Since THING OF BEAUTY was published in 1993--but especially since the unauthorized Gia telemovie came out in February 1998--I have received many calls, letters and e-mail queries about Gia. Most of them are answered in the book about as well as I can answer them. In the years since I have researched Gia's brief life, I've learned very little that isn't there. And viewers of the HBO film should keep in mind that a good bit of that movie was simply made up, especially the composite characters and invented 'journal' entries. But there are a few frequently asked questions that I can address.
Where is Gia buried?
Gia's family has asked me not to disclose this, and I respect their wishes. Take the money you would spend on the pilgrimage and the flowers and donate it to your local AIDS charity.
How can I read more of Gia's journals?
Gia didn't keep journals: she had datebooks when she was a model, and she left a few scrapbooks filled with doodles, shopping lists, photo assignments and, occasionally, a piece of tender writing or drug induced-ranting. Most of what she wrote that is intelligible is excerpted in THING OF BEAUTY. The "journals" referred to in the HBO film are, to a large extent, a fabricated narrative device. Gia was a spirit, not a writer.
Where can I find pictures of Gia?
On pages 401-403 of the paperback edition of THING OF BEAUTY is the only comprehensive list of major fashion photos of Gia, including the magazines where they originally appeared and the books where they are reprinted. The appendix also explains how to contact photographers to buy actual prints. Old magazines are available for sale from various sources; my understanding is that issues with Gia are increasingly hard to find. Old magazines can also be viewed at libraries, either normal public and university libraries or, if you're near one, a fashion library. I have heard many reports of people tearing Gia pages out of library copies of magazines. Please do not do this: the whole point of a library is that the pictures will be there for the next person like you to see.
There have been several glossy magazine articles about my book that include Gia pictures that are otherwise hard to find: the February 1993 Vanity Fair, the May 1993 Italian Elle, the November 1989 American Cosmopolitan, the November 1988 Philadelphia magazine and the December 1995 issue of the skin-rag Celebrity Sleuth. Gia photos have also appeared in the recent books "Models Manual" by Arthur Elgort and "Underworld" by Kelly Klein.
What happened to Gia's last lover, Rochelle?
"Rochelle Rosen," as Gia's last lover is referred to in the book, died of AIDS in the mid-1990s. When I was finishing Thing of Beauty, Rochelle had already moved home and was experiencing some AIDS-related dementia. But she asked me to say in the acknowledgments that she had liver cancer, not AIDS, so I did. Now that she is gone, I think it is important to be open about how she really died.