I knew most of this stuff, but it does make Great Reading:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320323/Tu...
They broke the mold when he left use - WHAT A GUY.
Turbo charged by lust: How Formula One womaniser James Hunt's most outrageous act was to 'sell' his wife to Richard Burton for $1m
By Tom Rubython
Last updated at 11:31 PM on 13th October 2010
Comments (10) Add to My Stories James Hunt was not known for behaving appropriately. But never was he more outrageous than in the last two weeks of October 1976, when he was in Tokyo battling Niki Lauda for the title of Formula One world motor racing champion.
His preparations were unconventional, to say the least. He had spent the two weeks leading up to the race on a round-the-clock alcohol, cannabis and cocaine binge with his friend Barry Sheene, who was world motorcycle champion that year.
While Jackie Stewart famously abstained from sex a week before a motor race, Hunt would often have sex minutes before climbing into the cockpit.
Life in the fast lane: Hunt with glamour model Susan Shaw
He had a gigantic appetite for sex. Physically, he was unequalled even if, emotionally, he was, perhaps, an amateur.
In Japan, his playground of choice was the Tokyo Hilton, where every morning British Airways stewardesses were dropped off at reception for a 24-hour stopover.
Hunt unfailingly met them as they checked in and invited them to his suite for a party — they always said yes.
It wasn’t unusual for him and Sheene to have sex with all of the women, often together.
But, as Stirling Moss, who used to carouse with Hunt in Monte Carlo before he was married, said: ‘If you looked like James Hunt, what would you have done?’
British Formula One driver James Hunt shortly after marrying model Suzy Miller
No one watching Hunt that week in 1976 would have believed he was preparing for the race of his life.
At the circuit, he had been behaving bizarrely — at one point dropping his overalls and urinating in full view of the crowds in the grandstand. The spectators, many of whom had powerful binoculars trained on him, applauded once he had finished.
He waved back. Even on race day, his mind was on other things — and he didn’t care who knew it.
Nothing could have prepared Patrick Head, now co-owner of the Williams F1 team but then a young car designer, for the morning when he inadvertently walked into the wrong pit garage.
He found Hunt inside, with his racing overalls around his ankles, cavorting with a Japanese girl. Hunt laughed when he saw the interloper, who left, not quite believing what he had seen.
A few minutes later, Hunt left the garage and went around the side to carry out his pre-race ritual of vomiting — the result of extreme nerves combined with overindulgence.
Finally ready for action, Hunt went out to drive the race of his life . . . and won the 1976 world championship, beating his nearest rival by one point.
The televised action was seen by more than 30 million people around the world and his victory signalled a huge celebration.
It was 24 hours before he was due to return to Britain and, in the interim, Hunt drank himself silly.
At a British Embassy reception in his honour, Hunt was so drunk that the ambassador hesitated to let him in.
The return flight on Japan Airlines had been block-booked by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s travel company and was the scene for a riotous 12-hour party that drained the plane of alcohol.
When Hunt arrived back at Heathrow airport, 2,000 fans were waiting to greet him. He staggered down the steps of the aircraft, drunk, into the arms of his mother Sue and his beautiful, long-suffering girlfriend Jane Birbeck.
Famous friends: Hunt with his wife Suzy. The couple would later divorce and she would go on to marry actor Richard Burton (right)
Drifting apart: Hunt expressed his regret at proposing to Miller soon after
She had been seeing Hunt for nearly a year, but had no idea he’d bedded 33 British Airways hostesses and countless young Japanese fans during his two-week stay in Tokyo.
But ‘bedded’ is probably the wrong word — there was rarely time to get them into bed, such were Hunt’s demands. He took his women whenever and wherever he could and slept with more than 5,000 in his lifetime. The world championship win capped an extraordinary year for Hunt, during which his personal life had gathered as many newspaper column inches as his race successes.
At the beginning of 1976, he had been married to the ex-model Suzy Miller. (But after Hunt’s antics they split up and — as I’ll explain — she went on to swap one hard-drinking, womanising husband for another in the form of actor Richard Burton.)
Hunt and Suzy had met in Spain in 1974. She was a striking woman — a willowy, small-breasted blonde — not classically beautiful, but her looks, presence and effect on people were similar to the late Princess Diana’s. She captivated everyone she met.
Barely 24, a year younger than Hunt, she had spent much of her childhood in southern Rhodesia with her expat parents, her twin sister, Vivienne, and brother, John.
Hunt and Miller fell into easy conversation and, a few extraordinary weeks later, he proposed.
Immediately after the proposal, he expressed regret to his friends, saying he was not sure what he was doing. He wanted Miller as his girlfriend, but was sexually attracted to other women.
Miller, however, was perfect for parading as his partner. She added a great deal of value to him — and he knew it. So he resolved to try to make the relationship work.
The engagement party was held at his brother Peter’s apartment in London and many of the guests were surprised James Hunt was getting married.
His ex-girlfriend, Taormina Rieck, had married in the intervening years since their break up and was also there. Hunt was still close to Rieck and had attended her wedding the year before.
Now, Hunt stood before her confessing that he didn’t want to marry Suzy.
He said: ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this.’ To which she retorted: ‘Well, why the hell are you, you silly clot?’
Playboy: Hunt had a reputation as a party animal off the track
He allegedly told her it had gone too far and he couldn’t get out of it. She remembers him appearing weak and confused, at odds with the confident Hunt everyone knew.
There was also the problem of being faithful.
Hunt loved having sex with his new fiancee, but it was over too quickly for his tastes. He was a sex addict before the term came into common usage and unfaithful to her almost from the start.
Yet, for a time, he enjoyed home life and was in love with her, or so he thought, and undeniably proud of having landed her. As his friend, the journalist Gerald Donaldson, astutely observed: ‘The emotional component of a relationship for James was still virgin territory.’
