London: Women fans throwing their underwear at Sir Tom Jones on stage originally started off as a stunt, a new book has claimed.
Hollywood PR king Jay Bernstein said that he paid girls to toss fake room keys and underwear at Jones in Las Vegas in 1968.
In his memoirs Starmaker, Bernstein said that Jones never knew the true story.
He claimed that Jones’ then manager Gordon Mills asked him to help to save the Vegas shows from flopping.
Bernstein recalled seeing the singer at the Copacabana in New York.
“During his performance this strange incident occurred,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying.
“Tom was moving from table to table, stopping here and there, singing directly, as if personally to some of his female friends. Suddenly a woman stood up, slipped off her panties and handed them to him.
“Mills told me later that Tom was startled, women had slipped him napkins with phone numbers on them but never their underwear,” he said.
Later that year Tom was facing the axe after “lukewarm crowds” at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.
Bernstein used the New York incident as inspiration and armed with hundreds of dollars rounded up women outside the venue.
“I chose the ones who seemed extroverted and hungry for a laugh,” he said.
“It wasn’t difficult to persuade the hotel to give me a couple dozen bogus keys with the Flamingo logo on them and I bought several pairs of silk underwear,” he added.