EXCLUSIVE: The auction for Jon Peters’ controversial autobiography Studio Head will be conducted with NYC publishers within the next two weeks. This time the hairdresser turned movie producer turned Sony Pictures Entertainment mogul turned movie producer has a new agent. Formerly repped by David Vigliano, Peters is now with Trident’s Dan Strone. Peters previously sold his memoir in 2009 to HarperCollins for $700,000. But then I published Peters’ full book proposal — “the rise of Jon Peters from reform school hairdresser to Chairman of Sony-Columbia Pictures is the most audacious and most unlikely success story in the history of the entertainment business” — and Hollywood was reviled. Because it took aim at his many professional and personal relationships, targeting everyone from Barbra Streisand to Peter Guber to one-night stands. As my headline opined at the time: IT SHOULD BE CALLED ‘DICKHEAD’: Why Jon Peters’ Book Proposal Sets New Low. When Hollywood expressed its revulsion, Peters apologized and put the book on the back burner. Well, I just got off the phone with Peters who says there’s now “a lot of interest” in the same book outline he penned with Los Angeles writer Bill Stadiem. “You have a copy of it. We went out with same proposal you already made public. But I have written new pages I haven’t shown to anybody to make it more honest and more real. It’s not going to be nasty or mean. It’s a loving story. It’s basically the truth of my experience.”
To refresh your memories, here’s what I wrote about the Superman and Batman producer’s book proposal the last time around: “In all my time covering Hollywood, I have never read a more vile betrayal of everyone and everything in Hollywood by a showbiz figure than this proposal. And that’s saying a lot. Sure, I’m tired of the usual claptrap Hollywood memoir that doesn’t lay a glove on anyone. On the other hand, I thought Julia Phillips at least had the integrity to be as hard on herself as she was on Hollywood. But it is clear to me that Peters’ intent with this book is to hurt those he once held dear. I don’t understand why he’s doing this. He doesn’t need the money. He doesn’t need the fame. He does need therapy. Here is the statement I received from Peter Guber, at one time Jon’s longtime partner as a producer and at Sony: ‘After four decades in this industry I will stand by my reputation and Jon Peters should stand by his. I find it surprising that any publisher would be interested in his work of fiction.’ ”
Of course since then Peter Guber has written his own book. So like it or not, Hollywood may have to resign itself to the fact that Peters is determined to have his say. He also told me that he plans to “write a lot of books”.