Jaime Bayly is dying

Just as Bayly was kicking his cocaine habit, a previously unknown math professor named Alberto Fujimori won the 1990 presidential election in Peru. For two years, Bayly ripped the populist on national television. But when Fujimori suddenly dissolved Peru's congress, courts, and constitution in 1992, a friend warned Bayly that his name was on a list of journalists who were already being rounded up and thrown in jail. The fearless journalist caught the first flight to Madrid.

He spent the next two years in Spain writing a novel, Don't Tell Anyone, a thinly veiled account of his life growing up gay and abused by his father. When the main character, Joaquín Camino, discovers his bisexuality, his upper-crust family and chauvinist father deny it; they even hire a hooker for him. But Joaquín drops out of school, tries cocaine, becomes a journalist, and eventually moves to Miami.

Don't Tell Anyone is still widely considered Bayly's best novel. It's a bawdy but angry book that reveals a racist, homophobic, and status-obsessed family threatened by a son's homosexuality just as Peru was shaken by popular unrest. It's also a window into Bayly's extreme loneliness and me-versus-the-world mentality. When his family members learned of the book, they pleaded with him not to publish it.

"That was the breaking point," he says. "Nobody was friendly or supportive. They were totally against me and at war with me."

After two years in Madrid with the novel still unpublished, Bayly ran out of money. He returned to TV in Lima, where he met a pretty, blond Peruvian-American named Sandra Masías at a nightclub. They moved to Washington, D.C., together, and, with Masías pregnant and Bayly's tourist visa expiring, soon married. But the domestic tranquility existed only on paper. Bayly insisted on seeing other women... and men.

"She tried to make me a straight man," Bayly recalls of Masías. "But human nature, or my nature, is being in love with somebody but also allowing yourself the freedom to have sex with someone else if that is what is good for you. I've never believed in monogamy."

Still, his family provided newfound stability to Bayly's life. Don't Tell Anyone was finally published in 1994 and quickly became a bestseller in Spain, Peru, and much of Latin America. Of course, the tales of infidelity, incest, and drug abuse didn't sit well with Bayly's family members. Many still don't speak to him, even though emergency liver surgery in 2009 nearly killed him.


Standing in the plush lobby of Hotel Portón in Bogotá, Felipe Muñoz doesn't look like the head of the Colombian secret police. Instead, with dark, close-cut hair and chubby cheeks, the 40-plus-year-old looks like any one of the thousands of crisply suited bankers strolling the city's bustling streets. But Muñoz flashes his badge at Bayly and in hushed tones says he has a personal message from President Álvaro Uribe. "We believe that Hugo Chávez has hired hit men to kill you," Muñoz warns Bayly, referring to the bombastic Venezuelan president whom Bayly had lambasted incessantly since 1998. "For your protection, I advise you to leave Colombia at once."

"I'm dying in six months," Bayly replies, citing his liver problems. "So if Chávez kills me before then, he'll be doing me a great service. He'll save me some money on physicians."

It was early 2010, and Bayly was covering the Colombian presidential elections for Bogotá-based station NTN. He had jokingly dedicated his first episode in Colombia to Chávez, and he didn't buy the threat.

"I sensed that he was lying to me," Bayly says. "I was supporting the opposition candidate... So that was the reason the chief of the secret police tried to scare me."

Whether or not the plot to kill Bayly was real, it marked a turning point. The talk show host had transformed from a flippant provocateur into a serious political player. The road there started in 1996, when he secured a job as an anchor for 24-hour news network CBS Telenoticias. Hundreds of thousands of people across the hemisphere began to recognize his handsome face.

Then in 2000, when Fujimori resigned in disgrace after scandals involving human rights abuses and bribery, Bayly left CBS and returned to Peru. It was an important moment for journalism as the country shook off a decade of censorship. And Bayly once more took full advantage. He started a new show on network Frecuencia Latina called El Francotirador ("The Sniper"). On it, he ridiculed the various candidates poised to succeed Fujimori. He also pushed the envelope of good taste, accusing front-runner Alejandro Toledo of refusing to recognize an illegitimate daughter. When he began to advocate policies including gay marriage and legalization of drugs, his tirades took on the character of stump speeches.

