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No One's Pet: The Autobiography of Sheila Kennedy

No One's Pet: The Autobiography of Sheila Kennedy

Автором Sheila Kennedy и Glenn Kenny

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No One's Pet: The Autobiography of Sheila Kennedy

Автором Sheila Kennedy и Glenn Kenny

272 pages
2 hours
Feb 1, 2016


For the first time in the history of the iconic adult magazine Penthouse, the curtain is lifted on life in Bob Guccione’s mansion. No One’s Pet: The Autobiography of Sheila Kennedy reveals the inner workings of the media magnate’s private sanctum. The tell-all Penthouse Pet book exposes a unique perspective on the free-for-all fun of a historically important period in pop culture. Beneath the glamorous surface of a Penthouse Pet’s life in the mansion, lies a dark and often scandalous story.With cameos by teen heartthrob Scott Baio and rocker Axel Rose, the two writers weave a true tale of celebrity shenanigans and sexual mischief. Featuring settings from Prince Jefri of Brunei’s palace to NY Met’s Ron Darling’s bachelor pad. From a brief encounter in the NYC club scene with actor Michael J. Fox as he prepared for Bright Like Big City, to outrageous shopping sprees on Madison Ave, Sheila’s journey is the most authentic recounting of the notorious 1980s decade of debauchery and gluttony.
Feb 1, 2016

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No One's Pet - Sheila Kennedy


I: Memphis Belle

1) Never Dated Elvis

Whenever I tell anybody I was Memphis born and bred, it isn’t too long before they ask, Did you know Elvis? Or Did you date Elvis? Or, most charmingly, Did you fuck Elvis? Well. I know the rumors are that The King liked ‘em young, but I do believe I might have been a little too young for him. So, no, I neither dated nor fucked Elvis Presley, thank you for asking. I never met him either, not that I can recall. But I’ll tell you what: my mother and couple of my aunts both went to high school with him. And my great-great-grandparents were the folks who rented Elvis and his mom Gladys their first place in Memphis.

And I have one aunt who did date Elvis for a spell, well before he cut his first sides or teamed up with the legendary Memphis music man, producer Sam Phillips. But my aunt liked her relationships on the monogamous side, and when she caught sight of Elvis necking with another girl in a local picture show, she got so mad she took off one of her saddle shoes and threw it right at Elvis’s head. And she nailed him, too.

He was very much say what? about that. And they did not date anymore, but they remained acquainted. Later in life that aunt married a cop, and Elvis was really into that. You know Elvis had a real law-enforcement fascination—there’s a great picture of then-President Richard Nixon making him an honorary DEA officer, how’s that for ironic? But it’s true that Elvis was really into cops, to the point of wanting to be one, and he invited my aunt and her cop husband to Graceland once or twice for dinner or a party or what have you. But I myself was never to be in the presence of The King.

2) Having A Bank Robber Daddy Ain’t As Glamorous As You’d Think

I didn’t see much of my daddy James in my early childhood. He robbed a bank when I was two and got sent to prison for ten years. At first it was just my mom Grace, me, and a brother who was a year older. My birthday, in case you ever want to get me a present, is April 12, 1962. I don’t lie about my age. Don’t want to, don’t need to. My daddy was Irish, as you might have guessed from the name. My mom was full-blooded Sicilian. So you can guess where a lot of my fiery temperament might come from. Every time I hear that Tom Petty song, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, and that line She had a good-looking mama who was never around, it always makes me think of my mother. That’s the truth. My mother was stunning. Smoking hot. And she was a cocktail waitress and man, she got around. Even before my daddy robbed that bank, she’d moved on. Rumor had it she hooked up with a Cherokee guy, and that was the father of her next kid, my sister Gigi. Who frankly looks like she had a Cherokee for a dad. She’s gorgeous, but she looks completely different from me.

As a kid, I remember apartment after apartment, then a little house at the end of a cul de sac. To say that Grace found single parenting to be a challenge would be a mighty understatement. Gigi and I had a lot of emotional problems as the daughters, and it didn’t help that Grace kept bouncing us back and forth between an orphanage and wherever she might be living at the time. The people who ran the orphanage weren’t so crazy about this, either. They kept telling her that she ought to just adopt-out me and Gigi for good, because the way she was living—not much in the way of steady income, a lot of different men going in and out the door—there would never be enough stability, emotional or financial, to raise us right. And there never was. But she kept trying, until she couldn’t take it anymore, or didn’t feel like it. It made for a lot of emotional problems—abandonment issues? We had plenty. On an hourly basis, it felt like.

Grace met my younger brother’s dad…in a bar, working. He was bartending. She was waitressing. He was a big guy, physically abusive, emotionally abusive, a big guy. Put my mother in the hospital more than once. You got used to seeing a lot of things like that. These guys were bad guys, sure, but honestly, it was part of the culture, the bad-side-of-the-tracks atmosphere in which I was raised. I don’t think growing up I ever got to see what a normal or even normal relationship between a man and a woman looked like. Not a lot of nurturing going on. Just a lot of people, maybe not entirely bad-hearted, but selfish, chasing after short-term gratification and not giving much of a damn about the consequences. I guess the world that I eventually moved into wasn’t that much different—it was just that the people involved had a lot more money.

