It is essential to note that Slatzer’s purported connection with Marilyn primarily centres around their time on the set of the film Niagara. Slatzer managed to gain access to the set using his press pass, resulting in several photographs of him and Marilyn together. However, these photographs primarily depict their interactions during filming, and the evidence beyond that is limited.
Furthermore, the lack of additional supporting evidence, such as letters or documented interactions, casts further doubt on the depth of their relationship as portrayed by Slatzer. While he possesses a signed photograph, it is plausible that he obtained it during his time on the set rather than through a personal connection with Marilyn.
Many have stated Marilyn would not have posed this way with a fan however Marilyn often took photos with fans, co-stars, crew and photographers in a “familiar” fashion.
THE FLAWED MARRIAGE NARRATIVE
One of Slatzer’s central claims revolves around his alleged marriage to Marilyn in October 1952, followed by an annulment at the studio’s behest. However, inconsistencies emerge that undermine this narrative. During that period, Marilyn was romantically involved with Joe DiMaggio, and there is no credible evidence to suggest any romantic liaisons with other men. Moreover, records indicate Marilyn’s presence at a party hosted by Photoplay on October 3, 1952, and a receipt from JAX department store in Beverly Hills shows clothing purchases on October 4th, which contradicts Slatzer’s claims of being with Marilyn in Mexico on those days.
SLATZER’S MEDIA APPEARANCES
Slatzer’s frequent mentions in the press during the time he claimed to be connected to Marilyn raise doubts about his credibility. Marilyn was known for her wariness of those who sought to exploit her fame, which seems to be exactly what Slatzer attempted to do. Reports of his attempts to woo Marilyn through phone calls and mail, as well as his mention in various publications, add another layer of scepticism to his claims.
ALLAN “WHITEY” SNYDER
In the 1970s, Marilyn’s personal makeup artist and friend, Allan “Whitey” Snyder, wrote the foreword to Slatzer’s book, seemingly indicating a close relationship between Slatzer and Marilyn. While some fans attribute Snyder’s endorsement to naivety or being deceived by Slatzer, Anthony Summers’ biography reveals quotes from Snyder that suggest a familiarity between Marilyn and Slatzer and how Marilyn “always loved him”. However, there is no other documentation, mention in phone books, or letters from either Marilyn or Slatzer that corroborate their close connection. Furthermore, other friends of Marilyn have made no mention of Slatzer’s involvement.
INVOLVEMENT OF A MARRIAGE WITNESS
Slatzer’s claim of having a boxer friend serve as a witness to his marriage to Marilyn adds further doubts to his story. The boxer, Noble “Kid,” Chissell initially supported Slatzer’s claims but later admitted to lying due to financial pressures – accepting a mere $100 for the lie. Additionally, Slatzer’s assertion of having interviewed Pat Newcomb for his book is contradicted by Donald Spoto, who confirms that Newcomb denied ever meeting Slatzer.
THE CONFIDENTIAL ARTICLE
In Anthony Summers’ book, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, a Confidential magazine article from May 1957 is mentioned that appeared during Marilyn’s marriage to Arthur Miller, discussing her connection with Robert Slatzer. Summers notes that Slatzer himself confirmed the contents of the article. While the article does not mention a marriage, it does acknowledge that Marilyn and Slatzer knew each other, lending a degree of credibility to Slatzer’s connection with Marilyn. However, it is important to realise that Slatzer embellished other aspects of his tale, further raising doubts about his overall credibility.
CONSIDERING MARILYN’S PRIVACY AND ACTIONS
An interesting opinion, albeit not from a specific source, suggests that once the article in Confidential hit the stands in 1957, Marilyn would have severed all ties with Slatzer if they had known each other to begin with. Marilyn was fiercely protective of her privacy and had previously cut off friends (Natasha Lytess) for breaching her trust. It is plausible that the article in Confidential insinuating a sexual relationship would have greatly angered her. Furthermore, Marilyn’s actions during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl, where she fired her butler and maid for revealing details about their cottage’s decor, demonstrate her unwavering commitment to maintaining her privacy and safeguarding her personal life.
SOMETHING’S GOT TO GIVE
In 1991, Robert Slatzer claimed to have revealed 12 new images of Marilyn Monroe from the set of the unfinished film Something’s Got to Give in 1962. However, it’s important to note that the credited photographers from the set are well-established professionals such as William H. Daniels, Charles Lang, Franz Planer, Leo Tover, and Lawrence Schiller, with no mention of Slatzer. These photographers are recognised for their work on the film, lending credibility to their involvement.
While Slatzer did present these images as evidence of his presence on the set, there is little definitive evidence to support his claim. None of the photographs features Slatzer alongside Marilyn Monroe, and there is no independent corroboration or documentation to verify his presence on the set. Given these factors, it is reasonable to approach Slatzer’s assertions with cynicism and rely on established and credited sources for accurate information regarding Marilyn Monroe and the production of Something’s Got to Give.
However, even if he did manage to get on the set just as he had done with Niagara, this does not necessarily mean he had a personal connection to Marilyn.
CONTROVERSIAL BOOK AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES
In 1974, Slatzer published a book that aimed to provide an intimate account of his alleged marriage and friendship with Marilyn. The book also delved into controversial conspiracy theories surrounding Marilyn’s death, implicating the Kennedy family. However, these claims are met with scepticism. Slatzer’s attempts to have an article published on Monroe’s death conspiracy were rejected by a journalist, and witnesses cited in his book later admitted to fabricating their involvement. Furthermore, there is a lack of evidence supporting the notion of a lifelong relationship between Slatzer and Marilyn.
SELLING MARILYN’S ITEMS
In a troubling pattern of exploitation, Slatzer even attempted to sell items purportedly belonging to Marilyn, using photos of himself alongside her as the only evidence of provenance.
This practice raises significant concerns about the authenticity and legitimacy of the items in question. Without proper documentation or corroborating evidence, relying solely on photographs of Slatzer with Marilyn as proof is highly dubious. It is essential to exercise caution when evaluating such claims and to demand more substantial evidence before accepting any items as genuine Marilyn Monroe artefacts.
The attempt to profit from Marilyn’s fame through the sale of items tied to her name, with weak or nonexistent provenance, further highlights the need for careful scrutiny and critical analysis when engaging with the complex web of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. Preserving the integrity and authenticity of her legacy is of utmost importance, and it is crucial to approach claims of ownership with caution until supported by rigorous documentation and evidence.
The claims made by Slatzer are widely disputed by Marilyn Monroe’s biographers and historians. The inconsistencies, contradictions, and lack of substantial evidence cast doubt on the authenticity of his alleged relationship with Marilyn. The prevailing scholarly consensus suggests that Slatzer’s accounts are likely fabricated or exaggerated for personal gain.
The story surrounding Robert Slatzer and his connection to Marilyn Monroe remains enshrouded in controversy. While Slatzer presented a narrative filled with intrigue, his claims lack substantial evidence and are marred by inconsistencies. The scholarly community widely rejects his assertions, dismissing them as potentially opportunistic fabrications. As we continue to explore the life and legacy of Marilyn Monroe, it is essential to approach such claims with a critical eye, relying on credible evidence to separate fact from fiction.