The Complex Truth Behind Marilyn Monroe’s Death: Debunking Conspiracy Theories and Examining the Science

TRIGGER WARNINGS APPLY

While it is my preference to celebrate the remarkable life and career of Marilyn Monroe, it is impossible to overlook the widespread interest in the circumstances surrounding her untimely death. No website, fan page, or research about Marilyn is complete without addressing the question of her passing. Therefore, it is necessary to delve into this topic and examine the facts surrounding her demise.

The death of Marilyn Monroe, one of Hollywood’s most iconic figures, has sparked countless conspiracy theories over the years. However, a comprehensive examination of the available evidence strongly suggests that Marilyn’s death was not the result of foul play, but rather a tragic case of an overdose – either accidental or intentional. This article will delve into the facts surrounding Marilyn’s prescription drug use, the autopsy report, the absence of third-party involvement, the whereabouts of the Kennedy brothers, and dispel the theory of her being murdered by Enema, refuting claims of murder involving the Kennedys or anyone else.

MARILYN’S LAST DAY

4 August 1962

  • 8:00 am: Eunice Murray, Marilyn’s housekeeper, arrives at Marilyn’s home after being dropped off by Henry D’Antonio, who was servicing Mrs Murray’s car that day.
  • Marilyn informs Mrs Murray that she plans to spend the day with her friend and publicist, Patricia Newcomb, by the pool, as Pat is sick. Neighbours report hearing a woman coughing in the garden.
  • Furniture is delivered from The Mart and Pilgrim’s Modern Furniture. Marilyn writes a check to Pilgrim’s for $228.80. Marilyn’s furniture, ordered from Mexico, had been delivered to the wrong address, and bills had arrived at Marilyn’s home.
  • Around noon: Pat Newcomb wakes up and is unwell with bronchitis. Marilyn tells her to stay with her to “bake it out.” Mrs Murray prepares lunch for Pat (an omelette), but Marilyn refuses to eat. Additional deliveries and plants arrive.
  • After 1:00 pm: Dr Ralph Greenson arrives. According to Milton Rudin, Marilyn’s attorney and Dr Greenson’s brother-in-law, Dr Greenson spends most of the day with Marilyn.
  • 2:00 pm: Joe DiMaggio Jr. calls Marilyn, but Mrs Murray informs him that Marilyn is not home.
  • Between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm: Eunice Murray’s car is dropped off by D’Antonio and his wife.
  • Around 3:00 pm: Pat leaves at Greenson’s request, followed shortly by Greenson himself.
  • At approximately 4:30 pm: Joe DiMaggio Jr. tries to contact Marilyn again, but Mrs Murray states that she is still not home.
  • 5:00 pm: In 1975, Lawford claims he called Marilyn at this time, and she accepts his dinner party invitation.
  • 5:15 pm: Dr Greenson returns to the hacienda to continue therapy with Marilyn. In a letter to Marianne Kris dated August 20, 1962, Dr Greenson writes, “I was aware that she was somewhat angry with me. She often became annoyed when I did not absolutely and wholeheartedly agree [with her]… I told her we would talk more, she should call me on Sunday morning.”
  • 7:00/15 pm: Dr Greenson leaves Marilyn in her room, and Eunice Murray stays overnight, which she normally doesn’t do.
  • At approximately 7:15 pm: Joe DiMaggio Jr. finally chats with Marilyn over the phone in her room. They speak for approximately 15 minutes. He later states that he found her alert and happy. Joe Jr. confirms the time to the police by watching a live broadcast of the sixth/seventh inning of the Angels/Ontario baseball game on television.
  • Marilyn calls Dr Greenson at about 7:40 pm while he is shaving for dinner, happily telling him that Joe Jr. had broken off his engagement, which had been a cause of concern for her based on her own experience as a young bride.
  • At approximately 7:45 pm: Peter Lawford calls again to ask Marilyn to come over for dinner, but she declines. Other guests who attend are Joseph Naar and his wife Dolores, who are there from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and George Durgom. They order Chinese food.
  • A neighbour sees Marilyn throwing the ball to Maf in the garden and tells Mrs Murray, “I don’t think we’ll take that drive after all,” referring to a drive recommended by Greenson.
  • 8:00 pm: Marilyn retires to her bedroom, saying goodnight to Mrs Murray.
  • 8:25 pm: According to police reports, Peter Lawford calls Milton Rudin, a talent manager, as he is concerned about Marilyn’s welfare. He asks Rudin to call Milton Ebbins, as stated in a Re-Interview Report by Lieutenant Grover Armstrong on August 10, 1962. According to Rudin, Lawford hears Marilyn “fading out.”
  • 8:45 pm: According to police reports, Rudin calls Ebbins.
  • 9:00 pm: Rudin ultimately phones Marilyn’s home and speaks to Mrs Murray, who assures him that Marilyn is fine. In her memoir, Mrs Murray later states that no one made her aware that there was cause for concern. It is believed that she didn’t want to disturb Marilyn in case she was asleep.
  • After 10:00 pm: Lawford calls the Naar residence (as stated by Joseph Naar in 1992) and asks them to check on Marilyn, as he still believes something is wrong. However, while they are getting ready to leave, Rudin calls and tells them not to worry, as Marilyn had been given a sedative to help her sleep by Dr Greenson.

Additional notes regarding this date:

Mrs Murray had been given a check dated August 4, 1962, for $200, signed by Marilyn. Based on information from Patricia Newcomb, Marilyn planned to terminate Mrs Murray’s services. Mrs Murray had also planned a tour of Europe in August.

5 August 1962

  • 3:00 am: Eunice Murray wakes (to use the toilet, to check on Marilyn or even for a drink, it’s not known) to find Marilyn’s light still on and has no response. She calls Greenson.
  • 3:30/4:00 am: Dr Greenson arrives due to a call from Mrs Murray expressing concern about Marilyn. As the door is locked, he breaks the window, finds Marilyn unresponsive, and unlocks the door. He calls Engelberg.
  • 3:35 – 3:50 am: Dr. Engelberg arrives.
  • 4:25 am: Sergeant Jack Clemmons is called and informed that Marilyn is dead. He personally goes to investigate the scene with two patrolmen.
  • 4:35 am: Clemmons is escorted into Marilyn’s bedroom and inspects the scene.
  • 5:00 am: Pat Newcomb is informed of Marilyn’s death.
  • 5:25 am: Marilyn’s body is taken to Westwood Memorial before an autopsy is conducted.
  • 7:45 am: Coroners dispatch a vehicle to collect Marilyn from Westwood, and she was respectfully transported to the Los Angeles County Morgue. During this time, a photographer named Leigh Wiener, without authorisation, took a series of photographs of her body’s arrival.
  • 8:00 am: Marilyn’s body arrives at the morgue.
  • 9:00 am: Marilyn’s body is “removed to Coroners Dept” where an autopsy takes place at 10:30 am by Dr. Thomas Noguchi, at the Los Angeles County Coroner. Afterwards, Marilyn’s body is held at the morgue pending more tests.
  • Joe DiMaggio arrives from San Francisco. Berniece Miracle authorises the release of Marilyn’s body to Joe DiMaggio. Marilyn’s body is taken to the funeral home.

PRESCRIPTIONS AND BODY METABOLISM

During the last two months of her life, Marilyn had been prescribed an alarming number of pills—over 770, to be precise. Between June 7 and August 3, she was prescribed 772 barbiturates, including 50 chloral hydrates on July 25 and another 50 on July 31. These medications were essential in managing Marilyn’s various physical and psychological issues however, these are extreme doses. Dr Hyman Engleberg, a well-respected physician, had signed off on these prescriptions after evaluating Marilyn’s medical condition. It is important to note that in the 1960s, the medical community had a different approach to medication, often relying on high doses to address patients’ symptoms but much of the responsibility for her overdose came down to the doctors.

