One tabloid reported: "Andy’s totally obsessed with Victoria and follows her everywhere like a puppy dog she’s holding on a tight leash. She totally runs his life for him, dictating everything they do together, and even orders his wine and food when they go out, Victoria took control of a dinner at the Greenhouse restaurant in Lake Tahoe, said an observer. She grabbed the menu out of Andy’s hands and ordered the full meal and wine for both of them."
From Victoria Principal By: Tony Brenna and Riva Dryan
Chapter 7: Enter Andy Part II
The latter fact was not particularly surprising because Andy had little formal or social education; he certainly hadn’t been trained in the art of selecting gourmet meals and wine like Victoria - she’d learned many of these skills in her days with Bernie Cornfield and on her dates with the rich and famous. Andy had mostly hung out with the beach crowd or with rock ‘n’ rollers.
Yet as time went by, Andy’s parents and brothers became increasingly alarmed over what was happening to him. They viewed his obsession with Victoria to be extremely unhealthy and begged him to return to his own home. Andy ignored them, but when he announced his plans to go to Florida with Victoria for a vacation, all three of his brothers (who lived there) warned him that they wouldn’t put him up if he dared to bring his girlfriend. The trip was cancelled.
His brother also tried man-to-man meetings with their little brother, telling him he was destroying his career that promised a dazzling future. He didn’t know what to believe, he only knew that he continued to love her with all his soul.
But according to what he later told interviewers, living with Victoria became a sort of hell, even though he remained deeply in love with her. Andy claimed her behavior at that stage of her life was unpredictable, telling British interview Neil Blinkow: "When I met Victoria she was in a depression over her broken marriage; she was depressed around the clock. I could never really deal with Victoria’s moods, but love is blind, so I stuckit out."
While she was worldly and sophisticated, she was actually an insecure, very mixed up little girl. She would sit in bed at night reading The National Enquirer and getting so upset about publicity that other actresses were getting. There were nights when she just used to cry on me like a little baby because she was so scared - she didn’t know where she was going or what she was going to do. She worried that she was stereotyped on Dallas, that there was going to be nothing after Dallas. Linda Gray was making more money than Victoria, that upset her too.
"Victoria was also paranoid about getting kicked off the show. When rumors started going around about her being fired from the show, Victoria would call up the studio president or executive producer and go out to dinner with them to get their confirmation that the rumors weren't true. Then she'd be a lot more relaxed for a week or two."
Victoria had always been very concerned about her looks and her age and she’s been to great lengths, cosmetically, to make sure she looks good.
"She was always worried about her eyes. She always thought they looked bad. I would say to her, ‘Victoria, you look beautiful, relax.’ I didn’t think there was anything wrong with her eyes, but she was convince she had lines and crow’s feet.
"So we went to this plastic surgeon, Dr. Harry Glassman. I waited in his office while the surgery was being done. I used to joke with her about her refusal to come out of her darkened bedroom for two weeks after the operation and she’d get hysterical. She wouldn’t let anybody in the room except me.
"She’s dead scared of getting old. That was her big problem."
While this was going on, Victoria was still skillfully managing her own public relations, with strategically placed interviews that hinted she and Andy would marry.
By the time he’d been with Victoria for six months, Andy had done very little meaningful work. He had accepted a role in The Pirates of Penzance, written a couple of songs, and was about to join Solid Gold, a pop-music television program. Soon, however, he would be getting into trouble with the producers of Pirates because he failed to make some performances, and the arguments over his no-shows would grow to gigantic proportions with the producers of Solid Gold.
As the workload grew, so too did the problems with Victoria. Andy was finding that keeping her happy was a lot of work. There were all kinds of arguments when she couldn’t get her way, or when a day didn’t go well for her on the set of Dallas.
Their social life was demanding: Andy attended numerous events with Victoria (parties, talk shows, interviews). He later claimed that the demands of her lifestyle - the pressure she brought to bear on him to constantly prove himself professionally - made him weary and insecure. Often he was out partying with Victoria to the wee hours; sometimes he was trying to console her when she was depressed, other times they would fight over all kinds of petty things. Frequently, neither of them went to bed.
