What Is Cathy Seipp’s Passing Doing To People?

There were all sorts of battles fought around Cathy in her final weeks and now that she has died, some of these old battles have relaunched with a new ferocity while new ones begin between old friends. What else can we expect from the passing of someone as divisive as Cathy? My attitude about writing on Cathy after she has died is the same as when I wrote about her before she died — to tell the truth to the best of my ability and to quote all perspectives on her. I don’t believe in speaking any differently about the dead than the living.

Over the past 16 hours, I’ve received from friends numerous phone calls, emails, blog comments and IMs concerned about the negative things I’ve posted about Cathy and the effects such postings have on Maia. At the same time, I hear from people with mixed to negative views of Cathy who are glad for my less sanitized portrait of her. I don’t blog to get the approval of any crowd except for that crowd that most values the striving after truth about those such as Cathy who put themselves in the public eye.

Though Cathy was my friend, I was never a Cathy partisan (I don’t think of myself as a partisan to anyone or anything) and I will not be one in my writing. I think she’s a great story, and I don’t care where that story, or any such story, goes.

Where is Cathy’s daughter Maia Lazar in all this? After I explained my intentions, she said Sunday that she does not care what I write, be it negative or positive, about her mother. And even if Maia did care, I’m not going to soften my approach to a public figure such as Cathy to spare anyone’s feelings. Cathy was magnificently polarizing. She was easy to love and hate. That she was overwhelmingly wonderful to me does not change how I will report on how others’ felt about her.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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