At an academic writers' convention held somewhere in the white underbelly of America, Robert Olen Butler, a jilted Pulitzer Prize-winning husband, spilled the beans. Ted Turner, the media mogul and 'mouth of the south', had made his ex-wife, novelist Elizabeth Dewberry, an offer she couldn't refuse. She left him. He complained that Turner gave Dewberry a free condo in one of his buildings with the proviso that she share it with him for one week each month. And at least three other women have accepted similar deals.
So is Ted Turner, post Jane Fonda, just a philanderer, or is he now a proponent of Mormon-style Big Love, or a neo-Muslim with four wives? This undercover network is most intriguing. Condominium Concubine Network - a revamp by the guy who devised the original CNN. Gawker posted the weird memo which Butler, 50, sent to his graduate writing students at Florida State University.
It is not disclosed whether the paramours are all in the same building or --more likely-- bed down at Turner's 14 ranches in Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota.) Butler's rather colorized version of the situation is that his perky child-bride (cattily dismissed as a mediocre novelist by her colleagues) has become infatuated with a man who resembles her own grandfather, the Christian Evangelical abuser of her youth, after suffering a painful blockage of the gut while cavorting with Turner in Argentina.
Who needs fiction with author's biographies as off the wall as this? Bookjacket photos of Dewberry and Butler, below, don't hint at these dark undercurrents. She appears to be as bland blonde as a Florida anchorwoman, though her books, such as His Lovely Wife, belie appearances, according to smitten reviewers. No photos of the family cats were available and the white fluffy dog they both dote on is something the Beast declined to publicize