Some twit recently observed that I had made up the story that Joey was not HIV positive. I mean, why would I want to do that? I guess it's because some fanatics want their stars to be as they want them to be, as opposed to being how they are. The fact that having AIDS added a little more clout to Joey's tragic story, as did the British tabloid reports back in in 1994 that "Madonna's boyfriend" aka Joey had committed suicide. Absolute cack!
As the story goes, Joey is supposed to have called a friend--Doug Smith, who was as reliable as a chocolate kettle--and announced that he had tested HIV positive in 1990, four years before he died. Does anyone actually believe that Joey could have called someone in the middle of the night, chatted for half an hour, and than said, "Oh, and by the way, I'm HIV positive!"? Absolute rot, as was Smith's story that Joey once "shot up" in a 4-star hotel, not in his room but on the stairs, and that people kept walking by and ignoring him, mindless of the fact that his arms were pouring blood? Or that he called a friend from outside a New York bar and said that he's taken an overdose--that the friend arrived four hours later to find him still slumped outside in a busy street, and than no one had called an ambulance? In fact, Joey was not even there! And who in their right mind would confess to finding Joey in a hotel room, unconscious with needles sticking out of both arms--then leave him there and go off shopping? Had that been true, someone would have found themselves arrested by the authorities and charged with neglect. Doug Smith later claimed that, days before he made his last film, Joey had a buzz-cut...yet in this he has shoulder-length hair. A picture of the dead Joey also did the rounds--this turned out to be one of him laid back on a deck-chair, with his eyes closed, and taken from one of his rare solo-scenes!
Has anyone also noticed that at the end of the otherwise excellent other biography of Joey that, in the final chapter, the author has while listing the events leading up to Joey's death, listed no less than THREE Sundays in one week and even got the date of his death wrong?
I could reel off a long list of at least 20 gay porn stars--two were Lon Fexx and Matt Gunther--who were tested positive at the same time as Joey. By September 1994, these poor boys were so thin and emaciated that they could barely function. Indeed, Matt was confined to a wheelchair.
When Joey last appeared before a camera, he was beefier than ever--a robust 13 stones. I contacted the hospital where he died, along with the now retired registrar who issued his death certificate. Joey died of an accidental drugs overdose, but he was definitely NOT HIV positive. Neither was he tired of life. He had recently announced that he wanted to get married--indeed, he was engaged to be married, as he had been when we met--and have children.
Prior to this, on his last birthday--1 January 1994--Joey was reputed to have slashed his wrists in a hotel room. Again, I spoke to the now retired hotel staff, and was told that this story had been entirely fabricated--again by Doug Smith. To disprove this point, just one week after "the attempted suicide", director Sam Abdul filmed Joey and Tanner Reeves for "All About Last Night"--with Abdul's cameraman making a point of showing several close-ups of Joey's unblemished wrists.
I'm not sure whatever happened to Doug Smith--whether he ended up dead or derelict--but he certainly did his utmost to attempt ruin Joey's reputation, maybe not quite as badly as the demented "gay porn star turned holy man" Joseph Scambria.
Thankfully, he failed.