During the presidential election of 2001, Bayly ran a high-profile campaign urging voters to cast blank, protest votes. "The result was terrible," says Peruvian TV critic Patricia Salinas. "People were throwing eggs at him in the street." Even worse, only three percent of Peruvians cast a protest vote in the decisive second round. Toledo won comfortably.

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53 comments
bristol084
bristol084

Lo admire mucho por su sinceridad, buen sentido del humor, abierto; no es como la mayoria de los peruanos que son FALSOS a mas no poder; se creen los mandamanes, asi como lo era talves el papa de Bayly; un ser que se creia homnipotente, abusador, y por eso tuvo este hijo que no se lo merecia tampoco porque Jaime hijo es un gran hombre. Para Elizabeth-lima le digo que no lea ni oiga a Jaime pero a mucha gente nos gusta. El look que no se lo cambie porque ese es suyo original, y hasta cantantes se lo han copiado tal como Justin Biber.  Y para continuar, le deseo lo major al senor Jaime Bayly y le digo que extrano mucho su programa; sea criticon o no, a mi marido y a mi nos encanta.

elizabeth-lima
elizabeth-lima

El tristemente celebrado Bayly , este hombre que lo unico que sabe es criticar a grandes personalidades , cuando el mismo no es mejor , ciertamente debe tener un gran complejo. ah casi me olvidaba talves alguien pueda persuadirlo que cambie de look , especialmente ese peinado que semeja a un casco Aleman que lo lleva mas de 20anos , oye jaimito bufon de pueblo tu repertorio ya cansa , vete y descansa.

Lawrence
Lawrence

Interesado en llevar Braco al show en Mega TV.

Mar
Mar

Jaime yo te admiro tanto!

carmen
carmen

jaimen i was see your program in canal sur, why only you talking about oyanta , and no keiko, if im no wrong, this is the 3 week, you still talk about the same person, mr ollanta humala, I wish next sunday your program will be different

MGTRRZ
MGTRRZ

I've been on another Galaxy-Space travel does work Wonders...Finally. as we are coming in for the landing---I can hear a distant Roar---People are Cheering-Excited-Mesmerized...I ask the Crew-Is it a Concert? a Star? or a new Prophet??? Max replies-No-It's Jaime Bayly-One of Earth's own MEGASTARS...Actually-I'm from right Here-Earth-but I feel as if I've been Re-Awakened...Jaime Bayly is Enthralling...

Ccsskk1969
Ccsskk1969

I love his show. No one on TV is like Bayly. He is authentic, smart, direct and funny !

MIQUEN TAN
MIQUEN TAN

POCOS HOMBRE EN EL MUNDO COMO JAIME BAYLY,SINCERO,CORAZON Y ALMA NO EXISTE HOMBRE QUE SE SIENTA AL FRENTE DE LAS CAMARAS DE TV Y CON ESA SERIEDAD QUE LO CARACTERISA DICE LOS QUE OTRO CALLAN Y CON UN SENTIDO DEL HUMOR ADSOLUTOS , LOS QUE LO CRITICAN SON LOS IPOCRITAS ENVIDIA A JAIME NADIE LE ATA LA IMPROVISACION Y A LA VEZ ,VOCABULRIO POETICO...PERDONEN MIS FATAS ORTOGRAFICAS.SOY ANALFAVETA .MIUQUEN TAN..

MIQUEN TAN
MIQUEN TAN

JAMAS HE CONOCIDO UNA PERSONA CON UN SETIDO DEL HUMOR COMO ESTE SENOR,IMPROVISACON UN LENGUJE SACADOCON PALABRAS PAUSADAS QUE A LA PERSONA DEDICADA ,CREO QUE REISE ONO LE QUEDARA MAS REMEDIO QUE ASECTAR LA FAMA,FELIS ME SENTIRIA CAER EN BOCA DEL TAN QUERIDO Y RESPETADO DE MI PARTE,, MIQUEN TAN..

Xzfhg
Xzfhg

That's right, who is paying for this and WHY is it still on the front page? Oops, my apologies. Forgot Miami news is now run by the majority, which is the Hispanic community. I love them, even married to one, but they gotta get past the communistic way of thinking.