Amazingly, he said, Victoria still managed to look dazzling on the set of Dallas, where the makeup people took care of any hint of fatigue. More and more, Andy used cocaine as a way of making himself feel good in a relationship that was turning into a nightmare. And stubbornly, he refused to buckle to the pressures that were tearing him apart. He wanted to remain the loving, dashing Andy Gibb, Victoria’s man.
He thought that if they married things would improve. He told an interviewer how close they came to it: "One night at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, we had both had a couple of drinks and were in bed watching TV. I leaned across to Victoria and said, ‘Let’s get married.’ And she said, ‘All right.’ I said, ‘Right now.’ And she said, ‘Okay - right now.’ It was three in the morning. I called my manager Mark Hulett and told him he was going to be a witness. But then we decided, ‘No, we’ll do it in a church somewhere, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral (in New York).’ We were genuinely in love."
And before their final split came, he told interviewer Blinkow: "I just know that if we’d have married, I could have saved our relationship. I think that if I’d have got on with my career, proved to Victoria that I was a man she could really rely on, a man who would have allowed her to pursue her own career to the upper limits, she would have been happy. But by then I was freaking her out by using cocaine. I was freaking myself out because I couldn’t getoff the stuff."
The end came in the thirteenth month of their relationship. They argued at the People’s Choice Awards, an important entertainment industry function. After the ceremony it became evident to the public just how hard Andy tried to please Victoria.
Andy recalled that final evening with Victoria in these words: 'The last night we were together was in March 1982 at the People’s Choice Awards. We are arguing and muttering under our breath at each other. She got up to receive an award and when she came offstage she acted like she didn’t know me."
"Victoria and I went to pick up some Indian curry and went back to her house. We were fighting in the car and when we got back to the house we just started ranting and screaming and pushing and shoving. In the end it got a little physical. I stormed out and drove back to my house at Malibu Beach. That was the last time I saw Victoria."
But what Gibb didn’t say was that the next day he was desperately on the phone begging Victoria to forgive him, a friend of his explained. She told him that the time had come to end the relationship. He said he could call her the following week, that maybe they just needed a little time to let things cool down. Victoria said she didn’t think so, that I was all over. Andy recalled later: "I still loved her desperately, it was as though my world was going to pieces. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t wait until the following week, I called her at home, I called her on the set - she was cold and angry. She just didn’t want to hear from me."
Andy ended up suffering a complete collapse. "I wasn’t eating," he said. "I wasn’t sleeping. All I was doing was cocaine. I stayed awake for about two weeks, locked in my bedroom. I stayed awake for about two weeks, locked in my bedroom. I went down from a hundred and forty-two pounds to a hundred and ten pounds. It sounds awfully weak for a man to let a woman get him in that way. But Victoria’s notjust any woman."
Gibb stopped showing up for work on Solid Gold and was fired. He cancelled other appearances. He simply couldn’t face working.
Andy told an interviewer later just how low he had sunk when he failed to turn up for a Bob Hope television special: "The most embarrassing thing for me was the day Bob Hope called me up and I was spaced out on cocaine. I was supposed to do his TV special, and I didn’t turn up. He said, ‘Andy, I know what’s going on, but we need you down here. Everything’s been written around you.’"
"I said, ‘I’m sorry, Bob, but I really can’t make it.’ I hung up on him. Consequently, I was blacklisted by NBC for a long time. I damaged my career, and almost ruined my whole life.:
Speaking of her son’s on-again, off-again romance with Victoria, Andy’s distraught mother, Barbara Gibb, had said: "They have been splitting up every other week since the middle of last year. Whenever they have a falling-out, it’s always a big fight and Andy moves back to his Malibu beach house. But this time, he was really rundown and at a very low ebb. I’ve never known anyone who fights like these two."
Andy’s father had added: "Andy always seems to come out of these arguments the worst. He is always upset after them. He is an emotional boy and apparently gets more upset than she does."
Often after a fight, Andy would leave town altogether. He would go to the airport, buy a ticket to some remote place in Northern California, and check into a small hotel under another name. Nobody would know where he was - not his managers, parents, or Victoria.
