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Thread: Paul Raymond

  1. #1
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default Paul Raymond

    Paul Raymond is an alias of Geoffrey Anthony Quinn born in 1925 in Liverpool, England. He adopted the name Paul Raymond in 1947.

    He is an English pornographer, property developer and owner of the Raymond Revuebar strip club and several major English erotic magazines such as Razzle and Mayfair. He regularly appears on UK rich lists and is a widely believed to be a billionaire.

    Raymond started out by opening the Revuebar in 1957, which continues to the present day. He has sometimes been presented as being the English equivalent of Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt in the USA, but is quite different in nature, partly due to the more restrictive obscenity laws of the UK. Like them however, he has played a role in the debate over pornography.

    In recent years however, his fortunes have waned due to competition from magazines that are not as explicitly sexual.

    Raymond long ago diversified beyond pornography, and has many millions tied up in property and real estate, most notably in Soho.

    Raymond groomed his only daughter Debbie as his business succesor but she died in the 1990s.

    He is listed at on the Sunday Times Rich List 2004 and valued at £600 million, although it has been claimed that this is a fraction of his wealth.
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    Newbie sidburyman's Avatar
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    Don't think he owns the Revuebar anymore - there was a telly documentary on C4 sometime last year with Raymond featuring in one of the episodes - there was a full bio and everything. Very interesting stuff, and he had some utterly bizarre hairstyles!

    The revuebar is now a gay nightclub I think, owned and operated by new management. The fortunes of the club declined in the mid/late 90's when the lap-dancing craze really took off

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    Default How my ruthless father tore our family apart, by Paul Raymond's son

    How my ruthless father tore our family apart, by Paul Raymond's son

    The last words of the legendary "king of porn" and property tycoon Paul Raymond were so unexpected that his son Howard thought he had misheard them.

    After a lifetime carousing with the topless dancers who performed at his notorious Raymond Revuebar in Soho, all he could repeat as he lay in hospital dying from respiratory failure was: "I want to see my wife."
    The ramblings of a dying man, or had Paul Raymond's guilt finally caught up with him as the priest arrived to administer the last rites?

    For his wife was Howard's late mother, dancer and choreographer Jean Bradley, who divorced the multi-millionaire entrepreneur in 1974 - walking out on 25 years of marriage and a life of luxury - because of his flagrant womanising.

    Living close to poverty in a terraced cottage in a Nottinghamshire village, her animosity towards the "cheating drunk" remained undimmed right up to her death in February 2002. Her sentiments were summed up by the picture of him she hung on the wall. It was framed in a toilet seat.

    Jean blamed her ex-husband for the death in 1992 of their 36-year-old daughter Debbie, whose pampered life of excess as the "Princess of Porn" and heiress apparent to her father ended in an accidental heroin overdose.

    It was a tragedy from which Paul Raymond never recovered, withdrawing to his luxury penthouse flat where he lived as a recluse with the curtains permanently drawn until the ambulance arrived on Wednesday last week to take him to hospital.

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    Cursed? Paul Raymond with his daughter Debbie

    "A couple of days before my father died I went to see him and he kept repeating over and over again, 'I want to see my wife'," says Howard, 48, speaking for the first time about his father's death on Sunday at the age of 82. "It was the most bizarre thing, and it greatly upset me because it made me think: 'They went through all the aggravation for nothing.'

    "Perhaps it was his very deep-rooted Catholicism coming out, but I truly believe my father loved my mother right to the end and, despite everything, she loved him too. Other women came and went over the years, but he had no one when he died.

    "The truth is he never wanted to split up. He once told a business partner: 'She wasn't meant to leave. Women don't leave their husbands.' But my mother was a very strong-willed woman. She wasn't prepared to turn a blind eye, even if he bought her a diamond every time she complained."
    Howard looks shattered and bereft. He is busy planning a Roman Catholic funeral for Raymond, which will take place in South-West London next week, following his father's instructions to the letter.

    It will be a small, private affair attended by close family and friends including Howard, his children Cheyenne, 24, a make-up artist and occasional dancer, and Boston, 22, a medical student, and Debbie's children - Fawn, 19, a student, and India Rose, 14, who is still at school.

