I admit I feel odd posting this because the topic sounds like it's from the Enquirer, but in fact it is from today's Guardian. There is no quote from Michael Lindsay-Hogg and it borrows from Chris Welles Feder's book (soon to come out in the UK). More importantly, there is absolutely no source for the key line "Lindsay-Hogg is said to be about to take a DNA test"
By Vanessa Thorpe
The British film and theatre director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, best known for making films for the Beatles and for co-directing Brideshead Revisited for Granada television in 1981, is to settle the question of whether he is the son of Orson Welles in a planned autobiography.
Lindsay-Hogg, 59, has often brushed away a persistent rumour that he is Welles's only son, a rumour fuelled by his strong resemblance to the director.
Now the identity of the baronet's real father has been queried once again by Welles's first child, the writer Chris Welles Feder. As a childhood friend of Lindsay-Hogg, Welles Feder has said she has always known he might well be her brother.
Writing in her new autobiography, In My Father's Shadow, Welles Feder remembers knowing him when they lived next to each other in beachside homes. "If it does turn out that Michael is my half-brother, it would be delightful," she said. "We used to play on the beaches of Santa Monica together all the time and he was my favourite playmate, and I have the fondest memories of him," she said.
Lindsay-Hogg is said to be about to take a DNA test so that he can finally confirm or deny a story that has dogged his career when he publishes his own life story.
"It is perhaps easier for a woman than a man to be the child of someone famous," suggests Welles Feder. "You want to have your own success in life and I didn't want to be Orson Welles's daughter. I eventually came out of his shadow though. It is a universal problem, I know, but imagine if your father is a monumentally famous figure like Welles? We take a little longer to come into our own."
Lindsay-Hogg's mother was the Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, a star of the Broadway stage who appeared in Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier and died in 2005. Married to Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, she had begun a relationship with Welles in America during his marriage to Chris Welles Feder's mother, the Chicago-born actress Virginia Nicholson. The families continued to live side-by-side for some time and the two children became close.
"My memory is that nobody knows for sure whether Orson was Michael's father. My mother told me that even Geraldine Fitzgerald didn't know," said Welles Feder.
In her new book Welles's first child, who was christened Christopher because her father liked the name, describes her difficult relationship with Welles. He was, she says, obsessed with his work and had little time for his wives, or for his two other daughters, Rebecca, whose mother was Welles's second wife, Rita Hayworth, and Beatrice, his child by his third wife, Paola Mori.
"He was a man who truly lived for his art," said Welles Feder. "It was increasingly difficult for him to find the money for his creative projects and it left him almost no time for personal relationships. He was just going to pursue his art."
Bright points in a lonely childhood were Welles Feder's friendship with Lindsay-Hogg and her father's marriage to Hayworth. "Rita was wonderful to me. She was a delightful person and my favourite stepmother," she recalls.
Welles Feder also remembers happy times spent with her father in the company of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh at their gothic Buckinghamshire home, Notley Abbey, where she was invited to join the adults for lunch. "I was the only young person there," she said. "I was about 13 years old and very honoured to be sitting there, being treated like an equal. They were very gracious."