Anyway: my mom claims she was only married three times, but by my count it was four and whoever the hell she was with at any given time, I sure wasn’t crazy about him. Michael and I are the only children who have the same father. Although, I’m not sure I believe that. That is, I’m not sure I believe that James is, in fact, my real dad. I met a man when I was forty who I suspected was my real father but I couldn’t persuade him to take a DNA test. He was a fellow from my mom’s past and I knew that they’d slept together. He’s very wealthy—and that’s not why I was suspicious. When I got to know him a little all those years later, I did think, well, if he had stepped up to the plate, it would have been a different life. I remember meeting him, just looking at this individual, and thinking This is my father. When I brought it up he said I don’t see it. And I said, Oh I do. And he said, Was James Kennedy bad to you? I said, Yeah, he was a horrible dad. And he said, What do you want from me? I said I don’t want any money. He said My wife will divorce me if this turns out to be true, so better not to even bother. I left it at that. My uncles have claimed that all of Grace’s kids are from different fathers, too.

So until I was about seven, I’d been in and out of the orphanage. My mom would only visit us on holidays even though we were only 30 miles away. And if she didn’t show up on a holiday, we’d get shipped out to spend it with some foster family or other. It was a needy, confusing existence.

3) Momma’s Girl

My sister was a straight-A student but I was terrible. I didn’t do homework. Just didn’t care. And it only got worse as I got older.

I guess that I did have kind of a good-hearted streak in me even back then, not to brag. I remember in grade school being overweight and awkward and getting teased something awful by my classmates. My homeroom teacher in fourth grade, Mrs. Holland, was one of the few people, adult or child, who was nice to me. She was really sensitive and kind and I did care about making a good impression on her. During the Christmas holiday it was a thing at school that the kids needed to buy their homeroom teacher a present; nothing over five dollars, but something. I went home and told my mother I need to buy a present for Mrs. Holland and my mother said, I don't have any damn money to buy your teacher a present. I was pretty devastated. So when my mother left the house to run errands I snuck in her bedroom and found a little Avon box with some cotton in it. I took a pair of my mother’s old nail clippers and wrapped them up. I went to school the next day and there were all these presents on the teacher’s desk, and I was horrified to find out that she was going to open everyone of them in front of the class. When she got to my present and opened it, everyone in the class started laughing. I ran out of the classroom; I was so humiliated. Mrs. Holland came out to console me and tell me that she thought it was a lovely present and it was the thought that counted. But I knew.

A week later I received a very sweet card from her in the mail. It read: Dear Sheila, Thanks for the nice nail clippers, these I can really use. You have a nice Christmas and I'll see you after the holidays. Love, Mrs. Holland. I still have that card to this day.

Eventually I got a bit more jaded and stopped caring about impressing teachers. I just wanted to get high, hang out with the football players. And I dressed pretty inappropriately. I wore a lot of tight things at an age when I should have been in pigtails and gingham. I was going out wearing some tight white jeans—hip huggers, as in the Booker T And The MGs’ Memphis classic, Hip Hug Her. And I accessorized in a pretty precocious fashion too. Chokers, bangles, all that sort of thing.

Who did I get it from? My mom. I might have resented her for what a cruddy mother she was, but I looked up to her like crazy, too. And it didn’t hurt that I was the spitting image of her. I looked like her, acted like her, and growing up in the late ’60s and early ‘70s, why the hell would I NOT.

Aside from being smoking hot, my mom was hip as hell. She dug Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, everything that we thought was up-to-the-minute. It wasn’t a psychedelic or consciousness-raising scene she was into, though. Nobody ran off from Memphis to visit the Maharajah or learn transcendental meditation or march on the Pentagon for that matter. No, our ‘60s were hard partying and a lot of fucking drama. I lived it, or I thought I did. How the hell did I know any better?

And as I got into my teens I would always hang out with the older boys, and my mom gave me a hard time about it, like I was her competition or something. I remember once going out with some tight jeans just like hers on, real painted-on style, and Grace saying, You really shouldn’t wear those pants, they make your ass look so big. And I was devastated! I really was.

I never got over that. To this day, I think my ass is too big, no matter how much weight I lose. Scarred me for life, she did! No matter how much the boys didn’t seem to mind the size of my ass. And I promise you, mind it they did not.

4) My First Time

I was 12, how’s that for romantic. And I remember his name, too! Which I’m not gonna give him the satisfaction of mentioning. He was a bad boy. Probably still is. If he’s still alive.

The age 12 sounds shocking. And looking back, I’m a little shocked too. Because it is, and it should be. But what can I tell you. I was real curious at the time. And I felt pretty mature at 12, I’ve gotta say. I’d started growing breasts. I’d had my first period two years before. So yeah, maybe I thought, in my idiocy, that I was ready for it.

