Marilyn & Her Husbands – Fact VS Fiction

Many Marilyn fans are happy to defend her legacy but will at the same time, with no consideration, criticise her husbands based on rumour and speculation.

As fans, we have absolutely no right to comment on Marilyn’s (or anyone else’s) relationships. It is completely impossible to tell how happy couples are on the basis of photography and news reports… even by what is said by the individuals involved. Hindsight and bias come into play with a lot of these conversations. And that is what I want to try and demonstrate with this article which will discuss both the truth, the lies, and the “we don’t know”.

It’s important to also consider these men as individuals who had lives of their own, their own struggles and issues to overcome, and that doesn’t even include the fact they were married to a complicated, difficult and complex woman and worldwide celebrity.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

 

This is a long post and has a trigger warning as I discuss abuse and miscarriages 

The information I am sharing here considers both reliable and unreliable sources, documents, quotes etc. I will be talking about many speculations whether they are accurate or not. Not all of the below are myths, some are true.

As always, I shall look at that information and whether there’s any factual evidence that supports the claims made. Sometimes I will mention my personal opinions, but it doesn’t mean I am correct. You can have your own opinions but my job here is to break down where these myths have come from and state factual information to support or dismiss them.

I am saying all of this because many members of the Marilyn Monroe community have their favourite husband and they feel it is perfectly okay to be hypocritical in their thinking, defending one husband for their behaviour whilst condoning another for doing the same.

Finally, I absolutely do not condone or make excuses for some of the claims within this post. As mentioned earlier, these men met Marilyn at different periods of her life and their own lives. I have respect for each man for different reasons but we aren’t here for my opinion. What I want to do is remind people that things aren’t always black and white, especially with Marilyn Monroe.

THE HUSBANDS

 

Marilyn Monroe was married on three occasions. And all of those marriages were very different.

The first was to James (Jimmy) Dougherty in 1942. In order to remain out of an orphanage, she was advised to marry Jimmy. They met on a few occasions and decided it was the best choice and that they could happily get by being husband and wife. Norma Jeane attempted to throw herself into married life, but she was still a young girl and had a lot to learn. However, as time went on Norma Jeane became unhappy. Jimmy was suspected of seeing an ex-girlfriend and he wasn’t supportive of her new career as a model. She divorced him in 1946.

The second was to baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio. The two met on a blind date in 1952, marrying two years later only to divorce nine months after saying “I do.” The two continued seeing one another until the summer of 1955 when Marilyn began seeing her (still married) future husband, playwright, Arthur Miller.

Marilyn and Arthur met in 1951 at a party but did not meet again until 1955. The earliest published letters are dated at the start of 1956 but it is safe to assume Marilyn and Arthur started seeing one another in the summer or end of 1955. They were married in 1956, separated in 1960 and divorced in 1961. 

After her break up with Arthur, Marilyn and Joe became reacquainted, in somewhat of an “open relationship.” They remained close friends until her death in 1962.

 

JIMMY DOUGHERTY

 

Norma Jeane was happiest with Jimmy”

Despite Norma Jeane’s best efforts as a teenager to be a “good wife”, she stated later on in 1962 that her “last two” marriages were her happiest (aka Joe and Arthur). Marilyn also stated she didn’t enjoy sex when she was married to him and this possibly was due to the set-up of the marriage.

 

“Norma Jeane wanted a baby”

According to some biographers and Jimmy, Norma Jeane wanted to get pregnant to keep him home from the merchant marines. However, being as young as she was, it is unlikely she would’ve committed herself to such a burden. Whether she did for certain is a mystery.

 

“Jimmy was the only one to treat her right”

Many like to state that Norma Jeane would’ve been better off with Jimmy than with her later husbands. But as stated previously, she confessed that she was unhappy with him.

She stated to friends, “All I wanted was to find out what I was. Jim thought he knew, and that I should’ve been satisfied. But I wasn’t. That marriage was over long before the war ended.”

From her own notes, she even discusses his unfaithfulness and Maurice Zolotow’s biography even discusses physical fights between the couple.

 

“Jimmy wanted her to quit modelling”

This is true.

Jimmy was unhappy about her career writing to her, “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.”

Of course, this opinion wasn’t unheard of in the 1940s. But it’s this mentality which had Norma Jeane file for divorce.

 

“Their sex life was satisfying”

Jimmy claimed that he and Norma Jeane had a fruitful sex life. “I was a lucky man!”

But not according to Marilyn… “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.”

 

“Norma Jeane was faithful to Jimmy”

It was believed for years that Andre De Dienes lied about his affair with Norma Jeane… She had stated that she was faithful to Jim. But this wasn’t the case. De Dienes actually had evidence to back up his claim which came to light in 2019 at auction:

“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”

There are also telegrams and letters that imply the relationship was beyond professional.

JOE DIMAGGIO

“Marilyn was seeing other men whilst with Joe”

Photographer Sam Shaw once stated, “If Marilyn slept with every guy that claims he was with her, she would have never had time to make any movies.”

According to book critic Robert Slatzer, he and Marilyn were dating and even eloped and got married in 1952 – whilst she was dating Joe DiMaggio. Allan “Whitey” Snyder backed up this relationship to Anthony Summers stating, “In my opinion, she always loved him very much.

Unfortunately, this connection has ultimately made Whitey an unreliable source as Robert Slatzer had absolutely no proof of this marriage, relationship or friendship with Marilyn. There is only proof he met her twice in 1952 whilst she was filming Niagara using his press pass despite knowing her since she was Norma Jeane.

