Michael George David Patrick Caborn-Waterfield
January 1st 1930 – May 4th 2016
SEX...........Actresses..Aircraft..Aristocrats..Arms.. Automobiles..Casinos..Champagne..Crime..Gambling.. Gangsters..Guns..Hedonism..Heiresses..Hookers.. Helicopters..Intrigue..Lies..Models..Money..Nightclub Orgies..Parties..Police..Pornography..Prison.. Racehorses..Restaurants..Robbery..Royalty..Scandal.. Secrets..Smuggling..Socialites..Starlets..Villains..Yachts
These are just a few key words I would choose when thinking about my dear old friend and soulmate who sadly passed away last year. I feel very honoured and privileged to have known him so well.For the second half of the twentieth century his debonair devilish schemes and capers captured headlines worldwide and yet he always remained composed, suave and silent.
Although his name was Michael Caborn-Waterfield, I always knew him simply as Kim’ (Not ‘Dandy Kim’) for over fifty years. I will refer to him as Michael in the first chapter of this book because the Catholic nuns at St Patrick’s in Miami didn’t actually ‘christen’ him ‘Kim’ until 1937.
His list of friends was an eclectic Debrett’s mixture of the World’s most influential, rich, powerful and notorious icons. His list of lovers is a bedroom guide to some of the most fascinating and beautiful women of all time.
There were many heated discussions about him from Hollywood to the White House, from Interpol to No 10 Downing Street and Scotland Yard.
Kim had a happy knack of being in the right place at the wrong time. The tales of his escapades and the intriguing characters he encountered, often in the most compromising situations, are wonderfully entertaining. A cavalier cavalcade of adventure from wartime Bermuda to the post war high society of London to Manhattan, Havana to Tangiers and Florida to the Cote d’Azur. Some of his stories are truly mind-blowing and unbelievable.
I have never written a book before, but having read some of the recent unpleasant
obituaries published by certain tabloids, I felt it was necessary to recite some of this unique gentleman’s amazing adventures as accurately as I could and create a lasting testimony to him which might help put the record straight and take the ‘lid off’ certain rumours and speculations. I feel qualified to do this considering the number of long lunches and endless evenings that I have spent reminiscing with this very unique and unusual character, as well as reading and looking after many of his documents and notes personally.
I often suggested to Kim that he should write his autobiography, but his reply to my suggestion was always the same……….
“Nigel, if I blow the lid off that damned lot, I could open up a bloody can of worms that will come back and haunt me for what’s left of my life. You have been privy to my most sensitive of papers, so best you write it after I have departed from this World.”
Well, I have done my best!
My background and career has always centered around ‘classic’ cars, a subject about which Kim was very knowledgeable, having owned and driven some of the World’s most exotic automobiles.
I first met Kim in 1965 when I was eight years old. My late father, Geoffrey Hamilton-Walker had an exclusive car showroom in London’s Sloane Street just opposite the Carlton Tower Hotel. He had just sold Terence Young (the director of the famous James Bond movies ‘From Russia With Love’ and ‘Thunderball’) a magnificent dark blue Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III convertible with a plush white hood and leather upholstery. Kim was due meet with Young the following evening at Les Ambassadeurs Club, in Hamilton Place where the new Rolls Royce had just been parked outside by the uniformed doorman. Kim saw the car, which was by chance painted and trimmed in his registered horse racing colours, he tried to buy it there and then from Young. The well-known film director told Kim where he had purchased the car, and suggested he visit the Sloane Street showroom. My father duly met him and sold him a similar Rolls Royce. I was present when he took delivery of this beautiful automobile and remember thinking what an elegant gentleman he was, attired in an immaculate Prince of Wales check suit, a lemon woven tie and very expensive alligator boots. His debonair appearance reminded me of the Duke of Windsor, whom Kim believed was a fashion icon.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s lives intertwine with Kim’s throughout the first half of this book.
The second time we met was in the mid 1970’s at ‘Le Casserole’ restaurant on Chelsea’s King’s Road. He had just returned from Australia and the Philippines promoting ‘Miss Topless Universe’.
His reputation preceded him, I was already aware of his involvement concerning the infamous robbery of Jack L. Warner’s palatial villa on the French Riviera, but I was not aware of the subsequently sworn ‘non-disclosure agreement’ promising a forty-year silence that was signed in 1960, securing his early release from a filthy French jail, or the incredible sensitivity of the documents linked to the Royal Family that he uncovered during the theft. I also knew that he was the founder of the Ann Summers sex shop empire.
He had recently been making the front pages again. This time he was contesting the late property tycoon Clive Raphael’s will, on behalf of his ex-wife, model and actress Penny Brahms in the High Court. Raphael’s private plane had mysteriously blown up mid-air near Paris, killing him and his passengers instantly. Penny Brahms had been Raphael’s very young wife prior to marrying Kim, and Raphael had bequeathed his then widow five pennies and five nude photographs of herself.
Kim wanted to buy a Bentley S3 Continental Coupe from me and part exchange another much rougher one, which had been used by Peter Wyngarde in the TV series ‘Jason King’. After much haggling with Kim and a certain Count Liechtenstein (the restaurant owner and one of Kim’s business partners) a deal was struck. I am sure that the homosexual Count was not from the famous European dynasty!
Kim was due to collect the car the following day from my showroom in Elvaston Mews, Chelsea but telephoned me and said:
“My poor darling girlfriend is suffering from growing pains, could you please deliver the Bentley Continental to my home in Eaton Terrace instead?”.
I shall never forget it. Our friendship began.
Years later, Kim would often came to stay with my family in London, Bournemouth and Kent, all I had to do for my house guest was keep the fridge topped up with Stella Artois and Sancerre, the former started at 10.00 a.m. sharp!....the latter could last until the early hours……….
I met some amazing people with Kim, unfortunately most of them are now deceased including Diana Dors, Alan Lake, Sir Mark Birley, Omar Sharif and Charles Gray (who played Blofeld in the James Bond movies) apart from Michael Medwin and Eddie Richardson, who I believe are still around.
Kim has often been portrayed as a playboy, a chancer, a thief and a womanizer for over six decades, so much tittle tattle has been written about him, but he was always one glass of wine ahead of the gossip columns.
I hope the chapters contained in this book will reveal the kind, generous, soft albeit somewhat vulnerable side of his charming charismatic personality.
Kim had an incredible presence, charisma and a ‘silver tongued’ voice that afforded him the ability to mingle with both Royalty and aristocracy as well as villains and gangsters. The two extremes of society could never meet, so he was the ideal conduit to initiate deals and schemes, almost a modern day ‘Robin Hood’!
The majority of well-known characters referred to in this book have had their stories told in many previous publications. Kim’s life links many of them together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, but his was far more interesting than theirs.
I have had mixed emotions whilst writing this biography and if it is published, I sincerely hope that it doesn’t wind up on the fiction counters!
This is the first book written solely about Kim and I duly dedicate it to his memory.