Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Review: Tabloid Book Writer Ed Klein’s Son Throws Dad Under the Bus, Reveals His Grisly Suicide Attempt in New Book


I guess Ed Klein should be proud of his son, Alec. The elder Klein has made a living writing nasty tabloid books about the Clintons, the Obamas, and even Katie Couric over the last few years. He’s feasted on the retelling and imagining of stories about Jackie Onassis. All his sources are anonymous and there have been scandals about their authenticity.

Once, unimaginably, Ed Klein was editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine. But that was some 30-plus years ago. Klein’s last book, in 2017, was called “All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump,” published– like his last several books — by right wing group Regnery Publishing.

Now comes the revelation from Alec– who has his own scandal, I’ll get to that in a minute. In his book, “Aftermath,” Alec reveals that his father tried to kill himself in a most grisly way– by taking 100 pills and putting a plastic garbage bag over his head. He didn’t die. He wound up in rehab.

Alec felt that his father did it because he, the son, was about to be interrogated at Northwestern University over dozens of #metoo accusations. Ten women had signed a letter to the University accusing the younger Klein of sexual harassment in different forms.

“I figured my father was so humiliated by my sudden fall from grace, the public skewering, the way it brought shame to the whole family and all of our ancestors, he couldn’t bear it…”

Alec Klein was drummed out of academia and Northwestern after the accusations and allegations against him were revealed. “Aftermath,” in which he tries to plead his case, comes from a Christian publisher because, of course, both Kleins, he says, found Jesus. (Alec explains that his mother was Japanese, all his father’s wives were Christian, and he’s not really Jewish anyway since his mother wasn’t.)

Ed Klein’s tabloid books are full of gory stories about his subjects, told second or third hand, not always attributed, many questionable. It’s the low end of biography, somewhere below Kitty Kelley, even. So it seems only right that his own son, disgraced in academia, gets to reveal the father’s suicide attempt not once but several times in “Aftermath.” He also says that Ed Klein kidnapped him and his sister when they were children, taking them away from the Japanese mother, forcing her — his words, all — “into destitution.” What a family!

That’s enough, right? I’d skip this book. In honor of Ed Klein, pick up a copy of Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land.” See what humans are really like.

By the way, Northwestern University spokesman told their own publication:

“Northwestern is aware of the pending book release by Alec Klein. The University investigated the allegations against him thoroughly, following established procedures designed to ensure fairness to all parties. The decisions of some Northwestern students to come forward with their complaints undoubtedly were not easy ones, and we commend them for having had the courage to do so.”



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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