’m A Celebrity, Get Me out of Here. One could almost admire him for pulling himself up by his bootstraps and trying to turn his life around.

But it was his attempt to sell 64 handwritten letters from Diana for $10 million in 2002 that really turned the media and the establishment against him. Hewitt claimed that they were ‘important historical documents,’ and that he ‘couldn’t afford to keep them anymore.’ Both Christies and Sotheby’s auction house refused to have anything to do with the sale. When he was asked if he felt that he was betraying the Princess, Hewitt said, ‘I don’t think I’ve betrayed her. I was utterly faithful to her when she was alive. I’ve been utterly faithful since she sadly is no longer with us.’ Apparently he has a different idea of what faithful means than other people. Even Prince Charles has been more faithful to Diana's memory than this guy.

He made an appearance on Larry King Live where he claimed that his affair with the Princess did Prince Charles a favor because it took the heat off his own relationship with Camilla. “I think Charles was probably grateful someone was looking after his wife,” he admitted to Larry King. He dug the hole deeper by admitting that “I’d like the letters to go for as much as they could possibly get.” When he was asked how Diana’s children felt about his selling such personal letters, he spat back: “I wouldn’t tell them what to do with their own private property and I don’t expect them to tell me either.” Ooh, Mr. Sensitive! (FYI- He was never able to sell the letters, and now he claims that he never will).

If it hadn’t been for his affair with Princess Diana, Hewitt’s life might have taken a different turn. Hewitt was a war veteran with 17 years of service in the Life Guards, a Calvary regiment charged with guarding the Sovereign. The grandson and son of army officers, he was born in 1958, 3 years before the late Princess. Although not a scholar, he seems to have shined only in the saddle, Hewitt went to Sandhurst, before being commissioned in the Life Guards. He met the Princess at a party in Mayfair in 1986. After only five years of marriage and 2 children, her marriage to Prince Charles was in trouble. They had just famously spent 39 days apart at the time that she met James Hewitt. In 1987 Diana hired him as a riding instructor for both her and the two young princes. The affair lasted five years until 1992 when Hewitt was posted to Germany and was no longer readily available.

Claiming that there was nothing left for him in Britain, Hewitt fled to the sunnier shores of Marbella. The more sordid truth is that Hewitt had been arrested for possession of cocaine (He was later let off with a caution) and had a rather nasty run with the Inland Revenue for failing to file his taxes for several years. According to the Daily Mail four years ago he was said to owe £2.2 million in outstanding tax to the Inland Revenue, with another £500,000 in accrued interest and surcharges, although Hewitt suggested the figure was 'nonsense' and that his debt was 'more like a hundredth of that'. Anyway, now Hewitt says he has settled it. Then there was the incident where it was revealed that he’d signed up with an online service called, where he sent explicit pictures of himself to strangers. After several years under the harsh Marbella sun, he now suffers now from hyperpigmentation.

Watching him on INSIDE EDITION last week, one could almost feel sorry for the man. Hewitt, the once dashing army officer with a full head of red hair and a well-muscled body, now looks like a rather sad aging rouĂ©. He talked of how he considered shooting himself on a trip to France after the end of his affair with Diana. It was only his mother’s insistence on traveling with him that changed his mind. He insists that he still misses her. “I think we all miss her,” he said. “But I’ve tried to move on with my life.” Yeah, he’s moved on unless there’s money involved. Then he’s quite happy to talk about their relationship ad nauseum. And then there is the Harry rumor which will never go away no matter how often Hewitt denies it (he actually seemed surprised that the reporter from INSIDE EDITION brought it up).

Look, on the one hand, why shouldn’t he make money off his relationship since everyone else who worked for Diana has done so, including Ken Wharfe, her royal protection officer, and Patrick Jephson her former press secretary. Not to mention Paul Burrell, her ‘rock’ who has made a career out of being her former butler. The difference is they just worked for Diana. Hewitt's revelations seem more like a betrayal because the relationship was so much more intimate, they were in love. He comes across as smarmy instead of sincere.

Most important of all: An officer and a gentleman does not kiss and tell.

Sources: The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, BBC News


Evangeline Holland said...

He's really pathetic, but an interesting character study...

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I tried to feel sorry for him but a lot of the stories and the interviews that I read made it really hard to. He's just not a gentleman.

Enid Wilson said...

He deserves a big yuck!

Chemical Fusion

Marilyn Braun said...

Whenever I think of him and Paul Burrell (which is rare) I just find them both sad and pathetic. Paul at least started out well and with some class - his book In the Royal Manner is very good. Then once he was arrested it all went downhill and downright creepy.

At least Ken Wharf and Patrick Jepson have some semblance of credibility. The only man who doesn't seem to have let her down is her last love Hasnat Khan. That's a gentleman.