Thanks to the nice reader who sent this via email — with the subject line “Holy crap!”
He and Naomi have been faithfully attending Catholic Mass on Sundays ever since, and as the book title states, Joe carries the cross down the aisle. He asserts his nonconformity, however, by wearing jeans and Rolling Stones T-shirts when he does it. Despite the rebel attire, he says he carries the cross with more reverence than most.
Eszterhas still presents himself as a radical tough. He has long hair and a motorcycle-gang beard–the sort of hair that looks bad enough at age 33 and positively absurd at 53. He has been known to bring a wooden stick into meetings, then smash it on the table when he’s angry. He has turned his private life into fodder for his myth. In 1994, when Sharon Stone took up with a producer named Bill McDonald, McDonald’s wife Naomi Baka took refuge with Eszterhas and his wife of 24 years. Eszterhas promptly left his wife and their two kids for Baka. Then, according to press reports, he signed a contract with Vanity Fair to tell all about the sordid affair.
In the publicity leading up to the release of Showgirls, Eszterhas gave interview after interview about the importance of the movie, of its deep moral message, its serious purpose. He even called it–this T & A sleazefest about a Vegas stripper–“a deeply religious experience.”
Eszterhas is reminiscent of Playboy‘s Hugh Hefner: They share the same exaggerated sense of importance, the same pontificating humorlessness about their ridiculous jobs.