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"Fucking son of a bitch," Bayly adds. "He didn't even come to the hospital."
But Rodríguez says that he did visit Bayly at the hospital and that after the show — which he says he was asked to help with — he sent an email wishing Bayly a happy birthday and telling him what had happened. "That was the last time I spoke with him," Rodríguez says. "I never heard from him again. I never even had a chance to explain myself... After that, he sent emails to Cynthia and other people saying that I wasn't really his friend."
After an unsuccessful attempt at hosting his own show, Rodríguez left Mega and now works in advertising. "It was sad that after years of friendship, he treated me like that," he says. "I wouldn't say I've forgiven him."
For years, Bayly balanced his job as provocateur with that of being a kind and dedicated father. Even after his 1997 divorce from Masías — the mother of his two teenaged daughters, Camila and Paola — he would frequently fly to Lima to see his children and shower them with gifts.
But Bayly's relationship with Silvia Núñez del Arco has exploded his family life. Even for Bayly, who says he enjoys losing friends and making enemies, the feud has been painful. "Suddenly everything has turned upside down," he says. "When my daughters learned that I had a fiancée and that she was pregnant, they and their mother... declared cold war on me. They don't talk to me anymore, they don't answer my emails, they don't want to see me."
In late November, however, Bayly wrote a column titled "Señora, Please Move," in which he said he was tired of Masías' demands for more money and asked her and his daughters to leave his house in Lima. In the article, he accused his ex-wife of calling Núñez a "prostitute" and a "mutt." He also claimed that Camila, 17, burned a gift from Núñez, took a photo, and uploaded it onto Facebook with the caption: "Burn, shit." Then she pelted the young girlfriend's apartment with eggs and spray-painted "Silvia Whore" on the wall.
For her part, Masías says her ex-husband creates conflict only to write about it. Bayly, she says, is an introverted man who has created an extroverted persona that has come to dominate his life.
A pivotal moment for her — and others — came on November 15, when, during Bayly's first show on Mega, he kissed Núñez's four-month-pregnant belly. For Masías, it was yet another on-air slight from her ex-husband.
"Mr. Bayly is a public figure and writer," she emailed from Lima. "He has to entertain the public with his stories. I don't. In order to have a 'cold war,' you need two parties. There is no such war when my life and my daughters' lives have taken a different course than Mr. Bayly's... Nevertheless, he will always be the father of my children."
Bayly isn't so charitable: "She's going to be fucking ecstatic when I die. I think she will love to inherit part of my little wealth."
He also had a very public falling-out with Argentine boyfriend Luis Corbacho. The two met in a Buenos Aires hotel in 2002, when Corbacho first interviewed Bayly. They were lovers until last year. But when Corbacho learned that Núñez was pregnant, he sent her an anonymous email that, according to Bayly's column, read: "The curse that you put on me is gone and now the spell is on you and your rotten belly, shitty whore."
In an article in El Comercio, Corbacho wrote that he regretted sending the email but added that Bayly had never told him about his relationship with Núñez. He learned of it by reading her blog. And when Bayly kissed Núñez's belly on Mega, the Argentine flipped out. Just when he had calmed down, Bayly canceled plans for Corbacho to visit him in Miami this past December.
"I couldn't understand how Jaime could have become something so perverse and manipulative," he wrote. "Now I know that it's not his fault. I know that he is very sick and his deliriums come from a madness that has taken him over, the product of years of consuming exorbitant doses of sedatives, psychotropics, and antidepressants."
It's almost midnight on a Friday, but Jaime Bayly is still happily posing for photos with audience members after his show. When the last admirer leaves, he walks slowly from the empty set to a small, bare white room nearby. He thuds his large frame onto a small plastic chair and slaps his monstrously large dress shoes on the carpet. An assistant brings him a fruit punch that stains his lips blood-red.
"I'm dying," he volunteers abruptly. "I'm 45, and I've had a good life. When I was young and living in Peru, I enjoyed life as much as I could. I did a lot of drugs. I loved cocaine. It was really good for me and good for my mind. Years later, you pay the price."