Tim Gunn is calling out bitches left & right in his new book

May 27, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - Author/ reality personality TIM GUNN promotes his new book at Book Expo America 2010 held at the Jacob Javits Center. © Red Carpet Pictures

Tim Gunn has a new book coming out called Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work. I think I knew that Tim was doing a book, but I didn’t think much of it. After all, Tim is a gentleman, and he would never bitch someone out, right? Wrong. Tim Gunn is calling out bitches right and left in newly released excerpts from the book. It’s starting to look like this is Tim’s naughty tell-all memoir, and his bitchiness is both exquisite and fabulous. Here are some highlights:

Gunn on Vogue editor Anna Wintour: “It’s insane that people don’t call her out on the things she does. Is it fear? I was certainly afraid of her. When her office called me, I thought I’d have to go into the witness protection program.”

On designer Isaac Mizrahi, who Tim calls a “snob”: Don’t even get me started on Isaac Mizrahi. In my view, he’s one of the world’s biggest divas. One time, I saw Isaac throw a fit about a security guard from the second-floor showroom at Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Times Square offices. Why, you may ask? Was the guard stealing? Harassing guests? Showing up late? No, he was wearing brown. Can you imagine having your senses so offended by a color that it provokes such an extreme reaction?… Oh, please, I was so kind to him. I mean, I wouldn’t have the words to describe some of the more abhorrent behavior. He really is a terrible, terrible, terrible person.”

On Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis: “One of the angriest people I’ve ever met. [She] kept cursing under her breath in anticipation of her mother coming — ‘goddamn bitch,’ almost as if she had Tourette’s syndrome… I was so horrified by how she treated her mother in front of a lot of people. Good heavens, you’re an adult!”

Tim doesn’t like the word “etiquette”: “I don’t like the word. It connotes fish forks and wine-glass placement. And it sounds elitist and stuffy.” Still, he did want to provide “an antidote to all the bad behavior that abounds around us. One of the themes of the book is ‘Take the high road,’ you’ll never regret it.” In fact, “Golden Rules” does more than just promote a cool demeanor while punishing what he calls “potty-mouthed ruffians.”

On his parents: Gunn writes with surprising candor about his chilly relationship with his parents. He paints his mother as remote, his father as a homophobic brute. “My mother is truly, deathly ill right now,” says Gunn. “She has congestive heart failure, kidney failure. If she’s still alive on Sept. 7 [the day before the book’s publication], she won’t be on the eighth.” Despite such statements, Gunn insists, “I love her dearly. But she’s a stone.”

On J. Edgar Hoover and the idea that Gunn’s father could have been gay: The author’s father served as an FBI special agent and ghost writer for the legendary chief of the organization, J. Edgar Hoover. In his book, Gunn speculates on Hoover’s alleged homosexuality and wonders about his dad’s own orientation. “You have to wonder about the identity of an individual who’s so blatantly homophobic,” he says of his father. “Then there’s the whole Hoover FBI, with all these really good-looking men. It’s a little spooky like Hoover’s hand-picked club.”

On having an earth-shattering relationship, and how he hasn’t gotten laid in a while: Gunn also writes about a terrible relationship he had over 20 years ago, which ended with a betrayal so wounding, he has not risked a romantic involvement since. It’s been decades since he has had sex, he says, though he stresses he’s happy with the decision. “I wanted to say that, whether you’re gay or straight, you can live a celibate life and be perfectly satisfied and happy.”

On being an old fart: “But I am an old fart,” he says. “You really do need to draw the line and set up boundaries.”

On Padma Lakshmi being unprofessional: I go for long periods of time when I feel like casual politeness is extinct. I received an e-mail recently from a certain glamorous host of Top Chef. I won’t say who she is, but she was once married to a world-famous novelist. She was looking for a designer for her jewelry line, and I said I would put up my radar and send her anyone I thought might be a good fit. Well, I found someone terrific, discovered she was available, and sent along her résumé. I was very proud of myself for making such a great match. Then I never heard back. Nor did the designer. I was so embarrassed. Here I had this great designer all excited, and then it was as if I’d made up the whole gig. Either the glamorous host should have followed up with the designer or written one of us back to say, “I found someone, but thank you so much.” Without acknowledgment I have to assume she didn’t really want my help after all, so I’ll keep that in mind if she ever asks for anything again.

[From NYDN & Marie Claire]

I mean, how awesome is he? Obviously, I think Tim has deeper issues than I’ve ever realized, but he also sounds like a man who is obsessed with people being responsible adults. It’s not the worst thing, and I if I was one of the people mentioned in his book, I would shudder in fear. Tim’s bitchy wrath knows no bounds!

