Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frank & Arnie's Not So Secret Lunch

He's not normally shy of the media but the Shuttle couldn't get a word out of famous private eye Frank Monte when we phoned him today to ask if it was true that he was spotted two weeks ago lunching with ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the movie star hang-out, The Ivy in Los Angeles.

Monte in LA
Our source, a local paparazzi contacted us after he saw Schwarzenegger arrive and disappear inside the restaurant for two hours. When he later asked a friendly waiter who Arnie had lunched with the waiter said an Australian businessman  named Frank Monte made the booking. Both men arrived and left separately.

Is Arnie going back into the movie business and what is his connection with Monte ?.

We do know that for years Frank Monte has been working on a film script about his adventures as a young PI in the 60's when he was hired by the then New York governor Nelson Rockefeller  to mount an expedition in the remote Asmat region of New Guinea to search for his son Michael Rockefeller who disappeared while on an expedition.

Respected journalist Paul Toohey later wrote a book Rocky Goes West  in which he recounted Monte's role in searching for the missing heir. There were several theories about Rockefeller's fate- that he had been taken by a crocodile or shark or that he had been captured by headhunters and cannibals. Toohey says Monte found Rockefeller's skull and delivered it to the explorer's family in the US.

The Rockefeller family have never denied or confirmed that fact but Michael Rockefeller was officially declared dead in 1974.  Years later the History Channel said Monte had been paid $250,000 for his services.

Michael Rockefeller
And Schwarzenegger's role ?. Another Shuttle source in the top US artist's agency William Morris says that the agency and Schwarzenegger jointly owned the rights to Monte's film script for years but Arnie dropped all his film commitments when he became Governor of California in 2003.

Is he now going back into the film business as a producer?. The story of the missing Rockefeller heir would make a compelling and exciting drama. For years Monte has hinted that the Rockefellers remained sceretive about their son's life and death beacuse he was gay, long before the gay American writer Tobias Schneebaum revealed that as a friend of Michael Rockefeller's he had listened in awe to the explorer's tales of previous visits to new Guinea and how he had discovered a 'free and easy' lifestyle there.