But Slatzer became an obsessive pest, writing articles to gossip magazines such as Confidential about their “relationship”, later going on to claim he knew what happened the night Marilyn died and so on. The claims made in 1957 had supposedly upset Marilyn so much she had considered suing the magazine. Essentially, all claims of this bond have been debunked. There are absolutely no other connections between Marilyn and Slatzer (no letters, telephone records, phone numbers in her address book, or other photos). Whitey, although a loving friend and colleague to Marilyn, seems to have been swept up in the lies. Whether he was paid to make certain claims is unknown. Unless items suddenly turn up at auction, Slatzer is deemed unreliable.

Milton Greene, a friend and business partner who had last seen Marilyn in 1957 had also made claims of a relationship. In a book written by another unreliable biographer, Norman Mailer, Milton claims he had a brief relationship with Marilyn in 1953 stating, “Amy (his wife) never knew about the sex”. Amy, outliving her husband, has never stated this affair was true. Marilyn and Joe were also rather serious in their relationship at this point, but again there’s no valid proof other than the testimony decades after Marilyn’s death.

William Travilla, a costume designer considered to be a good friend to Marilyn, also claimed to have had an affair when he was married and Marilyn was with Joe. Again, there is no proof and until there is, we can dismiss this claim as unlikely.

 

“Joe wouldn’t let Marilyn out of his sight”

Being Marilyn’s partner and husband, it shouldn’t be surprising that Joe spent a lot of time with his wife.

Marilyn was often taken to dinners and parties by Joe, with him leaving her at the door so he could do his own thing and she does hers.

The fact of the matter is Marilyn did a lot without Joe. Not just because he didn’t want to be in the limelight, or because he was an introvert or because he was “cold” and a “loner” but because their schedules didn’t allow it.

When Marilyn was asked why Joe wasn’t with her for the filming of The Seven Year Itch, she said, “We just can’t seem to fit the schedules together.” Of course, Joe did arrive in New York for some of the shoot (which will be discussed shortly).

Photographer Jock Carroll said Marilyn vainly tried to explain to Joe that she wouldn’t be able to visit him due to a schedule change which also likely caused tensions in the marriage.

 

“Joe didn’t support her achievements”

Joe was a huge celebrity throughout his career and retirement. One who wasn’t a fan of the spotlight. Therefore, if he attended events that were to celebrate Marilyn, it may have taken the spotlight off her. It was not a shock for Marilyn when Joe didn’t attend events such as award ceremonies or Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (he met her after instead).

“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,” said Marilyn to Modern Screen in 1954. “He wouldn’t come then, and I don’t think it’s fair to him to try and change him now. I married him from what he was when I fell in love with him.”

She had even stated that when she met Joe she had, “expected a flashy New York sports type and instead I met this reserved guy who didn’t make a pass at me right away.”

 

“Their marriage was a publicity stunt”

“Joe and I had been talking about getting married for some months,” Monroe told Ben Hecht. “We knew it wouldn’t be an easy marriage. On the other hand, we couldn’t keep on going forever as a pair of cross-country lovers. It might begin to hurt both our careers.”

Joe had apparently suggested doing it during her suspension from the studio and then having their honeymoon in Japan and Korea where he was travelling to on baseball business.

They had been together for two years and likely felt it was the “proper” thing to do in order to be together without scandal.

 

“Joe was jealous of Marilyn’s fame”

Joe DiMaggio was, and possibly still is, one of the biggest names in baseball history.

He was incredibly famous in his own right. And he hated it. According to Jimmy Cannon, “Fame irritated DiMaggio. He is one of the loneliest men I’ve ever met and usually he moved through crowds. The flattery most men enjoy embarrasses him. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the newspaper business. Joe DiMaggio is the shyest public man I met.”

Joe was quoted in True Magazine in 1954:

“I suppose I’ve tried to avoid the spotlight off the ball field. 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 wanted a private life, out of the spotlight and Marilyn’s increasing fame harmed that privacy. This explains his irritation on their (technically second) honeymoon when Marilyn was happy to pose for the cameras and answer questions. It was perfectly understandable for him to be irritated at the nature of some of the questions such as whether she slept in the nude and photographers taking images from underneath, attempting to upskirt her.

In an interview, he smiles whilst stating he hadn’t seen Marilyn much on the trip due to her meeting troops in Korea and his busy schedule. However, this Korea tour was not the spontaneous event biographers make it out to be. Marilyn had planned to visit Korea for some time, and Cary Grant had even given advice to her in a letter. Joe and Lefty O’Doul were also busy with their own trip.

Joe had met Marilyn just as her career was starting to take off and therefore there was no way to tell how it may have affected their relationship at that point as she wasn’t as busy as she had been. Considering she had stated at the start of marriage she wanted to settle down and start a family, it’s not unreasonable for Joe to feel frustrated and confused by her actions which went against everything she had stated to both him and the press..

Marilyn told Ben Hecht:

“My publicity, like Joe’s greatness, is something on the outside. It has nothing to do with what we actually are.”

“Joe was physically abusive to Marilyn”

This is one of the most common items that crop up whenever one speaks about Joe DiMaggio. It’s also an incredibly sensitive subject.

Did Joe DiMaggio hit Marilyn? Well, possibly. It can never be fully confirmed. Neither Joe nor Marilyn ever discussed this in public or in notes or letters. Marilyn was previously open about her abuse from her childhood but never mentioned any sort of abuse from Joe later. Arthur Miller, Marilyn’s third husband, had never mentioned it either. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible but the proof is limited to a few claims from others.

In the 1950s, when the couple were married, it was accepted and even expected that a husband could strike his wife if he felt she was out of line in any way. Jimmy, Marilyn’s first husband, during an argument, shoved her head under a cold shower to “cool her off”.

Obviously, this is by no means justification and there were plenty of men who did not hit their partners in this era.

It is considered today as being repugnant behaviour, which it absolutely is, but in “those times” it wasn’t, it was very normal. Many males, including celebrities, during that time period, would’ve been physically abusive to their partners.

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. As mentioned in an earlier point, some of his claims have been highly debatable.

