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20 Years Ago: Rob Lowe in That Hotel Room

WWW []- Well, it’ll be twenty years ago in July, actually, that actor Rob Lowe, then as now a heart-throb and a member of what was being called the Hollywood “Brat Pack,” was engaging in the same kind of naughty, naughty behavior that his nanny has now so publicly called him out on.

To wit, he was entertaining a skein of nubile young women in his room at Atlanta’s downtown Hilton during the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Teaching the band to play, as it were. And, er videotaping the results. On behalf of our sister publication, Memphis Magazine, the Flyer’s Jackson Baker was on hand to observe the first intimations of this, the earliest known Rob Lowe Sex Scandal.

In this, a relevant portion of Baker’s article, “Party Animals,” a chronicle of that summer’s two major-party conventions that appeared in the October 1998 issue of Memphis, Lowe is observed on the last night of the convention, on his way to his hotel room, down the hall from the suite that served as then Senator (and presidential candidate) Al Gore’s convention HQ:

“…Even at a political convention, there is a witching hour, and when it comes, early in the morning, the last party-goers begin to make off toward their rooms.

“Rob Lowe, with a pretty young woman alongside, is telling her, ‘No! you look nice,” as they head toward his suite.

“Shortly thereafter, a lady belonging to the Gore entourage interrupts a conversation between former Gore campaign worker Larry Harrington and a Memphis man. ‘Have either of you seen my daughter?’ She asks.

“In the putting together of two-plus-two which follows, the Memphis man suggests to the distressed mother a polite knock on Lowe’s door.

” ‘No, no!’ insists Harrington. ‘You should go to a phone and call.’ Greatly pleased with his own advice, he says, ‘That’s why I’m the political coordinator.’

“As it turns out, the hotel’s switchboard is under orders from Lowe not to forward any calls. The mother asks the Memphis man to sit up with her and help her deal with it all.

” ‘You have to ask yourself,’ he is telling her some thirty minutes later, ‘what you would do if a movie star of the opposite sex asked you up privately like that.’

“She thinks about it. ‘If Paul Newman asked me to his room,’ she says, ‘I’d go just like that!’ And she snaps her fingers.

” ‘You see?’ says the Memphis man.”


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