Keith McNally wrote a memoir, or to put it slightly differently, he formalized the project of his Instagram with its long captions that tell dishy stories and occasionally offer controversial opinions into a book. It’s called I Regret Almost Everything and Simon & Schuster has slated its release for November 7 this year. Per the publisher, he “writes about his stint as a child actor, his travels along the hippie trail, his wives and children, his devastating stroke, and his Instagram stardom.” McNally himself hailed it as “the worst book ever written.”
McNally is in his 70s now and he’s used the greater portion of that time on earth creating New York City hot spots like Balthazar, Minetta Tavern, Pastis, and Morandi. His tables have hosted a wide range of well-heeled and well-known individuals from New York and abroad, so one can likely expect good gossip about very familiar names, among other things. One window into what’s to come may be the James Corden omelet drama of 2022, when McNally called Corden a “tiny Cretin of a man” in an Instagram post for being rude to his staff at the decades-old restaurant Balthazar. Specifically, Corden allegedly demanded an “egg yolk” omelet be made to his wife’s liking. And that’s only the beginning of that saga, which played out almost exclusively on McNally’s ‘gram.
It’s not all light celebrity dish-at-a-distance for his Instagram followers, though. He’s posted defenses of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski’s art and work. Both have been accused of assaulting a young girl; the latter was convicted in US courts for unlawful intercourse with a minor, following allegations he drugged and assaulted a 13-year-old girl in the home of Jack Nicholson. This fact shouldn’t effect the distribution of Polanski’s art, McNally argued. “Due to the Disgraceful Cowardice of most people in the movie world, Polansky’s An Officer and a Spy can’t find a distributor in England or America,” he wrote. “No film producer or distributor has the BALLS to defy today’s truly malignant Cancel Culture.” (Allen has never been charged over the sexual molestation allegation against him, which he has denied.)
The restauranteur had a stroke in 2017 and, with his speech impaired, found an outlet in writing, both through memoir and social media. The book has been coming for awhile. In June 2022, The Wall Street Journal published an interview with McNally in which he spoke about his writing. “After plodding away every day for almost four years, my book agent recently sent the first 12 chapters to various New York publishers,” he told WSJ. “The response was shocking. I sold the world rights four days later to Simon and Garfunkel. Sorry, I mean Simon & Schuster.”
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