An unnamed publicist claims, “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 honeymoon. Marilyn claimed, “I just bumped it.” There have been many origins to the broken thumb and 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. She confirmed her anaemia in January 1955 stating, “I had anaemia pretty badly.”

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 image above shows bruising again but was taken in 1960, whilst Marilyn was married to Arthur, interestingly in the same position as the 1954 arm bruise.

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.”

Joe never denied or admitted to these rumours.

“He physically abused her after she filmed The Seven Year Itch subway grate scene”

In the early hours of 15 September 1954 hundreds of journalists and photographers swarmed Lexington Avenue to watch Marilyn Monroe perform one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history. Joe was convinced by gossip columnist Walter Winchell to go too. This didn’t bode well with Joe, seeing his wife’s crotch be exposed to thousands of prying eyes for the sake of publicity. The rumour is when Marilyn returned to the St Regis Hotel, she and Joe argued and he was physically abusive. The levels of abuse vary from whoever tells the story.

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 physically violent argument?

Amy Greene reportedly said to Anthony Summers in 1983, “her back was black and blue – I couldn’t believe it.” However, 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, Marilyn was photographed by Philippe Halsman (I personally confirmed this 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 the following 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.

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. One of his many claims was that said Marilyn had contacted him on the day she died, 4 August 1962, and that “Robert Kennedy was here, threatening me, yelling at me… you know, I know a lot of secrets about what has gone on in Washington, dangerous secrets.” However, RFK had absolutely no involvement in Marilyn’s death as he was with his family at John Bates’s ranch from 3-6 August 1962.

It should be noted Joe went to therapy after the divorce (and after the Wrong Door Raid then he definitely needed it but that’s a story for another day) 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 proof.

 

“Joe tried to make Marilyn quit her career as an actress”

 

Although it is true Joe disliked how Marilyn was treated by the studio, that’s not to say he insisted she quit her job as an actress. Quite the opposite.

Joe quit his job in New York to be able to move to Los Angeles in order for Marilyn to work. Even after the divorce, and her subsequent marriage (and divorce) in 1961, he stated she should consider buying a home in California for work and not New York. Joe even loaned her money to help buy the property in Brentwood. He also helped her negotiate the terms of her contracts with the studio whilst they were married and had her hire a business manager to ensure her life and career were organised.

Many husbands, as proven by Jimmy (and later by Arthur), expected their wives to settle down and start a family. Joe was no exception. Marilyn had repeated to the press when they got married that being a wife was her priority before her career and that she wanted to have several children with her husband. But Marilyn was becoming more and more famous, making it very difficult for the couple to have their own lives out of the view of the media.

Marilyn’s press agent Lois Weber Smith recalled:

“For a while, when they were married, Marilyn had the idea she could have both lives, the private and the public. She deceived herself in that. She couldn’t keep them separate. The press wouldn’t allow it. They were both too big, too famous, too much a part of America to just disappear when they weren’t working.”

 

“Joe saved her from Payne Whitney”

 

The day before Marilyn was mistakenly institutionalised against her knowledge, she attempted to contact Joe. Whilst confined to the hospital she managed to get in touch with him but Joe would not have had the legal authority to have Marilyn released, only Dr Marianne Kris.

A letter to Lee Strasberg written by Marilyn during her stay at Payne Whitney implies Marilyn had asked the hospital to contact both Dr Kris and Joe.

It’s more likely Joe put pressure on Dr Kris to have Marilyn released, as opposed to doing it himself. He then helped Marilyn check into Columbia Presbyterian hospital where she could rest and recover from her ordeal. 

 

“Marilyn and Joe were going to get remarried in 1962”

 

After Marilyn and Arthur were divorced, Joe asked a friend if he would ask Marilyn if it were okay to get in touch. Marilyn agreed.

Joe and Marilyn spent plenty of time together during the last years of her life. Marilyn insisted to the press they were “just good friends” but because she had said this before, the media speculated they were back together.

When Marilyn was flying to New York, her plane had experienced from engine trouble so had to turn back to the airport. She sent a telegram to Joe under a pseudonym:

 “Dear Dad Darling [longtime nickname for Joe] airplane developed engine trouble plus all oil ran out of same plane so we had to turn back and land back in LA. Leaving again on another plane at 5pm arrive New York 1pm. When plane was in trouble I thought about two things, you and changing my will. Love you I think, more then ever. -Mrs. Norman.“

It has been rumoured Marilyn had been fitted for a wedding dress in the weeks leading up to her death, however, she was being fitted for a premiere.

A letter written by Marilyn around the time of her death implied her feelings for Joe were more than just friendship, but this does not insinuate marriage was on the cards, especially when the pressures of marriage caused their relationship to break down in the first place.

Pink note: Dear Joe, If I can only succeed in making you happy – I will have succeeded in the bigest (sic) and most difficult thing there is – that is to make one person completely happy. Your happiness means my happiness.

White note: Dear Joe, If I can only succeed in making you happy – I will have succeeded in the bigest (sic) and most difficult thing there is – that is to make one person completely happy. Joe

 

“Joe planned her funeral and banned many people from attending”

 

Inez Melson, Marilyn’s business manager confirmed in a BBC interview that she was in charge of the guest list for Marilyn’s funeral and Joe simply helped her and Berniece make arrangements.

 

“Joe sent flowers to Marilyn’s grave until his death”

 

Joe sent flowers to Marilyn’s crypt thrice a week from 1962 to 1982. Joe died in 1999 and never commented on the roses, or why he stopped sending them.

 

“Joe hated the Kennedys”

It is believed by fans that Joe hated the Kennedys because of the “affairs” or because he felt they had some involvement with her death. Joe supported them and was even invited to the inauguration. He even stated that JFK was a “hero” in 1979.

 

“Joe’s dying words were ‘I finally get to see Marilyn.'”

