For years, André de Diènes’s claim of a romantic liaison with Marilyn was met with scepticism. Critics and fans were hesitant to believe the famed photographer, given her status as a cultural icon and the lack of evidence to substantiate such claims. However, a discovery in 2019 shifted the narrative. Julien’s Auctions sold a collection of letters which included a particularly telling piece of correspondence dated June 4th, 1946, wherein a 20-year-old Norma Jeane expressed her affection for de Diènes.
The product description for the item included extracts from the letter, which showcased a young Marilyn, full of affection and longing for de Diènes, whom she addressed as “My Dearest W.W.” (a nickname for Diènes). The content of the letter appears to confirm de Diènes’s assertion, with Marilyn writing, “I’m so much in love with you, Andre my darling…Don’t worry W.W. I’m being a good girl. I wouldn’t for the world be insincere toward you… all I think about is Andre, Andre, Andre. When will he ever get here.” This poignant love letter painted a picture of a very smitten young girl, seeming to validate de Diènes’s claims about their affair.
Marilyn’s involvement with several married men is well documented, including her relationship with Johnny Hyde. Hyde, a powerful agent in Hollywood, left his wife and children for Marilyn. In her autobiography, “My Story,” she spoke of her deep affection for Hyde but clarified that she was never in love with him. His death left her utterly distraught.
Her pattern of entanglements with married men continued with her affair with Elia Kazan in 1951. Kazan, a married man and influential director, confessed to this affair in a 1955 letter to his wife. While a hard copy of this letter has not surfaced publicly, the text of it has been widely shared, providing insight into the private lives of these public figures.
Marilyn’s relationship with Arthur Miller is another noteworthy chapter in her personal history. While it is believed that their affair began in the summer of 1955, conclusive evidence remains elusive. Nevertheless, their connection was strong enough to lead to marriage shortly after Miller’s divorce from his first wife, Mary Slattery.
In 1960, the set of “Let’s Make Love” became the backdrop for an intimate connection between Marilyn and her co-star Yves Montand. This was not merely a clandestine romance; it was said to be spurred by profound loneliness and emotional distress. Marilyn’s marriage to Miller was under severe strain. The couple had suffered the heartbreaking loss of two babies, and Marilyn was struggling with an increasing dependency on prescription medication. Miller’s frequent and extended absences only exacerbated her sense of isolation, pushing her further into the arms of her co-star. Despite their respective marital bonds, Marilyn and Montand found solace in one another. However, the affair was not destined to end once filming had ended. By the completion of the filming of “The Misfits” in October 1960, Marilyn’s marriage to Miller was beyond repair, and the couple divorced in 1961.
In 1962, Marilyn was reportedly invited to spend a weekend at Bing Crosby’s home in Palm Springs. It was during this getaway that Marilyn is said to have had a tryst with President John F. Kennedy. While Kennedy was well-known for his extramarital affairs, the veracity of their encounter remains shrouded in mystery and speculation.