…And when I say there is none, I do mean that there is a certain amount. “Three bottles of gin a day and bizarre sex pranks… but new film about Monty Python’s strangest star doesn’t mention Graham Chapman’s darkest secret,” the London Daily Mail claims:
A Liar’s Autobiography is clearly a tribute to Chapman by his friends. For all his flaws, he commanded great loyalty. The film has been constructed in segments, by 17 different animation teams: in one part, the bickering Python team appear as monkeys in a safari park.
But the film fails to examine the darkest and most disturbing aspect of Chapman’s life — his adoption of a 13-year-old boy who was, some friends believe, also his sexual partner. John Tomiczek was a teenage runaway from Liverpool, working as a DJ in a gay nightclub in Kensington when he met Chapman in 1971.
Although Tomiczek claimed to be 17, he was in fact four years younger, and he was soon living with Chapman and the comedian’s partner David Sherlock: John Cleese was just one of the people who became alarmed when, after inviting Graham and David to a dinner party, they arrived with the teenage boy as an unexpected guest.
Chapman made no secret of his infatuation with the boy, who even appeared in a Python sketch, as an autograph hunter at the start of the third series.
The police were alerted, but they apparently dropped their inquiries when Chapman explained he was a medically qualified doctor and that Tomiczek was suffering from glandular fever and a congenital heart defect. The boy’s father, a Polish ex-serviceman, also visited: his son insisted he wanted to live with Chapman and that, if he was taken back to Liverpool, he would run away again.
Chapman allowed Tomiczek to drink whatever he wanted, and the boy soon developed an alcohol problem. He remained with Chapman for the rest of his life, following him on location for movies and even joining him when he lived in Hollywood.
When Tomiczek was old enough, he often acted as Chapman’s driver, though he was frequently drunk at the wheel. He died in 1990 from heart failure.
If that story is true, I wonder how well Chapman got on with Jimmy Savile while they were both employed by the BBC?