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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2018-08-29

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"I do think it's dangerous, personally. I feel like in any of this sort of stuff, you have to take each situation. We copped a bit of flack at the time, 'Why are there three straight actors playing three gay roles?' It's a difficult subject to get into." — Guy Pearce shares his thoughts on the idea that straight actors should only play straight roles, and that only gay actors can play gay roles, apropos of his turn in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are primarily known as the team that brought live musicals back to television. They also produced the theatrical film of Chicago. And produced the Oscars telecast. And produced the Broadway revivals of Promises, Promises and How To Succeed in Business. And, and, and … the list is endless. These guys love this business we call show. They're filled with drive and passion that's not solely motivated by the bottom line. Alas, this past week, Craig died unexpectedly after complications from shoulder-replacement surgery. I can honestly say that I never saw Craig ( or Neil for that matter ) without a smile, without exuberance, without an encouraging word. They both individually "discovered" me and subscribed to BillyMasters.com . They were supportive of me, and so many others. While we mourn Craig being taken from us way too soon, we are secure in the knowledge that his legacy will live on—and I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Neil.

While Aretha Franklin was on her deathbed, several tabloids were trotting out old stories about her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. In case you don't know, C.L. had what could politely be called a colorful sexual life, which allegedly included bisexuality and orgies.

Elsewhere in music, we have yet another sex scandal. Opera singer David Daniels and his hubby, conductor William Scott Walters, are alleged to have drugged and raped baritone Samuel Schultz. Way back in 2010, when the incident occurred, Daniels was 44 and Walters ( who goes by the name Scott and was not yet Daniels' husband ) was 28. Schultz was a 23-year-old student at Rice University.

He says that the couple invited him back to their apartment after a performance with the Houston Grand Opera, adding they gave him a drink and, after a few sips, he blacked out. He awoke hours later ( as he says in his police complaint ) "in a bed alone, completely naked. I was sore and I didn't know why. I made my way to the bathroom to figure out why I hurt. I was bleeding from my rectum. I became numb. I was paralyzed with fear. What had happened? How could I escape? How would I get out? Where were my clothes? I tiptoed out of the bedroom to discover that David and Scott were not there. When they came back from eating somewhere, I think they asked if I had a good time." He added one additional tidbit: "I remember David saying, 'Don't worry about the BB thing, I'm totally negative.' BB in this case meant bareback, otherwise known as raping me without a condom."

Schultz says he stayed silent because he was embarrassed and frightened of any professional repercussions. However, he did confide in a friend and a therapist. The friend did not advise Schultz to go to the police. He went public now after learning that Daniels is a tenured professor at the University of Michigan, where he'll be working with young singers. Schultz filed a complaint with the university's police department in July. They in turn passed it along to the Houston Police Department, since that's where the alleged incident occurred. Within hours of Schultz's claim going public, Daniels took a leave of absence from teaching. There's no word on Walters, who happens to be artistic director of the OutLoud Chorus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, both Daniels and Walters have denied the claims. Not that it's relevant, but when Daniels and Walters got married in 2014, the ceremony was officiated by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Oh, no—don't drag RBG into this!

By the way, we hear that there's a new sexual-assault charge against Kevin Spacey. For those of you playing at home, that makes two charges that the Los Angeles district attorney is reviewing.

The big gay news last week was that Garrett Clayton finally spoke publicly about being gay—apropos of his new film, Reach, in which he plays a suicidal high school student. "Reach deals with some very serious and timely topics that have affected me personally, and have likely influenced many of your lives as well," he said. He also said he wanted to post this news on Instagram "instead of in some random magazine or online article—because you are the ones that have been rooting for me and following me on my professional and personal journey in life."

Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Jarrod in Milwaukee. "Whatever happened to Taylor Lautner? It seemed like he was gonna be the next big thing, but then nothing happened. Does he still act?"

Did he ever? I mean "act?" I don't think anyone thought Taylor would be the next great thespian. Did anyone anxiously await the Taylor Lautner Hamlet? But, hot? Yes—in that way that so many teenage young men are. Glamour listed him as second on its list of "The 50 Sexiest Men of 2010." Of course, in 2010 Lautner was all of 18—to paraphrase Britney, not a boy, not yet a man. That same year, Men's Health even detailed his workout regime—as if a teen's regime was relevant to an adult male ( but the photos were good ). If one wants proof of that, check out the recent pics of Lautner cavorting on the beach during some of his seemingly endless free time. If you ask me, the visibility of abs are in direct proportion with his career. See for yourself at BillyMasters.com .

When we're spotlighting the twilight of 2010's second sexiest man, it's definitely time to end yet another column. We ran so long, I barely have time to remind you to check out www.BillyMasters.com—the irreverent site that's even popular with reverends. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before the fat lady sings. So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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