Joe DiMaggio died in 1999 from lung cancer and was in the hospital at the time of his death. With him were his lawyer, Morris Engelberg, his brother, Dom DiMaggio and his granddaughters. According to Engelberg Joe had said “I finally get to see Marilyn” before passing away. Dom has said this was not true. Not only is Engelberg a shady character but due to the pain medication, Joe would not have been able to speak. A hospice worker also stated Joe had no last words and therefore, it’s highly unlikely Joe mentioned Marilyn before passing.

You can read more about his relationship with Marilyn here by the amazing Silver Technicolor who also helped me fact-check this post. 

Thoughts on Joe and Marilyn

Ignoring the rumours of abuse, which have never been confirmed by any reliable sources, Joe wasn’t a good husband to Marilyn in the nine months they were married. They seemed happy in their two years of dating and had a good friendship in the last two years of her life. Maybe if Joe had done therapy whilst they were married things would’ve worked out differently. And perhaps if Marilyn wasn’t so overworked between 1953 and 1955 he would’ve felt better about her career but the reality was Joe barely saw Marilyn and when he did she was exhausted. Things didn’t work out in their marriage but it is a positive that he was able to be there for her when she needed him most.

ARTHUR MILLER

 

“Arthur used her for fame”

Arthur Miller was a prolific Pulitzer Prize winner and playwright years before he met Marilyn Monroe. In fact, Marilyn was a fan of his work before she became his mistress.

He had written over a dozen plays before marrying her and was incredibly well-known in the literary world. In fact, many people wondered if Marilyn was using Arthur in order to be taken more seriously.

It was only when he had become reacquainted with Marilyn did his work decrease. It could be said being Marilyn’s husband was a job in itself, especially when her addiction to prescription pills and constant need for validation via her acting coaches had become an issue.

It’s also unlikely that Arthur expected Marilyn to keep working at the rate she had in previous years. In September 1956, whilst in England he told journalists Marilyn will make one movie every eighteen months for a maximum of twelve weeks and for the other fifteen months will “be my wife, that’s a full-time job.”

 

“Arthur was the reason why she stopped talking to Milton Greene”

Amy Greene believes Arthur’s jealousy of Milton is what caused their partnership in Marilyn Monroe Productions to cease and for Marilyn to fall out with Milton in 1957. However, letters from Arthur in 1956 discuss how Marilyn and Milton had a tense relationship in June 1956. “ALL of these Milton troubles and Josh troubles and all that crap is nonsense that will fade off as soon as I can take charge. You will simply have a business relationship with these people.” In the same letter, Miller says, “I don’t worry about him stealing you from me because you are my soul and nobody can steal my soul.”

The icing on the cake came with The Sleeping Prince (aka The Prince and the Showgirl). Apparently, she had felt Milton had become friendly with Laurence Olivier and this was a betrayal of their friendship. She had also become paranoid that he was spending too much through MMP despite the fact she was also putting a lot of personal expenditure through the company. These issues were beyond Arthur and any jealousy he may or may not have had.

 

“Marilyn was the insecure one in the relationship”

Although it is true Marilyn was an insecure individual, letters demonstrate how Arthur himself was jealous and insecure.

In June 1956 he begs her in a letter to “Love me. Love me. You will never regret it for as long as you live.”

He also discusses his fear 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.”

“Arthur ran away to NYC after ‘the diary incident'”

The “diary incident” occurred six weeks into Marilyn and Arthur’s England trip in 1956. This coincides with Marilyn’s first absence from filming The Sleeping Prince on 22-24 August.

She had read his diary whilst looking for her script and the diary was supposedly left open at a pivotal point. Marilyn noticing her name read the contents with the passages being of a negative and insulting nature.

On 24 August, on one of the days Marilyn was absent from filming she was photographed dining out in London not wearing her wedding ring.

According to Berniece Miracle, Marilyn’s half-sister, Marilyn told her, “He said he agreed with Larry that I could be a bitch.”

Ralph Roberts had spoken to Marilyn about it briefly during a massage, with Paula Strasberg telling him that he 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.”

The Sleeping Prince publicist Jerry Juroe said, “It was the ultimate betrayal.”

This slip-up left a dark mark on the marriage, with Marilyn mentioning it throughout the marriage to friends and family. Staff at their rented home, Parkside Manor, noticed a shift in the atmosphere. Alan, who played the piano at the house heard arguments and felt Marilyn’s health suffered after the event.

It was something that she never got over. Arthur didn’t discuss it in his autobiography but does allude to it in his play After the Fall. He also told biographer Fred Lawerence Guiles that he did not recall the exact words used but admitted it did have something to do with Marilyn’s working relationship with Laurence Olivier. It is unknown if he left the diary out for Marilyn to see or whether this was never meant to have been read by her.

Understandably Marilyn was deeply hurt and upset, especially as someone with little self-esteem. But in defence of Arthur, personal notes about a relationship can be written out of anger or frustration. He probably didn’t expect Marilyn to read his personal journal and probably had not realised her insecurities. Arthur and Marilyn truly had a whirlwind romance, built on lust and passion. He was married and they only began to get to know one another after his divorce.

People think he was deterred by this incident and flew back to New York in order to avoid confrontation. But this wasn’t the case. On 26 August Arthur left England to return to the USA but this trip had been planned since the beginning of the trip. A month before, columnist David Lewin wrote about Arthur’s plans which included a trip back to the US at the end of August in order to deal with his legal issues with the House Un-American Activities Committee.

 

“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”).

He also stated how being married to Marilyn has helped his career:

“Marry Marilyn was the greatest thing I ever did. It’s done my work a lot of good. 

“Arthur didn’t help Marilyn with her addiction”

As of 1956, Marilyn began regularly taking medication to assist with her anxiety and sleep. These barbiturates were highly addictive and one of the hardest drugs to stop taking.

