That was pretty much my reaction upon completing the 2,500 word piece regarding the upcoming memoir from Calvin Klein’s ex-lover Nick Gruber in Page Six Magazine—also known as the Paper of Record among Manhattan’s intellectual elite. If you don’t have time to read something that takes that in-depth a look at Gruber’s unsettling life—and really, you shouldn’t—don’t worry, because I did. And if you don’t care about Gruber’s unsettling life—and again, you shouldn’t—let me tempt you nonetheless with this quotable about Gruber, buried about 2,000 words in:
“I mean, he is a cross between Kim Kardashian and Honey Boo Boo."
Those were actual words spoken in the presence of a reporter by John Luciano, Gruber’s current love interest and a descendent of famed mobster Lucky Luciano. Somewhere, Lucky is rolling over in his grave, just as Calvin Klein is rolling over in the coffin he sleeps in during daylight hours.
Unfortunately, there’s more.
Gruber is 48 years younger than Calvin Klein and was 20 when they first locked eyes. He won’t reveal in this interview how they met, instead replying with just a coy promise that it will be detailed in his memoir (I’m guessing a truck stop). However, the first hurdle our hero had to overcome to be with Klein was his enlistment in the US Army. Luckily for Gruber, this was before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, so he asked, told and also showed his superiors a sex tape that he made in high school, cavorting with both a man and a woman at the same damn time. And then his superiors were presumably like, “This is kind of child porn, you should go.”
So, Gruber was free to enjoy the spoils of waking up next to one of the most recognizable and leathery faces in the world of fashion. Spoils like a 2011 Bentley Supersport for $250,000, his own luxury penthouse in the West Village and access to A-list events, including his own 21st birthday party in which Alec Baldwin, Donna Karan and Anna Wintour were among the guests who pretended like everything was totally normal and not at all creepy.
But things weren’t all rainbows and Botox for Gruber and Klein. As even Russian astronauts in space could see coming from miles away, Gruber began using drugs (he was already using people). Specifically cocaine, which is really boring and predictable. Seriously, how come newly rich people never get hooked on something interesting like PCP? Anyone? Anyone? Lohan?
Anyhow, judgment addled by booze and blow, Gruber let some dude sleep in Calvin’s apartment while Calvin was out of town and this resulted in what is arguably the best part of this whole sordid affair:
“When Klein returned, the housekeeper tattled about his lover's overnight guest. Despite Gruber's denials, the designer assumed the worst—and that's when things got ugly, he says.
‘[Calvin] picked me up in his car, drove me down to the Holiday Inn in Chelsea, and we went downstairs in the basement of the hotel,’ he says, furrowing his brow.
According to Gruber, another man was waiting there with a lie detector. He said he was an ex-detective and presented a business card bearing the name ‘Dr. Love.’ Gruber, indignant that Klein was accusing him of cheating, says he agreed to be hooked up to the machine and interrogated for about two hours.”
A hotel basement! A two-timing housekeeper! The furrowing of brows! Dr. Love! It’s one “Adios mio!” away from being a Mexican soap opera.
Gruber passed his lie detector test obviously—as if some wires and Dr. Love could keep him from his rightful place spending other people’s money—and he patched things up with Klein. Then he got further into drugs and assaulted a friend of his, also confusingly named Calvin, because Calvin II sexually harassed him, and when someone sexually harasses Gruber, “that just doesn’t click.”
To recap, a list of things that do click for Gruber:
2. Sleeping with a 70-year-old man
4. Dr. Love
A list of things that don’t click:
1. Sexual harassment
2. Living a quiet, fulfilling life with an appreciation for the little things
After the Calvin II incident, Calvin I paid for Gruber’s rehab and then dumped his ass and took back his Bentley. Here, the reporter noted that Gruber’s voice “turns bitter, his eyes downcast.”
But turn those downcast eyes up to a normal cast, little guy, because you’ve got a new, rich, older lover/benefactor in John Luciano! They met in AA, which you know, so much for the second A part, Page Six Magazine. Gruber and Luciano live together in West Hollywood and then spend the weekends at the Luciano family estate in Newport Beach, where I imagine they sit watching Boardwalk Empire every Sunday and Luciano is all, “It’s so weird watching someone who is younger than me play my dead great grandfather, you know?”
Luciano bought Gruber a BMW motorcycle and is totally cool with Gruber macking on girls from time to time because, oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Gruber maintains he’s not actually into dudes. So there's that.
Anyhow, the next time you pull on a pair of Calvins, don’t think about any of this, since Calvin Klein is no longer associated with the brand whatsoever. He’s also no longer associated with Gruber, with the exception of a few times that Gruber claims Klein sent private investigators to question him in New York and LA.
Private investigators? This sounds like a job for Dr. Love.
Steve Dool is a writer based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.