The Washington Post

Fawn Hall: from WHCD to book store (Catching Up With...)

Former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane talks with Fawn Hall, former secretary for Lt. Col. Oliver North during a White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (Doug Mills/Associated Press)

It’s been 25 years since Fawn Hall became the first “celebrity” to walk among the journalists, officials, and other assorted Washington types usually gathered at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Then, she turned heads — the secretary to Oliver North had been thrust into the paparazzi crosshairs in the weeks before the black-tie dinner when the story emerged that she had helped her boss cover up evidence of the controversial arms-for-hostages deal. And her appearance on the arm of Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly (who died in 2003 while covering the Iraq War) helped spawn the all-out star-ogling that marks today’s dinners.

So whatever became of Hall?

Turns out, she’s living the quiet life in West Hollywood. She works at Book Soup, the beloved Sunset Strip institution, and generally keeps a low profile (she didn’t return our calls). Her husband, Danny Sugerman, former manager and biographer of the Doors, died in 2005 from lung cancer.

Though she’s steered clear of politics, she did give $250 to GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman last year.

Hall’s Washington chapter wasn’t the end of her tumult: After moving to L.A. to model, she married Sugerman in 1993. Her new husband, a recovering drug addict, admitted in a 1995 interview that soon after their “fairy-tale” wedding he introduced her to crack. She quickly became addicted, and after a 1994 overdose, she went into rehab.

The couple owned a Hollywood Hills home, where neighbors included Leo DiCaprio and Tobey McGuire, that Sugerman listed for sale in 2007 for nearly $2.5 million.

Watch a video below of a 1995 “Inside Edition” interview with Hall and Sugerman about their drug addiction struggles.

If you’re wondering how other erstwhile headline-makers are doing these days, please send us your suggestions. E-mail us at, leave a comment on the blog ( or tweet us @intheloopWP.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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