After years of keeping his private life, well, private, the legendary Chanel creative director has opened up about late boyfriend Jacques de Bascher (below, left) in French journalist Marie Ottavi’s new book, Jacques de Bascher: Dandy de l’ombre.
Lagerfeld and de Bascher were together for 18 years in the '70s and '80s, until de Basher died of AIDS-related complications in 1989 at the age of 38. Interestingly, the two never had sex. “I infinitely loved that boy but I had no physical contact with him. Of course, I was seduced by his physical charm,” Lagerfeld told Otavvi, according to excerpts published by WWD.
The book also reportedly reveals that Lagerfeld slept on a cot bed in de Bascher's hospital room and stayed by his partner’s side until his death and attend the funeral, despite a reputation for never going to funerals.
Ottavi explained what it was like for Lagerfeld to open up. “It’s still a very emotional topic for him, and he opened up as perhaps he has never done before,” she said. “He watched this man, whom he once admired for his style, allure, spirit and innate sense of beauty, take his last breath and absolutely wither. That’s a terrible ordeal, and the fact that he talked about it was a beautiful thing.”
Additionally, Lagerfeld opens up about de Bascher’s promiscuity and his affair with designer Yves Saint Laurent. “Of course I knew about the affair with Saint Laurent. I had been close friends with Yves for more than 20 years,” he said.
“We used to go out in the early days with Anne-Marie Munoz and Victoire Doutreleau. Pierre [Bergé, Laurent's partner at the time] smashed that to bits. He said I engineered their liaison to destabilize the house of Saint Laurent," he added.
Lagerfeld said he turned a blind eye to de Bascher’s actions. “I didn’t hold him accountable. I only wanted to see the bright side of Jacques. I was unaware of what he kept in the shadows. He would tell me about what he did when I wasn’t around, but I didn’t ask questions,” he said.
This sounds like an epic page-turner.