“I’m arranging a big drug delivery for Jean-Claude Van Damme,” my Euro-trash friend Svetlana said.
“We’re meeting at his room at The Hotel Essex on Central Park South at 7 PM. See you then.”
Jean-Claude Van Damme? Time Cop?
It was 1996 and he was fresh out of rehab. Like, that day out of rehab. I was just out of Iowa and super psyched to meet my first celebrity. So I called Lauren, my BFF who worked in fashion PR and we arrived at The Hotel Essex at 6:57 PM.
“No, you knock.”
So I did. And then we were greeted by the Universal Soldier himself. Except he was so short and graying that I wondered if I’d accidentally walked in on a claims adjuster from Hoboken.
He was also wearing reading glasses. “I’m near sighted,” he explained after introducing himself. “My friends should be here any minute.”
With that he disappeared into the bedroom of his suite, leaving Lauren and me alone in the living room. Soon there was a knock at the door. It was Svetlana.
Minutes later, another knock. It was the drugs, delivered by a dude named Corso. Right on cue, Jean-Claude reemerged from his hovel, like a ground hog, hoarded the goods and vanished back into his shadowy burrow.
The four of us sat there staring at each other for about 15 minutes. “So what do you do,” Corso asked, finally breaking the silence.
“I’m in PR,” Lauren answered.
A drug dealer, a major action star. A kilo of cocaine. A girl with a direct line to Page 6 who was too stupid to lie about it.
"You know what,” a clearly alarmed Corso began, “Maybe you should leave. We’ll meet you at the party.”
“Fine,” Lauren finally huffed. “Let’s go, Beth.”
But Beth (that’s my alias for the purpose of this story—for obvious reasons) didn’t want to go.
Beth wanted to party with JCVD. The story was just too good, and I couldn’t abort now.
“Ummmmmmm,” I started as delicately as possible. “I think I’m gonna stay.”
That’s how committed I was to partying with Time Cop. I let them kick my best friend out all alone into the New York night. I stayed behind like a total dick. And I’m not sorry.
So now it’s just Svetlana, Corso the courier, and me. Corso decided to check on the ground hog. I mean coke hog. When he came back out he looked at me and said “Jean-Claude wants to see you in his room.”
“Me?” I asked so as not to make an unnecessary trip.
I erupted off the couch, but then, upon seeing Svetlana and Corso’s disgust, tried to repackage my over eagerness as a leg cramp. “Ahem. Charlie horse. Bye.”
I had been chosen.
I did my best to stroll casually across the room, ignoring my heart’s plea to hasten toward my first brush with fame. I opened the door to find what can only be described as a pornographic crucifix. Jean-Claude was spread eagle, buck naked, and furiously jerking his flaccid coke dick. Next to him sat a mogul of blow, and a bottle of Lubriderm.
“Hi. Let’s do a line.” His voice was speedy, paranoid. “Okay,” I obliged, helping myself to a hearty rail.
“Will you help me with this,” he asked, gesturing to his deflated phallus.
“Uh..Want me to see if I can find you a shoe horn?”
“No, Just stroke it.”
“Really. I’d love to. But I just..I can’t."
A debate ensued and finally me and JC reached a compromise. I would be on lotion duty. When he began to chafe, I would dispense the appropriate amount of lube into his hand. Sadly this arrangement only provided so much entertainment. He needed to up the ante….But how?
So he dialed soon to be ex- wife and put her on speaker. He kicked off with some of the classics. “What are you wearing?” “What do you want me to do to you?” “What’s the fastest land animal?”
But then our maverick director veered off the script and started to improv. “I’m imagining I have a young red head, maybe about 21, 22. She’s snorting a lot of coke. I hold her down and you take all her clothes off.”
They were having phone sex with me without my consent! Isn’t that illegal?
I didn’t care. I had unlimited access to Colombia’s finest and a great story for my friends back in Des Moines. But outside the bedroom, Corso was ruminating over my connection to someone who had a connection to Page 6, and within seconds, well before JCVD’s climax, I too would be evicted.
“Beth,” he interrupted the bacchanalian blizzard. “Maybe you should leave as well.”
NOTE: Van Damme’s well documented battle with substance abuse began in 1995. In 1996 he entered a month long rehab program but left after just one week.
He's admitted to spending upwards of $10,000 a week on cocaine around this time. In 1998 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and started treatment on a mood stabilizer. He has been clean and sober ever since.