He is Australia’s most famous publicist who has sung karaoke with Bill Clinton, been whipped in the back of a limousine by Pamela Anderson and had his ear ‘chewed’ by Mike Tyson.
And now Max Markson has opened-up about his most memorable moments over the past two decades rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous in a revealing new book ‘On the road with Bill Clinton’.
The autobiography offers a unique insight into Mr Markson’s work promoting everyone from world leaders to celebrities and sporting stars in Australia.
But while he has met too-many-to-name A-listers, the one person who has stood out the most is former U.S president Mr Clinton, who Mr Markson has honoured with the book title above everyone else.
Publicist Max Markson has a revealing new autobiography out called ‘On the road with Bill Clinton’. He is pictured here with the former U.S president
The book details some of Mr Markson’s most memorable moments over the last two decades, bringing some of the biggest celebrities to Australia, including Mike Tyson (both pictured)
Mr Markson worked with Kim Kardashian to help with publicity for Michael Hill jewellers
Mr Markson is pictured with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had given the Australian publicist a glowing recommendation to Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett
Mr Markson said some of the most memorable moments include the time he says he was whipped in the back of a limousine by Pamela Anderson (both pictured)
Mr Markson joined with supermodel and actress Rachel Hunter for an event for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney in 2007 (both pictured)
‘I’m probably closer to Bill Clinton than anybody else. I’ve spent more time with him, I’ve done four tours with him. I’ve known him since 2001 and I saw him recently in June,’ Mr Markson – the man behind publicity firm Markson Sparks – told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Markson’s time with the former president has included singing karaoke together, including the songs New York, New York and The Beatles’ In My Life.
He also nominated his work with Mr Clinton as being the career highlight since 2000, the period covered in the book.
‘(The highlight is) the work I’ve done with President Clinton and the money we’ve raised for charity – millions of dollars, it’s just fantastic really,’ Mr Markson said.
‘Playing hide-and-seek with President Clinton one night after dinner was funny. Doing karaoke with him was funny.’
Mr Markson said other memorable moments included teaching Mike Tyson’s children to waddle like penguins only for the boxer himself to join in and his encounter with Ms Anderson, who he had been responsible for getting to appear on Celebrity Big Brother.
‘Pamela Anderson whipping me in the back of the limousine was funny,’ Mr Markson, who had given Ms Anderson a $1000 horse whip from Hermes as a gift on the way to the Big Brother House at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, said.
The autobiography was pieced together over about a four month period, pulling together notes Mr Markson has written down when working with the stars through the years.
There are 11 chapters, covering not only Mr Clinton but also including former South African president Nelson Mandela, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kim Kardashian, Pele and Ms Anderson.
‘There’s a lot of other personalities I’ve worked with in that period but these are the ones 95 per cent I’ve put my own money into – I’ve spent $1million touring someone or $500,000,’ Mr Markson said.
In 2000, Mr Markson was with actress and singer Raquel Welch for another event in Sydney for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (both pictured)
Mr Markson has a chapter in his new autobiography which is dedicated to football legend Pele (both pictured)
Mr Markson in 2007 had negotiated media deals for Tony ‘Fat Tony’ Berretto (left) who at the time was Britney Spears’ bodyguard
The first chapter in Mr Markson’s book is dedicated to former South African president Nelson Mandela (seated, left, in Sydney in 2000)
‘I’ve not just been the publicist but I’ve also been the promoter for the tour.’
The Clinton-theme is consistent across the book, with his name featuring throughout the chapters, not just the one dedicated to him.
‘I thought President Clinton had an entourage until I travelled with Kim but I tell you something: I don’t begrudge her a thing. Kim Kardashian is the most professional person I have ever worked with in my life,’ Mr Markson wrote in the book.
Mr Markson said working with big-name stars is an honour which he does not take lightly.
‘I think I’m blessed. I’m privileged, so fortunate and so lucky,’ he said.
‘I’ve been able to meet these incredible people which most people would never in their lives get to see, let alone spend time, have a meal and just be casual and relaxed with. It’s quite incredible.’
Mr Markson is also able to see a side to a celebrity away from the public’s eyes.
He writes in the book of his fondness for Mike Tyson, who was always up for an autograph with a fan in Australia and never hesitated in having a photo taken pretending to bite someone’s ear off – Mr Markson himself has that exact photo.
Mr Markson said he always makes sure the celebrities are made to feel at home when they are in Australia.
‘I’m very respectful. I’m very conscious I’m with them and try to… make them feel they’re having a great time and enjoying themselves and they go away thinking the best of me,’ he said.
Mr Markson (right) is pictured here with Lionsgate founder Frank Giustra, businessman and philanthropist Vinod Gupta, Bill Clinton and Doug Band
‘I’m probably closer to Bill Clinton than anybody else. I’ve spent more time with him, I’ve done four tours with him,’ Mr Markson told Daily Mail Australia (both pictured)
Mr Markson said he first met Bill Clinton (both pictured) in 2001 and saw him most recently in June this year
That has worked wonders for his career and at one stage he was given a glowing recommendation from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he has worked with since 2013.
‘Last year I was doing publicity for a client and I had to arrange media interviews for (Barack Obama adviser) Valerie Jarrett,’ Mr Markson said.
‘I was doing some interviews for her which I set-up and I sent a note through her publicist to say thank you very much for what you’ve done.
‘She sent me a note back to thank me for that and also said she was with a buddy of mine the other day who said you’ll look after me – it was Arnold Schwarzenegger.’
Mr Markson has received many notes of thanks over the years, including from talk show Queen Oprah, a snippet of which is included in the book.
‘Dear Max, thank you for the beautiful Louis Vuitton scarf. It was perfect to have during my travels in Canada. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope you enjoyed the evening as much as I did,’ Oprah wrote.
Former U.K Prime Minister Tony Blair was another world leader Mr Markson brought to Australia (both pictured)
Mr Markson is pictured here with former U.S president George Bush Snr at a Melbourne Cup lunch in 2001
Mr Markson brought Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, to Australia in 2003 for a series of engagements (both pictured)
Mr Markson’s job is never not interesting.
While working with Al Gore in 2007, Mr Markson also found himself doing media deals for Tony ‘Fat Tony’ Berretto, who at the time was the bodyguard for Britney Spears.
Aside from the glitz and glamour, charity has been a huge part of the work Mr Markson has done over the years.
‘I’ve been lucky in my career that I’ve been able to do over 200 charity events and given over $40million to charity,’ he said.
Mr Markson said despite his busy schedule there were no signs of slowing down any time soon.
‘As Schwarzenegger says, just work hard. You’ve got to work hard and don’t listen to the naysayers,’ he said.
‘I definitely hope I’ve got more than another 20 years of great stories. I genuinely wake up every morning and enjoy what I’m doing and look forward to the day.’
The job is not without its challenges, however, with Mr Markson noting negotiating to bring talent to Australia can be hard work at times, although as he writes in the book’s introduction, name dropping comes in handy.