WASHINGTON -- She called him 'Freddie.' He called her 'Big Eyes,' and their relationship titilated Manila nearly two decades ago.
'Freddie' was Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, who is currently locked in an election battle with Corazon Aquino, the wife of a slain political hero.
'Big Eyes' is Dovie Beams, a former Hollywood starlet, who, in the Feb. 2 issue of Parade magazine, said she was Marcos' lover from 1968 to 1970. Just in case 'Freddie' doesn't remember, Beams said she has some interesting tape recordings of their private conversations.
Speaking of the Feb. 7 election in the Philippines, Beams said, 'Freddie Marcos is a cinch to win.' She described Marcos, 68, as a 'shrewd, wily, intelligent, experienced in-fighter' whose 20 years in power have provided jobs and benefits to 'an army of grateful friends and relatives.'
Beams suggests that Marcos will not willingly leave office.
'I think I know him well, and I can tell you, that in my opinion, there is no way Freddie will ever voluntarily relinquish the presidency,' Beams said.
Beams said she met Marcos when she went to Manila to discuss a film role.
She said it was love at first sight and that Marcos subsequently paid her $10,000 to star in a movie based on his now disputed accounts of his World War II guerrilla exploits.
The word in Manila in the late 1960s was that Marcos, an accomplished golfer, used to play out of sight of the presidential press corps, then slip over to her home beside a fairway while his aides slowly completed the round.
'Freddie told me back then,' Beams maintains, 'that he and (wife) Imelda had engaged in no intimate relations for the past two years; that she was rapidly becoming richer than he was, although nothing was ever put in their names; and that, given time, he would find some way of getting rid of her and marrying me.'
But Beams heard of other girl friends, so she recorded some of their conversations as a precaution. One tape, said to be of 'Freddie' crooning a Filipino love song, was played on a student station at the University of Philippines before authorities stepped in.
The tapes, Beams said, reveal vital political and financial information, and form a large portion of her 1,500-page unpublished manuscript titled 'Dovie Beams by Me.'
Beams broke with Marcos in 1970, and at a news conference for foreign journalists in Manila, maintained that Filipino assassins were out to silence her. U.S. diplomats helped her leave the country.
A onetime Nashville resident, Beams said she now lives with her husband in a 30-room mansion on a five-acre estate in Pasadena, Calif.
'I don't like his (Marcos') politics,' Beams said, 'But I will love him to the day I die.'