F1 But it's hard to tell. I was living on a farm, you know, and I came here and then I saw this man was crazy compared to what I had, you know, before. And it's odd because I I came from the main house, you know, and I was on a farm and we had girls who were cleaning eggs and they were gyrating at the music that I had never understood, you know, Presley's haircuts. And I thought, oh, my God, this whole episode that generates what I thought. You know, Elvis Presley was playing on the radio and we're cleaning eggs and the people were helping me. We're just moving along, cleaning eggs and shaking and so on. And I thought, it's terrible. And then little I know that's how my life and I was in that group. But when I came to well, first of all, I met Armitage, 58, and I got married in 61. And we I was plunged into a world I didn't know. But and I was fascinated, but I wasn't looking for a husband, by the way, and I wasn't married, so at least, you know, I wasn't anxious to get married. I was upset to get divorced. I did it. And then I tell you, it was a foreign world to me.
F7 I hadn't lived in New York. I wasn't brought up with American music. Except, you know what? You listened on the radio during the war.
F1 And I really was at a loss when I was sitting with people like Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger later. But by then, you know, I educated myself a little more. But I guess I was always stiff, you know, compared to the rest of the group. And I didn't understand the way they got dressed. Then I was dressing a little bit like that, but it took some time, you know. And now I feel at ease, I'm not totally sold on it, but I'm and also not everybody changed. Now all of a sudden you see everybody who was in dirty clothes and ripped up jeans, dressed better than my husband is in suits and ties and, you know, so the world changes. But I was I was fascinating. I don't know, you know, I certainly didn't want to marry a Turk in my life because we're under Turkish domination for 200 years. And I ended up marrying a Turkey. So I'm here for a second.
F10 Um, well, I know about you, but the audience isn't going to know. All right. So I'm going to ask your question. This, right. A leading question. I'd like you to fill it in for me right now. The answer's OK.
F5 You were from Romania? Yes. Can you tell me a little bit about where you grew up and how you happened to have to leave and then.
F6 Well, I grew up in. Yeah. The village I was dominated was occupied by the Turks for over 200 years. And it didn't have any wars, but it was it was a very amicable way of having the country go. And but we have we are very related to the Turkish in a way. Our food, our way of living, the way we did the houses was influenced by Turkey.
F7 But getting having getting rid of the Turks. I certainly didn't aim at marrying a Turk. And it just so happened because I left Romania in 47. I grew up in Partovi growing up in Bucharest, and I went to Switzerland and I went to Canada. And actually when I got married to Ahmet, my mother was still in Romania because it was under Russian domination and you couldn't get out or go in till about sixty three.
F1 And when I married my mother, they said it took us 200 years to get rid of attack and now the family. And then even when I sent its picture to Romania, they said, oh my God, he looks like our leader. Lenin, you know, it goes on had a little bit and then it was plastered all over Bucharest. So anyway, that passed and I really had. We have been married actually for 43 years now. I thought this is going to last two weeks and I'm back to tell me a little bit about how you happened to leave me.
F6 I left Romania. In a very comfortable way, because I lived on the train that the whole family left and, you know, they were allowed there were two two trains allowed out, the king, the X King, which now lives there, and his two aunts. So I was on the train with Queen Elizabeth of Greece and Princess Yllana, who was married to a German prince. And we went to Switzerland. How did you happen to be able to train? Because I had relatives who were connected. You know, I'm not related to them, but we had people who, you know, were and then I stayed with them in Switzerland for about two years at the Dollar Grand Hotel, doing nothing. Actually, I went to a sewing school because I thought I had to do something, you know, none of us had money out. And then I went to Paris for a while and then I got married and with my ex-husband, we bought a farm in Canada.
F5 And why did you buy a farm?
F3 Because it was very hard at that time to get residence anywhere else. You know, the immigrants were not accepted anywhere. Canada had an easier immigration law.
F6 So we went there and we borrowed money and we bought a farm. And, you know, I lived on on an estate, I would say. And I always loved the country life because we were spending the summers there and so on.
F1 But it was a different story when I got to make house. I didn't know they were machines anyway. It was it was fun. When you are young, you can do anything. It really was a fantastic experience.
M2 Thank you.