When individuals take prescription medication for an extended period, their bodies can change drug metabolism and elimination. Over time, the body may adapt to the presence of the drug, potentially leading to altered rates of elimination and increased tolerance. In the case of Marilyn’s extensive prescription drug use, the high levels of medication found in her system at the time of her death could be attributed to her prolonged use and potential tolerance to those medications.

Theodore Curphey, the chief coroner, determined that there were approximately 40-50 pills in her bloodstream, a potentially lethal amount as a dose of 10-15 pills is considered fatal. To reach these levels of 4.5 mg in the blood and 13 mg in the liver, one must consider the impact of enzyme induction due to chronic use. Habitual users may experience a faster metabolism, like the tolerance that develops in addicts using drugs like morphine or heroin. When taken on an empty stomach, absorption occurs rapidly, usually within an hour or less, as there are no substances to slow it down. The exact time before death would depend on various factors, including the specific drug, individual tolerance, and the rate of absorption, making it difficult to provide a precise estimate.

AUTOPSY REPORT

The official autopsy report provides critical insights into Marilyn’s cause of death. It stated that she had 4.5 Nembutal (a sedative) and 8.0mg of Chloral Hydrate (a sleep aid) in her blood, along with 13mg of Nembutal in her liver at the time of death. These levels were significantly higher than therapeutic levels and were consistent with an intentional overdose of the prescribed medication. The report concluded that Marilyn Monroe’s death was the result of acute barbiturate poisoning. This evidence strongly suggests that Marilyn Monroe was the one to take her own life.

MURDER?

One of the prevailing theories surrounding Marilyn’s death involves the alleged involvement of the Kennedys, CIA, Mafia and even her housekeeper. However, a thorough examination of the available evidence debunks this notion. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that there was no one else present in Marilyn Monroe’s home at the time of her death, aside from her housekeeper, Eunice Murray.

Witness Testimony

Investigators interviewed Marilyn’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray, who was the only person with her at the time. They also spoke to Peter Lawford, one of the last people to speak to Marilyn before she died. Murray’s account, supported by physical evidence and other witnesses, indicated that Marilyn was alone and locked in her bedroom throughout the evening. Although specific details changed over time, nothing specifically indicated homicide took place. Some have claimed Marilyn did not have a lock on her bedroom door, however, photos from the scene show this is not the case.

John F. Kennedy (JFK)

On that specific evening, John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States at the time, was not in California where Marilyn resided. Historical records as well as photographic images show that JFK was in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, at the Kennedy family compound. The President’s activities for that day and evening were well-documented, including meetings, official engagements, and social gatherings. The 3000-mile distance between Massachusetts and California makes it highly improbable for JFK to have physically played a role in Marilyn’s death.

Robert F. Kennedy (RFK)

Robert F. Kennedy, the Attorney General of the United States and brother of JFK, also had a clear alibi for the night of Marilyn Monroe’s death. RFK was confirmed to be in San Francisco, California, on the day leading up to and on the night of 4th August 1962. Official records and contemporaneous news reports detail his attendance at a series of public events and meetings in San Francisco, miles away from Marilyn’s residence in Brentwood.

Kennedys – Lack of Motive

While it is known that Marilyn had personal relationships with JFK and RFK, including alleged romantic involvement (discussed in previous blog posts on ourmarilynmonroe.com), there is no substantial evidence linking these relationships to a motive for murder. Personal relationships, particularly in the context of extramarital affairs, do not inherently provide sufficient grounds for the Kennedys to resort to murder, especially as the older Kennedy brother had previously had affairs with no direct consequence to the women involved.

CIA and Mafia

One of the fundamental aspects of any conspiracy theory is establishing a motive. In the case of the CIA or the Mafia’s alleged involvement in Marilyn Monroe’s death, a clear and credible motive is lacking. Marilyn, while having associations with influential individuals, was not involved in political matters or organised crime. Without a discernible motive, it becomes increasingly improbable that the CIA or Mafia would have targeted her for assassination.

Absence of Enema-Related Evidence

Another theory suggesting Marilyn Monroe was murdered by enema by her housekeeper and Dr Greenson can also be debunked. The official autopsy report makes no mention of any enema-related injuries or trauma. In fact, due to there still being faecal matter present, this would eliminate the theory entirely.

No Needle Marks

One of the key indicators of death by injection is the presence of needle marks at the site of injection. However, no credible evidence or documentation exists to support the notion that Marilyn had needle marks on her body. The detailed examination conducted during the autopsy would have revealed any such marks, yet none were reported. This absence of needle marks significantly weakens the theory of Marilyn’s death by injection.

Neck swelling

If there was swelling, which some claim displays she was murdered, it is implausible that an incision would be made to alleviate swelling, as there should be no reason for swelling in that area. Swelling isn’t typically resolved through incisions, as it doesn’t involve fluid that can be drained. The swelling in question is likely intracellular, which wouldn’t be alleviated by making an incision. Therefore, we should trust the medical examiner’s opinion over the attendant who made that claim, as it is unlikely that swelling in the neck area can be effectively addressed in this manner.

WHERE DO THESE CLAIMS COME FROM?

One prominent claim of murder comes from Jack Clemmons, the Los Angeles Police Department’s detective sergeant assigned to her case. Clemmons publicly questioned the official explanation of suicide, suggesting the possibility of foul play or accidental overdose. His statements garnered significant media attention and added fuel to the growing doubts surrounding her death. Clemmons made claims such as Marilyn’s washer being on when he arrived indicating a crime scene cleanup. However, Marilyn’s home inventory and floor plans show Marilyn didn’t have a washer or dryer nor did she have a water supply at the house to wash anything which is why most laundry was done via an external laundry service.

Additionally, Fred Otash, a former Los Angeles police officer turned private investigator, claimed to have conducted his own investigation into Marilyn Monroe’s death. He alleged that she had been murdered due to her involvement with powerful individuals, including the Kennedys. Otash’s sensational claims further contributed to the intrigue and suspicions surrounding Marilyn’s demise.

Another individual who perpetuated the idea of Marilyn’s murder was Frank A. Cappell, a writer and conspiracy theorist. Cappell extensively researched and wrote about Marilyn’s death, proposing the theory that she was murdered. He claimed to have conducted his own investigations, interviewed witnesses, and gathered evidence to support his assertions.

Cappell’s book, titled The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe, was published in 1964 and presented his conspiracy theories surrounding Marilyn’s demise. In his work, he alleged that Marilyn had become entangled with powerful individuals including organised crime figures, which led to her murder. Cappell’s book gained attention and further fuelled public speculation about Marilyn’s death. However, none of these claims were backed up by any sort of scientific evidence.

While individuals like Clemmons and Otash played a role in popularising the idea of Marilyn’s murder, it is critical to approach their accounts with caution. Both Clemmons and Otash had affiliations with tabloid journalism and had motivations for creating sensational political narratives. Their claims lacked concrete evidence and were driven by personal interests rather than factual findings. It is also crucial to note that the official investigations, including the autopsy report conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, consistently attributed Marilyn’s death to an overdose of prescription medication – whether this was accidental or intentional, we don’t know. But despite the perpetuation of murder theories, the evidence supporting suicide remains the most widely accepted explanation. The claims made by individuals like Clemmons, Cappell and Otash, while adding to the speculation surrounding her death, should be evaluated within the context of their potential biases and overall lack of concrete evidence.

ASKING THE EXPERTS

In a previous interview with Marijane Gray of Immortal Marilyn, pathologist Dr Cyril Wecht was asked questions regarding the many questions fans have about Marilyn’s passing.

