Next week, a must-read for Hollywood aficionados arrives in bookstores: Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan. Written by brothers-in-law Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, the Geffen Books release details the incredible transition made by Milchan from international arms dealer to prolific, Oscar nominated movie producer.
Going into the project, the authors realized their subject would take about as kindly to the book as Oprah Winfrey did to Kitty Kelley‘s recent bio. So they opted for the strategy of writing the book in full, secretly, and then alerting Milchan. Once the book was completed in 2009, it did not take long for the pair to hook up with their subject. Per an essay by the authors on FoxNews.com:
Milchan requested a series of meetings over the matter, which ended up involving many cigarettes, herbal teas, shots of tequila, and Stella beer. We met his wife Amanda and his new child Shimon (named after Shimon Peres), his butler John, and other friends and family in the casual setting of his Malibu home, the former residence of acclaimed director John Frankenheimer, and the house where Robert Kennedy stayed the night before his assassination at the Ambassador Hotel the following morning.
The revelations in the book are almost too fantastical to believe. They include the idea that Milchan has fronted secret offshore accounts that have financed Isaeli intelligence activities, funded cultural events in Poland with the help of Roman Polanski, and been a key provider of nuclear technology for his country. In the end, Milchan paved the way for the authors to get in touch with all sorts of other people, everyone from Sumner Redstone and former Warner Bros. exec Terry Semel to a longtime lover of Milchan’s.