F5 There was a Tatler magazine a long time, wrote something about it that he could walk with keys and not lose the common touch.
F6 The problem, Kimberly, was that was that the next three or four years ago, something something if we photographed in Turkey, right?
F5 Yeah. I guess what I think that is I'd like to do just a little bit is this this this quality that he has, which is the ability to.
F3 But you see Kissinger, Wilson Pickett in the same breath. But you see he was brought up in an embassy, so. Even today. He's a stickler about the seating at the table. I mean, there's no way we can have even four people for dinner without saying this once it's the right one of the left in Turkey where it's very relaxed. And every night we have 20 or 30 people for dinner because they are boats which come you cannot have a buffet and sit at random because it doesn't work. And I think that upbringing remained in his education, you know. The fact that he was in an embassy where he had to say hello and be polite and not speak with all the people who are speaking, you know, I think it was a very strict, rigorous thing. On the other hand, when he started going out into into Washington and collecting records with his brother and bringing, I don't know, Duke Ellington and whatever he brought to the embassy to the shock of the Romanian ambassador who was living across the street.
F1 I gather he complained, but, you know, he mixed the two words his whole life.
F6 And he continues to I mean, I know he's involved in not in politics in Turkey, but in promoting Turkey and making making people understand better what the problem of Turkey is with the Kurds, with whatever, you know.
F5 He'll probably explain it to you in terms of the E.U. joining me.
F7 Yeah, and even with the new government is trying to explain why and how and what advantages are going to be by having this buffer between east and West. So he's connected with that.
F6 On the other hand, he goes out with musicians and he has a totally different language, you know, in the music business. And he connects I mean, you know how he speaks. He you know. But he loves he loves his life and he loves. He loves the music. That is his interview with I shouldn't say that about Charlie Rose.
F5 Yeah, I did. I did watch this weekend. I was out of town. I thought it was very good. Excellent, excellent. And it made me very nervous. Sad. A couple of things I need to ask him about. And I do want to talk to you about the Turkish thing, because I think, yeah, maybe he'll talk to Mr. Kissinger. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But I think it's a very it's a very interesting idea because he's trying to promote the notion of secularism in Turkey. Yeah. His father. Yeah. I'm very conscious of. Yeah. We'll get back on to. Back to the time when you met Ahmed. Yeah, I know this is a story that's been told, but certainly not in this film. He had rather unusual methods. Can you tell me? And he's a bit of a prankster and referring to something you're probably not hearing, even the orchestra in the closet?
F2 Oh, yes. Yes. That was the time when I really wasn't going out officially with him. It was all very secret. And we were in Montreal and he surprised me with this orchestra in the closet. And I don't know, a million things. I somehow I have a blank. I don't quite remember.
M1 But could you just set that up about the occasion just without Susan sort of from you? You just talk about you was it was kind of a date, obviously, right?
F2 It was a secret, you know, but I always I always had to start again that I was just saying that it was in the beginning when I was going out with Ahmet and we met in Montreal. And naturally, like everybody who was committing a sin, I was never going alone. I always had a friend going, oh, I was meeting somebody else, you know, because you can't just say, I'm going to Montreal because I was living was really about halfway between Montreal and Toronto in a place called Pigtown, Ontario. And I got there and all of a sudden we had a dinner and he had this huge arcus huge I don't know, there were five pieces coming out of the closet and playing. I was so embarrassed because I thought this anywhere in the hotel, people are going to hear the music. It's going to be a scandal. Everybody's going to find out. But it passed like many other things. And then he had the bus here. I don't know if you know that story when we're going to El Morocco, because at that time we were going out every night and always ending up, I think it was in Morocco and then it was Le Club.
F7 And then I don't know, then the rock and roll that we went to different clubs where the Rascals were. Do you remember what the name of that was for?
F1 Now, that was later. The elephant on the ground around something round, table, round.
F4 I don't remember the name.
F7 Tell me about the bus and then Ahmed was taking a bus with music inside and we're going from one nightclub to another in the middle of the night, you know?
F5 And what do you mean, a bus?
F1 A bus? You know, he was renting a bus and putting an orchestra on it. Well, I don't think you can rent a city bus, but the size of a city bus, you know, like a school bus. No, no, no, no, no. I don't think you're going to insult a school bus with an orchestra.