Through Dr. Wecht’s unparalleled insight and experience, certain truths about the death of Marilyn have been revealed. We know from science that:

  • it is likely that she could have taken all the pills orally as the science aligns with that, although psychologically it is unusual that she would do so shortly after having been reported to be in good spirits during her phone call with Joe DiMaggio Jr;
  • It is highly unlikely if not impossible for her to have overdosed accidentally by forgetting if she’d taken pills and then taking more due to the amount of pills she would have taken for the levels in her blood;
  • She did not die via a build-up of pills that she might have taken over the course of the day;
  • That there was nothing suspicious or unusual about the discolouration of her colon, that it was as part of the natural dying process as the congestion and swelling in the lungs was;
  • That theories of death via enema, cyanide, suffocation, and of her dying in an ambulance simply do not correlate with science;
  • That the body was in moved, but there is nothing nefarious or suspicious about it;
  • That Marilyn’s body showed no signs of ever having an abortion;
  • There is nothing unusual about her having an empty stomach,
  • and that Nembutal does not leave a dye trail.

At the time of the interview with Immortal Marilyn, Dr. Wecht claimed that the time of death was around eight o’clock and no later than nine. However, in April 2016, when Dr. Wecht appeared on the radio programme, Goodnight Marilyn Radio, he recanted the preceding statement and admitted that he had made a mistake. After criticising the amount of time that elapsed before Marilyn’s doctors notified the police and the coroner arrived, Dr Wecht offered the following correction:

 “[…] determination of time of death is difficult and vague enough as it is, in the tightest type of scenario and the dragging out of hours and hours diminishes markedly the validity of temporal determination as to time of death. Rigor mortis, livor mortis, algor mortis, body temperature, with each passing hour those criteria become less and less scientific. […] Well, body temperatures decline in a normal environment, I mean, you know, not excessively hot and not excessively cold, you know, just room temperature and so on. It’s not fixed to the tenth of a degree or so on but the formula we use is within the first hour one and one-half to two degrees Fahrenheit the temperature drops and then with each hour thereafter one more degree.”

Accordingly, Dr Wecht adjusted his estimated time of death to approximately 2:00 am on August 5th.

Dr. Wecht opined that Marilyn most certainly lingered for a few hours after she ingested the pills, meaning she slipped into a deep sleep, then into semi-coma, then into a coma, and finally into death. He also noted that her bodily functions would have continued until Marilyn’s lungs and then finally her heart succumbed to the terrible effects of the barbiturates in her system. In short, Marilyn lived long enough for her digestive tract to dissolve any capsules that she had ingested and long enough for her liver to start metabolising the barbiturates.

Therefore, Marilyn possibly died between 8:30 PM on the 4th of August and 2:30 AM on the 5th of August with the mean time of 12:30 am on the 5th of August. Regardless of what time Marilyn died, it is apparent that she became an unresponsive, comatose body at some point before midnight when August the 4th became August the 5th.

It’s also important to acknowledge that while there is little to dispute regarding her autopsy and toxicology results, some issues can raised.

  • Why did she sound happy and fine and take so many pills shortly after?
  • How long exactly was she passed out and comatose?
  • Was it intentional or did Marilyn not realise the risk of taking so many pills?
  • Why did witness stories keep changing?
  • Why was there such a delay in calling the police?
  • Why was ‘barbs-overdose’ improperly written on the initial reports?
  • Why was Marilyn’s manner of death determined to be ‘probable’ suicide when there is no other known case with the qualifying ‘probable’ included?
  • Why were Dr Engleberg and Dr Greenson absolved of all culpability for their role in her death by prescribing her such a deadly and unethical number of drugs?

Unfortunately, these are not questions that can be answered by science. However, hopefully, Dr Wecht has been able to put to rest several rumours and speculation that have circulated through the years.

CONCLUSION

Marilyn Monroe was more than just fodder for conspiracy.

She was a living, breathing human being who deserves more than what she’s been given after her death. Some of the outlandish theories surrounding her death, those with a lack of clear motive and lack of any evidence, portray the real woman in such a light that is completely unfamiliar to those who knew and loved her.

She becomes a caricature for the tabloids and is removed from who she is. While celebrating her life should always be at the forefront, examining her death and debunking the lies and slander also helps us get a clearer picture of who she was. She was not a delusional woman who was murdered because she “knew too much”; she was a strong, tough, remarkable woman with an addiction who was failed by her medical professional, who was tragically gone from this world too soon.

Dr Wecht finalises this in Tales from the Morgue, in which he states:

“We can nevertheless analyse her life and hold it side by side with the scientific facts left by death. It is easy to want someone with such a remarkable life to have a sensational death. And here, after a brief examination of the woman in life and a more thorough examination of the body in death, I must conclude that I agree with Dr. Tom Noguchi and with the 1982 investigation by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. I see no credible evidence to support a murder theory. When it comes to science, any aspect of it, one must let go of previously held ideas if proven evidence contradicts it. While many feel somehow comforted to cling to some of the various conspiracies surrounding Marilyn’s death, and while there are still many unanswered questions swirling around it, we must accept what scientific evidence tells us.”

Debunking the Misconceptions About Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe remains an iconic figure in the history of Hollywood, captivating audiences worldwide decades after her untimely death. While her legacy is undeniable, she has her fair share of critics such as Leo McKinstry, who argues that Marilyn Monroe was talentless, lazy, and a mere product of myth-making.

THE PHONY VICTIM

One common criticism levied against Marilyn is that she consistently played the role of a victim, often resorting to threats of suicide and emotional blackmail. However, when we delve into her troubled upbringing we are able to begin to understand her emotional struggles. Raised in a series of foster homes and having experienced abuse as a child, Marilyn’s early life was marked by instability and trauma. Her emotional challenges stemmed from these formative years, making it unfair to dismiss her struggles as mere acts of manipulation.

Critics often argue that Marilyn’s victimhood was phoney, pointing to her fame and success as evidence. However, her fame did not shield her from personal struggles and insecurities. Marilyn’s status as a sex symbol and Hollywood icon did not negate her vulnerability and self-doubt. To reduce her complex experiences to mere myth-making is a disservice to her legacy. In 1962 she told Richard Merman, “I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated. … Goethe said, ‘Talent is developed in privacy,’ you know? And it’s really true. … Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer. You’re gay, you’re sick, you’re nervous or whatever.”

LIMITED ACTING RANGE

“I saw that what she looked like was not what she really was, and what was going on inside her was not what was going on outside, and that always means there may be something to work with. In Marilyn’s case, the reactions were phenomenal. She can call up emotionally what is required for a scene. Her range is infinite.” – Lee Strasberg, creator and director of the Actor’s Studio, Marilyn’s acting coach and friend

 

“She is a brilliant comedienne, which to me means she also is an extremely skilled actress.” – Sir Laurence Olivier, co-star in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)

 

“As near genius as any actress I ever knew.” – Joshua Logan, director of Bus Stop (1956)

 

“She was an absolute genius as a comedic actress, with an extraordinary sense for comedic dialogue. It was a God-given gift. Believe me, in the last fifteen years there were ten projects that came to me, and I’d start working on them and I’d think, ‘It’s not going to work, it needs Marilyn Monroe.’ Nobody else is in that orbit; everyone else is earthbound by comparison.” – Billy Wilder, director of The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959)

 

“Marilyn Monroe is the greatest farceuse in the business, a female Chaplin.”Jerry Wald, producer

McKinstry contends that Marilyn lacked depth in her acting career, frequently portraying the same shallow character. While it is true that she excelled in roles that embodied the “dumb blonde” archetype, it is important to acknowledge that the Hollywood studio system was known for pigeonholing actors and actresses into specific roles. Marilyn’s versatility was constrained by the industry’s expectations and limitations, which, in itself, is a testament to her ability to thrive within those confines not to mention the amount of well-renowned names who commented on her acting ability.

