What began as a pictorial tribute to Princess Grace of Monaco has turned into a sensational and tawdry portrait of the one-time movie queen, claims author James Spada, "when my research turned up some real shockers." It's apparently no idle boast: Representatives of Prince Rainier have been trying unsuccessfully to get an early look at "Grace: The Secret Life of a Princess," due out May 8.

"Doubleday won't show us the galleys," complained a spokeswoman at the Consulate of Monaco in NYC. "We haven't read it--but we're worried. The princess was a role model for our country."

The author, who pulled down a six-figure advance, promises tales of Grace's promiscuous days in New York and Hollywood, with intimate details of her love affairs with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, William Holden and Bing Crosby--a couple of them reputedly extramarital.

The book also is said to reveal specifics of the top-secret financial negotiations and medical examinations required of Grace before her royal marriage, as well as her purported loneliness and drinking bouts near the end of her life.

Promised Doubleday senior editor Paul Bresnick: "This is no Valentine. It's the reality behind the myth."

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