May 27, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - Author/ reality personality TIM GUNN promotes his new book at Book Expo America 2010 held at the Jacob Javits Center. © Red Carpet Pictures

May 27, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - Author/ reality personality TIM GUNN promotes his new book at Book Expo America 2010 held at the Jacob Javits Center. © Red Carpet Pictures

Tim Gunn attends the 2010 A&E Upfronts on May 5, 2010 in New York City (photo by: Jack Shea/ Meet The Famous). Photo via Newscom

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90 Responses to “Tim Gunn is calling out bitches left & right in his new book”

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  1. Lisa says:

    Have I told you how much I love this man? He tells it like it is and doesn’t care! We need more Tim Gunns in Hollywood.

  2. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    At least he has the guts to call people out without being completely rude and vulgar.

    I like an honest person that isn’t ass kissing to the powers that be in fashion or movies.

    He seems direct and to the point.

  3. mln says:

    he is soo funny, and what bitchy comments. Tim is my fav.

  4. Po says:

    I love Tim Gunn, I think he’s great. I had no idea about his father’s history.
    Also, the little info about Martha Stewart’s daughter didn’t even make me blink. She does seem pretty angry, in a funny way, on her show. It comes across as though she’s joking but I think her sarcasm is more on the angry side.

  5. Jen says:

    I love him!

  6. K-MAC says:

    Oh, I adore this man….He calls it like he sees it, but with humor. Also, he is not opposed to calling himself out on his behavior…..this is good stuff! I cannot wait to read his book :)

  7. Sumodo1 says:

    OMG! Such a dear man, and celibate because of a ruined relationship. Tim, get yourself into therapy, FAST!

  8. Lola says:

    I love Tim Gunn to bits, and I think the comment about Anna Wintour is spot on. People need to stop worshiping the ground she walks on.

  9. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    Another book thats a must have. However I knew, I KNEW Padma had to be making some jewelry or something. Padma has been sporting some fug ass jewelery on Top Chef this season. It has my TV circle complexed every week. So now we know its her pieces she wears on the show and to the Emmy’s this past Sunday.

    I just love Tim. Tim always makes me smile, I wanna talk like him. I wanna speak in the way he does and have his air of cool, collected confidence. The man is graceful. I don’t know about being happy celibate. I haven’t had any in awhile and I am going nuts, frankly. Its a struggle but if Tim can do it…no I can’t do that but I love Tim.

  10. Penguen says:

    Love him, love him, love him.

  11. Jackson says:

    I love Tim Gunn.
    That is all.

  12. Rachel says:

    I cannot wait to read this book!

  13. redlips says:

    I adore Tim Gunn and wish there were more people ballsy enough to tell it like it is..

  14. Marjalane says:

    Love, love, LOVE Tim Gunn!! Can’t wait to get the book. He makes better bitchface than any other of the other bitches on TV, and I am NOT surprised to hear that Padma is unprofessional- she is much better on Top Chef than Katie Joel could have ever dreamt of being, but she’s still a smug bitch. Go Tim Gunn!

  15. JJ says:

    *Desperately looking for past episodes of project runway to fix Tim Gunn’s cravings*

    LOVE HIIM !!

  16. NayNay says:

    He is friggen awesome. I love Tim Gunn. He is not afraid to tell it like it is, and hold no punches. Love him!!!

  17. JuiceinLA says:

    Oh Mr. Gunn- J’adore dior J’adore.

    obsessed with our society’s utter disregard for personal responsibility- we could be dopplegangers, if only I was more fashionable and didn’t have a potty mouth.

    either way- On 9/7- I am at Borders buying this book.

  18. jzhz says:

    I love him! I’d never make him wait for an email response. He just seems really nice and reasonable.

  19. original kate says:

    “When her office called me, I thought I’d have to go into the witness protection program.”

    that line is awesome. i adore him.

    and of course alexis stewart treats martha like shit…ever see the way martha treated her own mother when she was on her show? nice example, martha.

  20. TaylorB says:

    I LOVE Tim!!!

    However, in defense of Marthas daughter Alexis, one of my childhood pals went to college with her and said that her mother was so, shall we say ‘VERY seriously difficult’, that it may have really screwed that girl up. So it seems that her mutterings about her mother might have some basis in fact. If it was right to mutter them where someone might hear, maybe not, but at least she isn’t giving interviews like the Lohans.

  21. meme says:

    How can one not love Tim Gunn? MAKE IT WORK!