F3 But I think there are places where you rent buses. If you want to take a whole school somewhere or you want to go with friends to, I don't know, Paris and New York. You can rent a bus, but you are to them in the in town.
M2 I mean.
F1 He was crazy. He still is. What's his latest break and I think is past the prank age? Uh. But, you know, he's a man who's very determined, we those are the only arguments we have, as I say, I don't want to do this and he continues doing it, you know, so then I give in, but sometimes I have my way to you know, it's a marriage which goes both ways. Because I don't think that Ahmed is a person to be married to, somebody who is going to say yes all the time, you know. So I think we manage. But I am much more quiet and, you know, for instance, where in the country. And he says, oh, how wonderful, we're going to spend the quiet weekend. And I say, yes, will he ever watch videos? And on and then dinnertime comes. Who's coming for dinner? You know, I said nobody. Or if he calls me in the morning and this is what I what who is coming for dinner? And we have to ask so-and-so down here and so-and-so end up with 10, 12 people so he or he has his way.
F5 Speaking of entertaining, can you just sort of rattle off some of the people that have you have interchange in Turkey? I mean, the kind of people that have come there over the years?
F6 I tell you, zillions of people, you know, I'm trying to think of whom you would be interested in.
F5 I mean, just just just start names. Just just.
F6 Right. I mean, Caroline of Monaco, Kim.
F7 Jimmy Robertson, you know, when he was the head of American Express, Niarchos came a couple of times.
F3 As a matter of fact, it was rather embarrassing the first time he came to Turkey was still under curfew and one of his sailors went to buy tomatoes and the other walkie talkie. And in Turkey, they hadn't seen walkie talkie. So they arrested the poor man thinking that he was a spy. That was the first time he came to Turkey. We're going out of our mind trying to get the poor man out of jail. So, you know, we had many incidents like that in the beginning. I mean, now it's all free and, you know, easy. I mean, we had to we had Mick Jagger come with Bianca. Actually, it was supposed to be a reconciliation, a trip, but it didn't work. And they had little. It was a tiny, adorable little girl who, as we had Kid Rock, we had Pamela Anderson. And they were wonderful. I must say. She's a very nice girl. And so she was I mean, Michael Caine, Swiftie Lozar, I just have to go back in time. You know, maybe at some point we can just kind of. You can. Yeah, I can. And then we can just go. Right, right. Exactly. It will be fun. Oh, Princess Margaret was there two summers in a row. Prince Charles stayed in our house. We went there because he was going at a time when we weren't there. But he went with all his friends. Is he a personal friend? No, I don't know him. But the wife of the embattled American ambassador had called me to find out if they could if you could rent a house in Turkey that just gave them the house because I was in there. But they're very, very nice. They wanted to be very discreet and nobody to know that they were there and he had the huge Landrover with 15 cars behind us got. So, of course, everybody knew he was there.
F7 But what was wonderful, he in the daytime took a boat that we have, which is an all the boats we have there, that copies of the old Turkish boats, wooden boats, and they called cakes. And it's a small boat compared to what I use, very small. And they loved it, you know, and they loved the Turkish food and they were going out on the boat every day. I guess it's different.
F5 It's different in Turkey.
F7 Well, he's very Turkish in Turkey, you know. I mean, he takes. But in his life, he's not really different, but a. He he was brought up with the idea that Turkey is a wonderful country and, you know, being his father was ambassador and his mother was Turkish, the first time he came back to Turkey when he was allowed to come back. He was very disappointed because it was poor. There were no electric lights. I mean, the streets were desperate and he almost didn't go back, you know, because he was used to America with the cars and the lights and the luxury. And then we decided to take a trip through Turkey and we took a car. And we really I think of compared to a lot of other Turkish people, we know Turkey inside out. We went to the Russian border. We went to Trabzon, to the north, to the south. And then that's when we found our house just traveling. And we had no intention of buying a house in Turkey. And it's the last thing I wanted. But then we bought it. We fixed it. We first we wanted to see the house. There was one house and I said, no, no, that's too small because you have to bring friends. You can't just go out there by yourself. And I don't speak Turkish, but we have been a terrible thing. And then the man said that he understood them to. Oh, but this house is for sale. So I said I would like to see it. Well, of course, as we approached it, we are tomatoes thrown on our heads because they were 50 inheritors. You know how they leave to a family four and they didn't want to sell because they have no place to go. But three months later, they called and they said, yes, you can buy it, you know?