One colleague who had worked with Andy on both Solid Gold and The Pirates of Penzance summed up the star’s emotional turmoil: "Andy is still very young. He can’t deal with a woman like Victoria Principal. She’s much too smart and clever for him."
And then Andy’s mind snapped. According to a family friend, he "lost all control. The doctor and the family decided there was no alternative. Andy needed round-the- clock hospital care. They chose St. Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara because it was secluded and quiet. Andy registered under the false name of Roy Lipton. Also, the hospital catered to aged patients - making it unlikely that the famous rock star would be recognized. Doctors at the hospital said Andy was suffering from nervous exhaustion. His father called it a nervous breakdown."
During his three-day hospital stay, doctors ordered complete bed rest and tranquilizers, and then Andy left with his parents to recuperate at a friend’s ranch.
According to sources close to Andy, even in his agony of collapse and exhaustion, all his thoughts were with Victoria. She listened to his desperate telephone calls begging her to come and see him, begging her to give their relationship one last chance. He made the calls in the morning when he woke up, he made them before he went to sleep... sometimes he even woke Victoria up in the middle of the night. She tried to comfort him, explaining that they would always be friends and that she cared about him, but none of those placating words would satisfy his craving for her. He was as much addicted to Victoria as he was to cocaine.
The truth was that she was losing her respect for Andy Gibb. Worse, he had nothing to teach her, something she demanded from a man. True, they had made a single together - All I Have To Do Is Dream - and she had learned some singing technique from Andy, but that was about it. His talk of a singing career together, at first appealing to the ambitious Victoria, now may have seemed like a fantasy. He had nothing to show her in terms of his knowledge of world affairs or life; he was lacking in social graces. And he wasn’t really an actor yet, despite his performance in The Pirates of Penzance. His career was only just beginning, and because Victoria was so insecure herself, underneath her outwardly tough shell, she needed a man who was bounding ahead in his own career, a man who could protect her from the sharks waiting to tear her to pieces. She didn’t want a drug-using schoolboy, no matter how attractive he had seemed when they first met and during the early days of their relationship. She realized she had made a terrible mistake.
Nor did Victoria want to be drawn into a career-threatening scandal. The fact that she had lived for more than a year with a teen idol with a drug problem didn’t look good for an actress who was trying to disassociate herself from any suggestion of the fast line.
She broke her silence about the situation in the wake of a dramatic public admission by Andy the Cocaine and Victoria’s walking out on him let him into the terrible breakdown that nearly ruined his life.
"I felt like a black-widow spider," Victoria was quoted as saying. "I know how it looks from the outside, especially as I didn’t come forward. Everybody just assumed I split with Andy. But I didn’t want to go into it at the time and that is something I will have to live with. There is no point in defending or explaining what actually happened, but it would be unfair to say it was my choice to end the relationship."
A year later, Victoria added, "Watching someone you care about to be destroyed because of drugs is a horrifying experience. I did everything I humanly could to stop him."
Meanwhile, in an extraordinary interview with Joan Lunden on the television program Good Morning America, Andy confirmed Victoria’s story as he spoke about his torment when they split.
"I have been to hell and back. I had a very, very bad nervous breakdown," he said. "There was a lot of pressure on me and Victoria. There was a sweet dream of a relationship, and also a nightmare at some point. She’s a very ambitious girl and I think it was mutual. I think we both pressured each other too much. We couldn’t spend five minutes apart from each other."
"We split up several times before the final split. It was inevitable, it had to happen. I thought so much of the girl and I still do - I just fell apart. I turned to drugs and did an awful lot of cocaine, which I no longer do... I gave up everything... I didn’t care."
Andy’s agony increased when Victoria stated to date other men, throwing herself back into the Hollywood social whirl.
Only a month after Victoria split with Andy, she was spotted around town on the arm of Dr. Harold Glassman, the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon in whose office Andy said he’d waited while Victoria had work done on her eyes. And as Andy went through drug detoxification and finally filed for bankruptcy, Victoria continued to date her plastic surgeon.
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