In his forthcoming memoir, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends," Rob Lowe dishes on the early days of the "Brat Pack" (he used to hate the term, coined by a "scumbag" journalist), his friendship with Charlie Sheen (who used to wear a bulletproof vest under his clothes to school), and his many lovers (Demi Moore, Natassja Kinski, Princess Stephanie, Melissa Gilbert, and Fawn Hall, of Iran-Contra infamy).
Breezy and light, the book is a fun read, and Lowe drops enough names and reveals enough personal stories to keep you turning its pages. It's easy to imagine the young kid from Ohio landing in Malibu and pinching himself as his life is transformed -- at one point during his Teen Beat phase, young female fans used to sneak into his bedroom, waking up his parents -- though he has a big enough ego that he can't help putting himself at the center of major news events, from the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. to the Michael Dukakis campaign.
Among the other tidbits:
• His friendship with Charlie Sheen began when they were teenagers -- Lowe used to hang out at the Sheens' house, along with Sean Penn. When they were both shooting movies in New York in 1986 (Sheen was in "Wall Street", Lowe was in "Masquerade"), they partied together -- "Charlie and I compete to see who can play harder, then show up to work and still kick ass. Verdict: Sheen by a nose."
• During his lothario days, Lowe used MTV as a "home-shopping network, and it's not beneath me to call up to get the contacts on the sexy dancer in the latest Sting video. I find C-SPAN to be useful in this regard as well. Seeing Oliver North's secretary, Fawn Hall, being sworn in during Iran-Contra, I make a note to track her down." When he escorted Hall to an awards dinner, Sally Field gave him a "Whaaat the fuuuck" look as she walked by his table.
• When the sex tape of Lowe with a 16-year-old girl threatened to bring down his career, he was comforted by Playboy empire founder Hugh Hefner, who told him: "You had to do it. The technology existed!" He claims that none of his other friends called him during this dark period, with the exception of Jodie Foster.
• Lowe was on the plane during a test run by the 9/11 hijackers just 11 days before September 11, 2001 -- American Airlines Flight 77 was his regular flight from New York to Los Angeles. As a result, lawyers for 9/11 accomplice Zacarias Moussaoui tried to depose Lowe, who refused at first. The point later became moot when Moussaoui fired his attorneys.
• Roman Polanski, who wanted to cast Lowe in "Pirates", lived up to his reputation during a dinner out in Paris. Polanski, who fled the United States in 1977 to avoid sentencing for the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl, sat Lowe at a table with 15 models, telling him at the end of dinner, "You better make up your mind or you will end up jerking off."
• Taking a break from the rainstorm that broke out during Diana Ross's legendary Central Park concert in 1983, Lowe huddled with Andy Warhol and socialite Cornelia Guest at a cafe. Warhol challenged both of them to "draw their best version of a pussy" on the paper tablecloth. After Lowe showed the artist his "hypergyno masterwork," Warhol pulled out his stick-figure of a cat, saying "Now that's a pussy!"
• One night, he and fellow Brat-Packer Andrew McCarthy traipsed through a Chicago ghetto on their search for a sensory-deprivation tank -- hanging there naked in the water, Lowe almost lost his mind "as I panic in the claustrophobic darkness."
• At dinner in Chicago, he flirted with 19-year-old "fairy princess" Darryl Hannah, who turned him down, telling him that she was a virgin and who was saving herself for singer Jackson Browne.
• On his way to meet with "Hotel New Hampshire" director Tony Richardson, Lowe was attacked by a large parrot that attached itself to his face.
• Lowe lost the lead role in "Footloose" to Kevin Bacon when he did a stage slide during his audition and snapped his right knee, passing out from the pain.
• After a long night of partying at Michael J. Fox's house, Lowe passed out in Fox's bed and snuggled with the actor, assuming that he was Fox's dog.
• Lowe was introduced to Princess Stephanie by his security guard, Glenn Souham, who once rescued the actor when a bomb went off in Paris. Souham, who bonded with the actor, teaching him martial arts and coaching him during his fling with Stephanie, was a mysterious figure who assisted the Reagan administration with smuggling arms to the Contras in Nicaragua. After dropping off Lowe at the airport in Paris on September 24, 1985, Souham was shot multiple times in the chest by three masked gunman -- his murder was never solved.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Cornelia Guest as a socialist instead of a socialite.