Some consider it irresponsible of Arthur to have let it get as out of hand as it did. But Marilyn was not an easy person to convince and she was an addict.

Even after getting pregnant and losing her babies and being weaned off the pills in 1961, Marilyn never gave up the pills for longer than a few weeks.

It doesn’t matter who attempted to reason with her about the medication, it’s incredibly hard to come off certain prescriptions. Arthur stated, “She was a flower of iron to survive this onslaught.” He was very aware the only person that could get Marilyn off the pills, was Marilyn.

 

“Arthur used The Misfits to punish Marilyn”

What started as a romantic gesture in 1957 turned into the breaking point of Marilyn and Arthur’s marriage. She had felt that her life was being exposed and mocked via Roslyn, by the man she had once loved.

Marilyn was incredibly sensitive and perhaps Arthur made a mistake by making such a personal script. By this point, the relationship was definitely on its way out and the constant rewrites made life a lot harder for the couple. By the end of the film, they were no longer together.

 

“Arthur left Marilyn in 1960”

According to Ralph Roberts’s diary, on 31 October 1960 (at the end of filming The Misfits) at 5:30 am he heard Marilyn scream, “Get out of here and don’t you dare ever return. I’ve finally had enough of you for years but this is it! I don’t give a damn where you go! To Hell, for all I care.”

Despite Marilyn having an affair with Yves Montand during the filming of Let’s Make Love, it was Marilyn who broke off the marriage. Despite this dramatic ending Marilyn and Arthur made amends and spoke respectfully of their marriage in the press.

 

“Arthur cheated on Marilyn with Inge Morath”

Magnum photographer Inge Morath was one of many who took photos on the set of The Misfits. It was here she would meet Arthur Miller, who would later become her husband and father to her children. However, their relationship did not start until after Marilyn and Arthur broke up.

 

“Arthur didn’t love Marilyn”

Marilyn and Arthur were very much in love at the start of their relationship. You can see from their letters how much he appreciated Marilyn.

However, career pressures, issues with Arthur and the HUAC, the miscarriages, Marilyn’s dependence on medication and constant need for reassurance caused a lot of issues in the marriage.

Arthur later said, “I too was struggling because I could not smash her enemies with one magic stroke, our own relationship was wounded because she was beyond my reassurance, she had no means of preventing the complete unravelling of her belief in a person once a single thread was broken.”

 

“Arthur didn’t care about his son Daniel”

Although Marilyn doesn’t have anything to do with this point, it’s one people love to bring up.

When Arthur and Inge were married they had two children – Rebecca and Daniel. Daniel was born with Down Syndrome in 1966 and was institutionalised shortly after.

Broadway producer and friend Robert Whitehead said “Arthur was terribly shaken—he used the term ‘mongoloid’. He said ‘I’m going to have to put the baby away.’”

A friend of Inge’s visited Roxbury, about a week later. “I was sitting at the bottom of the bed, and Inge was propped up, and my memory is that she was holding the baby and she was very, very unhappy. Inge wanted to keep the baby, but Arthur wasn’t going to let her keep him.” Apparently, Arthur felt it would be very hard for Rebecca, and for the household to raise Daniel at home. Another friend remembers that “it was a decision that had Rebecca at the center.”

This may seem cold and cruel, however, despite the lack of conversation surrounding Daniel, it appears this choice was not an easy one for Arthur or Inge. This was the 1960s and there was very little knowledge, tolerance or support for those with Down Syndrome.

Rebecca Miller later made a documentary about her father entitled, Arthur Miller: Writer. “I found myself not doubting the doctor’s conclusions, but feeling a welling up of love for him. I dared not touch him, lest I end by taking him home, and I wept.”

Due to the heartbreak of having his son in his care, Arthur never visited or publicly acknowledged Daniel (other than in the Arthur Miller: Writer). Inge visited Daniel often and supposedly his son-in-law Daniel Day-Lewis managed to convince him to see Daniel.

 

“Arthur wasn’t invited to the funeral”

There is no initial invite list for the funeral and therefore it is uncertain whether he was asked personally by Inez or Berniece and ultimately declined.

In an unpublished 1962 essay, Arthur wrote, “Instead of jetting to the funeral to get my picture taken I decided to stay home and let the public mourners finish the mockery. Not that everyone there will be false, but enough. Most of them there destroyed her, ladies and gentlemen.”

“She was destroyed by many things, and some of those things are you,” he said, referring to the entitled big shots in Hollywood. “Now as you stand there weeping and gawking, glad that it is not you going into the earth, glad that it is this lovely girl who you at last killed.”

Thoughts on 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 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 quickly (too quickly in my opinion) got into a relationship, with Agnes Barley who was almost 50 years younger than him

Marilyn & Her Sexuality

“Labels–people love putting labels on each other. Then they feel safe.” – Marilyn Monroe to WJ Weatherby in 1960

We live in a world where someone is “queer-baiting” because they have a large gay fan base and they support the gay community or because they pose nude for gay magazines and wear certain clothes. And because they won’t come out, they are immediately seen as “baiting” the LGBTQ+ community.

And yet we have those who will comment on how a seemingly heterosexual individual is “gay” or “queer” purely because one wants them to be. Why we cannot just be ourselves and keep our private lives private is astonishing to me…

The TikTok generation has made Marilyn Monroe into many things:

  • ADHD
  • Depressed
  • Bi-Polar
  • A devout Jew
  • Mexican
  • Lesbian
  • Paedophile
  • Autistic

But one of the most common claims is that Marilyn was asexual.

Other than paedophilia it is perfectly acceptable and fine to be any of the above. But not if it isn’t genuine or factually accurate.

 

WHAT IS ASEXUALITY?

The “official” definition of asexuality is as follows:

Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.

This isn’t to say some asexual people don’t enjoy sexual experiences by themselves. However, this isn’t true of Marilyn.