In addition, Marilyn did have a few roles which went deeper than her Lorelei Lee persona:

Niagara

Don’t Bother to Knock

The Misfits

– River of No Return

– Clash by Night

– Bus Stop

UNPROFESSIONAL

McKinstry criticises Marilyn for always being late on set and struggling with her lines, painting her as unprofessional. However, one should recognise the immense pressure and scrutiny she endured throughout her career which may have triggered these anxieties. Instead of labelling her as “lazy,” we should empathise with the insecurity she felt. Her on-set difficulties were a manifestation of her battles rather than a sign of indolence. Not to mention how hard Marilyn worked to improve her craft, spending much of her salary on acting lessons and personal guidance from coaches. She said, “My illusions didn’t have anything to do with being a fine actress. I knew how third rate I was. I could actually feel my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothing I was wearing inside. But, my God, how I wanted to learn! To change, to improve! I didn’t want anything else. Not men, not money, not love, but the ability to act.” Marilyn had no issues during her modelling career but it seems that this in part had to do with her being in control, as opposed to being directed on film.

AMBITION AND RELATIONSHIPS

Marilyn Monroe’s ambition and determination to pursue her career should be celebrated rather than condemned. Her choices, such as divorcing her first husband, Jim Dougherty, to further her career, were acts of independence and self-realisation in an era when women’s opportunities were significantly limited. Criticising her relationships fails to acknowledge that she, like anyone else, was a complex individual who grappled with the challenges of fame and romance.

MODERN CELEBRITIES

Drawing parallels between Marilyn and contemporary celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan is an oversimplification. Marilyn lived in a different time with distinct societal norms and expectations. Comparing her to individuals from today’s vastly different entertainment landscape overlooks the unique challenges and pressures she faced as a woman in the entertainment industry during the 1950s and early 1960s.

Marilyn Monroe was more than just a sex symbol; she was a multi-dimensional individual who faced personal challenges and navigated professional constraints. While she may not have adhered to the traditional Hollywood star mould, her impact on popular culture and the entertainment industry cannot be denied. It is crucial to view her life and career through a nuanced lens, appreciating her contributions while recognising the difficulties she encountered. Debunking misconceptions about her character allows us to appreciate her true legacy as a trailblazing figure in the world of entertainment and an enduring symbol of vulnerability and strength.

Marilyn Monroe’s “Chilling Call” to Jackie Kennedy

In 2023, biographer J. Randy Taraborelli claimed in his book Jackie: Public, Private, Secret that Marilyn Monroe had made a phone call to Jackie Kennedy in April of 1962. This revelation has sparked interest and speculation about the alleged interaction between the two iconic figures. However, upon closer examination and fact-checking, several discrepancies and uncertainties emerge regarding the details of this phone call and its context.

THE ALLEGED PHONE CALL

According to Taraborelli’s book, Marilyn Monroe called the Hyannis Port residence of John F. Kennedy, but Jackie Kennedy answered instead. Taraborelli suggests that Marilyn simply wanted to say “hello” to Jack, leaving Jackie “stunned.” Taraborelli claims that Jackie described Marilyn’s voice as “haunting” and noted its sad and ethereal quality. The book describes how Jackie’s sister, Lee Radziwill, was friends with Marilyn and had heard rumours about an affair with Robert Kennedy too.

INCONSISTENCIES

While Taraborelli presents this phone call as a pivotal moment, it is essential to consider the lack of concrete evidence supporting its occurrence. Without direct testimony or corroborating records, we must approach these claims with caution. Moreover, Taraborelli’s reliance on family members’ recollections adds an additional layer of uncertainty, as memories and perceptions can be influenced by time and personal biases.

Additionally, it is worth noting that J. Randy Taraborelli has faced criticism in the past for potential inaccuracies and errors in his biographies, particularly those related to Marilyn Monroe. This raises the question of the reliability and credibility of the information presented in his books. It is not uncommon for authors to embellish or create stories to generate interest and sell books, adding to the already existing rumours and speculations surrounding famous figures. For instance, the case of Allan Whitey Snyder, Marilyn’s makeup artist and friend, provided a foreword for Robert Slatzer’s book and shared tales with Anthony Summers about Marilyn and Slatzer’s alleged relationship despite a lack of substantial evidence. These instances serve as reminders to approach such claims with caution and to critically evaluate the sources and their motives.

DATES AND LOCATIONS

Taraborelli states that the alleged affair between Marilyn and John F. Kennedy occurred on March 24, 1962, during a weekend at Bing Crosby’s Palm Springs home. Which is the most accurate item in his statements. Jackie was in India and Pakistan at the time with her sister.

As for the phone call taking place in April 1962, historical records and newspaper reports from that time do not provide conclusive evidence of Jackie’s presence at Hyannis Port. Instead, official archives indicate that Jackie was engaged in official duties and travels in Washington, Palm Beach, and Arlington during that period. Marilyn’s telephone records, which have been publicly available, do not include the Hyannis Port phone number, further casting doubt on the claim.

LEE RADZIWILL

There is no evidence to suggest a personal relationship or direct interactions between Marilyn Monroe and Lee Radziwill, Jackie Kennedy’s sister. Marilyn and Lee belonged to different social circles, making it unlikely that they had a close connection. While it is possible that Lee may have heard rumours about an alleged affair with either Kennedy, the association between the Kennedys and Marilyn Monroe did not gain prominence until the 1970s.

JACKIE’S ABSENCE FROM BIRTHDAY GALA

Contrary to the claim made by Taraborelli, Jackie Kennedy’s absence from the famous event at Madison Square Garden, where Marilyn performed “Happy Birthday, Mr President,” was not directly related to any alleged phone call. Jackie had other engagements in Washington, D.C., and Virginia at that time. The event itself was a fundraiser, not solely a celebration of the President’s upcoming birthday. Jackie often left her husband to attend events solo whilst she took on her duty as First Lady.

While the alleged phone call between Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy continues to captivate the public imagination, it is crucial to approach the claims with scepticism due to the lack of concrete evidence and inconsistencies.

Historical records, official archives, and the absence of corroborating sources raise doubts about the veracity of the phone call and its significance. As with many historical accounts, separating fact from speculation can be challenging, and further research may be necessary to uncover the complete truth behind these intriguing claims.

You can read more about Marilyn and JFK here and Bobby here.

Who Is Robert Slatzer?

QUESTIONABLE FOUNDATIONS

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.

SCHOLORARY CONSENSUS

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.

Marilyn Monroe and the Robert Kennedy Affair

The relationship between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy family has always been a topic of intrigue and speculation. While most of the attention has been focused on Marilyn’s alleged affair with John F. Kennedy, it’s important to shed light on the rumours surrounding her relationship with Robert F. Kennedy, or Bobby, as he was commonly known. In this post, we’ll delve into the claims surrounding their connection and examine the evidence to separate fact from fiction.

The Character of Robert Kennedy

Unlike his brother John, Bobby Kennedy was not known for his promiscuity.

Those who were close to him, like Edwin Guthman, the Department of Justice’s press secretary, attested to his loyalty and devotion to his wife, Ethel. Guthman even stated, “I never saw him pay attention to anyone but his wife” during the five years he travelled with Bobby. The notion that he would risk his marriage to Ethel in 1962 seems highly unlikely, given his reputation as a shy, gentle, and loyal husband.

Origins of the Affair Rumours

The rumours surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s alleged affair with Bobby Kennedy began before August 3, 1962, when columnist Dorothy Kilgallen hinted at Marilyn spending time with an unnamed man. Jean Kennedy Smith, Robert Kennedy’s sister, wrote an undated letter in 1962 to Marilyn, acknowledging the circulating reports. However, Jean later clarified that the letter was written in jest, dismissing any notion of an affair.

A “Handsome Gentleman”

During the 1960s, Marilyn Monroe spent time with several gentlemen, but that doesn’t necessarily imply romantic involvement with all of them. After her divorce from Arthur Miller, Marilyn had an agreement with her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio to see other people. She was seen in the company of Joe, Frank Sinatra, Jose Bolanos, and very likely John F. Kennedy. But what about Bobby?

