BetteBack September 25, 1996: REVENGE Is Simply DIVINE For The Divine Miss M

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
September 25, 1996 | Porter, Susannah


Outrageous Bette Midler has revealed how she trashed her lover’s car after finding him in the arms of another woman.

The star went berserk and rammed her Jaguar into the front of his car.

Then she laughed when she realised he had no insurance.

Now she has admitted it gave her inspiration for her new film about three women out to take revenge on their cheating husbands.

The Divine Miss M recalled: “When I was young I caught my boyfriend in flagrante delicto.

“I was in a Jaguar, like a tank, and he had his mother’s car. I rammed the end of his car with my Jaguar.

“I was so happy and he was really upset because he didn’t have any insurance. I had tons of insurance.”

The 50-year-old superstar believes there is nothing so sweet as the taste of revenge – and she’s revelling in her role as the dumped wife out to get her ex back in The First Wives Club – to be released here later this year.

She said: “I think revenge is really good for the soul. If you are really wronged, I think revenge is biblical.

“We all know about turning the other cheek and all that, but I think it’s part of human nature to want to take revenge if you really have been wronged.

“And you don’t have to worry about it. People always say, `Ah, they had it coming to them.’ Everybody does that.”

In the film, Bette teams up with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton to play three old friends reunited when their spouses ditch them for younger women.

Naturally, they are mad as hell and, together, they set out to give their former spouses a taste of their own medicine.

Bette, sporting a pencil-thin figure after shedding the weight she put on for the part, admitted she and her co- stars had a ball making the movie.

She laughed: “We had a good time, I can tell you! Diane, Goldie and I turned 50 within the same month.

“There is something to be said for three women the same age, sticking together! It was like being back in high school again. It was hilarious.

“We really, really laughed because we have so much in common.”

The First Wives Club is the latest in a long line of hit movies in which the star has shone as a sharp- tongued, hard-as-nails bitch with a narrow-eyed stare that can stop any man in his tracks.

But she claims the sassy, brassy image that has made her millions couldn’t be further from the truth.

She smiled: “I just play angry women very well.

“I personally don’t have anything to be angry about, I’m really a very happy woman.”

Happily married to Martin Von Haselberg for the past 11 years and with an eight- year-old daughter, Sophie, Bette said: “My marriage is going along like a marriage. It’s a marriage.

“We’re not a revengeful couple. We’re actually rather civil to each other, we’re very decent.”

The star added: “It’s hard, it’s a lot of give and take.

“But he’s never done anything to me that would make me want to murder him.

“I’m not so sure he hasn’t wanted to murder me once or twice, but I’m still standing, so I think everything must be okay.”

Q: You left Los Angeles for New York. How do you like living here?

A: I came back to New York after the earthquake. Tough town. I still have my shows, I still have lots of songs to sing. I think I’m going to do something with HBO. At least, I hope so.

After that, I may or may not go on tour. I’d like to put something together that’s a little bit smaller so I can get to Europe. I haven’t been to Europe since1979. It’s prohibitive to go there. The last time I worked I had 60 people and I can’t travel with 60 people. I wouldn’t make any money. I wouldn’t even break even. So, if I could get something a little smaller, I would love to go because I really do love to go to Europe. I love the people, I love everything, the food, the landscape.

or the record Midler is married to Martin Von Haselberg and has an eight- year-old daughter Sophie.

“You know what I think, too many people have unrealistic expectations about life and marriage is a tough road. If you think anything else then it’s a big mistake.

“I think the tough thing about divorce is the effect on the kids. It can be devastating. A lot never recover from it. I would never do that to a child,. I don’t see how people can.”

Something a little sad emerged from this interview, conducted in a Manhattan hotel suite, with Midler resplendent in blond hair (her true colour is red), tight black stretch pants and a light green jacket. Although she has two Oscar nominations, two Emmy Awards, four Grammys, a Tony and two Golden Globes for her efforts on stage, in film and in recordings, she still feel she hasn’t made a great movie. `The Rose’ probably came closest, she feels.

“I would have liked to have made a really great picture. The last picture that really told me something about the human condition as maybe `The Godfather’, ” she says./ “I also liked `The Birdcage’, it was sweet.”

There’s too much emphasis on youth and beauty today, she maintains. “What else is there – there’s youth, beauty, drugs and sex. The truth is there’s the real world and the world the media project on to the real world, which is not the real world. But some people see that as the real world and because they’re not part of it, they feel they’re missing out. It’s an illusion but they’re sucked up into it. If you allow yourself to be manipulated by these images then you’ll be disappointed because it’s not possible to live that life.

“The movies are guilty of this as well,” she adds. “That’s why I don’t go to many films anymore. I don’t like what the industry is selling. For the most part the Hollywood studio products have as much nutrition as cotton candy. They’re like a McDonald’s burger.”

Midler’s film production company of All Girl Productions has recently completed the comedy `That Old Feeling‘ from a script by Leslie Dixon (Mrs Doubtfire).

“Now that was a lovely experience. It’s another broad comedy and i have high hopes for it,” she declares.

I’ll keep my past a secret

Former pineapple factory worker turned superstar, Bette says she’s scared to tell her daughter about her seedy start in showbiz.

The performer – who has two Oscar nominations, two Emmy Awards, four Grammys, a Tony and two Golden Globes – got her first job singing in New York’s gay Turkish bath clubs and a dingy gay haunt called Continental Bass.

But she claims nine-year-old Sophie is too young to hear the gory details.

Bette said: “I’ve really protected Sophie a lot. Maybe too much.

“We don’t watch TV and she doesn’t hear the news.

“I’ve never told her about the Baths or about gay people – I’ve never told her about anything.

“I have to decide how I’m going to say all of it. It could take me years. `And what part did you play mom?’ Well, it was like this …”

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