Thursday, July 31, 2008

Murray-Ramirez “Outs” U-T Publisher Copley

Report May Hasten Family’s Sale of Paper

story and photo by LEO E. LAURENCE

Copyright © 2008 by Leo E. Laurence • All rights reserved

“This thing (being ‘outed’ as Gay) had put him (David Copley) over the edge,” says local Gay columnist Nicole Murray-Ramirez. “He had cancelled all his social engagements, which he has never done,” he reported in an interview.

David Copley is the owner/publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune (U-T). His company re-cently sold its successful Copley News Service.

Reports have circulated publicly that Copley was considering selling both the newspaper and the Copley family estate in La Jolla. However, David’s decision to actually do it is a direct result of Murray-Ramirez’s dramatic, open letter “outing” him as a Gay man, according to a knowledgeable source who must remain anonymous.

“Dear David Copley,” Murray-Ramirez’s open letter in the July 17 Gay & Lesbian Times reads.

“For decades we have witnessed you give millions of dollars to the arts. Recently, you purchased another yacht; and now, you have just announced an $8 million gift to a museum that preserves costumes … yes, Hollywood costumes from film and television. …

“What is your problem?

“Everyone knows you are one big homo. In the past, I’ve tried to be nice, and I wished you well after your heart attack (after all, we’re both getting to be old queens).

“But I’ve had it with you.”

Murray-Ramirez was particularly angry at Copley because he has regularly refused to give do-nations to help victims of the AIDS crisis, going back to the 1980’s.

“During the worst and darkest times when AIDS ravaged our community, you never made a contribution, and still haven’t,” Murray-Ramirez wrote.

“Joan Kroc was doing it anonymously. David was given every opportunity to give to AIDS. He refused! He even told one of his friends that [he would give to AIDS relief], but then he would be associated with the Gay community, which he didn’t want,” Murray-Ramirez said in the interview.

“Its not just AIDS,” he added. “David hasn’t given a dime to anything” in the Gay community, including the current fight against Proposition 8 that will ban Gay marriages.”

“You’ve stopped being the terrible drunk you were when you used to visit The Caliph and make scenes trying to pick up any young man who was breathing,” Murray-Ramirez wrote in his open letter.

“And you’ve stopped having those wild Gay orgy-like parties at your homes, like you did in the ’60’s and ’70’s …

“You don’t give to stop state initiatives that would take away our [marriage] rights, yet you give millions to save and preserve Hollywood movie dresses.

“David, from one fat old queen to another fat, old queen, I wonder what you’ll say to God when he asks you what you did to help those in need when you could,” Murray-Ramirez concluded.

Murray-Ramirez said he knew that Copley was Gay going back to the early 70’s. He will include a separate chapter on Copley in his book, which he says will not to be published until after his death.

“He’s very embarrassed. He never intended to publicize [that he was Gay],” Murray-Ramirez added. “He’s probably going through hell right now.”

“Nobody has going into detail about Copley’s past concerning his parties and his activities at The Caliph at 3100 Fifth Avenue,” according to a confidential source.

“If you really dug into this, you would find out about the police cover-up about his activities in Balboa Park. His public situation at The Caliph was legendary.

“There’s always been that David Copley got special police treatment over alleged incidents in the park,” the knowledgeable source added.

“This was under [Police Chief William] Kolender (now sheriff), who (reportedly) dated Mrs. Copley, David’s mother. Kolender will deny this,” the source reports.

“In those days, an endorsement from the Copley press was gold. With it, you were in office.” Kolender was later elected sheriff several times.

“One of his friends called me and said [Copley] was very upset. He said, ‘That’s it. I want out of this public figure thing’,” Murray-Ramirez reported.

“This thing has put him over the edge,” Murray-Ramirez reported. It is believed that this “outing” caused Copley to definitely decide to sell the newspaper and his family estate in La Jolla.

Neither Copley nor his advisor, Hal Fuson, responded to several requests for comment.

For comment, contact Leo Laurence at, or at (619) 757-4909.

Photo caption: Nicole Murray-Ramirez seen announcing at the Pride Parade after “outing” Union Tribune publisher David Copley as Gay.