 

“SHE DID NOT LIKE SEX”

Emily Ratajkowski claimed on her podcast that Marilyn Monroe “did not like sex.” It’s not a completely false statement. But it does show how Em Rata limited her research to a couple of online articles. If she had looked into Marilyn a little more, she would’ve seen Marilyn speak about sex and her enjoyment of it very openly.

Many are defending this label being given to a woman who has been dead since 1962, by commenting on statements Marilyn made regarding her early marriage:

“I was completely faithful to my overseas husband, but that wasn’t because I loved him or even because I had moral ideas. My fidelity was due to my lack of interest in sex.” (This statement is untrue as letters confirm Marilyn did in fact have an affair with Andre De Dienes…)

“Sex is a baffling thing when it doesn’t happen. I used to wake up in the morning when I was married, and wonder if the whole world was crazy, whooping about sex all the time… Then it dawned on me that people – other women – were different than me.”

“They could feel things I couldn’t. And when I started reading books I ran into the words ‘frigid,’ ‘rejected,’ and ‘lesbian.’ I wondered if I was all three of those things.”

Marilyn had just turned sixteen when she married James Dougherty, which she did in order to not to be sent to an orphanage. And although Jimmy claimed he and Marilyn had a fruitful sex life Marilyn didn’t speak of it as fondly as he did.

Let us remember that her first sexual experience was with a man she married for convenience purposes. Although she felt great affection for Dougherty, it probably felt to Marilyn that she was obligated to have sex with this man, who got her out of a tricky situation.

“WE’RE ALL BORN SEXUAL CREATURES, THANK GOD.”

The obsession to label someone, which is conveniently dead, is something I can understand. But only to an extent. We put labels on ourselves to make sense of our feelings and identity. But it is ludicrous to do it for other people, primarily based on a sexual relationship between a teenage bride and her scapegoat husband.

Firstly, our sex lives (no matter how much we discuss it) are no one else’s business. To label someone just because it makes you feel better is unfair.

It is not acephobic to say Marilyn was not asexual. Just as it isn’t homophobic to state Marilyn was not a lesbian. Whatever she was, I’d love her. But that fact is – she wasn’t asexual or a lesbian.

Marilyn spoke about sex. Sex with men, specifically. She chatted about it with journalists. She even discussed it with friends (she supposedly told Amy Greene how Joe DiMaggio was “fantastic in bed.”)

Here are a few quotes where Marilyn discusses sexuality:

“A man who kissed me once had said it was very possible I was a lesbian because I apparently had no response to males – meaning him. I didn’t contradict him because I didn’t know what I was. There were times even when I didn’t feel human and times when all I could think of was dying. There was also the sinister fact that a well-made woman had always thrilled me to look at. Now having fallen in love, I knew what I was. It wasn’t a lesbian.” – Marilyn Monroe to Ben Hecht in 1954.

“The world and its excitement over sex didn’t seem crazy. In fact, it didn’t seem crazy enough.” – Marilyn Monroe to Ben Hecht in 1954.

“I think that sexuality is only attractive when it’s natural and spontaneous. This is where a lot of them miss the boat. And then something I’d just like to spout off on. We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift. Art, real art, comes from it — everything.” – Marilyn Monroe to Richard Meryman in 1962.

“It’s a part of nature. I go along with nature.” – Marilyn Monroe discussing sex to Pete Martin in 1956.

“I sometimes felt I was hooked on sex, the way an alcoholic is on liquor or a junkie on dope.” – Marilyn Monroe to WJ Weatherby in 1960.

“I was remembering Monty Clift. People who aren’t fit to open the door for him sneer at his homosexuality. What do they know about it? Labels–people love putting labels on each other. Then they feel safe. People tried to make me into a lesbian. I laughed. No sex is wrong if there’s love in it. But too often people act like it’s gymnasium work, mechanical. They’d be as satisfied with a machine from a drugstore as with another human being. I sometimes felt they were trying to make me into a machine.” – Marilyn Monroe to WJ Weatherby in 1960.

“No director ever said, ‘Now Marilyn, be sexy!’ Sex isn’t a thing apart, it’s all of you. Sometimes, after a scene, somebody will say, ‘Great! Very sexy, Marilyn!’ But I have just done something very natural.” – Marilyn Monroe, LOOK magazine in 1957.

It doesn’t matter how you live your sex life, or who with – as long as it is legal and safe. But we should not label others, especially those who are not here now, as it isn’t anyone’s place to do so.

 

Marilyn Monroe & The Casting Couch

Marilyn Monroe was part of the casting couch system in Hollywood. That’s what many believe… but is it true?

In many people’s minds, Marilyn Monroe was unable to reach Hollywood stardom without using her body. However, she stated that she was “determined” to not become another starlet who slept her way to fame. That’s not to say she didn’t have help along the way…

 

IN HER OWN WORDS

In her ghost-written biography, My Story which was drafted in 1953 and 1954 (initially as articles), she discusses her time as a starlet, trying to make her way into Hollywood.

 “These wolves just could not understand me. They would tell me, ‘But Marilyn, you’re not playing the game the way you should. Be smart. You’ll never get anywhere in this business acting the way you do.’ My answer to them would be, ‘The only acting I’ll do is for the camera.’ I was determined, no one was going to use me or my body—even if he could help my career. I’ve never gone out with a man I didn’t want to. No one, not even the studio, could force me to date someone. The one thing I hate more than anything else is being used. I’ve always worked hard for the sake of someday becoming a talented actress. I knew I would make it someday if I only kept at it and worked hard without lowering my principles and pride in myself.”

Marilyn also discussed how she turned down offers of private yacht trips with Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, which he did not appreciate. It may have even slowed her career down as her contract was not renewed after Ladies of The Chorus.