  22. TG says:

    I am still drying my eyes from all the laughter. I wasn’t even going to read this article but Kaiser your title alone pulled me in and I am glad I did. I don’t watch Project Runway so I don’t know much about him but I will definitely buy this book. I am sure I will be in stitches throughout. He is my new favorite celeb.

  23. danielle says:

    Hmm, never seen Tim on tv, but this interview makes him seem very likeable. The older I get the more I’d like to see adults being responsible. And I would imagine that growing up with Martha Stewart as your mother would screw anybody up. From everything I’ve read, Martha is a chilly, selfish, perfectionist.

  24. Rita says:

    What I like about Tim is he pisses off people who think he’s relevant.

  25. Crittle says:

    LOL! Love him

  26. a says:

    I would buy this book just on principle of someone who puts their money where their mouth is.

  27. duke says:


  28. Just a Poster says:

    ooooooohhhh I am now officially a fan of this man!

  29. Katie says:

    Tim is awesome, although at the point when says “glamorous host of Top Chef, used to be married to a famous novelist,” you might as well just call her by name.

  30. JuiceinLA says:

    @RITA -Right ON!!!!!! fantastic observation. Circle takes Square!

  31. Mistral says:

    He is very cool!

  32. Bunny says:

    Now, I love him even more. I thought it was awesome when he called out gretchen for her manipulative ways.

  33. cat says:

    Love him and his style, it’s about time some of these people are called out.

  34. Linda says:

    Team Tim although I hate brown too.

    I love the idea of casual politeness too. Why can’t we have that?

  35. Jennifer says:

    @Katie – Pretty sure that was the point. :P He knows you’ll know who he’s talking about.

    I love, love, LOVE Tim Gunn even more now! (: I so want this book.

  36. dj says:

    I love Tim. He is so elegant! But I also LOVED it when he called out (last week’s episode) Team Gretchen & her manipulations & “throwing that guy under the bus” who had immunity. I felt like she really got spanked because it was Tim.

  37. He is, like, the greatest person who has ever lived. I’d take a bullet for him and I’ve never even met him.

  38. Taya says:

    Martha Stewerts’ daughter a bitch? No, not that spoiled wannabe elitist. Martha paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for her daughters fertility treatments and this is how Alexis treats her? What a selfish hag. They are both bitches!

    Team Tim.

  39. Liana says:

    Oh, I love Tim Gunn. I met him once outside a coffee shop. I was jonesin’ for a latte, but had my big puppy with me and he went in and got my coffee for me. And wouldn’t take my money!

  40. Sari says:

    Let me echo what everyone else is saying: I LOVE Tim Gunn, and am running right out to get his book! What a wonderful combination of class and brutal honesty. He’s definitely one of the main reasons our whole family watches RUNWAY every week…

  41. Jackson says:

    @Liana – are you kidding me???? I love him even more now!!!! What a nice human being. And I think the last time I actually bought a book was when I was in college…back in the day…but I am actually going to buy his book. Now if only I could get him to sign it for me! And tell me how fabulous I am! Tim, call me!!!!

  42. canadianchick says:

    As Seth would say, Papa Gunn rocks…

  43. irl says:

    He’s so right, common courtesy is practically non-existent these days.
    A book I’ll buy since he’s smooth as silk.

  44. mamalama says:

    Interesting (or maybe not – you decide)…of all the people who rate coverage on this site, Tim Gunn and Betty White are the only ones I can think of that seem to garner universal adoration. Maybe they should host some show together, and just “tell it like it is” – he’s beyond caring what others think (and for that I say, “You go!”) and she is beyond needing to care. Everyone would watch.

  45. fifi says:

    can’t believe ALL the commenters are gushing about a man who throws everyone under the bus – how is that cool in any way??

  46. blue_planet says:

    Liana, that is a very cool thing for someone to do. He seems polite and gracious, and I for one feel that is a breath of fresh air in today’s world.

  47. lucy2 says:

    I don’t even watch his show, but I love him! I love him calling people out, I so want to read this book now.
    Has anyone seen the 80s style critiques he does on Craig Ferguson’s show? Hilarious.

  48. Ron says:

    I love that Tim just calls it as he sees it. He should have just named Padma. And seriously, she’s beautiful but she notoriously looks off. He look at the Emmy’s the past two years has been unfortuate and if that necklace she wore this year is any indication of her design estetic she better stick to eating. Why is it every person who gets 15 minute of fame now thinks they are a designer?

  49. bellyache says:

    100% positive reviews on Cele|bitchy! You don’t need a better testimonial in my view.


