Why Were Two of Truman Capote's Swans Left Out of 'Feud'?

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Why Two of Capote's Swans Aren't in 'Feud' Fairchild Archive - Getty Images


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If you've been closely watching Feud: Capote vs. the Swans, you may have noticed an absence among the glamorous Swans—namely, Marella Agnelli and Gloria Guinness. Two of Capote's beloved Swans are not in the story.

"There wasn't a lot of room," series writer Jon Robin Baitz tells Town & Country. "Both of them were sort of slightly at the side, but interestingly, both of them had warned the Swans that this would happen. There was a [thought] to concentrate on the victims of his betrayal; those two felt less like victims. They were less wounded and damaged by it. They were both, interestingly, foreign—it was the Americans who got really hurt. They didn't have another place to go to."

Guinness, born Gloria Rubio y Alatorre in Guadalajara, Mexico, was a Mexican socialite, and Agnelli, born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto in Florence, Italy, was an Italian noblewoman. Their stories are not in Feud, but despite not being in the show, Agnelli and Guinness do make a significant appearance in Laurence Leamer's book, Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era.

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For example, in one chapter, Leamer writes about Agnelli's decision to end her friendship with Capote. "Marella noticed Truman doing the same thing with Babe and Gloria and their husbands. 'He would tell you about their little défauts, their faiblesse, trying to woo you away from them in a funny way,' she said. It was as if Truman would only be happy if they left their husbands and he was indisputably the most important man in their lives."

Leamer also writes about Truman's visit to Turin. After he left, Agnelli "vowed to end the friendship. Truman was so self-absorbed that it took him a long while to realize Marella had taken him out of her life." They saw each other once more, at a dinner hosted by Lee Radziwill, and then never again.

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