F3 And then the headaches started because we wanted bathrooms. I mean, we had to redo the whole house and now it's we build another guest house. So it's like a compound. Except when we bought the house, the women were washing their sheep in front of our house every morning and they were probably 10, 15 votes. Now, it's a huge, colossal marina. And you don't see a sheep anymore. You see nothing. But, you know, times change. You can't you can't just say everybody says, how can you stand it? I love it. So it just go with the times.
F5 What year was this for you? Well, the House, 71. What are some of its pet peeves? What you know what a pet peeve is?
F8 No, I don't know things that really IRCAM things that really, you know, little things that really bother him.
F5 But that isn't something I don't know. I can't think. OK, what music do you listen to at home?
F3 I'm at a distance himself at music. First of all, I listen to music. It's so loud that there's no way that it's relaxing. I mean, it just blasts. So when he puts the music on, I retire into another room because it's I mean, I think everybody is in the music business to end up being a little deaf, you know, so it actually has so much has a record player and in his bedroom. And as we have totally different hours, I get up at six thirty and I exercise and I like to sleep in the morning and then I'm out all day.
F7 So I'm a blast of music when I'm not there on Sundays and then I go two floors down to another war, sort of like having a teenager. But I you know, I listen to a lot of music. I like it. You know, there's some things I've never understood, but I understand them better now because I've been faced with them.
F5 They still listen to jazz.
F7 He loves jazz. Actually, he came back to jazz now, you know, ever since jazz at Lincoln Center. And but I think that was his passion and his brothers.
F9 Did you know his brother? Yes, very well, very aware of it. Tell me a little bit totally different. Can you give it to me?
F3 I mean, his brother was a kind of a renaissance man, very quiet, not boisterous, like Ahmet, you know, very educated. I mean, they both are both are collecting paintings for that does, too. He had a totally different personality, actually. They were fighting all the time, but not seriously. You know, it was a love, hate, not hate. Hate never existed.
F9 They just, you know, argued, but they were very close.
F3 I mean, it gives his brother a lot of credit for, you know, for him starting in the music business.
M2 I understand that.
F5 I'm going to just there are a couple of things that I would just like to read to you. I'd like you to comment. All right. Disturbing. I was wondering if these are true in spirit, if not in detail. But maybe you can just say something about the quality. Yeah. And he has an indication of his executive ability, ability that he is often able to pull together scattered pieces. It's an indication of his restlessness that he has often led to break a hole into pieces. Does that describe his character?
F3 I know that he has the ability of of mending things, you know, of putting people back together. I mean, I see it often even in the music business. You know, when I group dismantles, he is able to maybe if it's only temporarily, but put them back together. He's most of the time in the office, I think, also able to mend fences between personalities, which maybe are too self-centered. You know, it happens in every business. And I think he has a diplomatic side to him. I mean, I I really never saw him destructive, at least I didn't see it, maybe people in his business did.
F5 Someone said that he cannot stand and cannot stand to be alone and that he also hates things, establish that he courts them.
F3 He doesn't like establishments. I mean, I don't want to offend anybody, but the people are too square and to have no sense of humor really have no place in his life. He likes people spontaneous and so are a little bit of the normal track, which I think is good, because otherwise life gets very boring.
F5 Jazz gangsters and Chaplin were apparently his early loves already.
F3 Well, he he mentioned once in a speech and I never discussed it with him, that when he came to America, I think he heard I might be wrong. Duke Ellington's band in London when he was a child with his father, and then when he came to America, he thought, oh, how wonderful, I'm going to go to the country of cowboys and, you know, gangsters and so on. And he landed in Washington in a boarding school. But then after that, he claims that he was going to Harlem when he was 15 or 16. I can't believe it, you know, but he probably did.
F5 Everyone has become quite fascinated with America, America and America. Yeah, fascinated by America the same way. This is something you share.
