Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Susan Bottomly (born 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts; stage name International Velvet) was seventeen when she came to the Factory, via Gerard Malanga, in late spring 1966. The daughter of a prominent lawyer who had prosecuted the Boston Strangler case, she had already appeared on the cover of Mademoiselle. She was renamed International Velvet and soon appeared in The Chelsea Girls. Bottomly moved to New York in the summer of 1966 and went straight to the Factory. She lived at the Chelsea Hotel where her rent was paid by her family who also sent her an allowance. Gerard Malanga lived with her in the Chelsea for the first couple of months, writing poems about her. With Warhol's relationship with Edie falling apart because of her drug use and alliance with the Dylan crowd, Andy began hanging out at places with Susan. According to Victor Bockris in his Warhol biography, Andy was "playing her [Susan] off against the others while Susan, who had an allowance from her daddy, picked up the tabs at discotheques and introduced him [Andy] to potential backers." During the summer of 1966, Warhol filmed The Chelsea Girls in which Susan appeared in the "Hanoi Hanna (Queen of China)" segment (Room 116), "The Pope Ondine Story" segment (Room 732) and "The John" segment (Room 632).