 

Dorothy Kilgallen, the infamous gossip columnist, suggested in August 1962 that Marilyn was involved with a mystery man, possibly a Kennedy brother or Frank Sinatra. However, the actual name was never confirmed in print. Kilgallen later claimed it was a reference to Robert Kennedy, but her credibility has been questioned. She is said to have received this information from her interior decorator friend, Howard Rothberg, who had no direct connection to Marilyn. It’s worth noting that an alleged CIA document supporting this claim is widely considered a forgery.

The Involvement of FBI and Conspiracy Theories

J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, had a file on Marilyn Monroe since 1956, long before her interactions with the Kennedy brothers. Hoover’s scrutiny extended to various public figures, including Charlie Chaplin, Andy Warhol, and Walt Disney, suggesting a pattern of moral surveillance. William Sullivan, Deputy Director of the FBI, acknowledged that the stories of Bobby Kennedy’s affair with Marilyn were baseless, originating from a right-wing journalist known for spinning wild yarns. Hoover eagerly fuelled these rumours.

Insights from Those Close to Bobby and Marilyn

People close to Bobby Kennedy, such as Edwin Guthman, expressed that he had no interest in pursuing an affair. Marilyn herself denied the tales, and her friends, including Sidney Skolsky, Milton Ebbins, Joseph Naar, and William Asher, insist that the relationship between Marilyn and Bobby was platonic. Claims of alleged sexual acts between Marilyn and the Kennedy brothers are unsubstantiated, with no evidence to support them.

MARILYN & RFK: A Timeline of Alleged Meetings

While it is evident that Marilyn and Bobby had interactions, it’s crucial to examine the timeline of their encounters.

*Note: The following timeline provides an overview of Marilyn Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy’s interactions based on available information and testimonies. It is important to acknowledge that some details may be subject to interpretation and varying accounts.

October 1961:
According to Edwin Guthman, Marilyn attended a dinner party at the home of Peter and Pat Lawford. It is mentioned that Marilyn may have had too much champagne and that Guthman and Bobby Kennedy drove her home. However, Marilyn had written to her ex-stepson in February 1962 stating she met RFK the day before the letter was written instead.


18 November 1961:
There are rumours that Marilyn and Bobby were together on this date. However, Marilyn was in Los Angeles with photographer Douglas Kirkland, while Bobby was in New York.

1 February 1962: Marilyn wrote a letter to Bobby Miller, her former stepson, describing her dinner with Robert Kennedy. She expressed admiration for his intelligence and sense of humour. The event took place at the home of Pat and Peter Lawford, with numerous guests in attendance. Marilyn and Bobby had a conversation about civil rights, with Marilyn expressing her concerns and receiving answers from Bobby. This interaction appears to have been cordial and intellectual. This was the first meeting between the two.

19 May 1962: Marilyn famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden during a birthday gala. After the event, Marilyn and other performers, including Pat Newcomb and Isidore Miller, attended an after-party celebration at the home of Arthur Krim. Marilyn briefly spoke with the President and Robert Kennedy, as documented in photographs from the evening. Afterwards, Marilyn accompanied Isidore back to his Brooklyn home before returning to her own residence. This event is significant because it marks one of the few occasions where Marilyn and the Kennedys are photographed together.

13 June 1962: Marilyn declined an invitation to a dinner party hosted by Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. The reason for her absence is unclear, but it is speculated that she may have used a “freedom ride protest” as an excuse to avoid attending.

26/27 June 1962: According to Donald Spoto’s biography, Marilyn was picked up by Pat and Peter Lawford from her Brentwood home to attend a party at their residence. Bobby Kennedy was reportedly with them on June 27. It is suggested that Marilyn gave them a tour of her new home. Marilyn’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray, stated that Marilyn did not engage in any clandestine activities with Mr Kennedy or have a love affair with him.

While these instances provide glimpses into Marilyn and Bobby’s interactions, it is crucial to emphasise that no concrete evidence supports a romantic relationship between them. Marilyn’s phone records indicate phone calls to a Washington number in July 1962, likely connected to Bobby, but the nature of these calls was not secretive and was common knowledge.

The rumours of an affair between Marilyn Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy have persisted over the years, despite the lack of credible evidence. While Marilyn had encounters with Bobby and made phone calls to him, there is no concrete proof of a romantic relationship. Bobby’s loyalty to his wife and Marilyn’s own statements, along with testimonies from their friends, point toward a platonic connection. It’s essential to separate gossip from facts and acknowledge the unfounded nature of these anecdotes, which continue to circulate without credible substantiation.

The Husbands of Marilyn Monroe: Dispelling the Myths

One of the most intriguing aspects of Marilyn Monroe’s life is her relationships with various husbands. All three men met Marilyn at different stages of her life and career. Let’s take a closer look at her marriages and debunk some of the common misconceptions and confirm the truths surrounding their unions.

JAMES DOUGHERTY

“Norma Jeane Was Happiest with Jimmy”

Contrary to popular belief, Marilyn Monroe later admitted that her “last two” marriages (referring to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller) were her happiest. She even expressed her dissatisfaction with her relationship with Jimmy Dougherty.

“Norma Jeane Wanted a Baby”

There have been claims by biographers and Jimmy himself that Norma Jeane wanted to have a baby to keep him from leaving for the merchant marines. However, considering her young age at the time, it is unlikely she would have willingly taken on such a responsibility. Whether she intended to have a child remains a mystery, and speculation should be approached with caution.

“Jimmy Was the Only One to Treat Her Right”

While some argue that Norma Jeane would have been better off with Jimmy compared to her later husbands, Marilyn herself stated that she was unhappy in her marriage to him. In conversations with friends, she revealed, “All I wanted was to find out who I was. Jim thought he knew, and that I should have been satisfied. But I wasn’t. That marriage was over long before the war ended.” Additionally, her personal notes and biographies by authors such as Maurice Zolotow indicate instances of infidelity and physical altercations in their relationship.

“Jimmy Wanted Her to Quit Modelling”

It is true that Jimmy expressed his dissatisfaction with Marilyn’s modelling career. In a letter to her, he wrote, “All this business of modeling is fine, but when I get out of the service, we’re going to have a family, and you’re going to settle down. You can only have one career, and a woman can’t be two places at once.” Although this perspective was common in the 1940s, Marilyn’s desire to pursue her career led her to file for divorce.

“Their Sex Life Was Satisfying”

Jimmy claimed that he and Norma Jeane had a fulfilling sex life, considering himself a fortunate man. However, Marilyn’s own words tell a different story. She admitted, “I wasn’t very well informed about sex. Let’s just say that some things seemed more natural to me than others. I just wanted to please him, and at first, I found it all a little strange. I didn’t know if I was doing it right.” It is clear that Marilyn had her own uncertainties and challenges in their intimate relationship.

“Norma Jeane Was Faithful to Jimmy”

For many years, it was widely believed that Andre De Dienes fabricated his affair with Norma Jeane. Marilyn herself had stated that she remained faithful to Jimmy. However, evidence supporting De Dienes’ claim emerged in 2019 during an auction. Letters and telegrams with expressions of love and longing showcased a relationship that extended beyond the professional realm.

“My Dearest W.W. 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”

Norma Jeane & Jimmy

Norma Jeane and Jimmy married initially out of necessity to save her from returning to the orphanage, but they clearly felt a deep care for one another and made efforts to make things work. Being so young and inexperienced, filled with aspirations, must have been a challenging experience for Norma Jeane. However, she bravely made the decision to leave her husband to pursue a career.

JOE DIMAGGIO

“Marilyn Was Seeing Other Men While with Joe”

It is often claimed that Marilyn Monroe was involved with other men while she was married to Joe DiMaggio. However, it is essential to approach these claims with scepticism. Photographer Sam Shaw once remarked, “If Marilyn slept with every guy that claims he was with her, she would have never had time to make any movies.” One such claim comes from book critic Robert Slatzer, who stated that he and Marilyn eloped and got married in 1952 while she was still dating Joe DiMaggio. However, there is no concrete evidence to support Slatzer’s assertions, and his credibility is questionable. The only verifiable encounters he had with Marilyn were during the filming of Niagara in 1952. Slatzer later became known for making sensationalised claims about his relationship with Marilyn, and many of his statements have been debunked. It is important to exercise caution when considering the validity of his claims. Similarly, claims made by unreliable biographers and acquaintances of Marilyn, such as Milton Greene and William Travilla, lack solid evidence and should be treated as unlikely until proven otherwise.