F7 Well, I love America. You know, I consider myself American, even with my accent. But I don't think I could live anywhere else. But I'm not that fascinated with a lot of aspects of America. I'm not fascinated if I go to an airport and see all those fat people and the way people are dressed, you know. But I like and what is there not to like, you know, we always spoiled here.
F5 I wanted to ask you to go back to Studio 54. Yes, I'm going to be talking about that film, Studio 54, but we were never really in that.
F3 I mean, at least I wasn't in what they called the insane. I I never did drugs, you know, I never. Actually, that's one of the things that shocked me in the beginning when I came and I went public assistance for television, but when I went into a home with her passing a cigarette, I thought it's the most disgusting thing to have. So I'm some of these models coming to your models. I just couldn't understand it. So we were we were going to Studio 54, at least when I was going on it late after party. And of course, everybody knew Ahmet. And we're going around the bar and having a drink and we knew everybody. But I don't and I don't think it ever really was in that I had the steeple bell and, you know, that whole group.
F5 But were you there for me at this birthday party, the famous Bayaka birthday party?
F1 Yeah, I think I mean, Whitehorse, yes. But it was kind of floating. I don't have a lot of things that I saw which really didn't impress me that much. But, you know, I've I tended when I was there to really want to leave. I hate it. I hate it. Also, when you got there and you were treated like a celebrity, you know, photographers and this and that, I mean, I just thought it was such a pain. I hate to be photographed, so.
F5 I do. Do you remember being behind stage with the Rolling Stones? Yes. Can you tell me a little bit about that? Because I remember seeing you that was the first time I saw a picture of you.
F3 Right. But I what I remember in Paris. We were backstage and there was Keith Richards with his little boy, but what was his name? Who was involved?
F2 And he was a baby and he was sitting in front of the loudspeakers. And I thought, my God, that poor child is going to have his ears blown out because you know, where they started the Rolling Stones with tremendous bang. That child was just sitting there.
F7 But actually, you know, I can't judge anymore because when I see Mick now, when you go to his dressing room, he just sits there and reads a book. You know, it's a totally different atmosphere than it was much crazier.
F8 And see, I I was wondering if you would.
F5 Talk a little bit about the role of art has played in your lives.
F7 It has always been a much more knowledgeable in contemporary art than I was when I came to America, I educated myself here because in her mind, you know, it didn't have that much. I mean, of course, I knew the classics. I went to museums and so on that and we had a lot of friends who were connected with the art world and especially in California when I met you. Remember, we spend a lot of time there doing the music business. And then his brother had a passion for surrealism. And he has actually one of the big collections and it probably was influenced by that, too, and then we went into modern paintings and then, you know, he had this famous collection which he bought of Americans, which really lived in Paris during Gertrude Stein and so on. I mean, the Americans from the 20s. And he brought a huge collection and then he sold it. And anyway, he's he's always been interested, even though last night we were talking with a friend of ours and he said, well, I know exactly what I want to buy. I want to go to California and buy the make and abstract expressionist, which are not valued now. And, you know, they are going to come back and, you know, so I mean, it is a compulsive buyer and he's a compulsive buyer.
F1 He likes to acquisitions if we go shopping. I thought if I said I love this, I said, buy it. I said, I'll come back later. So he claims that each time he goes out with me, I touch everything and buy nothing, which is not totally true. But he likes he wants he likes to buy land.
F3 He likes to buy paintings. He likes to buy furniture. He likes to buy, you know, clothes. For himself, yes. No, we have we have a rule, I don't buy anything for him because what if I buy he hates and he doesn't buy anything for me. My son I hate, including jewelry. I like to pick my own.
F5 And can you tell me you tell me one very funny story about that sort of typical of the fact that he is so fervent in his article about forged paintings in storage and a place to put them?
F3 Yes, well, he hasn't got them anymore. He sold he sold them. But we still have a lot. And he still wants to buy. I mean, when he was taken by collecting that, we were going in the morning till the evening and they went to the office and come back looking at pictures and buying five, six, seven, you know, just Waseca. But he did a wonderful thing. You know, he had a huge collection, would have kept it. He doesn't blame me, but he blames he had a couple of partners which really were minor partners who wanted to sell what was the collection there.
F5 But I don't know anything about the collection. What was the collection of.
