August, 1976. Oakland, the open-air coliseum during a live concert. Journalism student Diana Hilton is literally swept off her feet by British rock star Cameron Prince when his fans tilt the stage and he keeps them from being swept off into the audience. With her at that concert is Daphne Dalton, a close friend. Diana and Cameron are destined to be lovers, and indeed suffer love-at-first-sight. But Cameron is a man manipulated by his own success and the people who serve him, and Diana is a very young woman who knows little of his sordid, jaded world, and even less how to survive in it. The autumn following their meeting is a series of nightmarish incidents for the lovers -- Cameron's messy divorce from his wife, Chloe; his kidnapping of their son, Zachariah; his subsequent arrest in Geneva for child abandonment; his suicide attempt on Thanksgiving Day; and Diana's flight to Geneva. During this period it is Diana's friends Daphne and Brenda Broadmoor who help her through the crisis.
January, 1977. Cameron and Diana are back in California, where Cameron is producing an American tour for his friend Jimmy Osborne. Diana is confused by the open hostility shown her by Cameron's agent, Peter Gibson; but it is not until she encounters his publicist, Sybil Van Klein, that Diana realizes the disasters that plague them are a carefully constructed plot to drive her out of Cameron's life. Diana does indeed leave Cameron at the end of the tour, when Sybil injects him with heroin after he collapses from nervous exhaustion; Diana finds him in a drug-induced euphoria.
August, 1977. Back home in San Francisco, Diana begins work on her first book about rock music, working with local musicians. She moves into a flat in the Haight-Ashbury with magazine editor Anna Mae Wright. Cameron and Diana encounter one another again in November, when Diana goes to see Jimmy Osborne play at The Old Waldorf and is confronted by Cameron, who has flown to San Francisco on Jimmy's insistence that his tour is going badly. Diana faints backstage at the club and is taken to the hospital by Anna Mae and Peter Gibson.
Cameron returns the same night to New York and splits up with girlfriend Monika. He has planned to spend the holidays with Jack and Juliana Orchid, but, unknown to either Cameron or Diana, Peter Gibson and Anna Mae Wright have other plans.
December, 1977. Cameron and Peter arrive at Diana's flat in the middle of her Christmas party, and Peter and Anna Mae announce they were married in Reno the previous weekend. Anna Mae, who harbors intense jealousy towards Diana, has joined forces with Peter and Sybil Van Klein to undermine Cameron and Diana's reunion; and she shatters Cameron's utopia by some unsubtle attacks during a plane flight to Los Angeles. When Cameron retaliates, Peter summarily quits as Cameron's agent in the heat of ill-advised chivalry.
January, 1978. When the doomed foursome arrive in Los Angeles, Cameron fires Sybil as well as Peter. Afraid Cameron will discover from the state of their books they have been spending money they are unable to account for, Peter and Sybil conceive a plan they think will make Cameron leave Diana and flee back to them in a wallow of self-pity.
Back in San Francisco, Cameron and Diana throw a gala party to announce their engagement. Two weeks later Diana interviews drummer Joel Coventry and is so intoxicated by his hashish incense that she passes out in his house. When she awakens the next morning she cannot remember what happened during the night, and when she arrives home Cameron is packed and ready to leave her.
The lovers have reached an impasse, neither one willing to make the move needed for a reconciliation. Cameron does indeed flee back to the safety of Peter and Sybil; but while on tour in April, he sends Diana a telegram asking her to come to his show at The Oakland Coliseum. Sybil has anticipated them yet again, however...
May, 1978. Rock promoter Benny Garland asks Diana to be Mistress of Ceremonies at his benefit for Greenpeace. The headliners are Cameron, Jimmy and Jack Orchid. By the time Cameron arrives at the benefit with Jimmy and Jack, he is too drunk and has taken too many pills to perform. It is left to Diana to shock him into sobriety, and although she does get him onstage, she realizes they have nothing left together. She leaves him lying unconscious on a couch at the post-benefit party in Beverly Hills.
When Cameron comes-to in his hotel room and demands to see Diana, Sybil tells him Diana has returned his engagement ring with the diamond heart. She gives him what he thinks is the ring but is actually a good copy. Cameron throws it out the window, and it falls twelve stories to the ground, where it shatters on the concrete pavement.
January, 1979. By the time Cameron discovers that Peter and Sybil gave him a copy of the diamond heart, he finds his life folding around him like a house of cards; and as one blow after another lands on him, he is unable to find his way back to Diana.