She had completed 12 films (credited) in the space of five years. Five of those movies didn’t even show her on the screen. Alas, she kept working even when her contracts weren’t extended.

In fact, Marilyn didn’t get a starring role until Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)

 

“I’VE ALWAYS WORKED HARD FOR THE SAKE OF SOMEDAY BECOMING A TALENTED ACTRESS.”

 To stand out, Marilyn took several classes. She studied dance, singing and acting. Marilyn would also have many publicity photoshoots and attend events in an attempt to gain media attention.

“I could actually feel my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothes I wear 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 to ability to act.” – My Story

Whilst she was at Fox in the late 1940s, they sent her to The Actors Laboratory where stage writers and directors from Broadway came to present their work in Los Angeles. Many of the works focussed on the difficulties of the world which helped expand Marilyn’s outlook. It developed her interest in Method Acting, something she continued to work on until her death in 1962. Marilyn enjoyed her studies and spent 1947 following these acting lessons, reading plays and studying scenes. When she wasn’t working at the studio, she would often be taking part in study and theatre groups to continue her craft. 

 

 IT’S WHO YOU KNOW

Not only did she toil, but she attended many publicity events and studio parties where she networked, despite not being a fan of parties.

This is how she met connections like Joe Schenck (the former head of Fox) and Darryl Zanuck (current head of Fox at the time).

“In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.” – My Story.

Rumours had circulated that Marilyn and Schenck had been sexually involved, however they both denied this. Marilyn stated to Maurice Zolotow:

“Get this straight Mr. Schenck and I were good friends. He gave me encouragement when I needed it. He didn’t do anything for me. He let Mr. Zanuck run the studio the way Mr. Zanuck wanted to run it. I know the word around Hollywood was I was Joe Schenck’s girlfriend, but that’s a lie. The only favor I ever asked him, Mr. Schenck, was later, when I was back at Twentieth. I wanted a decent dressing room, and I asked him about it, and he put in a good word for me and I got a good dressing room. I never asked him to help me get good parts at Twentieth, and he didn’t. He knew how I felt about it, that I wanted to succeed on my talent, not any other way, and he respected my feelings. I went to his house because I liked Mr. Schenck and I liked his food and it was better than the Studio Club food. I don’t mean to imply the Studio Club had bad food. I mean, let’s say, that Mr. Schenck’s cook was just better than their cook.”

Schenck himself said:

“She used to come here quite often for dinner. I think she liked to eat. We have good food here. No, I never had any romantic thoughts about Marilyn and she never had any thoughts about me.“

JOHNNY HYDE

Marilyn met Hollywood agent Johnny Hyde at the end of 1948.  Hyde, who was thirty years Marilyn’s senior, was married with children but became smitten by the young starlet. He left wife and children for Marilyn in the hopes she would agree to marry him, however Marilyn refused. She said of Johnny in 1961:

“I loved him dearly. But I wasn’t in love with him. He was wonderful to me and he was a dear friend. It was Johnny who inspired me to read good books and enjoy good music.”

Although Marilyn’s relationship with Johnny was not that of a typical casting couch system, it cannot be denied that he didn’t help her. With his connections, guidance and security Marilyn was able to help develop her status in Hollywood. Despite this, Marilyn’s career was slow and steady. with bit parts as a sexy secretary or dumb sex pot. It wasn’t until after Johnny Hyde’s death Marilyn’s career soared. 

Whatever connections Marilyn may have had it took networking, work and time to make Marilyn Monroe the icon she was (and is). As Marilyn’s benefactor, Lucille Ryman said to Floral Muir in the 1950s: “Under Marilyn’s babydoll exterior, she is tough and shrewd and calculating or she wouldn’t be where she is today.” 

 

Marilyn Monroe and RFK – The Affair That Never Happened… Or Did It?

All the credit for THE BIG AFFAIR always goes to the big brother, John F Kennedy, doesn’t it? But what about Little Bobby? Some researchers feel this affair was even more likely than the one with John… But is it?

Note: This post will solely discuss Marilyn and RFK’s “relationship” and not the theories surrounding her death. For that, please read here.


FAMILY GUY

If you read my post about Bobby’s brother and MM, you’d know Marilyn herself had slept/had relationships with married men in her time (Johnny Hyde, Andre De Dienes, Arthur Miller to name a few), one of which was when she herself was married (with Yves Montand).

But unlike his brother, Bobby wasn’t and never has really been famous for sleeping around. Edwin Guthman, Department of Justice as press secretary for Attorney General said, “I travelled with Bobby, day and night for five years and I never saw him pay attention to anyone but his wife.”

Bobby married his wife Ethel in 1950, going on to have 11 (!!!) children together. He was known for being shy, gentle and timid as well as being a very loyal husband. The rumours that he would divorce Ethel in 1962 are far from likely.


WHEN AND WHERE DID THE KENNEDY/MONROE AFFAIR RUMOURS START?

This section may seem to be a repeat from the JFK post but as this is about Bobby, we can go a bit further back as the rumours started before the 3 August 1962 when Dorothy Kilgallen alluded that Marilyn was spending time with an unnamed man.

Jean Kennedy Smith, sibling to Robert F Kennedy wrote to Marilyn (undated but likely in 1962) thanking her for a note Marilyn sent to Joseph Kennedy and hinted at the rumours that had been circulating. This shows that the rumours had started before the August article.

In 1994, Jean Kennedy Smith addressed the letter before it went to auction stating to New York Post “The suggestion that the letter verifies an affair is utter nonsense. I am shocked anyone would believe such innuendo about a letter obviously written in jest.”

A ‘HANDSOME GENTLEMAN’

Now, it’s important to note Marilyn was spending time with multiple gentlemen in the 1960s, but that doesn’t mean they were all sexual. According to Mimosa by Ralph Roberts, Marilyn and her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio had agreed to see each other and, if they so wished, date others. So, since her divorce from Arthur Miller, it can be confirmed Marilyn spent time with Joe, Frank Sinatra, Jose Bolanos (at the Golden Globes) and, almost definitely, John F Kennedy. But what about Bobby?