F7 But that was a collection of people that lived in Paris, painted, for instance, there is a painter called Patrick Henry, who is very well known. We have one in the country who then burned most of his paintings. But there are a lot of American painters that emerged at that time, you know, before the Armory Show and doing the show and which didn't come up there. So we're not so important. But now you see them at auction and they go for enormous prices.
F5 I think also people are more aware of American painters, you know, so he was always on the forefront, a little bit of looking for what's going to be like what other people don't know yet. But what you see.
F3 Yeah, but also, you know, he's really he reads a lot. And I think there was a book by Barbara Walters that you wrote about those painters. And then that's when he started, you know, collecting.
F5 How about the collection of the Russian constructivist?
F3 That's me. It's not that I know.
F2 I went to Basil, you know, the Basil Fair, and I saw this wonderful little sketch. And there was a woman there that the dealer her name is Anna, who is very well known. But I didn't know. And I said, how much is that? It was seven thousand dollars. I said, oh, I called my husband to see if I can buy it. And I bought it. And when I brought it home, it was this size. And that was 15, 20 years ago. I waited for this little thing. Seven thousand dollars. I said little. And then he started helping me and we bought a lot.
F4 I mean, that's what we have in our library there. One. Yeah.
F3 Children, a decision, no, I couldn't have children, so I just told him point blank before I got married, I said, let's find.
F7 You and I didn't want to adopt children. Maybe I was wrong, but I think if you have children, you have to dedicate yourself to them and forget a lot of our social life and a lot of the running around. And I didn't think I could keep on it still, frankly. So then to have children which are brought up by nannies and nurses, all the people I know who did that really ended up with children, which are not I don't consider really totally.
F9 All right. Did you come from a big family? No, I was a single child. And it was just, you know, she has a sister who has a sister, lives in Turkey.
F5 Um, you know, Ahmed has a slight reputation as having been a rascal, I guess.
F3 Yes, he was, but you know of it never. I mean, if it would have been very serious, it would have bothered me. But otherwise, I knew that it's passing. You know, I was tough with him, but. You know, I think it's unnatural to live your whole life with one person, frankly. I mean, it's very American. I mean, that is a thing which I think is not logical.
F5 So I guess Europeans are much more apt.
F3 Well, I wouldn't accept what they accept in France, you know, to have a permanent mistress or something like that that I would find disturbing. But if you have I mean, when you know that you can't more in your husband's life than. A thing like that, it's not important.
F8 See if I had any other things.
F5 I wanted to mention, oh, yes, pragma his clothes, he made the best dressed list, apparently one.
F1 Oh, did you see he was so pleased in Vanity Fair, this last one. Connie, what do you know? Connie World from Los Angeles. She said the best man she knows is Armitt. That was in the real world. He was enchanted, but he knows how to. I mean, I think he dresses well. That is the thing which really disturbed me in the Ray Charles movie. And I thought I told Taylor, have I said, you know, everything is fine. He doesn't have to look like Ahmed's guy was very nice. But why did you dress him so badly? She said he said because we ran out of money. I said I should have called me. I would have paid for those sorts of things.
F5 That's absolutely wonderful. I told you some things you want me to do.
M1 I would like you to go back because I. I've never heard the back story before. The bus is fascinating. So would you stop?
F2 I don't know. I think it started before we got married. And then a lot of things which had started before we got married, I kind of petered out of our lives. What is the bus? But he was taking the bus at night and going from one nightclub to another. And probably by the time he got in Morocco, he got a few more people and then went somewhere else and they had champagne on the bus and drinks and, you know.
F5 Sometimes an orchestra try try it, try it from I know feel saying try from the point of view of your imagine your first experience of going on this bus.
F3 Well, it wasn't the first experience with Ahmed. I mean, I was used to a lot of crazy things. You know, I you know, I the first time I was surprised that I thought odd. And then I kind of got used to it, but I never I really never proved it. You know, I I'm much stricter than Ahmed. What did you approve of? But I don't know. I thought it was crazy to go all night, you know, with the bus from one place to another and and to show you.
F5 But. Did you pick up people along the way?
F3 No, not really. We didn't we didn't run the streets to pick up people from club to club. I don't know. I imagine he did. You know, when I came back to New York, that was the beginning of my life here. I didn't know that many people. Can you do me a and.