The widow Holbrooke may not be merry, but she’s looking pretty glamorous in this month’s issue of Vogue. For an excerpt of her new memoir, Kati Marton posed at a Parisian cafe — complete with latte, baguette and notebook — for the article titled, “Starting Over.”
For 15 years, Marton, 63, was married to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the brilliant, opinionated diplomat who famously negotiated the Bosnian peace agreement. His sudden death in December 2010 from a torn aorta generated an outpouring of A-list tributes from President Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and other world leaders. Marton fled to Paris, the site of so many milestones in her life, to write, “Paris: A Love Story.”
The book is mostly a paean to her life with Holbrooke, her third husband with whom she found “lasting love” — plus a parade of high-level friends. A few highlights:
• Marton’s first husband is not named; her second, the late ABC newsman Peter Jennings, does not fare especially well. “From the earliest days the strains of a love affair between two emotionally needy and ambitious people were apparent.” Fifteen years and two children couldn’t save their marriage. She had an affair and finally left Jennings because he wanted “a full-time supporter of all his efforts and needs, only minimally distracted by her own.”
• Holbrooke (sentimental, romantic) swept Marton off her feet. “He said he had waited a long time for me, and I was for him, and that was that.” The lovers married in Budapest in front of the Hungarian president and his cabinet but not Marton’s children: “Peter did not encourage their attendance — to say the least.”
• During her husband’s last hours, Marton fielded calls from Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s Asif Zardani — and began a call from his doctor with. “What paper are you with?”
• Marton noticed a tall blonde at Holbrooke’s memorial service at the Kennedy center: former girlfriend Diane Sawyer, who lived with him for seven years. Marton quotes a note she received from the newswoman after he died: “At the core of Richard Holbrooke was his deep love for you.”
The book will be released Aug.14, but you can read an excerpt in this month’s issue of Vogue.