“While she was alive my mother never talked much about the past,” says Rory Green, one of Jackie Collins’s three daughters. “She had experienced so much pain that she wanted to preserve the happiness that she had found. ‘You’ve got to keep on keeping on,’ she told us, opting never to have therapy. So we knew the outline of the past, but we never knew the details until she died.”
It has been almost six years since her death, but the image of Jackie Collins still looms large in the public imagination: say her name and women of all ages will immediately call to mind unapologetic ambition, sexual decadence and lashings of leopard print. And it’s not just her image that prevails — her books continue to sell, and the iconic Lucky Santangelo titles have been picked up by Monumental Pictures’ Alison Owen — the producer of Suffragette and Lily Allen’s mother — who is looking at dramatizing the stories and streaming them (because “people would binge-watch the story the same as they binge-read the books”, Rory says). But as Lady Boss, a new documentary about Jackie’s larger-than-fiction life reveals, the Jackie Collins we knew was barely half the story.