SCREEN goddess Kim Basinger and actor Richard Gere enjoyed a sexy romp in his limousine in a restaurant car park - while her distraught husband spied on them. In a book to be published next month, Basinger's former husband, Ron Britton, says the sex-hungry </B></I>LA Confidential star spent alternate nights with him and Gere after he confronted her about the affair.

In a preview of Kim Basinger: Longer than Forever, The News of the World newspaper claims to have copies of steamy love letters penned by Gere, and saucy photos of Basinger supplied by Britton.

In one letter, Gere tells Basinger: "How much I wish to make love to you with no withholding."

The letters show that a besotted Gere seduced Basinger behind her husband's back and then pleaded for more. He poured out his heart in the handwritten letters, quoting musician Eric Clapton: "Why has love got to be soooo sad? . . . I miss you very much . . . I wish I could please you tonight."

When a shocked Britton discovered the affair, he tracked the cheating superstars to a restaurant and watched them "making out" in the parking lot in Gere's limo.

Basinger had tried to hide Gere's letters in a secret drawer but Britton discovered them while searching for evidence to back up his suspicions.
Britton writes about Basinger's sexual appetites and passions.

"She was always ready for sex. I introduced her to cocaine and (after she took it) she'd be charged up sexually. Then we'd park in different places and have sex. Sometimes we'd be full-blown nude in the car. People walked by . . ."

Britton, a make-up man who met Basinger on a film set, said she was especially passionate after acting out sexy scenes with actors like Sean Connery (she was a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again) and Jan-Michael Vincent (Hard Country).

Britton was born Snyder but Basinger asked him to change his name to "something with a B" because it went with a set of expensive luggage she had.

Then she was chosen to star opposite Gere in No Mercy, her first million-dollar contract. Gere was already famous from An Officer and a Gentleman.
"She hated Richard Gere from the start," writes Britton. "We had sex every afternoon . . . she was so tightly wound up (from working with Gere) that she had to find a way to relieve the tension."

Britton came to agree with Basinger that Gere was "an idiot". For example, he would take a waitress to task for pronouncing the name of a wine, Montrachet, incorrectly.

"Then," writes Britton, "Kim changed her attitude towards Richard. All of a sudden, it seemed that every other night she'd have to work late with him.

"I thought about what she'd told me in our early days together, about 'trying out' her leading men. 'After all, I can always lay the actors,' she had told me."

When he confronted her about the affair, she said: "No, it's not like that, don't leave. Please stay here.

"So I stayed until the end of the movie. And when we were together we still had great sex," he writes.

However, at the end of April 1986 he found the first letter from Gere in their postbox. "My heart fell. I gave it to her but she didn't say a word.
"After that letter arrived, Richard phoned her at home a couple of times. I don't know what they said. I couldn't bear to be in the room while she talked to him."

Britton, however, had some sympathy for Gere: "I never liked Richard from the moment I met him, and I never will, but I understand the pain he was suffering. After Kim and I split, I heard she went back to Richard."

But the relationship didn't last. Gere started seeing supermodel Cindy Crawford in 1989, a year before one of his biggest hits, Pretty Woman, with Julia Roberts.

Gere and Crawford married in 1991, but were divorced in 1996. And in an interview that same year, Gere said of Basinger: "She's probably the most beautiful woman ever put on the planet and she's so talented. If she didn't look like that, people would notice the work more."

Britton writes: "Kim truly was the most pretty woman in Richard's mind but she showed no mercy to his heart."