Herb Ritts cover-up

Gawker · 03/14/03 09:52AM

POZ Magazine has a feature article this month about Herb Ritts' battle with HIV, near-blindness, and the press' failure to mention that he was HIV positive in his obituary. From the press release: "[PMK/HBH publicist Steven] tells POZ that Ritts' HIV status was deliberately omitted from the statement released after his death in order to protect his mother, Shirley Ritts, who had never been told of his condition."

Putting on the Ritts [POZ]

Ritts and AIDS

Gawker · 01/13/03 07:24PM

Ah, thought so. Photographer Herb Ritts died of pneumonia, as his publicist said, but only after HIV infection had weakened his immune system, which she has belatedly disclosed. "Herb was HIV[-positive]... at the end of the day, his immune system was compromised." Michelangelo Signorile works himself up into indignation, accusing newspapers of glossing over the persistence of AIDS. But it's a broader issue: whether the cause of death is cancer or AIDS, obituaries shy away from the details.
Don't Hide the Truth About AIDS [Signorile]
Update: Turns out the New York Daily News, at least, ran the story, a few days after Ritts died.

Herb Ritts dead at 50

Gawker · 12/27/02 10:04AM

Celebrity photographer Herb Ritts died yesterday in an L.A. hospital after a bout with pneumonia that resulted in fatal complications. A contributor to Vogue and Vanity Fair for over 15 years, Ritts photographed subjects ranging from Madonna to the Dalai Lama. His latest series for Vogue, including shots of Kofi Annan and track star Marion Jones, will appear in the February issue.
Herb Ritts, celebrity photographer, dies at 50 [NYT]
Ritts, R.I.P. [Page Six]