Xzfhg
Xzfhg

Who gives a s***!

ddwed
ddwed

Who is paying for this article to still be in front page?????????

Manuel Russell
Manuel Russell

Mr Michael E. Miller If you thing people believe on what you are saying about Jaime Bayly you are out of your main, Jaime Bayly is an excellent journalist and writer. His stile is unique that is how he is so popular in the Latin community. What I don't understand how Yahoo have in there headline a article so racist and so negative. Jaime we are with you, don't lasing to this racist columnist.

Victor
Victor

Los tontos siempre expresan su propia negatividad en otro, pero ese otro solo tiene 16 novelas y saliendo de una droga adiccion que cualquiera queda loco, escribio uno de sus mas premiadas novela, es comparado solamente con Letter man y Charlie Rose, es un millonario y con el talk show mas visto de America latina para los que pueden apreciar al artista de Bayle frente alas camaras solo un baboso puede hablar mal de un homre tan exitoso salido de latino America. espero se recupere Sr Bayle, hay babosos esperandole para tener deque hablar.!ha pordonen si ofendi

jorge
jorge

Why is this story is stil posted on Yahoo's front page after a week?

obvious
obvious

Many of you have missed the tongue-in-cheek title of this article. it is meant to poke a little fun at him for saying so, for wanting attention, and it is ironic because it really sounds as if Bayly is alive and well and reinventing himself.

Nico
Nico

What a silly, sensasionalist and misleading headline. Jaime Bayly is an excellent journalist and writer. He deserves more respect from a no so brilliant columnist...

manny
manny

Who cares before he crockes he should pull his hair back so we can see his bold head.

Ghdfhdfg
Ghdfhdfg

IF he's so brilliant, why the fuck is he on Mega TV?

Billgates123
Billgates123

Hey Jaime, don't be so long in mouth(- no pun). Take comfort in the fact that there surely will be more than five people taking a shit on your grave. You were a colorful cliche, roaming amongst a culture of sheep. Love, Dad.

Don0578
Don0578

Does he have systemic amyloidosis?

Dicky Dixon
Dicky Dixon

Sounds like another celebrity idiot. Pointless article.

JM
JM

I don't understand why so many people admire this man. Being articulate doesn't mean you're brilliant. While he is clearly clever, I believe it is a far cry to depict him as this frustrated genius type that he so desperately claims to be. The narcissism coupled with his apparent self-loathing makes this man exactly what he hates in others: hypocritical. And, truth be told, he knows and accepts this.

My personal belief is that this man is a greedy fame-whore, who will sacrifice anything or anyone to make a buck. Is he that different from the politicians he so criticizes? The best part is that he rationalizes his antics by assigning them to his inability to be a liar; it's the "I'm just being honest, unlike the rest," excuse. It is, and always has been, all about the money. There's no honesty in this man. How can someone who doesn't believe in monogamy propose marriage to another, not once, but twice?

He has played his part very well, and has effectively earned the admiration of many people who, for some reason, seem to think that he's some kind of revolutionary.

Does he really think that he's the first to "expose" the duplicity of human nature? Anyone can write a book about how fucked up and utterly hypocritical their family can be. When did being a rebel and an inconsiderate dick suddenly become more accepted than being a person with integrity and self-control?

Ingridasc
Ingridasc

This article is what's wrong with the New Times articles in general. The article is titled "Jaime Bayly is dying" yet the reader msut endure endless pieces of minute detail before getting to the point of the title. jesh

Dg
Dg

great article. 6 pages is lenthy, but how can you possibly sum Bayly up in less than that? i think this piece really captures his essence. irreverent, controversial, publicity-starved, charismatic, intelligent, eloquent. glad he's back and i'm sure he'll be around for a long time, regardless of what he says. kudos to the writer.

Christopherpauley
Christopherpauley

i work at a moving company in miami i ve moved him a couple of time cool guy.

Moramariajose
Moramariajose

My father had a comfortable, even luxurious life, but demons and phantoms were eating at his soul." Bayly says: it is the same thing happens to him. Poor guy!!!!

