Dominick Dunne was great company, in art and in life. He was an Irish leprechaun who spun gossip into literary gold. He was also a great friend. I first met Nick when he was emerging from the ruins of a once-glamorous life in Hollywood. He had worked his way out of a deep despondency when an even darker tragedy struck. His only daughter, Dominique, a promising young actress, was strangled by her boyfriend. Her murderer was put on trial in Los Angeles. Nick sat in the courtroom day after day, watching a travesty of justice unfold. He reported it all in a riveting series of articles for Vanity Fair. After that, he deepened.
In 1985, he wrote The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, which established him as a vastly entertaining chronicler of low goings-on in the high life. He went on to write other classics in the genre he helped create. He also became a crusader for the families of murdered children and for victims’ rights. His power was such that he got a famous murder case reopened and put the perpetrator behind bars.
Success became Nick. He was generous with it, always helping others. His personality was as vibrant and colorful as his signature Turnbull & Asser shirts and ties. Nick had his share of controversy, and practically everything else this life has to offer. He wrote it all down for us to savor.
He always liked to say that Dominique was watching over him. I like to think he’s watching over all of us, then giving the on dit to God at dinner.