Scottish Daily Mail
THAT NUDE PHOTO? I WISH I’D NEVER DONE IT
to do it. My Deliverance co-star, Ned Beatty, couldn’t believe it: ‘They’re gonna see your tally-wacker? What the hell are you trying to prove?’
On the way to the photoshoot, I bought two quart-bottles of vodka and finished one before arriving at the studio, which was freezing — bad for a naked man’s self-esteem. The photographer took hundreds of shots of me: on a bearskin rug, with a hat in front of my tally-wacker, with my hand in front of it. (If I was trying to prove something, why would I cover it up with my hand? I have very small hands.)
The magazine quickly sold all 1.5million copies. Suddenly, my life was a carnival. I couldn’t go anywhere without women asking me to sign copies, each one a painful reminder of my stupidity. I got the filthiest letters I’ve ever seen, many with Polaroids. I also received regular shipments of pubic hair from a woman in Nova Scotia. (I worried about her in that cold climate.)
The Roman Catholic church condemned me. And I got: ‘Hey! I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on’ 50 times a day. A cottage industry sprang up. I wasn’t paid for the photos or merchandising, but my centrefold appeared on panties, T-shirts, key chains, coasters.
The low point was when I checked into a hotel and found myself imprinted on the sheets. It was a fiasco. I’m still embarrassed and I sorely regret doing it.