Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The flamboyant novelist who brought the world such deathless literary masterpieces as Valley of the Dolls and Once is Not Enough is the subject of this made-for-cable biopic. Michele Lee stars as Jacqueline Susann, a second-string actress and well-known party girl who turned to journalism after her marriage to producer Irving Mansfield (Peter Reigert). Though constantly surrounded by Show Business Glitterati, Susann would not achieve celebrity status herself until age 47, when she published the lurid best-seller Valley of the Dolls. Though outwardly giving the impression that she was tough as nails and utterly invulnerable, Susann in truth had her share of anguish and tragedy, coping with the challenge of raising an autistic son, struggling against substance abuse, and ultimately waging a long, losing battle against breast cancer. According to studio publicity, star Michele Lee (who also served as executive producer) wore some of Susann's own jewelry and wardrobe in the course of making the film. Largely based on the biography by Barbara Seaman, Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story made its USA network debut on December 9, 1998, several months before Bette Midler's theatrically released spin on the Susann legend, Isn't She Great.