SEEING STARS – by Polly Vernon
Maurice (pronounced MAU-REECE) Amdur is quite the latest thing in high-end LA lifestyle accoutrement. At 39 years old, the one-time actor, one-time entrepreneur now operates as a psychic, medium, clairvoyant and tarot reader to the highest echelons of Hollywood's A list. "What am I?”. He asks. I'm a weirdo. I service, for want of a better word, the studio heads, film stars and politicians. I am passed around like the ultimate Christmas gift.” He doesn't like naming names, he insists, but some digging and a great deal of incidental dinner party anecdotes reveal that he has servicedMichael Jackson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Mark Wahlberg, Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Arnold – Governor – Schwarzenegger...
"I have read for pretty much every major Hollywood star at one time or another; still do on and off," he says. "Of course I have."
It began when London-born Maurice (who first started suspecting he was clairvoyant as a child: "I'd know how things would turn out, but keep my mouth shut” and who made several million in his late teens when a night-time psychic flash persuaded him to buy heavily into the classic car market: “Although, sadly, I wasn't so good at hanging onto the money") went to LA for a holiday, six years ago. Within hours of landing at LAX, a friend of a mutual friend of someone Maurice describes as a "chiropractor to the stars" had introduced him to Christine Peters, best friend of Barbra Streisand (against all the odds, that, because John Peters was Streisand's boyfriend before Christine stole him some years before). "So, I'm in a limo on the way to a Bel Air mansion and I meet Christine. And she thinks I'm amazing. She sends me to John [Peters], John sends me to Barbra and Barbra sends me to all these others. Within three weeks, I'm at a party thrown by Christine's sister, Jacqueline Rubenstein, a socialite whose husband is Gerry, a record producer. And we've got Mikhail Gorbachev there with his then girlfriend, also my client. On the other side we've got Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, and the room is filled with everybody; everyone. And they all want me to read for them.
From that party onwards, Maurice's life has been a giddy whirl of wheeling and dealing ("I negotiate in the background on major deals. When studios are being bought and sold, I am able to tell them the figures that would be involved'') and helping celebrities to deal with their divorces and fledgling relationships; to find, in Maurice-speak, "their journey". He is successful, he thinks, because "there's a fashion in America for counselors and analysts, but they can't tell you the outcome of a situation. They can give textbook advice on how you should react. What they can’t tell you is how things will turn out. I can.”
Of course, sometimes, it is precisely such prescience that can cause trouble. Maurice won't admit to it in so many words, but via a complicated series of innuendos and abstractions, he suggests that three years ago, during a dinner party, George Bush asked him if he'd win the presidency. And Maurice predicted, with numerology, that he wouldn't win, but he would become president nonetheless. "That was a difficult moment."
Now, Maurice lives the definitive LA lifestyle. He doesn't smoke or drink, he works out in celebrity gyms, he goes to premieres, he hangs out in It restaurants, he gets invited to fabulous parties and he does readings. "I have to. If I don't, all these messages build up and I get a migraine," he simpers. Maurice's future involves fronting a possible psychic/chat-show crossover on TV. "Like Oprah," he explains - but, of course, with contributions from the spirit realm. The futures of members of his celebrity demographic, meanwhile, are chequered.
“In 2004,” he says, “Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck will not marry. If they do, I don’t see it working. Their numbers aren’t right; I think it’s a sexual thing. Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake will split. She’s a nervous wreck; all comes out in her skin. Britney and Justin may have a reconciliation – she’s a Sag and he’s an Aquarian – although I don’t think it will be this year. Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt will have babies – of course they will; they are obsessed by each other. He thinks she’s an angel. Tony Blair is on the way out, slowly but surely. And Bin Laden will be found.”
Maurice Amdur: 07976 929 156