April, 1979. Cameron's first publicist and lover, Charity, returns and they become bed partners again. When his new album tapes are rejected by ARC Records, Cameron picks up a girl at a party and attacks her with an ice pick, hospitalizing her. His subsequent breakdown makes it impossible for him to work, and he goes to London to see a psychiatrist.
Autumn, 1979. Diana has a short affair with Phillippe de Regazza, a devastating Spanish/Cherokee Indian model. Their affair is sabotaged by Diana's friend Madeline Duchamps, who covets Phillippe for herself; and by Diana and Phillippe themselves, as they are both confused about their feelings.
Cameron, back in New York, believes he has his newly-acquired psychosis under control, but discovers he has simply changed one manifestation for another when he picks up a teenaged boy at an industry party after smoking Angel Dust, and spends the night with him.
January, 1980. At his birthday party in London, Cameron meets Victoria Lyndell, a model who bears a striking resemblance to Diana. Happy to feel anything at all for any woman (he believes his night with the male groupie has somehow unmanned him), Cameron takes Vikki back to Switzerland with him. While they are cross-country skiing, Cameron hits an outcropping of rock and breaks his leg in three places. He is hospitalized for several months and forced to cancel his already scheduled World Tour. Shortly after that Peter realizes Cameron has begun to beat Vikki -- although the marks on her are obvious, Peter is afraid to mention it to Cameron.
March, 1980. Madeline Duchamps meets rock music producer Aaron Entwhistle. When she introduces him to Diana, they are strongly attracted and begin to date; but Aaron, who is a close friend of Cameron's, is concerned that Diana and Cameron might still be in love. Aaron asks Diana to come and live with him, which she does, though they both seem to have strong misgivings.
June, 1980. Diana, Aaron and Brenda go to Los Angeles, where they attend a party given by ARC Records. Cameron, Vikki, Charity, Peter and Sybil are also at the party. Diana and Brenda find Vikki crying in the Ladies' Room; Diana confronts Cameron with his cruelty to Vikki, and he breaks down, begging Diana to return to him. When Aaron comes looking for Diana, Cameron is crying in her arms. Aaron leaves the party, telling Diana she must make a decision that night -- to return to Cameron or stay with him. Diana, frightened by the violence Cameron has exhibited towards Vikki, goes to Aaron, who is waiting in their hotel suite.
July, 1981. More than a year after their tragic meeting in Beverly Hills, Diana and Cameron have again made drastic changes in their lives. On her own after leaving Aaron, Diana is hosting a television talk show in San Francisco.
January, 1983. Diana's first book about rock music is published. During this period Cameron has been making slow but steady progress towards becoming not just a superstar, but a strong, self-contained man. The horror of his existence during the late '70's has ended, and he is at last content. With his son Zachariah he travels the world and performs for the first time in five years.
June, 1984. Diana meets entrepreneur Dick Calloway, and together they begin work on a film based on her affair with Cameron. By September the screenplay is written, and Diana has asked Phillippe, now a fashion illustrator, to do the costume portfolio for the film. In November Dick contacts Cameron, who has expressed the desire to become a director, and asks him to direct the film, entitled The Diamond Heart. The film has been accepted for production by Samuel Goldwin Productions and the book version, still in-progress, will be published by The New American Library.
January, 1985. Diana and Phillippe fly to New York. Diana goes with Cameron to a party at Jack Orchid's house. Cameron tells Diana he has decided to direct the film, and Jack expresses interest in producing it. Diana worries that this will cause friction between Cameron and Jack, who although friends have also been rivals.
Back in Los Angeles, Diana and Phillippe buy a condominium in Westwood. In May, Cameron and Zachariah arrive in town, and production work begins on the film. Diana, thrown into daily proximity with Cameron, is forced to see the changes in him. She is torn between the peacefulness of her life with Phillippe and the sweetness of her newly burgeoning success, and the pull that Cameron still exerts on her heart.
Filming is completed in September, and Cameron leaves for New York to begin work on a new album. Diana works with the film editors; Phillippe begins classes at The Los Angeles Institute of Fashion. A week later Cameron sees Aaron at a party in New York. Aaron tells Cameron he believes Diana is still in love with Cameron, and has been all these years.
The next day Cameron returns to Los Angeles, and goes to Diana's condo while Phillippe is in school. By the time the afternoon is over they are again lovers. Lost in one another, they are discovered by Phillippe. He suggests they all go out to dinner so Diana can decide which one of them will be living alone in the future.
December, 1985. The Diamond Heart premiere. Diana and Cameron have set their wedding date for the following March.
Valentine's Day, 1986. Diana and Cameron are married in the garden of Jack's estate in Bel Air, with Jim Osborne as best man and Brenda as Maid of Honor.