Most famous ex-girlfriend of an Eph? Rielle Hunter. Recall our previous discussions here. Hunter’s website was removed from the web and scrubbed from Google, but nothing ever really disappears in our never-forget electronic world. Go here for your Williams connection, an interview of Hunter by Jay McInerney ’76

From BREATHE MAGAZINE JAN/ FEB 05

After years of frantic spiritual seeking, actress Rielle Hunter says she literally woke up enlightened on May 4, 2004. Now she plans to bring the light, free of charge, to all those who are open to it. Distant ex and esteemed novelist McInerney has a few questions.

The way I remember it, I first met Rielle Hunter in a nightclub called Nells in early 1987, although the circumstances of our first meeting seem to be in dispute (see below). In my defense I can only say that events of that decade are not always as clearly etched in memory as we might wish, and neither of us was living a very sober or reflective life back then. At that time Rielle’s name was Lisa Druck, and when she wasn’t out at nightclubs she was taking acting classes. We dated for only a few months, but in that period I spent a lot of time with Lisa and her friends, whose behavior intrigued and appalled me to such an extent that I ended up basing a novel on the experience. The novel was called Story of My Life, and it was narrated in the first person from the point of view of an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year-old who was, shall we say, inspired by Lisa. I certainly thought of Alison Poole as a sympathetic and ultimately endearing character. One of her most striking traits was her obsession with truth-telling and her horror of being lied to, something that I certainly took directly from Lisa. When Lisa moved to Calfornia and got married I lost track of her, though I was reminded of her whenever someone would ask me, at book signings and lectures, what I imagined happened to Alison Poole after the book ended — whether I saw her as turning her life around or not. Through the grapevine I picked up occasional reports from the West Coast. I heard that Lisa had changed her name to Rielle, that she’d gotten divorced, and that she was increasingly engaged in various spiritual quests which she attempted to explain to me when I finally ran into her; all I could tell for certain was that she was a far happier person than I remembered. Recently she returned to Manhattan and one sunny afternoon in Washington Square Park, attempted to enlighten me on the subject of her own enlightenment.

JM: It’s kind of weird to me because I wrote this book that was partly based on you and your friends…

RH: What do you mean partly?

JM: Well, I mean partly. It’s a novel. I freely made up when I needed to.

RH: You did freely make up but so much of it was real.

JM: Yeah it’s not necessarily a great thing to be close to a fiction writer. For me you’re a little bit frozen in time, a little bit Alison Poole, the 21-year-old party girl in that book who runs around New York going to night clubs, doing drugs, and abusing credit cards. And I’m sure that your life wasn’t that simple or that extreme or that wasteable.

RH: When I reread it, I was amazed by the character’s need for truth.

JM: That was a theme in the book.

RH: And that’s definitely a theme in my life — seeker of truth.The book is dark and sad and it’s hilarious. It’s all of those.

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