Although the news of the lawsuit by Edie Sedgwick’s ex-husband means little to most people these days, long after her passing, the fate of the rights to her image as depicted in the little known but nonetheless very interesting film Ciao! Manhattan! could have had significance only to the litigants and their attorneys. (David Weisman was represented by Santa Barbara’s own James Ballantine.)
Besides Ciao, starring the tragic Ms. Sedgwick, Weisman was the motivating force behind more than a few cinematic projects including the magnificent Kiss of the Spider Woman, which earned William Hurt a best performance Academy Award and brought to the world’s screens the groundbreaking novel by Manuel Puig, and the cult classic Shogun Assassin, which gave me one of my first jobs in the industry, as assistant editor. Mr. Weisman was a unique and captivating character, who, with his remarkable linguistic talents found himself at home almost anywhere in the world and in any milieu, with the gears always turning, and never doing anything just ordinary.
The sad irony is that not long after winning his courtroom victory, David Weisman passed away from complications of West Nile virus, leaving the fate of the representation of Edie Sedgwick to his estate. In the meanwhile, a visit to her grave in Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard is a worthwhile experience.