My Photo


  • my 'read' shelf:
     my read shelf

Romancing the Tome

Blog powered by Typepad

« Objects of Desire: Oh Holy Cashmere Triptych | Main | Dutch Acquisition »




Many of us share the grief, shock and sense of loss, as well as anger. So many people have been hurt by the strange circumstances of her death that the mind naturally wants to ask "why would such a brilliantly talented and beautiful young woman want to destroy herself at the pinnacle of her powers?". In one of her blogs she compared
Kate Moss to cocaine - once you sample her you always will want more. Theresa's wonderful mind was also like cocaine, and after she got so many of us addicted she has taken it away from us forever. We have a right to be angry that she did this to us as well, that she took her voice out of the game when so many looked forward to hearing it every day.

An article by LA culture journalist Kath Coe starts to provide some answers. Read it here:

Anecdotes provided by others who knew Theresa and Jeremy seem to confirm that in spite of all her apparent worldly success, she had a deep-rooted feeling of inadequacy.
It seems that the film she claimed to be directing in repeated references on her blog, "Alice Underground", existed mainly in her imagination. There was certainly a script, but little else.

And of course, by now you know about Jeremy's subsequent suicide as well. Read
Ron Rosembaum's blog ( for
some surprising insights from people who
knew her, including the one-time friend (and victim of Theresa's growing paranoia) who received a last call from Jeremy shortly before he waded into the ocean off Far Rockaway.

I don't know if these things will help, but
it might start to resolve some of the bafflement so many have felt about this tragedy. The image of the woman wearing a cat mask on her last blog entry is I believe
her last message to her followers, for Theresa seemed to have been wearing a mask for many years. Perhaps she decided to end her life for fear the mask was about to come off? I don't know the answer to this but we must appreciate that this was a carefully thought out decision. She told Jeremy in her suicide note that she "was at peace with my decision", indicating to me that she had wrestled with it for some time.

There aren't enough tears in the world for this tragedy, for this doomed couple, but the story of their love for each other is now as timeless as Romeo and Juliet's.

Thanks for your loving eulogy,

Jon Hill
New York City


Yes, I read Kate Coe's article and all I'm left with is a sick feeling at the lack of compassion. Perhaps Theresa was insecure/paranoid/depressed but chose to place a glamorous face on her blog that wasn't exactly her reality every moment of the day. Some of that was clear the moment I read she'd killed herself. But I was never under any illusion that Theresa wasn't a complex person who's life was so much more than could be reflected on short blog posts about Kate Moss, perfume, and every so often, a sprinkling of something a little more personal than a tidbit about the last party she attended. She was a real person (despite what some of the conspiracy theorists--ironic, isn't it?--would like to believe).

No one's blog can accurately portray exactly who they are in their entirety nor should it--unless that is the author's stated intention or if what they want to do is bore their readers senseless. Here's a shocker: My life isn't all libraries, castles, and literary events, even though that's what I choose to write about here on this blog. I'll bet the few people beyond my close friends and family who read it are smart enough to know that.

As for many of Theresa's readers thinking her entertaining Lunar Society reports were real (from the Kate Coe article)--I'm surprised. I would be curious to know how many of them were really under that impression. (If these same people were also some of the "sources" for her article, that's a terrifying thought!) I never was and I don't think that it was ever Theresa's intention to fool anyone with them. I loved her fantasy world and couldn't wait to read the next Lunar Society dispatch. I never thought of her as a "Hollywood player" either, so once again, no illusions were shattered there.

None of us can presume to know what was going on in Theresa's mind when she decided to take her own life. (From Kate's article: "Perhaps she got tired of patching the little fissures that threatened to destroy her carefully constructed fantasy. Maybe that is why, at 40, she decided not to go on." Maybe she's right, but that's quite a supposition.) Many of us have known manic depressives and/or suicidal people who have struggled with it sometimes their whole lives, fighting it off as best they can and trying desperately to feel "normal," accomplishing whatever they can manage to despite it. I doubt that Theresa just woke up one morning worried that people would figure out she wasn't some sort of A-list Hollywood wunderkind.

That said, if a couple of Theresa's posts about people were delusional, slanderous, and wrong: yes, those people deserve to be represented fairly and accurate and to have their name(s) cleared. But honestly, I remember reading those posts and I didn't think another second about them after I read them. I'm not naive enough to make judgments about anyone, particularly people I've never heard of before, based on what is clearly an entertainment (not a newsy or political) blog by someone whose writing always tended to be more about fantasy than reality most of the time anyway. Frankly, I took those posts with a grain of salt and they weren't why I was reading Theresa's blog in the first place.

Yes, the "truth" (if it indeed it is the truth) hurts, but couldn't it be delivered with a shred more compassion? Weren't there more people out there willing to testify to Theresa's kindness and generosity? (I was contacted by Kate Coe while she was researching her article but I didn't get the message until it was too late. I would've had nothing but good things to say about Theresa--though I didn't know her well--and I wonder if they would've made it into the article.) If she was delusional and paranoid, shouldn't we feel sympathy for her, however little good it does her now? If she and Jeremy were living in a world of paranoia and depression and had distanced themselves from their friends, wouldn't it be more likely to suppose they were the ones in the end who felt the most alienated by their decisions? Must she be portrayed as a scheming con artist because the few people who are willing to gossip bear grudges against her? Don't they deserve more than a gleeful (my take) post about how fast the stories were completed and how many other mags had been beaten to the punch? Or maybe I'm much more naive than I thought.

The comments to this entry are closed.