True Crime Stories

Who Was Jon Gould & How Did He Die?

The Andy Warhol Diaries is a Netflix docuseries directed by Andrew Rossi.

Adapted from Pat Hackett’s autobiography of the same name, the film examines the life of the renowned artist in great detail, focusing on his relationships with those less familiar with his work.

While his relationship with Jon Gould was significant, the two rarely discussed it in public. Are you curious about Warhol’s lovely love interest? Let’s investigate him together to learn more about him.

Who was Jon Gould?

Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Jon Gould earned his degree from New England College in June 1977.

In 1978, he was hired by Paramount after a brief stint in the advertising department at Rolling Stones.

In November 1980, Jon, then 27 years old, was introduced to Warhol by their mutual friend, the famous photographer Christopher Makos.

Warhol’s 12-year relationship with Jed Johnson ended in December 1980.

He began sending roses to Jon’s workplace the following day, and continued doing so daily until Jon finally asked him to stop due to “embarrassment.”

The posthumously published memoir The Andy Warhol Diaries, as well as Warhol’s close associates and friends, are the primary sources for what is known about Jon.

Chris, also known as Christopher, allegedly acted as cupid for Warhol, as claimed by Bob Colacello, editor of Interview magazine and a friend of Warhol’s.

After meeting Jon at a public bathhouse, he introduced him to the legendary Andy Warhol and persuaded him to go on a date with the artist.

And then I decide that I should try to fall in love, and that’s what I’m doing now with Jon Gould, but then it’s just too hard.,” Warhol wrote in his diary on April 16, 1981.

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You fantasize about this one person all the time, but they don’t exist, and then you start spending a lot of time with them, and before you know it, you’re treating your relationship like a job.

However, Jon is an ideal partner because he has his own career and we can collaborate on film projects.

Perhaps he can persuade Paramount to place an ad in Interview as well. Right? In that case, my crush on him will be good for the company.

Jon was attracted to Warhol as well, but he didn’t express this publicly.

There was a lot of stigma surrounding the LGBTQ+ community back then, and the Netflix production claims that he was afraid of how he would be portrayed in the media as a homosexual man.

And he was worried that if the truth about his relationship with Warhol got out, it would hurt his professional reputation.

Therefore, Jon Gould continued to present himself as a heterosexual man to the world, claiming only to be friendly with the musician when they appeared together in public.

Warhol, the docuseries claims, was also intrigued by Jon’s ability to hide his sexuality.

Soon, he and the artist were spending time together behind closed doors, attending family ski trips and social gatherings together.

However, when it came to a long-term commitment, Jon’s behavior was cold and he asked him not to write about him in the diaries.

When he moved to Los Angeles for his job, the couple gradually grew apart.

After dating for a few years, Jon moved in with Warhol at his townhouse in New York City. However, he reportedly told his twin brother Jay that he and the musician were not sexually involved and were just friends.

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We were very close, identical twins, but we never talked much about his sexuality,” Jay said in the documentary series.

A different era, indeed. Jon continued to maintain a home apart from the one he shared with Warhol.

How Did Jon Gould Die?

The tragic turn of events began in February 1984, when Jon was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Despite his fear of hospitals after his 1968 shooting, Warhol visited Jon in the hospital every day till he was discharged on March 7, 1984.

As Jon’s health declined upon his return home, he relocated to Los Angeles.

In 1985, he and Warhol ended their relationship, which was very difficult for the artist.

Jon Gould passed away on September 18, 1986, at the age of 33 after a protracted illness. It turned out to be AIDS, but he kept that secret until the end.

Pat Hackett established this in an editor’s note she added to Warhol’s memoir in 1989.

In 2017, following the passing of Jon’s mother, Harriett Gould, the family home in Amesbury was put up for auction.

Jon and Warhol’s love story was partially pieced together through the discovery of artworks, photographs, and letters they had exchanged.

Jay Gould revealed that he was shocked by the depth of his brother Jon’s love for Warhol after reading some of the love notes and poetry Jon wrote for the artist.

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