Is Moore as good as his Bond? Opinion Part 2 Read Part 1
WARNING: Anyone, other than Nikki van der Zyl or Kerry van der Zyl, who claims to be either the daughter or granddaughter of Rabbi van der Zyl is an imposter. If you know of anyone practising this deception, please report it.
Part 2 is an attempt, based on recently received new material, to make sense of the misinformation and contradictions surrounding the removal of Roger Moore's foreword from Nikki's autobiography.
Nikki's friendship with Roger (pic 1) goes back to when she revoiced many female characters in The Saint TV series in the 60s. The friendship later blossomed when she worked with him and Tony Curtis on The Persuaders. It was on the basis of their long working and personal relationship that (in May 2011) Roger Moore wrote the foreword to Nikki's autobiography. He did not read the book at that stage and had not asked to see a draft copy. If he had he would have read only complimentary things about himself. The book - amongst many other themes - also covers the loving home Nikki had provided for her two children, Kerry and Darrell (pic 2), and the happy times they had spent together with their grandparents.
The arrangements for Roger's foreword were done thorough the Pinewood Office run by Gareth Owen (pic 3), Sir Roger's assistant, seen here with Nikki.
In July 2012 Nikki's fifty two years old son Darrell van der Zyl wrote to Gareth Owen. An image of the redacted email (dated 12th July 2012 but only disclosed in October 2013) contains statements which subsequently persuaded Roger to withdraw his foreword. At that stage Darrell had not read a draft copy of Nikki's book, nor did he ask to see one. It is a mystery as to why he would seek to undermine his mother's efforts in this way. Was he being influenced? He did not contact his mother beforehand to discuss his intentions and nor has he subsequently contacted her to explain his destructive actions.
In November 2012 Nikki's publishers received a letter from Sir Roger's office saying he had revoked his permission to use his foreword. Nikki had not been contacted by her old friend Roger and was given no explanation. All existing first run books were destroyed.
In the September 2013 Q&A on the Roger Moore Official Site (panel right), Roger - addressing this topic for the first time - says he received an "emotive letter" from Darryl [sic] which was "confidential". Darrell as reported in the Evening Standard in January 2013 stated categorically that "he had not written to Sir Roger". Confusing! Or was Darrell being disingenuous and economical with the truth?
How can it be right to keep a letter confidential when it seeks to undermine a person's integrity? And why would Roger prefer to believe damaging unsubstantiated allegations from a stranger rather than speak to the person he had worked with, been friends with for years and knew well? How can Roger be judge and jury in private matters relating to Nikki's family, and which should be of no concern to him? Did he not think that, at least, he should have contacted Nikki and given her a fair hearing? The phrase 'kangaroo court' comes to mind. Why get mixed up in a campaign apparently driven by malice? Nikki has got nothing to hide. She is entitled to know the full extent of any allegations and be given the opportunity to defend herself.
Roger goes onto say: "Darryl [sic] subsequently brought a legal action leading to the book being withdrawn from sale by the publishers ..." This is totally untrue. Who was telling Sir Roger porkies? No legal action (court proceedings) was brought by anyone.
Davenport Lyons had been accused of trying to extort money from people for alleged copyright infringement. The law firm had accused up to 25,000 people of downloading material such as computer games, music and even pornography that the computer users allegedly know nothing about. This has led to a barrage of complaints against the law firm and investigations by organisations such as Which?
The demise of Davenport Lyons
Digital enhancement of the recently received email image suggests that the contents are highly damaging to Nikki's character and reputation. What sort of son does this to his mother? Was the action of Darrell a vindictive response for having to pay court costs of over £33,000 in an earlier legal dispute vis-à-vis his mother? Knowledge of the contents of his email was particularly repugnant at a time when Nikki had returned from attending sombre commemorative events in Germany to mark the Nazi pogroms.
Jewish Family Life and Customs (A Practical Guide)
is a pamphlet produced by the Family Law Group of the Board of Deputies.|
It gives information to solicitors and others concerning the requirements of practising Jews in the United Kingdom. It states:
"Jewish tradition highlights the importance of family ties and only by maintaining contact with both parents will the child be able to sustain relationships with both sets of grandparents and other relatives."
Why Should I Get to Know My Grandparents?
Roger's claim of "ungracious attitude towards actresses in the series" is incomprehensible. Can he give any specific examples? By contrast, the behaviour by some Bond girls in refusing to admit they were revoiced can certainly be regarded as ungracious.
Until Spring 2012 Nikki's website had been restrained and low key. This suited the film world's prevailing ethos, which was to suppress any knowledge that the Bond girls had been revoiced. Discussion of the topic was discouraged.
Nikki's website adopted a more robust, assertive stance only after Nikki was subjected to hostile acts, such as:
Things are being said about me
It's me these people like to curse.
© Nikki van der Zyl, November 2013
When Nikki's book was launched in January 2013, Gareth Owen, who Nikki had previously regarded as a friend, was very quick off the mark to post the first review on Amazon. It was a mean-spirited, bitchy, two-star effort designed as a spoiler. (Sometime later it was pulled but can still be read here.) It must be noted that Mr. Owen has his own agenda, because through the Bondstars website he has commercial interests in promoting the very women that Nikki dubbed. It is important to him that these women are regarded as 'stars' and anything which reveals the truth undermines that claim.
What sort of satisfaction do these people get from attempting to wreck Nikki's success story?
All Nikki expects is ungrudging recognition for her important work in the Bond films and the help she gave to the careers of many young actresses by adding polish to their screen performances. She has been frustrated in her efforts by those in the film industry for whom the truth is an embarrassment. This is similar to the way uncredited 'ghost singers' were used in most of the major film musicals, as revealed in the recent BBC documentary Secret Voices of Hollywood.
During these distressing times Nikki, like Roger, also suffered from ill health; in 2012 with pneumonia and in 2013, while being threatened and harassed by solicitors, in hospital and close to death with a blood clot. It is still not too late for Nikki and Roger to get together and sort out the misunderstandings caused by interfering individuals for their own malign reasons.
And now ... the good news. At long last Nikki's uncredited work on the Bond films is finally being recognised in a new exhibition by New York photographer Taryn Simon. The following are extracts from an essay written by Daniel Baumann, art historian, critic and co-curator of the 2013 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. He explains that Simon's work is about substitution and replacement and how she had to deal with the vanity of actresses.
After 50 years - and not before time - Nikki is receiving the universal recognition she has long deserved.
See the Taryn Simon exhibition reviews.
- GAR, London, September 2015