    Also present will be Raymond's nephew Mark Quinn, 43, who now runs the empire having taken over from his late father Philip Quinn, a retired GP who was drafted in to run the business when Paul became a recluse following his daughter's death.

    Raymond's eldest child Derry McCarthy, 57, born out of wedlock to dancer Noreen O'Horan, is not expected to attend. Paul only met his son once, when Derry was 25. Howard has never spoken to him and appears to have no desire to.

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    At home: Raymond with wife Jean, son Howard and daughter Debbie

    Then there is the matter of the will, and who will inherit Raymond's £650million fortune, which, given the tragic tales held within this particular dynasty, has led to some to describe it as "cursed". Certainly it never brought Raymond much happiness.

    There are already rumours of a battle. It has been reported that just as Paul favoured Debbie in life, following her death he favoured her daughters over Howard and his children, whose circumstances were at times greatly reduced. But Howard insists his father fully discussed his will with him before his death and there are no unpleasant surprises.

    For years the black sheep of the family, cast out of the business in the 1980s when he became addicted to cocaine while his older sister was indulged despite her own drug habit, Howard was clearly back in the fold by the time of his father's death.

    "I visited my father every ten days or so for the last 12 years of his life. I loved him and he said he loved me," he says. "Are those the actions of a father and son who were estranged?

    "We had arguments just like any other father and son - the difference was ours were played out in public. Of course he was closer to Debbie's children than mine. Their mother had died and he was worried about them, but he cared very much for my children too.

    "The money is irrelevant. I would much rather my father was still alive. I miss him. I feel completely adrift. He was a recluse when he died, but I don't think he had any regrets. He was very proud of what he'd achieved and I'm proud of him too. He turned Soho from a seedy little area into a vibrant, thriving, cosmopolitan place.

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    At work: Raymond with dancers from his club

    "He could be incredibly tough, but he did soften with age. In the final years of his life we got on very well and enjoyed each other's company."

    Howard, an easy-going character, today works as a leisure events organiser and has no desire to take over his father's business. These days he is keen to gloss over whatever differences he may have had with his father, and play down the intense competition with his sister for his father's love.

    Debbie was always a daddy's girl, while Howard was much closer to his mother. While Debbie attended the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies' College in Gloucestershire, Howard boarded at Shiplake College in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, until he was asked to leave aged 16 having been caught sneaking off to go nightclubbing in London.

    It was around this time that his parents' marriage collapsed. This came as a huge shock to Howard as he had always assumed they were happy together and had never seen them arguing.

    "My mother ended the marriage when she found out about a girlfriend called Amber. She made my father promise to end it," says Howard. "He told her he'd dumped Amber, but he simply changed her name to Julie instead. And when she found out about Julie, he changed her name to Fiona."
    Fiona was, of course, Fiona Richmond, the soft porn actress he took up with after his marriage broke up. Debbie responded to this rival for her father's affections by smashing a bottle of champagne over her head, although they later became friends.

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    Girlfriend: Raymond and Fiona Richmond

    Howard moved with his mother to the U.S. where he worked first as a bell-boy and then as a tennis pro, while Debbie stayed in London to pursue her dream of becoming a successful pop singer.

    Howard fell in love with a waitress called Maria, whom he brought back to Britain and married when they were both 21, while in 1978 Debbie married musician Jonathan Hodge.

    Now 63, Jonathan says: "Paul wasn't your usual father-in-law. He was genial company and we would sit together into the small hours demolishing a bottle of brandy."

    Jonathan, whose marriage ended after 18 months - when Debbie left him for Olympic swimmer David Wilkie - recalls how manipulative Raymond could be with Debbie and Howard.
    "Paul certainly didn't discourage infighting between Howard and Debbie. One or other of them was persona non grata. It was as if Paul was testing the water with them. For example, he'd have a girl from the club with him at the table and he'd pull Debbie's leg saying: 'This is going to be the new Mrs Raymond, and you'll all have to get on now.' Debbie would look as if the roof was going to fall in."

