Joanne Herring, the Houston socialite turned mujahideen fund-raiser currently being portrayed by Julia Roberts in the new Mike Nichols film Charlie Wilson’s War, is at work on a book expounding on her experiences battling the Communists, and the significance the political party has today. “I had a fascinating life outside of the effort,” Ms. Herring, who has hob-nobbed with world leaders Margaret Thatcher and Francisco Franco, said in a phone interview on Monday, Dec. 31
The 78-year-old, thrice-married philanthropist, who was also once engaged to Mr. Wilson, the former Democratic congressman from Texas, is evidently a very persuasive woman. Not only was she instrumental in convincing Mr. Wilson to arm the Afghani soldiers against the Russians, she was able to force Hollywood to edit certain scenes from the film.
Most significantly, to her thinking, she had any scenes where her character used a four-letter word removed. “I’m a Christian and that’s very important to me,” she said. “So I had them taken out.” Ms. Herring declined to discuss which of Ms. Roberts’ lines in particular were edited. “Let’s don’t talk about them,” she said Well, maybe just a little: “There was one where I passed the Charlie’s Angels and said, ‘Sluts.’ I was good friends with the Charlie’s Angels. I would never call them sluts because they weren’t.”
According to a Dec. 12 report in The Daily News, Ms. Herring and Congressman Wilson—and a gang of high-powered attorneys—were also successfully able to eradicate any suggestion that their little war was somehow responsible for 9/11.
“The important thing for people to realize—who did we go to fight? Russia. Did we beat them? Yes,” Ms. Herring told the Transom in her Lone Star State drawl. “You cannot predict future wars; if you could, we wouldn’t have them. You have to just do one step at a time and thank God we beat Hitler. And who did we have assisting us in the fight against Hitler? Russia, and we were delighted to have them because we had to beat Hitler. The difference is we walked out on Afghanistan.”
The forthcoming tome—Ms. Herring says she’s nearly done, but does not yet have a publisher—will surely contain some straight talk about Al Qaeda. “They are thugs, they’re not religious leaders,” she said of the terrorist group that to a certain extent grew out of the Afghani rebel force. “They don’t represent religion; they’re just interested in what they’re trying to sell you, which is war. And America has to realize that.”
Charlie Wilson’s War has grossed $34.5 million to date.
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