“Joe Wouldn’t Let Marilyn Out of His Sight”

While it is true that Joe DiMaggio spent a significant amount of time with Marilyn as her partner and husband, it is important to recognise that Marilyn had a life beyond their relationship.

Joe often accompanied Marilyn to dinners and parties but would leave her at the door to attend to his own pursuits. Marilyn had her own schedule and commitments, which sometimes prevented them from spending as much time together as they would have liked. Marilyn herself explained that their busy schedules often made it difficult for them to coordinate their activities. For example, when asked why Joe wasn’t with her during the filming of The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn said, “We just can’t seem to fit the schedules together.” While it is true that Joe had a preference for privacy, their inability to spend every moment together was primarily due to their conflicting commitments, rather than Joe’s possessiveness or introversion.

“Joe Didn’t Support Her Achievements”

Contrary to the claim that Joe DiMaggio didn’t support Marilyn’s accomplishments, he played a significant role in her career. Joe recognised the mistreatment Marilyn faced from the studio and helped her negotiate better terms for her contracts. He advised her on financial matters and encouraged her to hire a business manager to ensure her professional and personal life was well organised. While Joe may have preferred to stay out of the spotlight himself, it does not indicate a lack of support for Marilyn. In fact, he made efforts to accommodate her career and provide guidance whenever possible. Marilyn herself acknowledged Joe’s reservations about attending events and premieres, stating, “He hates premieres and parties. So do I. But it’s my business to go. It makes no difference that we’re married. Joe has always been like this. I knew what he was like before we were married.” It is essential to understand Joe’s preferences and recognize that Marilyn accepted them as part of their relationship.

“Their Marriage Was a Publicity Stunt”

Claims that Joe and Marilyn’s marriage was a publicity stunt are unfounded. Marilyn Monroe herself expressed that their decision to marry was driven by a desire to establish a committed relationship rather than continue as long-distance lovers. She acknowledged the challenges they faced due to their respective careers and believed marriage would provide them with stability and the opportunity to be together without scandal. The notion that their marriage was merely a publicity stunt overlooks their genuine intentions and the complexities of their relationship.

“Joe Was Jealous of Marilyn’s Fame”

Joe DiMaggio, being a renowned figure in baseball history, was famous in his own right. Contrary to the claim that he was jealous of Marilyn’s fame, Joe’s own words and actions demonstrate otherwise. He expressed his preference for a private life away from the spotlight and appreciated the normalcy he found with Marilyn. In an interview, Joe stated, “Like any other guy with a job, I liked a private life when the day’s work was done. This was seldom possible. Since I’ve been married to Marilyn, I’ve led a normal, quiet life. Of course, I’m out of baseball now, and that makes a difference.” Joe’s desire for privacy should not be misconstrued as jealousy or resentment toward Marilyn’s success. Instead, it was a personal preference that he maintained throughout their relationship and his own life.

“Joe Was Physically Abusive to Marilyn”

Accusations of physical abuse by Joe DiMaggio towards Marilyn Monroe lack solid evidence and primarily stem from questionable sources. While it is acknowledged that domestic violence was, unfortunately, more prevalent during that era, particularly within marriages, no reliable sources, including Joe, Marilyn or Arthur Miller (her third husband), have confirmed such claims. The few statements suggesting physical abuse come from unnamed individuals or sources of questionable credibility. It is crucial to approach these allegations with caution and consider the lack of concrete proof.

Allan “Whitey” Snyder stated to Anthony Summers, “he beat her up a bit” but whether this was witnessed or spoken about between Marilyn and Whitey cannot be certain. In addition, Whitey had made questionable claims about other relationships Marilyn had including with Robert Slatzer who has been confirmed by researchers as being a serial fabricator.

An unnamed publicist claimed, “Joe wasn’t any great hero in Marilyn’s life. He was vicious. He couldn’t have treated her worse. He beat the hell out of her and she was terrified. He continued bothering her months after their divorce. It seems nice and considerate not to talk to anybody because of his precious memories, but he was rotten to her. I’m not sure how they got back as friends near the end… I know their friendship was blown out of all proportion by the newspapers.”

Another unnamed friend of Joe’s had supposedly said, “He was smacking her around, yes.”

Other rumours have circulated such as a broken thumb Marilyn had in 1954 before their time in Asia. Marilyn claimed, “I just bumped it.” There have been many origins to the broken thumb but none can be verified.

She was also seen with a large bruise on her right arm whilst visiting Marlon Brando on the set of Desiree whilst she was filming There’s No Business Like Show Business.

According to Bunny Gardel (Fox make-up artist), Marilyn would bruise easily during this time. But Bunny had not worked with Marilyn during her relationship with Joe DiMaggio, so it is unlikely how she would have known this for certain. Marilyn had said to reporters that she bit herself in her sleep. Marilyn also had an iron deficiency which can lead to bruising.

It should be pointed out that a bruise doesn’t equal abuse. At the same time just because someone has said how they achieved bruises or injuries, doesn’t mean they’re telling the truth. However, Joe shouldn’t be blamed for every bruise seen on Marilyn. For example, the images above show bruising but the images are taken whilst Marilyn was married to Arthur.

Did Marilyn leave Joe because of the abuse? When asked by Maurice Zolotow the real reason why she divorced Joe, she said, “For the reasons I gave in court. I know a lot of women, when they’re getting a divorce they put out reasons which are not the true reasons. But I said the truth. He didn’t talk to me. He was cold. He was indifferent to me as a human being and an artist. He didn’t want me to have friends of my own. He didn’t want me to do my work. He really watched television instead of talking to me. So what I said in my testimony was really so.”

Moreover, it is worth noting that Marilyn had previously been open about her experiences with abuse from her childhood but never mentioned any abuse from Joe later in her life. The subject remains sensitive and should be handled with care.

“Joe Physically Abused Her After She Filmed The Seven Year Itch Subway Grate Scene”

Claims of physical abuse after Marilyn filmed the famous subway grate scene in The Seven Year Itch are based on anecdotal accounts that lack solid substantiation. While it is known that Joe was unhappy with the provocative nature of the scene, the extent of any argument or physical altercation that might have occurred afterwards remains uncertain. Some accounts suggest witnesses overheard shouting coming from Marilyn and Joe’s hotel room that night, but the specifics and the presence of physical abuse are difficult to confirm.

One of the earliest mentions of a fight that night comes via Norman Mailer in 1973, stating that hotel guests in nearby rooms heard “shouting, scuffling, and weeping before the dawn”. From that point on it is hard to tell whether people witnessed much of this abuse or they were getting their information from Mailer’s book (which he admitted he mostly got from speculation). People in the hotel did witness shouting coming from Marilyn and Joe’s room. But was it a violent argument?

Amy Greene reportedly said to Anthony Summers in 1983, “her back was black and blue – I couldn’t believe it.” However, on camera in the documentary Love, Marilyn, Amy questions where these claims came from. She doesn’t deny his anger on set but goes on to state that Joe is “one of my Gods” and that she would never “say anything bad about Joe DiMaggio.” Safe to say IF Amy really did make this statement, she retracted this claim.

Later that day before her flight to LA, on 15 September, after the scene was filmed and the supposed attack occurred, Marilyn was photographed by Philippe Halsman (this was personally confirmed with the official Halsman Instagram account).

No comments were made about her demeanour and Marilyn seemed in good spirits before she and Joe left New York that same day. That’s not to say the marriage wasn’t in trouble… it definitely was. Joe by no means was a good husband to Marilyn.