This fellow, who was about 17 or 18, had his license, which is impressive to all 12-year-olds. And while I lived in a cul de sac, he lived in a trailer park, which gave him extra bad-boy appeal, maybe. He was in there with his mom, who was never around. He drove an old beat-up motorcycle and was known for taking girls’ virginities. Bragged about it, too. I didn’t know any of his supposed conquests personally, but I believed him.

He was the neighborhood bad boy, in trouble all the time. He hung out with a different crowd. An older crowd. Now I was hanging out with an older crowd too, but different from his. When you're that age these distinctions actually seem important! Anyway, he knew about me. He told me of his specialty. I’ve been after you, he’d say to me with a wink. I don’t know how we determined to get together but it was the farthest thing from romantic. He came around one night and picked me up. We went to his trailer, in his bedroom.

He had me on my back. On a very small mattress. I don’t have much of an impression of him as a lover. He was very aggressive, and it felt to me like he was going on for a very long time. And he seemed very happy to be doing it. He was considerate enough to pull out and come on my stomach. After which he wiped it up with a soiled towel. I do remember the aftermath pretty well. I was bleeding everywhere and thinking, God this hurts and, I never wanna do this again.

I got cleaned up and had to get back on his motorcycle because he needed to take me home. I was thinking You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! I was in so much pain. Why? Why? I hadn’t even really been attracted to this guy. In a sense I was, but in a more important sense—in the sense that only occurs to you after you’ve gone ahead and done the stupid thing—I completely WAS NOT. I was so sore, I just wanted to go home. It wasn’t what I wanted for my first experience, but that’s the way it happened. The openness of the post-Woodstock age had, in a way, worked its way down to Memphis. And of course, not too long after, AIDS changed all that. I like to think that nowadays teen girls have the tools to be better informed about sex—and I hope they use them.

And I never saw him after that. So, to the person who I’m not gonna give the satisfaction of naming, thanks for nothing.

5) The Teenager As Residential Soccer Ball

During all this time I actually did find a real boyfriend. He’s a fellow I still think fondly of, and sometimes when I’m feeling a little sentimentally woozy, I think of him as having been the love of my life, the guy I should have married. Actually, I often think of him that way even when I’m not feeling sentimentally woozy. Curt was really a terrific guy. Outgoing, charming, a solid person. Basketball player, which I liked. And still like. I think if I’d stayed in Memphis I would have married him. Didn’t work out that way. He passed from Lou Gehrig’s disease several years ago. We were kids—messed around on each other, all that. But he was a good friend through everything for the times we were around each other. I miss him.

Now, back to my dad. Another story, that fella. By the time Gigi and I were in our early teens he was out of prison, and he’d gotten a job as an electrical engineer. As I said, he’d gone up for robbing a bank, a pretty stupid and blatant broad daylight robbery in the middle of town. He was the getaway car driver. When the cops found the car, his prints were all over it. The other guys got away. My mom has all the newspaper clippings of what happened. Not too bright, all told. He went to prison in Georgia, a maximum security place.

Given that we were in the social class of trailer parks and cul-de-sacs, that wasn’t anything SO bad, and he got a relatively warm welcome back from the community, such as it was, on his release. So he’s working as an electrical engineer and making good money, but the man had a larcenous streak in him about a mile wide, so he’s stealing from the people he’s working for. He stole from the people he worked for. Breaking and entering, identity theft, filching other people’s paychecks. On the other hand, he was pretty talented in a lot of ways. I remember him being kind of an amazing sketch artist. When he was inside he made a charcoal portrait of me as a baby, from a photo he had. It was really beautifully done.

So at a certain point he says to me and Gigi, You’re all coming to live with me now. I think it was my mom’s idea to a certain extent too, as in, You take ‘em now. It’s your turn.

He took us out of school and in a new district. Yep, he lived in a trailer park. But his trailer was nice. Clean, roomy, well-kept. I shared a bed with Gigi. Despite his poor character in pretty much every other respect, my dad didn’t drink and didn’t do drugs. His only vices, at least in terms of what he would put into his own body, were unfiltered Camel cigarettes and gallons of black coffee. He could be kind of amusing. I remember how he’d be in the morning, sitting at the kitchen table in his white t-shirt, smoking his Camels and drinking his black coffee—I think that’s all he lived on. It would be first thing in the morning, and I’d come in, and he’d say Good morning sunshine! Or Good mornin’ darling! Then he’d pull out a chair, say, Sit down, have some breakfast. I’d sit there and talk to him and say, Dad, you really gotta stop with the cigarettes. He had a sweet and funny side. A couple of the guys I dated thought he was a blast.

My dad DID NOT like Curt. Point of fact I think my dad was jealous of him. Curt was a really beautiful guy. 6-foot-2, blond, athletic. A higher grade than me: I was in middle school he was in high school when we met. Like me, he had a pretty tough childhood: His mom was an alcoholic who beat him and his sister. While some of his family was nasty I loved his sister Dede. His youngest brother committed suicide and that devastated Curt. Curt was never nasty. An Irish god. Sweet, smart…everything. Sheila, we should just run away, we should just leave. He’d say that to me a lot. He drove a Dodge Challenger, light blue, standard transmission, stick shift on the side. It was his mom’s

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