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Is Michael Jeffries Gay? Who is Matthew Smith?

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Netflix’s ‘White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch’ is a documentary that provides an insight into the fashion brand’s history and why it ultimately went downhill, all of it happening while Mike Jeffries was the CEO. Since Mike remained an intensely private person who didn’t share much about his personal life, people have naturally wondered about it. So, if you’re curious to find out more, here’s what we know.

Is Michael Jeffries Gay?

Michael was always described as an intelligent but private man who rarely gave any interviews but seemed charismatic. In April 1971, he married Susan Marie Isabel Hansen in Miami, Florida. While they had a son together, it was reported that they lived separately as of 2006, and it seems that they ended their relationship since. As per the show, Mike was secretive about his personal life during the 2000s, but in the years after that, he has been openly gay. Mike has been reported to be in a long-term relationship with Matthew Smith.

As for Mike’s influence on Abercrombie & Fitch, the brand started advertising athleticism and being part of an exclusive club. Soon, it became popular with many gay men at the time. The company also printed A&F Quarterly, which was discontinued in 2003 and mainly contained white boys and girls, naked and photographed by Bruce Weber. Back then, A&F Quarterly caused quite a stir with what it published.

Regarding the advertising being homoerotic and if the company was selling sex to kids, Mike said, “That’s just so wrong! I think that what we represent sexually is healthy. It’s playful. It’s not dark. It’s not degrading! And it’s not gay, and it’s not straight, and it’s not black, and it’s not white. It’s not about any labels. That would be cynical, and we’re not cynical! It’s all depicting this wonderful camaraderie, friendship, and playfulness that exist in this generation and, candidly, does not exist in the older generation.”

Who is Matthew Smith?

Before Mike stepped down from the role of CEO, Matthew Smith, his partner, was reported to have an influential role in the company. While there have been contrasting opinions about Matthew, his involvement with Abercrombie & Fitch raised many questions. Some described him as an MBA graduate from Wharton in Pennsylvania who was more approachable than Mike, while others weren’t too enthused about his involvement.

While Matthew’s name didn’t show up in regulatory filings, many who worked at the company said that he was present at company meetings and was deeply involved with matters like choosing real estate locations. Apart from that, Matthew was seen as an enforcer of sorts regarding Mike’s “Workstation Standards,” which had policies regarding seat cushions and stickers. Matthew initially ran The Jeffries Home Office which oversaw Mike’s properties and investment, but his role had grown in the years before Mike retired. Since then, Mike and Matthew have kept a low profile, and there have been no recent reports regarding their relationship or what they currently do.

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Movie Reviews

What is Angelyne’s Net Worth?

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Ronia Tamar Goldberg, also known as Angelyne, is an actress, singer, and model who was born on October 2, 1950, in Chmielnik, Poland. Her parents were Holocaust survivors who survived the most horrific form of human rights violations while in Skarżysko-Kamienna German Nazi concentration camps. After the liberation by allied forces, they lived in Poland […]

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Movie Reviews

Is Angelyne’s Jeff Glasner a Real Journalist? Where is He Now?

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‘Angelyne‘ is an addictive biographical drama TV series on Peacock. Created by Nancy Oliver, it delves into the intriguing life of Angelyne, a model and media influencer, who became a pop culture icon in Los Angeles during the 80s. Apart from her rise to stardom, the show also captures the perspectives of those who know her up close and how they impact her journey.

One such person is Jeff Glasner, an entertainment journalist, who sets out to find out the secrets Angelyne fiercely protects and drastically changes her life. The realistic portrayal of the character makes the audience wonder whether Jeff is based on a real person. Let’s unravel this mystery together, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Jeff Glasner a Real Journalist?

In ‘Angelyne,’ Jeff Glasner is a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter who writes an explosive article about the sensational celebrity’s childhood and family. For his research, he spends time with her and records interviews, but when she refuses to divulge anything substantial about her life and beginnings, he decides to conduct his own investigation. In reality, Jeff’s character is based on journalist Gary Baum, who works for The Hollywood Reporter.

In 2017, Gary wrote and published an elaborate article that details Angelyne’s humble beginnings, before she became famous as the “Billboard Queen” of Los Angeles. Earlier, he wrote a profile article for her in 2015, but as per him, she dodged any questions about her parents or other topics like religion and her upbringing. In his 2017 article, Gary shared that in the fall of 2016, he was approached by a man who went by the pseudonym, Ed Thompson. He was a federal government employee who undertook paid assignments as a hobby genealogist on the side.

For his personal interest, Ed decided to find out about Angelyne a few years earlier and then contacted Gary, who was researching her. He provided the material he had collected over the years from public databases, including her yearbook pictures, as well as the immigration, marriage, and death records of her parents. All this information helped prove that Angelyne’s original name was Renee Tami Goldberg (earlier known as Ronia Tamar Goldberg). She was born in October 1950 in Poland, to Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors.

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Image Credit: KTLA News

Ed’s findings also revealed Angelyne’s tumultuous childhood as well as her brief marriage to Michael Strauss during her high school days. After her divorce in 1969, her original name resurfaced in 2016, when she discreetly petitioned to change it to Angelyne legally. However, in the legal document, she mentioned being a resident of Louiseville, Kentucky, and claimed to have been born in 1962. Since all this data was different than what Ed had shared, Gary tried contacting Angelyne’s friend and assistant Scott Hennig for clarity.

To Gary’s disappointment, both Scott and Angelyne reportedly rubbished the data provided by Ed and discouraged him from pursuing the matter any further. Luckily, when he continued looking for clues, he found an advertisement for a trophy engraving company that matched the residential address which Ed had found earlier. Moreover, Gary managed to track down Angelyne’s former husband Michael Strauss, who then confirmed all of the journalist’s findings and provided a fitting conclusion to his research.

After so many months of hard work, Gary’s article got published in August 2017 and received a massive response from Angelyne’s fans as well as the other public, who till then, were highly curious about her life. His written piece is one of the most accurate feature articles on the media icon’s illustrious life and has provided the base for the show’s narrative.

Where is Gary Baum Now?

Presently, Gary Baum works as a senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter, where he has been working for more than ten glorious years. Priorly, he worked with Angeleno Magazine for almost seven years, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Gary has written articles on several other relevant topics, such as the clearing of tents for unhoused residents in Los Angeles for film shoots, Jewish studio heads in Hollywood history, and investigative pieces on prominent public and administrative figures. Though he is highly active on the professional front, he seems to be rather private on social media about his life. As far as we can tell, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his family.

Read More: Did Emmy Rossum Use Prosthetic Breasts for Angelyne?

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