Gladys Rasmussen, Marilyn’s hairstylist for the film also claimed to Summers in 1983. “They had a suite in a real old, beautiful hotel. And he beat her up a little bit. Marilyn said that she screamed and yelled for us. But we couldn’t hear her through those thick walls … It was more on her shoulders. But with a little makeup, she went ahead and worked.”

However, others have said that they could hear them shouting through the walls contradicting this tale. Not to mention Marilyn and Joe flew home on 16 September so Gladys wouldn’t have seen any bruising the next day as she wasn’t working.

A similar quote from Gladys and Whitey is combined in Spoto’s biography with Gladys claiming, “he beat her up a bit. There were bruises on her shoulders but we covered them with make-up.”

Natasha Lytess who despised Joe and had an odd obsession with Marilyn later made claims of abuse too but Natasha also implied Marilyn was a lesbian and they had a relationship so her testimony cannot be confirmed.

Another source often used to back up this story is hairstylist Sydney Guilaroff. Apparently, Marilyn had said, “Joe beat me up twice… he slapped me around the hotel room.” Sydney Guilaroff is not considered by Marilyn researchers as a reliable source so his testimony on this could be questionable.

It should be noted Joe went to therapy after the divorce and credited Marilyn for him taking this step at a time when therapy was considered not a very masculine task to undertake. He wrote a list of things he wanted to do in order to improve his relationship with Marilyn in 1955. None of these items mentions violence.

He also attended the premiere of The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn in June 1955 something he had not done before. If this scene had enraged him to the point of abusive behaviour, it’s doubtful he would’ve attended a screening with his ex-wife. Needless to say, Marilyn clearly made amends with Joe and forgave him for wrongdoing – whatever that may have been. That’s not to say his behaviour, violence or no violence, was acceptable.

Safe to say that many of the claims of abuse on that night come from questionable sources, were retracted OR were discussed two decades after the event supposedly happened. However, this does not mean it didn’t happen, it just means we have no reliable or sustainable proof.

“Joe Tried to Make Marilyn Quit Her Career as an Actress”

Contrary to the belief that Joe DiMaggio wanted Marilyn to quit her acting career, he actually supported her professional aspirations. Joe left his job in New York to move to Los Angeles with Marilyn, enabling her to pursue her career in the film industry. He actively participated in negotiating her contracts and advised her on financial matters. While it is true that Joe desired a settled life with Marilyn and expressed hopes for starting a family, he recognized Marilyn’s talent and the significance of her work. The notion that he wanted her to give up her career does not align with his actions and support for her professional endeavours.

“Joe Saved Her from Payne Whitney”

While it is often claimed that Joe DiMaggio rescued Marilyn from the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, the actual sequence of events suggests a different scenario. Marilyn made attempts to contact Joe from the hospital, but he did not have the legal authority to secure her release. It was Dr Marianne Kris who played a crucial role in having Marilyn discharged. However, Joe did provide support to Marilyn during her challenging time, ensuring her subsequent stay at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital for rest and recovery.

“Marilyn and Joe Were Going to Get Remarried in 1962”

After Marilyn Monroe’s divorce from Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio expressed interest in reconnecting with her. They spent time together during the last years of Marilyn’s life, prompting media speculation about a potential reconciliation. While it is true that their relationship appeared to grow closer, the claim that they were planning to remarry in 1962 lacks solid evidence. Letters written by Marilyn around the time of her death express her affection for Joe, but they do not indicate concrete plans for marriage. It is important to approach these claims with caution and recognize that their relationship was complex and subject to various interpretations.

“Joe Planned Her Funeral and Banned Many People from Attending”

The notion that Joe DiMaggio planned Marilyn’s funeral and had control over the guest list is incorrect. Inez Melson, Marilyn’s business manager, confirmed in a BBC interview that she was responsible for managing the guest list, and Joe assisted her and Marilyn’s half-sister, Berniece, in making arrangements. While Joe played a role in the funeral proceedings, he did not have the sole authority or decision-making power.

“Joe Sent Flowers to Marilyn’s Grave Until His Death”

It is often claimed that Joe DiMaggio sent flowers to Marilyn’s crypt thrice a week from 1962 to 1982. While this story has become a popular narrative, there is no concrete evidence to substantiate it. The frequency and duration of flower deliveries to Marilyn’s grave remain uncertain, and Joe never publicly commented on the matter.

“Joe Hated the Kennedys”

Contrary to the belief that Joe DiMaggio harboured animosity toward the Kennedys, he expressed support for them and even attended John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. Joe referred to JFK as a “hero” in 1979, indicating his admiration for the Kennedy family.

“Joe’s Dying Words Were ‘I Finally Get to See Marilyn'”

Claims that Joe DiMaggio’s dying words were “I finally get to see Marilyn” are disputed. While his lawyer, Morris Engelberg, claimed that Joe made this statement before passing away, Joe’s brother, Dom DiMaggio, has refuted this claim. Moreover, due to the effects of pain medication, it is unlikely that Joe would have been able to articulate such words before his death. The accuracy of this statement remains uncertain.

Marilyn & Joe

While I do not condone Joe’s actions if the abuse allegations against him are true, it is important to acknowledge that there is limited evidence suggesting he was violent towards Marilyn. I want to emphasise that this lack of evidence does not make it impossible.

Apart from a few unsubstantiated claims of violence and his emotionally abusive behaviour during their marriage, there is little else I have come across to imply that Joe was a “bad person.” In fact, overall, Joe was a fairly decent guy, particularly after their divorce. He displayed a remarkable amount of charity, was great with children, and was well-liked by his peers. It’s worth noting that he was there for Marilyn when she needed him, even when he was likely the only person not on her payroll. This aspect holds significance to me. Despite being a flawed husband, Joe seemed to have made efforts to improve himself and be the supportive person Marilyn needed, whenever she needed him. Though it was too late to salvage their romantic relationship, it didn’t deter him from being a good friend to Marilyn.

In my personal opinion, those who vehemently dislike Joe solely based on the abuse speculations tend to overlook all the positive things he did for Marilyn, which is undeniably unfair. If you are interested in learning more about his relationship with Marilyn, I recommend reading the insightful work by Silver Technicolor, who also assisted me in fact-checking this post.

ARTHUR MILLER

“Arthur Used Her For Fame”

Arthur Miller was already an accomplished Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright before he met Marilyn Monroe. In fact, Marilyn was a fan of his work even before they became romantically involved. With over a dozen plays to his name, Miller was well-known in the literary world, and some people speculated that Marilyn was using him to gain credibility and recognition in the industry. However, it’s important to note that their relationship was more complex than a mere transaction of fame.

While it is true that Marilyn’s addiction to prescription pills and her constant need for validation through acting coaches put a strain on their marriage, it is unfair to suggest that Arthur used her for his own gain. Marilyn’s personal struggles and demanding schedule undoubtedly had an impact on Miller’s own work. In a September 1956 interview, Miller stated that Marilyn would focus on being his wife for the majority of the year, with limited time for acting projects. Their relationship required a considerable amount of attention and effort, making it a challenging task for both of them.

“Arthur Was The Reason Why She Stopped Talking To Milton Greene”

It has been suggested that Arthur’s jealousy of Milton Greene led to Marilyn severing ties with him and dissolving their partnership with Marilyn Monroe Productions. However, evidence suggests that there were preexisting tensions between Marilyn and Milton before Arthur entered the picture. In a letter from Arthur to Marilyn in 1956, he acknowledged the strained relationship between Marilyn and Milton, stating that he would take charge of handling their business affairs. While Arthur may have had his own insecurities, the issues with Milton were multifaceted and extended beyond any jealousy Arthur may have felt.

