He’s been described as a girl’s best friend, socialite, movie star, tough guy and the subject of over 600 books. He has been known to hang around royalty from Queen Elizabeth to as far back as Henry the VIII. His list of friends past and present are the who’s who of not only Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Julia Roberts, to name a few) but to professional athletes like Ruth, DiMaggio, Jeter and Chamberlain. His movie credits include, The Pink Panther, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Diamonds are Forever, Marathon Man and hundreds more.
He’s been described as the silent type but insiders have told this reporter that he loves to talk to women. We’ve finally been able to corral Mr. Diamond in this once in a lifetime exclusive interview where he talks with such clarity and honesty, this reporter had to dry his eyes more than once.
Reporter: Mr. Diamond thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to talk to me today.
Mr. Diamond: Please call me “Ice.” My friends call me “Ice.”
Reporter: Thank you, “Ice” it is. Tell me “Ice,” what was your first big break?
Mr. Diamond: Break is probably a poor choice of words but I dig where you’re coming from. But never the less let’s call them opportunities. Without question there isn’t a success story that would happen without people who stuck their neck out for you. Friends that support and believe in you, like Agnes, Charles the VIII, Mary of Burgundy, Duke of Burgundy, Oppenheimer, DeBeers, Gerald and so many others, too many to name in this interview.
Reporter: “Ice,” I’m familiar with a few of the people and organizations you mentioned perhaps you could give our listeners a run down of how these select few deserve a name mentioned.
Mr. Diamond: I’d be glad to. Agnes Sorel was literally the first person ever to believe in me. In the 15th century when she hung around Charles the VIII she became the first woman to wear diamonds in public. I had been a shut in till then. I wasn’t very good with people, a little shy.
Reporter: Shy? You? “Ice” I don’t believe it!
Mr. Diamond: Yes it’s true. Agnes believed in me enough to push me out my nest into the public’s eye.
Reporter: What about Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. What’s your connection here?
Mr. Diamond: Agnes taught me to believe in myself and face the world and not be afraid to be me. Mary, oh sweet Mary taught me about love. How nothing in this world matters if you have love. She was the first person to wear a diamond engagement ring.
Reporter: And Oppenheimer, DeBeers and Gerald. I’m assuming you’re referring to Gerald M. Lauck past president of N.W. Ayer Advertising agency in New York?
Mr. Diamond: Of course I am but let’s start with Oppenheimer, chairman and CEO of DeBeers. Oppie, even though not my first agent he was my best. He represented me like my father. He knows everybody and put me in the right circles. It was through Oppie’s effort in 1939 that lead to the introduction to Gerald Lauck. It was Oppie and G that hatched the plan to introduce me to movie stars and literally put me in the movies.
Reporter: Were you nervous?
Mr. Diamond: Maybe a little but when Marilyn Monroe sang, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” any butterflies I had went away.
Reporter: How do you account for the fact that in the 1920’s less than 10% of women in the U.S. wore diamonds to the almost 70% today?
Mr. Diamond: Because they didn’t know me, not the real me. Before Oppie and G started their publicity campaign people thought I was aloof. I guess I deserved that since I only hung out with royalty but I wanted the world to know that there was something more to me. That I had something to offer everybody.
Reporter: And what is that?
Mr. Diamond: That if something grown from carbon can make something of himself then the dream is alive in all of us. Nothing is impossible. We are capable of grand things. If a rock can make it, so can you.
Reporter: Nice message.
Stay tuned for part two of the exclusive interview with “Ice,” Mr. Diamond.
by Fred Cuellar, author of the best-selling book “How to Buy a Diamond.” More questions? Ask the Diamond Guy®