The prospect of marriage had been haunting Hunt but, seeing no way out, he turned to drinking.
For the full four days leading up to the wedding, held at the Brompton Oratory in Kensington and undoubtedly the society wedding of the year, he was never once sober.
The day of the wedding was a farce. At six o’clock that morning, Hunt poured himself the first of many beers. Before leaving for the church, he knocked back a couple of Bloody Marys. By the time he walked up the aisle, he was hopelessly intoxicated.
As Hunt said later: ‘I just couldn’t handle the whole scene, so I went out and got blind, roaring drunk.’
Suzy smiled her way through it all, convinced it would be different now he was a married man — even though the portents were not auspicious.
Hunt is said to have slept with over 5,000 women during his lifetime
Relaxing: The Formula One driver was more than happy to embrace the glamorous temptations of the sport
The following day, they left for their honeymoon in Antigua and, once more, the occasion proved to be anything but straightforward. He had invited his newly-married best friend, the Hesketh Formula One team manager Anthony ‘Bubbles’ Horsley, to come along with his new bride.
While Suzy Miller and Bubbles’ wife had undoubtedly envisaged honeymooning alone with their husbands, the two men clearly preferred each other’s company.
It was an entirely selfish gesture.
When the Hunts returned to Spain, things did not improve: Hunt was absent most of the time.
Suzy simply wanted a settled family life, but by 1975 admitted to friends: ‘I literally felt like a spare part. I was just there for the show.’ Within a few months, Suzy realised the marriage was not going to work. Still, she was prepared to give it time in the unlikely event that she was wrong.
Hunt’s mother was on her daughter-in-law’s side, saying: ‘Suzy is gorgeous, but I can see that for James to be married is impossible. I love him, but I’d hate to have him for a husband.’
Hunt soon began planning how to ditch her. He tried to explain what had gone wrong: ‘I thought that marriage was what I wanted and needed to give me a nice, stable and quiet home life, but, in fact, it wasn’t. And the mistake was mine.’
Facing up to the possibility that she, too, had made a mistake, Suzy also wanted out.
Yet she remained supportive and sympathetic to Hunt, which only heightened his sense of responsibility towards her.
He said: ‘I was very anxious not to hurt her. There are nice and nasty ways to do things and I hope I can never be a hurtful person.’
The marriage dragged on for another eight months as Suzy looked for a new partner.
Hunt knew he had to get out and prayed for a miracle. That miracle arrived in the shape of Richard Burton, who was then Britain’s most famous actor.
At the end of December 1975, with their 14-month marriage in pieces, Hunt and Suzy Miller went to Gstaad in Switzerland for Christmas with friends. Gstaad was the place to be that year, a festive playground for the rich and famous.
Coincidentally, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were also staying there, at a villa called Chalet Arial.
Hunt (pictured here with Stirling Moss) won the 1976 World Championship by a single point
Burton and Taylor had married in 1964. They divorced in 1974, but almost immediately got back together and, a year later in October 1975, they remarried.
Just as Hunt and Suzy Miller’s marriage had been a fiasco, so, too, was Burton and Taylor’s — both couples found themselves looking for an exit almost immediately. In Gstaad, Burton first set eyes on Suzy Miller as they were travelling in opposite directions on a ski lift.
Burton turned to his assistant, Brook Williams, and asked who was the ‘vision that had just passed by’.
He was struck down by Suzy’s sheer presence, as he would say later: ‘I turned around and there was this gorgeous creature, about nine feet tall. She could stop a stampede.’
By then, Hunt had flown to São Paulo to compete in the Brazilian Grand Prix in the opening race of the 1976 season.
Williams sought out Suzy and invited her to a party in Gstaad a few days later and there Burton was captivated.
Williams invited her to come to the house the following day and, after that, Suzy started visiting Chalet Arial regularly. The affair, which began almost immediately, was Suzy’s first dalliance since her marriage to Hunt.
He was 50 and she was 26 but, as Burton said: ‘She was mature far beyond her years.’
At the end of January, Burton told Elizabeth Taylor that their marriage was over.
Suzy had kept Hunt fully informed by telephone of the developing affair and to say that he was delighted would have been an understatement.
In fact, when she told him Burton had invited her to join him in New York, he replied: ‘Fine, off you go.’
After he told Taylor it was over, Burton summoned Suzy to New York and their relationship developed so quickly into a proposal of marriage that a request for a quickie divorce was made to Hunt, while he was in South Africa.
Hunt was delighted his wife had found Richard Burton. The two men immediately spoke on the telephone to arrange what they called the ‘transfer’ of Suzy.
Burton offered to pay Hunt’s divorce settlement to Suzy: $1 million. Burton couldn’t believe that Hunt was so casual about letting go of his beautiful wife.
Hunt simply said: ‘Relax, Richard. You’ve done me a wonderful turn by taking on the most alarming expense account in the country.’
Miller, effectively, had been sold to Burton by Hunt for $1 million and both were satisfied with the transaction.
For Hunt, it couldn’t have worked out better; he had got rid of the wife he never wanted and saved himself the divorce costs.
In June 1976, the divorces of Taylor and Burton and Hunt and Miller were formalised in Port Au Prince, the capital of Haiti, in the Caribbean. There, foreigners could get divorced in a day.
On August 21, Suzy and Burton were married in Virginia.
Meanwhile, Hunt’s mother, Sue, told journalists: ‘I’m quite convinced that whomever my son had married, the same situation would have arisen.
‘Suzy was a delight, but James is just not the marrying kind.’
- Shunt by Tom Rubython is published by The Myrtle Press, at £25. Available to buy at Bertram.
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