  50. mslewis says:

    After last season I vowed to never watch Project Runway again. This season I kept my word and missed the first episode but I was soooooo unhappy at not seeing Tim Gunn that I quickly gave in, watched the rerun of the first episode and have watched every episode since. I could easily give up Heidi and the Orange Man, but Tim Gunn . . . never!! Most especially after last week’s episode when he layed into Ms. Gretchen. It was priceless. I just love this man. I’m going to Amazon right this minute and put my name on the list for a copy of his book.

    I knew that Padma was a real bitch, though I do like her, but I think he has Alexis wrong (or perhaps slightly wrong). After all, Alexis did side with her mother in the divorce (and hasn’t spoken to her father since then); she was in court every day during Martha’s trial and she rented an apartment in the city where Martha was in prison for just about the entire time Martha was in jail. I’m sure they have their mother/daughter ups and downs but I really don’t think Alexis hates her mother. I think Alexis might be angry because she wasn’t able to get pregnant with all the in-vitro she did and it might have been the in-vitro treatments that made her seem so bitchy at times. Those are just my thoughts. Hate is a strong word and should not be thrown around like candy.

  51. Dawn says:

    Tim Gunn is the truth!

    Go get ‘em daddy!

  52. Shay says:

    It’s high time someone called out all these supposed glam morons for the turds they really are.
    Martha Stewart has always struck me as a real bitch on wheels who needs her own circle in hell.

    I can’t wait to read this book.

  53. Trillion says:

    He’s my #1 gay man, or at least tied for first with TLo (collectively) from Project RunGay.

  54. luciana says:

    for some reason the thought of this lovely man being celibate just gives me the blues….
    would love for some hunky-smart-classy-loving someone to knock Tim’s flawless socks off… #SIGH#

  55. kim says:

    So he bags on Alexia (Marthas Stewarts daughter) for bagging on her mom then continues to bag and his mother AND father? Hypocrite much. I dont know any stylish woman who would listen to a word Tim Gunn said. He has no sense of style.

  56. Dhavy says:

    Can’t wait for the book to come out!
    Regarding Alexis’ comment, we all might think that MS is a cold bitch but by calling her names in public will not make anyone feel sorry for her. I bet mom has done a lot for her and her career…what an ungrateful, miserable daughter

  57. Camille says:

    He is fabulous. Love him.

  58. Woodsy says:

    I love, love, love Tim Gunn. I will buy this book. That is all.

  59. Dobben says:

    I too love Tim!!

    “Take the high road, you’ll never regret it.”
    Well said… words to live by.

    Looking forward to reading his book.

  60. Crash2GO2 says:

    Ooh, I was going to say he sounds like a real gentleman, and then I read Liana’s post and now I KNOW that he is!

    I am definitely getting this book – sounds like a blast. I was highly entertained just from the small snippets posted here!

  61. snappyfish says:

    I love bitchy queens. Adore Tim Gunn. He is the only one on Project Runway (other than the actually runway show) that I don’t fast forward through

  62. Spike says:

    When I used to watch PR I used to think it would be awesome to have him as a mentor. He knows when to be stern and when to be kind. He’s got great style, manners, and is fun.

    I usually pass on celeb books, but I think this one would be a great read.

    It’s really fascinating that his dad was a g-man for Hoover. And I do think that it is touching that he still has a soft spot for his mom, despite things. He’s not “bagging” on them, just putting things in perspective.

  63. Maritza says:

    I love Tim too, he is so polite and well spoken and yet so down to earth like a person who really cares to hear what the other person is saying.

  64. Liana says:

    can’t believe ALL the commenters are gushing about a man who throws everyone under the bus – how is that cool in any way??

    Throwing someone under the bus when they deserve it is well and good in my book. I would LITERALLY throw my late best friend’s ex-girlfriend under a bus if I could!

    Yeah, he was really nice. My dog ran up to him, pulling me (dog is MUCH better behaved these days) and he was asking me about her (she’s a Bernese Mountain Dog) when he said he was going inside and did I want anything. I said no, he insisted, and I became a big fan right then and there. I had only seen him a few times on PR at that time and didn’t know much about him.

  65. laura says:

    Wow. Is there any other celebrity who would receive 100% “love” comments on this site?

    I mean, of course I love him, too. He is fabulous. Everyday I check my outfit in the mirror and say, “Tim, what do you think?”

  66. claude_yoola says:

    I never really knew much about Tim Gunn, but after reading this piece and some of the comments, I can’t wait to read his book and find out more about him.

