Spy Dahl had 'stable' of women in US
Published 08/08/2010 | 05:00
ROALD Dahl led an extraordinary life in the United States during the Second World War as a James Bond-style spy with a "stable" of women, a new biography of the children's author reveals.
Apparently motivated by a combination of duty and straightforward lust, Dahl slept with countless high-society women while gathering intelligence.
His life as a young, handsome and dashing RAF officer in the early 1940s is detailed in a new book by Donald Sturrock, Storyteller: The Life Of Roald Dahl.
Antoinette Haskell, a wealthy friend of Dahl's who looked up to him as a brother -- even though, according to her, he was "drop-dead gorgeous" -- said the author had a "whole stable" of women who would wait on his every need.
"He was very arrogant with his women, but he got away with it. The uniform didn't hurt one bit -- and he was an ace [pilot]," she said.
"I think he slept with everybody on the east and west coasts that had more than $50,000 a year," Ms Haskell added.
Dahl had fought as a fighter pilot earlier in the war until injuries grounded him.
He then worked for a secret service network based in America called 'British Security Co-ordination' (BSC).
It was established to promote British interests and counter Nazi propaganda.
It is not known exactly how Dahl was recruited as a British agent, but it is thought that he was working loosely for BSC by early 1944 when, officially, he had a public-relations role at the British embassy in Washington.
Yet Dahl's secretive role went against the grain because he was a terrible gossip who frequently betrayed confidences, according to his family and friends.
His daughter Lucy admitted: "Dad never could keep his mouth shut."
The new biography also examines Dahl's allegations of bullying and brutality during his public-school days at Repton, which he wrote about in his book Boy.