Kitty's Latest "hiss-and-tell" rankles Royals
By CHRIS BLACKHURST, c.1997 The Independent, London

Among a torrent of claims made by the verbal paparazza, Kitty Kelley, in her controversial new book, "The Royals," are adultery, birth of illegitimate children, homosexuality and treatment for drug addiction.

Buckingham Palace is doing its best to pour scorn on the book, pointing out the reason it has not been published here is fear of Britain's tough libel laws. However, a massive publicity campaign in the U.S. and modern technology mean efforts to suppress the book's claims are unlikely to succeed. Advance orders for the book are being taken by a U.S. company on the Internet. While the web site carries a rider that it should not be sold to people in Britain, it is unclear how this will be policed.

With many U.S. stations now available here on cable and satellite television, Ms. Kelley's interviews -- and she is due to appear on all the major chat shows -- and programs featuring the book will also be freely available.

The book will be the first test for the British press since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the savage onslaught against media intrusion from her brother, Earl Spencer.

Already, Warner Books, Ms. Kelley's publisher, and her publicity agent have had to increase their security because of undercover attempts by people thought to be from papers in London to obtain a copy.

The last book of massive interest in Britain which went on sale abroad but not in this country was "Spycatcher" in 1987. Even without the Net and satellite TV, its contents soon gained wide currency.

While People magazine has cancelled its planned serialization of "The Royals" for fear of upsetting public sensitivities, it was being pointed out in New York that this was mainly because the chosen first extract presented an unflattering portrait of Diana.

The magazine was substituting the extract with a long interview with Ms. Kelley.

U.S. observers predict the book will dominate the best-seller lists, with demand for something sharp about the royals only heightened by the huge media coverage of the death of Diana.




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