March 31, 2017

Carly Simon’s xHubbie Reveals He’s Always’ Being Struggling with Sexuality



Jim Hart is pictured with Carly Simon on their wedding day. 

  (COURTESY OF JIM HART)



 “Lucky Jim" is Jim Hart’s astonishingly candid account of his long, sexually fraught marriage to Carly Simon, who ended her notorious run of famous lovers with a gay man.

Not that she knew. Hart, a recovered alcoholic and struggling novelist working as an insurance broker, was in deep denial when he met Simon in 1987.
They were introduced by a friend on the platform at a train station in upstate New York.

What had to have struck Simon was Hart’s almost doppelganger resemblance to ex-husband, James Taylor. Their rock-star marriage, as much sexual fusion as anything else, had cratered four years earlier. On their first date, Hart and Simon enjoyed a cozy evening at her sprawling Central Park West apartment, ending the evening chastely with a kiss.
“She had clearly been swept away by me,” he writes.

The door had barely closed on him when Hart started envisioning the golden new life ahead that would allow him to “escape” from “the dreary, unrelenting, middle-class obsession with making a living. I was so tired of everything about my career in insurance.”

At the time, Hart was seeing three other women and had “discovered” gay phone lines. He’d taken to dropping into the gay movie house near his West Village apartment.

An evening out with Simon, though, beat all. Hart escorted her to a birthday party director Michael Nichols threw for himself at his Upper East Side townhouse. The rooms were thick with celebrities.

Harrison Ford, Paul Simon, Sigourney Weaver, Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen, Steve Martin, Richard Avedon, Rose and Bill Styron. This was Simon’s crowd — and now his.

Six months after they met, they married. He already fit comfortably into her life both in New York and Martha’s Vineyard, where their magnificent seaside home was the one she famously shared with Taylor.

Hart had grown up hardscrabble in Long Beach, N.Y., and spent years in and out of a seminary as a teenager. The trauma of life in those years was something he shared with Jackie Onassis, Carly’s good friend and, soon enough, his as well.

Jackie, Hart writes, was always eager to hear his opinions about the men in her life. But as her sixty-second birthday approached, she had a more specific male-related question to ask.

Hart recalls her asking in her “breathy whisper” whether his friend, Alec Baldwin, might consider being her date that night for dinner and the theatre. Even though Baldwin had just started seeing Kim Basinger, his first words were “I’m there.”

One day Simon came to him stuck for lyrics on a song she was writing for Mike Nichols’ new movie “Working Girl.”
Hart hit the books, specifically James Joyce and Walt Whitman, presenting Simon with a “first draft” that, after she added a few phrases, became “River Run,” the first song ever to win a Grammy, a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Yet old urges kept intruding on Hart’s idyllic life with Simon. One night she confronted him with phone records. He’d been making calls to an S&M sex line, The Dungeon, to “chat with guys about what they wanted to do with me.”
Simon took a day to think about it before agreeing she’d never mention it again. But her final words on the subject, as quoted by Hart, sound bizarrely like something a guy hired to answer an S&M sex line might say.

“I think it must have something to do with the seminary. You must be a very bad boy. Do you think you need to be punished?”

Hart emerged from his writing class one night at the 63rd Street YMCA to see a veiled Simon, in spike heels and a bright red wig, greeting everyone in a thick Spanish accent.

Convinced the women in the class were in love with Hart, Simon had disguised herself as a Latina hooker to check them out.

One morning, John Kennedy Jr. called, distraught. He’d flunked the bar exam and headlines were huge. Kennedy was so humiliated he was threatening not to show up that night for the Rolling Stones concert at Shea Stadium.

Simon talked Kennedy down and into the limo. But Hart found himself shut out when his wife and Kennedy rushed behind a closed door to chat with Mick Jagger.

He seethed that “Carly had gone in to see the man who had almost broken up her first marriage” without him. Back home, Hart erupted into such a venomous rage that Simon’s 13-year-old son, Ben, threatened to call 911.

She was clearly “terrified.” In bed that night, Simon tried to reassure him, but Hart had some hard reckoning to do about his wife’s many famous lovers, including Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson.

“I would never be enough to capture the part of her that Mick and James and so many others had already captured,” he writes. Pauls friend, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist William Kennedy, advising him.

When it became obvious the book wasn’t going to find a publisher, Simon had Onassis talk to him. A book editor herself, Onassis suddenly struck up a conversation about how it might be time for Hart to find something else to do with his life.

He turned on her and snarled, “Jackie, can I ask how many novels have you written?”

Hart wisely started a software company and his life with his ever-more famous wife rolled on.

As the years passed, their marriage entered what he calls a “film-noir stage,” veering into strange territory. One night when Hart called from the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where he was staying on a business trip, Simon announced that he needed to “get laid.”

“You have to go to a whorehouse,” she ordered. “You have to do this for the both of us.”
Simon urged him on by phone as he stumbled into a massage parlor in Chinatown where an aggressive Madam accosted him.

“What are the girls like? Are there any pretty ones?” Simon asked. “Remember this is my treat.”
Hart hung up and backed out of the deal.

But the glamour of their life never abated. In 1999, they spent the weekend with Bill and Hillary Clinton at Camp David after the Senate acquitted the President in his impeachment.

The Clintons’ astonishing equanimity gave Simon and Hart hope for their own troubled marriage. But in 2002 — after 21 years sober — Hart suffered a prolonged and vicious relapse on crack.

He writes candidly about the sordid and brutal homosexual encounters he had through years of repeated relapses on drugs and then alcohol. Simon stayed in the marriage until filing for divorce in 2006 after 19 years.

On what would have been their 20th anniversary, Hart was truly a changed man. Not only was he sober, he was in the loving arms of a man. So ends the saga of James Hart and Carly Simon.

NY Daily News

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