“Marilyn Was The Insecure One In The Relationship”

It is true that Marilyn struggled with insecurities throughout her life, but Arthur Miller also experienced moments of jealousy and insecurity in their relationship. In June 1956, he wrote a letter to Marilyn begging her to love him and expressing his fears of not being able to satisfy her.

“The main thing I saw was that it had all worked to make me unconsciously jealous of you and fearful that in fact I was not ‘big enough’ for you, and could not satisfy you either sexually or as a friend and a man. To say that I do not satisfy you implies that someone else could. In turn, I am therefore in danger of being ‘replaced.’ The final development, therefore, is withdrawal to one degree or another, and the deadening by degrees of my confidence in myself in relation to you.”

On September 21, 1956, he wrote: “I am going to do a risky thing. I am going to try to tell you as precisely as I know how what has been going on in me—but beyond the point where my defenses stand…. One of the feelings in me is jealousy…. I only realize now that certain things began to press in on me, some of them very subtle, until the point has come where I must face them for both our sakes so that they may be understood and be deprived of their effect on me.”

This demonstrates that both Marilyn and Arthur had their own vulnerabilities and doubts within the relationship.

“Arthur Ran Away To NYC After ‘The Diary Incident'”

The “diary incident” occurred during Marilyn and Arthur’s trip to England in 1956, where Marilyn discovered Arthur’s negative and insulting remarks about her in his diary. This discovery deeply hurt Marilyn, as she felt betrayed and exposed. While it is unclear whether Arthur intended for Marilyn to read his personal journal, the incident left a lasting impact on their marriage.

Ralph Roberts had spoken to Marilyn about it briefly during a massage in 1960, with Paula Strasberg telling him that Arthur had written, “I’ve really done it. I thought I was marrying an angel, and find I’ve married a whore.” Paula told Roberts that she managed to convince Marilyn that his artistic ego had been “battered to such an extent he had to flail out at her.”

Contrary to the notion that Arthur fled to New York City to avoid confrontation, his departure had been pre-planned to address his legal issues with the House Un-American Activities Committee. The incident itself and the subsequent fallout significantly strained their relationship.

“Marilyn was pregnant with Arthur’s baby during the filming of The Sleeping Prince

There was speculation in 1956 that Marilyn’s absences were a result of pregnancy-induced illness. This was not the case. Marilyn is confirmed to have been pregnant in 1957 resulting in an ectopic pregnancy and in 1958 ending in miscarriage. Arthur discusses the first pregnancy as being in 1957 so any earlier than that can be dismissed.

“Arthur made money from being married to Marilyn”

This is partly true. Marilyn had made Arthur Vice President of Marilyn Monroe Productions after she and Milton parted ways meaning he had a share in the company.

Marilyn also wrote several checks to Arthur totalling $47,300.00

Arthur also went against a writer’s strike in order to help with the scriptwriting of Let’s Make Love just like he had offered to do with The Sleeping Prince (“I can go through the script and make the changes”).

“Arthur Didn’t Help Marilyn With Her Addiction”

Marilyn Monroe’s struggles with addiction to prescription pills began in 1956, and it is true that Arthur Miller was not successful in helping her overcome this addiction. However, it is essential to understand the complexities of addiction and the difficulties of breaking free from such substances. Marilyn’s addiction was deeply ingrained, and despite various attempts to intervene, she continued to struggle with it. While Arthur may have had a role to play in supporting her, ultimately, overcoming addiction is a personal journey that requires the individual’s commitment and determination.

“Arthur Used The Misfits To Punish Marilyn”

The filming of The Misfits marked a turning point in Marilyn and Arthur’s marriage. Some believe that Arthur intentionally crafted a personal script that exposed and mocked Marilyn’s life, contributing to the breakdown of their relationship. While it is true that the movie touched on personal aspects of Marilyn’s life, it is unfair to suggest that Arthur used the film to punish her. The challenges they faced during the production, combined with the strain on their relationship, ultimately led to their separation, not the film itself.

“Arthur Left Marilyn In 1960”

Contrary to the claim that Arthur left Marilyn, it was Marilyn who initiated the end of their marriage. According to diary entries from Ralph Roberts, Marilyn confronted Arthur and asked him to leave, expressing that she had finally had enough. Although Marilyn had been involved in an affair with Yves Montand during the filming of Let’s Make Love, it was her decision to end the marriage. Despite the dramatic ending, Marilyn and Arthur later spoke respectfully of their marriage in the press, indicating that they had made peace with their past.

“Arthur Didn’t Love Marilyn”

During the early stages of their relationship, Arthur and Marilyn were deeply in love. Their letters to each other reveal their affection and appreciation for one another. However, as their marriage progressed, they faced numerous challenges, including career pressures, personal struggles, and the loss of their children. These factors put a strain on their relationship, causing both of them to question their compatibility and abilities to meet each other’s needs. While their love may have waned over time, it is important to acknowledge the genuine affection that existed between them in the beginning.

“Arthur Didn’t Care About His Son Daniel”

Arthur and his third wife Inge Morath had a son named Daniel, who was born with Down Syndrome in 1966. It is true that Arthur made the difficult decision to institutionalise Daniel shortly after his birth. This decision, although heartbreaking, was made at a time when society had limited knowledge, understanding, and support for individuals with Down Syndrome. It is essential to recognise the social context in which this decision was made and the lack of available resources at that time. It is evident that Arthur and Inge’s choice was a painful one, as they grappled with the realities of raising a child with special needs.

“Arthur Wasn’t Invited To The Funeral”

The details regarding Arthur Miller’s invitation to Marilyn’s funeral remain uncertain due to the lack of an initial invite list. It is unclear whether he was asked personally by Marilyn’s close family members and declined or if his absence was a result of other factors. In an unpublished essay, Arthur expressed his decision to stay home rather than attend the funeral to avoid mockery and false mourners. It is important to note that his absence does not necessarily indicate a lack of care or concern for Marilyn’s passing. The circumstances surrounding his non-attendance remain a subject of speculation.

Marilyn & Arthur

Being married to Marilyn at that time in her life would not have been an easy experience. She was struggling with her self-esteem and mental health. But Arthur endured and continued to try and make it work. Outsiders looking in would later comment on how cruel Marilyn would be to Arthur at times. Perhaps Marilyn was attempting to get a reaction out of him. Again, we cannot judge, we can only surmise.

Arthur encountered a lot with Marilyn. They lost two children together and everything they did was in the public eye. Other than his passionate love letters to Marilyn, his telegram to Billy Wilder demonstrated how much he cared for his wife.

It’s a shame it did not work but they were not meant to be.

What is unfortunate, from my perspective, is how Arthur felt it was appropriate to release a play, two years after Marilyn’s death, based on their marriage. The parallels are hauntingly similar and in poor taste.

Arthur had begun to write After The Fall when still married to Marilyn and eventually completed it and had it produced in 1964. This would’ve broken Marilyn if she had still been alive. His own friends such as Norman Rosten felt this was distasteful and disrespectful. Which it was.

WJ Weatherby stated, “Miller was obviously writing out of deep personal experience and, although Maggie was only a shadow of Marilyn – the other side of Roslyn in The Misfits, the missing side that made her unsatisfying in the movie and hard for Monroe to make convincing – it was easy to see how Miller thought Marilyn had died, and why. But many admirers of hers were indignant at the portrait and the interpretation. James Baldwin, for example, was seen stalking up the aisle and out of the theatre before the end of the play.”

From Rebecca Miller’s documentary about her father, “The play addressed his own failure to ‘save’ Marilyn, and the realisation that ‘people were far more difficult to change than I had allowed myself to believe.’ It was a success, but due to its shocking portrayal of Monroe’s downfall, was subject to ‘ugly, strident criticism’ and ‘vicious attacks’ in the press. ‘I managed to have an illusion that this wasn’t really Marilyn,’ Miller says, ‘… but it was close enough …’”

Arthur was married to Inge until her death. Arthur soon was in a relationship, with Agnes Barley who was almost 50 years younger than him.