    One thing I couldn’t agree with more: we badly need to raise the standard of social interaction. Not back to wet-blanket Puritan levels, but something above the current aggressively-rude-and-ignorant-and-proud-of-it attitude on display so often, would be nice.

    I blame reality TV. ;)

  67. Frankly says:

    I believe he is the height of human evolution thus far.

  68. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    @Kim, he wasn’t bagging on Alexis for anything other than using vulgarity about her mother, something he did not do when speaking about his own. So how is that hypocritical?

  69. DetRiotgirl says:

    @Kim fair point about his parents. I hadn’t really thought about that before you said it.

    But, I loved all of these quotes anyway! He and I could have all night bitchathons about all the celebrities out there who need to be brought back down to earth and told to grow up! Tim rocks!

  70. Sally says:

    @Liana: Sweet story!

    Oh Tim, how I love thee. I shall buy your book for all my friends birthday/xmas gifts :D

  71. Call Me Al says:

    I don’t think he’s bitching or being bitchy at all. He’s a gentleman, and I am glad he’s happy with his life. He seems like a very positive person.

  72. hapygoleslie says:


  73. Truthzbetta says:

    He’s like butta! Love this man too.

    Ever since he said the Kardashians are (basically) trash and the whole way they “navigate through life” is something he doesn’t like at all and has nothing good to say about I knew he was a lovely piece of work.

    Hope it’s a best seller. We need more people like him in pop culture.

  74. maria says:

    Kisses to Tim. Love him, love him, love him.

  75. maria says:

    I hope he goes on Craig Ferguson’s show to promote his book – they are very fun togetherr.

  76. Kelly says:


    Tim for nailing these arseholes to the wall. What happens to people, seriously, as soon as they start getting any kind of celebrity status? Maybe they start out that way? Or does the process necessarily strip you of any empathy or decency?

    Obviously not, since Tim’s still human! Excellent.

  77. wunderkindt says:

    Tim Gunn is a darling!

    Even if he called someone a turd, it would be done in a very exquisite classy way.

  78. name dropper says:

    can we all just call him the “Pasty Gangster” now?

  79. Gia says:

    I don’t think he’s being bitchy at all, just honest. I have always liked the man, and can’t wait to read his book.

  80. Kloops says:

    He is awesome. He is the bitchslap the world needs.

  81. Lardy Chops says:

    Team Tim. Love someone who’s not afraid to say it like it is and criticize rude divas instead of brown-nosing them.

    He’s just become my new GBF.

  82. Adrien says:

    Team Gunn!

  83. BamaGuy says:

    I never thought I could be, but I am totally completely head over heels in love with Tim Gunn after reading excerpts of his book. Love, Love, LOVE HIM

  84. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Totally right about social interactions. It’s not even difficult or time-comsuming, so what’s your excuse? Sometimes your mind wanders, or whatever, but habitual rudeness is always on the rise.

    Prime example: Hold the door, or, if someone holds the door, say ‘thank-you’! Not that I’m guilty of this response to door-related rudeness, but…one door almost always has another one coming right up. If I–someone–holds it, and you don’t make any gesture of gratitude or acknowledgement of any kind, the second door’s going to do what it will. Maybe the person screaming out of your iPod at 120db can become a real boy and hold it. The worst that stone-faced icy face and demeanor that isn’t distracted, but just trods forward with crossed arms and not a hint of class, as if holding the door you is someone’s job. So, how do doors work when the rabble aren’t around to do your bidding? Figure it out for yourself, wench.

    You’re welcome.

  85. TruTru says:

    I have to get his book, I love him!

  86. bananapanda says:

    The thing I like about Tim Gunn is that he’s mostly criticizing behavior, essentially saying “grow up” because manners have taken a back seat in society. Good manners are about holding your tongue, controlling your emotions and making people around you feel welcome and/or comfortable. Anyone who doesn’t get that is just living in the moment and being selfish.

  87. Donny with a D says:

    The comments in regard to Tim Gunn rocked me like a baby and were a balm to my frayed nerves.
    I now want to give a big hug to the girl who(LIKE ALL OF US) is slightly afraid of “Heidi and the Orange Man” and will soon be donating free Macchiatos and Lattes for all the staff at my local SPCA in honor of Mr. Gunn.

  88. thegorilla says:

    i really agree with what he said about his dad, totally homophobic “look how manly I am” men really make you wonder… the guys that are cool about it are the most secure

  89. telesma says:

    Wouldn’t you just love to listen in on him and Bronson Pinchot talking together? Someone really needs to make that happen.