MikeHoncho
MikeHoncho

Great story, but why does it need to spread over 6 pages?! Fix your website, stop splitting stories over multiple pages just so you can give advertisers more views. Ad-Block Plus FTW!

MIGUELIN
MIGUELIN

I think JAIME BAYLY is really unique. I admire his Guts and his Panache. He is a Unique figure in Latin Television. He is one of the Smartest, most sophisticated People I have ever seen. His interviews are incredible. I can't believe he is Dying....But if he is, I feel Sorry and Lucky just the same. Like Jack Paar, Carson, Cavett, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and ALL the Greats, JAIME BAYLY is an icon and I am Lucky to have lived in his Lifetime.

Ainos49
Ainos49

deberia de ser un poco mas profesional y no hacer chistes tan malos especialmente de senoras respetables , se nota q es un envidiosa estupido ! no se como esta otra ves en la mega. ! tonto!

diana
diana

I HOPE IS NOT TRUE THAT JAIME IS DYING I LIKE TO SEE HIS TALK SHOWS. MAY GOD BE WITH JAIME AND GIVE HIM PEACE.

JEANLL

Yoshimi
Yoshimi

The man carries himself as a unique brand and icon, nothing wrong with that. The 5th most powerful person in Peru? I live here (Peru), he's a dime a dozen to all the scandalous types of Cholowood. In a country where a busted stripper was elected a congresswoman I highly doubt that even a bogus ranking of 5th most powerful man in Peru is something to be too proud of. Who's first on the list, Tongo (only Peruvians will get that one)?

Read his books, like the ones he wrote when he was much younger. Back when he was considered El Nino Terrible in Peru, and so many Peruvians hated him. Then he went to the States, the foreign latins loved him, and then the Peruvians began to care about him.

Coco
Coco

I like him, he is cleaver, mean spirit and have a dark sense of humor, but so what? That makes him different from the rest of the hispanics journalists.

I don't beleive he is dying though, but if that is the case, then he should sign up for a possible organs donors list. Yes, I know, he doesn't want to use other people's organs, but what the hell...If the donor is already dead, it's fair game.

I have to admitt that what I must admire about him is his relentless attacks to Chavez and Castro. He is a Libertarian, but for sure is an anti-communist. My favorite kind of people.

I wish him well. I can of respect a guy that live his life to his own standards, like Sinatra said in one of his songs, "I did it my Way".

Juaneli07104
Juaneli07104

Would be true that he is dying or he needs publicity for his new book??????????, he is a very smart, clever guy. He is the kind of person that needs to be in hurricane eye.

Letisca
Letisca

I like Bayly a lot.Despite that I don't watch him every night..!! But he's fun...!! He makes me laugh ..!!

Susanortega_ve
Susanortega_ve

He makes one of the best shows in Spanish on TV... definitely better than Laura Bozzo, Niurka Marcos or Maria Antonieta Colllins... and he makes people laugh...period!

Sexytinkme
Sexytinkme

being a proud peruvian myself, he is a total disgrace to PERU...dislike him very much! cholo mierda...huevon!

Steve1972170
Steve1972170

the guys is dying because he were gay, or what?.

Cmg77
Cmg77

Great articule ..besides all his personal and professional controversy ..I like him because he fihgts hypocrisy,.unmasking all those liars that goes through this live preteding they are perfect.

Pfumero627
Pfumero627

What doe he have my grandma watches him all the time

Idacarlini
Idacarlini

He certainly keeps your attenjtion..love him

Haydee
Haydee

hola jayme yo soy cubana pero te adoro jamas he dejado de berte me encanta las bromas del padre alberto yo tanbien lo beo como un sinbolo sexual me he orinado por tu culpa por haserme reir te quiero mucho haydee

Jeffrey Hall-Cottrell
Jeffrey Hall-Cottrell

If you're going to be an ignorant fuck at least spell it correctly it's FAGGOT.....

mariucha
mariucha

estoy de acuerdo. Los pocos programas que vi son aburridisimoosss! y su libro ultimo del que tanto habla, a la quinta hoja tambien me aburrio.

Diana
Diana

He's got liver problems, not sure if it's cirrosis or cancer.

Manyross
Manyross

en conclucion eres un aburrido

 
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