    With Howard back in London working for his father, Debbie became increasingly jealous of the renewed relationship between father and son and - according to Howard's ex-wife, Maria - deliberately introduced her brother to cocaine to wreck it.

    Howard denies this but concedes that his marriage collapsed shortly after the birth of his daughter Cheyenne because of his cocaine addiction and the discovery of his affair with actress Rebecca Taylor, who later bore his son Boston.

    Raymond, who abhorred drugs, threw Howard out of the business and told him to sort his life out. This he duly did, by moving to Manchester, kicking his cocaine habit and securing a job as a £30,000-a-year merchant banker.

    "I just woke up one morning and thought: 'That's it - I've had enough.' I stopped overnight," says Howard.

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    Beloved daughter: Debbie died in 1992 from a drugs overdose

    With Howard out of the way, Debbie cemented her role as daddy's favourite. She split up with David Wilkie and at a party in 1985 met Duncan Mackay, former keyboard player in the pop group 10cc. He became the father of her eldest daughter Fawn, now potentially the richest teenager in London.

    But this relationship, too, ended in failure. Mackay split from Debbie when Fawn was just four months old and hasn't seen his daughter since she was four. Now 57, he lives in South Africa.

    He says: "There was no one specific reason why I broke up with Debbie. We fell out of love. When Debbie later told me she was getting married and that her husband wanted to adopt Fawn, I didn't stand in their way. I decided to let her get on with her life without me popping in and out of it.

    "I've not seen Fawn since she was tiny, but I've always carried a photo of her when she was four in my wallet. If she was to knock on my door I'd welcome her with open arms.

    "Paul was very distraught when Debbie died. She was his life, his little girl. When she died I think Fawn then became the apple of his eye. I just hope she doesn't turn into Paris Hilton, with lots of money, prancing around."

    When Fawn was four Debbie married her final husband, John James, who still runs the Raymond property arm, and had a second daughter, India Rose.

    But having it all was never enough. Plagued with self-doubt, anxiety and depression, worsened by her double mastectomy for breast cancer in 1991, Debbie turned to drink and drugs as her second marriage collapsed. She drank a bottle of vodka a day and took ecstasy and cocaine, as well as anti-depressants.

    Howard was himself recovering from an operation on a life-threatening twisted gut in a London hospital when his father called to tell him Debbie was dead, killed by a heroin overdose at her new boyfriend's flat.

    "I could barely take it in," says Howard. "A few days before, Debbie had visited me in hospital with £500 worth of flowers and a bottle of wine. I hadn't seen her for ten years and the next thing I knew she was gone."
    It was Howard who witnessed Paul Raymond's decline from fur-coated businessman to pyjama-clad recluse who refused to leave his flat.

    He says: "The curtains were always closed and he'd spend all day in his pyjamas, often lying in bed watching TV with a glass of brandy by his side. His hair was shoulder length, just as it had been in his heyday, but it's not true that he refused to cut his fingernails like Howard Hughes.

    "He'd get up in the morning, have a bath, change into fresh pyjamas and go back to bed. I'd try to persuade him to go out - even for a walk in the park - but he'd say: 'Maybe tomorrow.'

    "The one time he went out was when we persuaded him to come out for lunch for his 78th birthday. I think it was the Ritz or the Caprice, but after the first course he stood up and said: 'I'm a bit tired, I think I'll go home now.'

    "I think he'd just had enough. He was tired. He'd 'done all that, read the book, got the T-shirt'. There was nothing left to do. It was the same old scene, the same old rubbish and he'd had enough of it.

    "I don't know if he blamed himself for Debbie's death. He never talked about it. The shutters would come down if you tried to mention it. It was that Catholic thing again. If you ignore it, then it hasn't happened."
    As for Howard, will his father's millions - if, of course, he receives any - make him happy? Last night, in a strange twist, his former partner and mother of their son Boston, Rebecca Taylor, 50, revealed that they are engaged to be married.

    She said of their on-off relationship: "You could say it's been the longest courtship in history, but we decided to make it legal and proper after all these years and it's fantastic." Howard, however, enigmatically refuses to comment.

    Source: Here

    Additional reporting by Nick Craven
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