The 15-Year-Old Girls by David Bowie
Everyone was shocked to learn of David Bowie’s death, and the outpouring of grief and support for a man whose music and art affected many has been immense (New Times has published two such pieces). Honors such as these are well-earned and appreciated.
He leaves behind a corpus of work that is both diverse and impressive, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. David Bowie was a rock ‘n’ roll hero, a homosexual icon, a fashion icon, and a man who was not afraid to make risky artistic decisions. A man in his mid-twenties, he allegedly slept with two underage females at his hotel while they weren’t even old enough to drive themselves there.
Take the friendship between Lori Maddox and Sable Starr, for example.
A groupie in Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip nightclub scene in her teens, Maddox (sometimes written “Mattix”) was known as Lori Lightning. After being raised by a single mother who had little time for Maddox, Maddox befriended a girl her own age, Sable Starr. The two went on to party with just about every major rock artist who passed through Los Angeles, where Maddox was raised. Maddox was Jimmy Page’s secret girlfriend for two years when she was underage with Led Zeppelin.
But there was David Bowie before Page.
When Maddox first met Bowie, he invited her up to his hotel room, she has alleged repeatedly. They were both in their early 30s at the time. She refused out of fear. When Bowie re-propositioned her after a five-month hiatus, she went back to his room with Starr.
For a VH1 documentary, Maddox suppressed her age, but she related the tale to Thrillist just a few months ago and has since told it multiple times.
I got a call from Stuey, Bowie’s security, the next time he came in town, perhaps five months later. He said David had invited him to dinner. Clearly, I had no schoolwork to do that night. I’m done with schoolwork. In any case, I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to schoolwork.
In my response, I mentioned that I was interested in attending, but only if I could bring my friend Sable. She was desperate to have sex with him. While she was having fun with him, I figured she’d get into bed with him.
That’s why Maddox and Sable ended up in Bowie’s hotel, where she claims to have had sex with the singer, who was later joined in bed by Sable.
Bowie’s big Beverly Hilton suite was waiting for us when we arrived. I became very enamoured with him. He was both attractive and intelligent, and he possessed a graceful demeanour. I felt like I was in a trance. Bowie stepped away and left us in this large living room with white shag carpeting and floor-to-ceiling windows, as if he had something to do. Champagne and hash were served by Stuey. We were getting high when the bedroom door suddenly swung open, revealing Bowie in this fucking amazing red, orange, and yellow kimono.
My gaze was drawn to his famously dilated pupils and I heard him say, “Lori, dear, can you join me?” Sable appeared to be on a mission to kill me. In the bathroom, he discarded his kimono before leading me into his bedroom and into his dressing room. As soon as he was in the tub, he begged me to wash him. Obviously, I had. As he led me into the bedroom, he delicately removed my clothing and performed a sex act on me.
I went to check on Sable two hours after I first went to check on her. The girl was all messed up in the living room, pacing about, wiping condensation off the windows, and scrawling, “I want to fuck David.” What she was doing bothered me, so I spoke to him how I felt about it all. “Well, sweetie,” Bowie responded, “bring her into the house.” With my first threesome, I lost my virginity.
There was a loud bang on the door the next morning, and it was Angie, Bowie’s wife. I was scared to death of this woman. David assured me that I didn’t need to be concerned. They had already achieved the status of having their own private quarters. She presumably figured he’d be in there with a group of women… or men, depending on her point of view. He was completely openly gay. For the next ten years, I had the pleasure of seeing David, and each time was wonderful.
However, I couldn’t uncover any evidence that Bowie had either verified or rejected Maddox’s description of what happened that night. That being said, the fact that Maddox and Page began dating when she was 15 is now widely recognized. Even Rolling Stone agreed. Getty Images contains photographs of Page cuddling up to a clearly young Maddox.
To be fair, Maddox has not once mentioned that the encounter was traumatising, even though it would be considered statutory rape in today’s legal system. In fact, in recent interviews, Maddox appears delighted to relate the anecdote. Asked if she had any issue with the fact that Bowie, a powerful older man who supplied young kids with drugs and booze, had slept with her that night, she said she didn’t.
As she put it, “The way it happened was so wonderful,” since I was an innocent girl. “He looked like God and held me over a table. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of having their virginity stolen by the legendary David Bowie?”
Later on, she remarked, “I felt like I was in the moment. I saw the best music I’ve ever heard. The men I had the pleasure of spending time with were some of the most amazing, attractive, and engaging people I’ve ever met. Concerts were always accompanied by police limos for me. Is this something I’ll regret? No.”
There’s a good rationale for statutory rape laws, of course. She must choose whether or not her sexual contact with Bowie was traumatising for her. There are many who have written off the crimes of David Page and Ziggy Stardust as typical of prominent rock artists whose nasty deeds have been overshadowed by their contributions to pop culture.
As an androgynous role model, many people believe that Bowie saved the lives of LGBT youngsters all around the world. For all we know, this may be the way we evaluate our most renowned people: We don’t allow a single act to overshadow the rest of their achievements. Whether or whether a man acts unethically on his path to selling millions of records and making a positive impact in millions of people’s lives is irrelevant to society’s evaluation of his worth.