I have heard of this. I don’t know how it got started. No, I haven’t [got one]. There is no basis of truth in it whatsoever. It bothers me. What it represents is people trying to put me down and trash me. It’s like saying, ‘So and so’s a drunk’, ‘Who does he think he is?’ If you go downstairs there’s a washing machine and a boiler. There’s one great thing down there and that’s a cedar closet with all my original manuscripts in it.”
— Musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim asked by the Times about the decades-long rumor that he has a fully equipped sex dungeon in the basement of his house
The impertinence of the question is astounding.
So what if he does? Is he breaking the law?
Why does he consider it a put down and that he is being trashed? Has he seen how popular 50 SHADES OF GREY has been the past couple of years?
Low Country Boy
I have been there, and it is not “fully stocked.” He’s missing a lot of essentials! Lol!
I really don’t understand why a “sex room” would be problematic. If I had a large enough house I’d have one and wouldn’t be ashamed to admit it. As it is, I do have a guest room, and it’s not uncommon for me to use it to entertain hookups… it keeps the good sheets clean. 😉
As for Sondheim, the rumors were probably started by someone who was jealous of his talent and success, or an actor who wasn’t cast in one of his musicals, or a young twink whose “charms” fell flat on the astute Master of Broadway. The whole thing is just ridiculous.
Too bad he didn’t own it. He could have left a fun legacy behind as a musical badass. Now all the gays under 35 will never know who he was.
spunkybunks yeah he could have come off as a badass like tortured genius with interesting baggage (not that I endorse addictions or something), woulda been cool but she is too conservative for all that I guess
I love this story. I first heard it in the 1960s or early 70s, and it was told as a reason to go out with him. Kinky sex being a plus. Then of course there were sly remarks when he and Neil Patrick Harris were linked. I’m astounded it is still around.
Lived across the street from Mr. Sondheim and we shared the same property manager. Seemed to be under everyones breath in the hood that he had paid a very large sum of money to a boys family after whipping the kids eye out?
I’m afraid the rumor is all wrong. There’s no sex room. However, Mr. S used to have a propensity for chaining men to the refrigerator (as told to me by one of those men, in fact). Now the famous Broadway composer-lyricist with a sex room is much more likely to be Jerry Herman, who we know from his shopping trips to Bloomingdales is definitely a wicked leather queen.
And in the end, does it really matter? There has never been a more brilliant mind working on Broadway than Stephen Joshua Sondheim. And no one has penned more popular shows than Jerry Herman. So let’s just appreciate these men for their incredible contributions to the theatre and leave their sex lives private. Okay?
Sounds like a great idea for a musical.
The bitchy queens who start these rumors are disgusting. Like the Richard Gere/gerbil rumor. Get a life, gurls.
Desert Boy yeah, he prolly shouldn’t play along, wouldn’t be setting a great example.
I met Stephen years ago on a beach in Sitges Spain. I recognized him because I am a big masculine “show queen”!!! So impressed meeting the great man of course I made a fool of myself and the funny thing is he didn’t care. Kept saying how he loved my beautiful hairy chest. I kept telling him how I loved “Follies”! He is a wonderful man and not some bitch queen! I wish we as a community, were kinder to one another!
@kofender: It is a serious cultural problem when we expect our artistic and scientific geniuses to be emotionally and mentally healthy at all.
When a scrupulously conventional private life becomes required for success, we can expect either a lot of lying or a total slide into mediocrity.
To quote Madonna “My haters are my motivators”.Sondheim is a genuis and who gives a shit what he has in his basement or any other part of his home in Turtle Bay.
Whether having a secret dungeon is legal or not; whether it shows darkness in someone whose musical works are so dark; or any other reasons people paste on here as making stories like this one okay misses the point. What I find objectionable is the invasion of someone’s private life. While the line between one’s personal/private life and the public’s “right to know” is always shifting — usually in the direction of the prurient — I think that everyone, even the most public figure among us, should be granted a private space that is respected as that, private. This article show how little we seem to care about someone else’s right to privacy.
@kofender: Your loyalty is nice, but really….
As long as he’s not keeping anyone locked inside against their will, it’s nobody’s business what he has in his basement.
Low Country Boy
@jwtraveler: I have to say, I appreciate how grammatically correct your posts are. It is very refreshing.
@lauraspencer: If he has dildoes, he could be breaking the law in many bible-barfing states
@Low Country Boy: Thank you, I think. I’m an English teacher. I proofread carefully. I’d be embarrassed if I made a mistake.
I once spotted Stephen Sondheim sitting on a bench in the main plaza in front of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School, and approached him, and just gushed with praise. He was very nice and warm. One of America’s greatest and most innovative composers, even if he was wrong about Lady Gaga on the Oscars.
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