Clive Davis — the man with the golden ear credited with discovering Whitney Houston and working with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Bruce Springsteen and Kelly Clarkson — reveals for the first time his bisexuality in his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life.
Davis, who has been married and divorced twice, has never before publically addressed his sexuality. In a candid five-page section toward the end of the book, due in stores today, he writes that he first had a sexual encounter with a man during “the era of Studio 54.” “On this night, after imbibing enough alcohol, I was open to responding to his sexual overtures,” writes Davis, who says he had only been with women before. Being with a man, he writes, provided “welcome relief.”
After a period of “soul searching and self-analysis,” Davis separated from his second wife in 1985, and says that he went on to have simultaneous relationships with two women and a man. In 1990, he entered into a “monogamous relationship” with a male doctor, who is not named in the book. Although that relationship ended in 2004, Davis says he has been in a subsequent relationship with another man ever since. Davis writes that his coming out deeply affected his ties with one of his sons, Mitchell: After what Davis calls “one very trying year,” father and son worked out their differences, Davis says.
The 80-year-old also devotes an entire chapter to Whitney, recounting their earliest collaborations to his attempts to intervene in her troubled life and the shock he felt at learning of her death. Davis even reprints a letter he sent to the singer after her “skeletal” appearance at Michael Jackson’s 30th anniversary concert.
“You must think not only of yourself but you most think of those you love you,” Davis wrote. “Our anguish, our fear, our pain is just too much to bear. You must get help for yourself and for your close extended family.”
Davis discusses his sexuality and his memoir today with Katie Couric, a clip of which can be seen below:
Photo: Christopher Peterson/Wikipedia