“During college, Brown excelled on the basketball court, majored in history and graduated in four years. “He wasn’t a scholar,” says Michael Quinn, one of his best friends since junior high, adding that Brown was practical in his approach to school. “It was his ticket to a better life.” So was modeling, which helped him sock away money for law school and beyond. An acquaintance with whom he was painting houses one summer suggested it as a way to earn a quick buck, and the Cosmo spread gave him momentum. Without his knowledge, he said, his half-sister had sent his picture to the magazine for consideration in the “sexiest man” contest. He said he thought the subsequent call from someone identifying herself as Helen Gurley Brown was a prank — until he received a plane ticket to fly to New York.
“You know what?” she said after briefly meeting him, as he remembered it. “You’re our guy.”
“But you haven’t seen me, like, naked,” he recalled answering, because he’d been told that a nude photo session was part of the deal.
“This is Cosmo,” she said. “Don’t worry about it.” They had him position one hand so that it covered up what a racier magazine wouldn’t. And they gave him $1,000, which he cites as the reason he went ahead with it — that and the doors it opened in New York, where he spent two years as a model, represented by the Wilhelmina agency, while taking classes at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.”
Yes we’ve seen the picture.
And I’m sure Wihelmina adored you.
But what about the uh. . . .other pictures ?
“Arianna told me that he showed up for his first real date with her mother, Gail Huff, a TV newscaster to whom he has been married for more than 23 years, in pink leather shorts. It’s family lore.
The pinkish color drained from his face when I asked him about it during a conversation in his campaign office just before we took off in the truck. He clarified that the shorts weren’t something that he went out and purchased — it wasn’t like that at all. “I did the couture shows, and instead of paying in cash, they paid in clothes,” he said. “And one of the things I had to wear were leather shorts. And these happened to be pink.”
As he told the story, he seemed, almost in spite of himself, to get into it. “If I wore these now,” he said, “I’d get shot. But it was the ’80s. Pastels were in. It was all pastel-y.” The shorts went with his tan at the time and a pair of white shoes that he owned, so he gave them a whirl. “Gail comes out and she’s like, ‘Those are pink shorts.’ I said: ‘Yeah, you like them? They’re great. Comfortable. Feel this leather.’ ” With this last phrase, he slowly stroked the side of one of his thighs, apparently miming the gesture he made in front of her.
He emphasized: “This isn’t cheap leather. This is, like, $750 shorts back then.” He shook his head at the memory. “Crazy stuff.”
Crazy, man — Crazy!
(Wouldn’t take TWO beers )
Take it away Kay —