Scandalous Diaries of the Famous

Writer Anaïs Nin didn’t just keep a diary, she made journaling an art form. She began putting pen to page during her adolescence and continued documenting her most intimate, sexually frank thoughts — often involving famous friends and bedfellows like Henry Miller — until her death in 1977.

The erotica maven’s birthday is today, and we’re taking a look at several other well-known, scandalous diarists who have shared their candid (and often naughty) thoughts and experiences for all to peruse. In the age of celebrity sex tapes, some of these admissions may seem timid now, but they certainly made waves during their time. Who would you add to the list? Click on to read our picks, and weigh in with yours below.


Andy Warhol 

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Andy Warhol’s diary was written by his secretary Pat Hackett and not the pop art icon himself. From 1976 to 1987 (just a few days before his death) Warhol would phone Hackett daily to discuss the previous days events, provide a mundane list of his expenditures, and chat about life in general. More than 20,000 pages were transcribed by hand, typewritten, and eventually (posthumously) turned into a book. Details about the artist’s recollections of parties, famous friends (and foes) are all included — some of them more flattering and kind than others, which probably burned a few folks who found out his true feelings years later. The picture he painted of the cultural landscape during his time was fascinating no matter the subject.