Well, Dorothy believed she had the scoop in August 1962…

It could be a Kennedy brother or maybe even Frank Sinatra, although that story was old news in 1961. This name is never confirmed in print. Dorothy did later tell friends that it was in reference to Robert Kennedy.

So, how did the infamous gossip columnist, who is known for both raising and trashing Marilyn’s name, find out this juicy information?

“CIA” DOCUMENT

According to an alleged CIA document (now believed to be a forgery*), Kilgallen received this intel via her interior decorator friend, Howard Rothberg who had no direct link to Marilyn. The unauthenticated document states that Kilgallen’s conversations had been wiretapped, that the Kennedy brothers had “broken up” with Marilyn, and that she “had secrets to tell” such as UFOs in Roswell…

1. Rothberg discussed the apparent comeback of subject with Kilgallen and the break up with the Kennedys. Rothberg told Kilgallen that she was attending Hollywood parties hosted by the “inner circle” among Hollywood’s elite and was becoming the talk of the town again. Rothberg indicated in so many words, that she had secrets to tell, no doubt arising from her trists with the President and the Attorney General. One such “secret” mentions the visit by the President at a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space. Kilgallen replied that she knew what might be the source of visit. In the mid-fifties Kilgallen learned of secret effort by US and UK governments to identify the origins of crashed spacecraft and dead bodies, from a British government official. Kilgallen believed the story may have come from the New Mexico story in the late forties. Kilgallen said that if the story is true, it would cause terrible embarrassment for Jack and his plans to have NASA put men on the moon.

2. Subject repeatedly called the Attorney General and complained about the way she was being ignored by the President and his brother.

3. Subject threatened to hold a press conference and would tell all.

4. Subject made reference to “bases” in Cuba and knew of the President’s plan to kill Castro.

5. Subject made reference to her “diary of secrets” and what the newspapers would do with such disclosures.

Dorothy Kilgallen herself since has been a victim of conspiracy theories surrounding her death which officially was due to a cocktail of alcohol and barbiturates.

The rumours spun out of control when Frank Capell got hold of this idea and ran with it. And then there was the FBI.

J. Edgar Hoover, King of Blacklisting, had a file on Marilyn Monroe dating back from 1956, way before her first meeting with any Kennedy, when she married suspected communist Arthur Miller. But she wasn’t the only one. Charlie Chaplin, Andy Warhol, Walt Disney and more were a part of Hoover’s morality scrutinisation. And the Kennedy family couldn’t escape his wrath either.

William Sullivan, Deputy Director of the FBI stated in his autobiography The Bureau: My Thirty Years In Hoover’s FBI“Although Hoover was desperately trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything, he never did. Kennedy was almost a Puritan. We used to watch him at parties, where he would order one glass of scotch and still be sipping from the same glass two hours later. The stories about Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just stories. The original story was invented by a so-called journalist, a right-wing zealot who had a history of spinning wild yarns. It spread like wildfire, of course, and J. Edgar Hoover was right there, gleefully fanning the flames.”


WORD ABOUT TOWN

As mentioned earlier, the affair rumour had gotten into the Kennedy clan, with Jean Smith joking that Marilyn and Bobby were now an item. But as stated in the New York Post, she confirmed there was zero sincerity in her note.

But unlike his brother, Bobby wasn’t and never has really been famous for sleeping around. Edwin Guthman said, “Ethel was the woman in his life, and he seemed uninterested in any other except in the normal, socially acceptable and public way of such things… And to have an affair? Well, frankly it wasn’t in his character.”

When asked about the rumours surrounding her affair with Bobby, Marilyn told Ralph Roberts and Rupert Allan that it was untrue. Sidney Skolsky as well as other friends including Milton Ebbins, Joseph Naar and William Asher insist the relationship was platonic.

Of course, there are those who claim to have heard Marilyn and the brothers engaging in sexual acts, through bugging and tapes. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to confirm this. No dates and no tapes. A book and a documentary are all that we have to document this, which does nothing but further a rumour and myth as well as a reputation for someone who has nothing else going for them.


MARILYN & RFK, A TIMELINE OF MEETINGS
RUMOURED AND CONFIRMED

Marilyn did indeed meet RFK and call him on several occasions to which Edwin Guthman (who I mentioned earlier) stated, “Marilyn did indeed call [Kennedy] several times at his Washington office. Bobby was a good listener, and he took interest in her questions, her life, even her troubles. But the truth is that for me, for Bobby, and for Angie [Novello, Kennedy’s secretary] the calls became something of a joke, and certainly not a secret or whispered. We would say something like, ‘Oh, here she is again, with questions about this or that.’ But these were always brief conversations.”

Marilyn’s phone records show her calling a Washington number in July 1962, which is very likely Bobby. However, this clearly was public knowledge.


OCTOBER 1961

According to Guthman, Marilyn was at a dinner party at the home of Peter and Pat Lawford (nee Kennedy. She apparently got a little drunk on “too much champagne.” He states that he and Bobby drove Marilyn home.

As Bobby was in Los Angeles on 4 October, it’s likely that Guthman was referring to this date.

Some biographers use a limo receipt in an attempt to dispel this story, but the receipt in question refers to a February 1962 meeting that Marilyn wrote to her former stepson, Bobby Miller about (see further down). Marilyn was in Los Angeles at this time, so it may have occurred, however, the letter to Bobby Miller in February 1962 implies the meeting first took place then, and not in 1961. Perhaps Guthman got Marilyn confused with someone else?


18 NOVEMBER 1961

As with JFK, Robert is rumoured to have been with Marilyn on this date. However, whilst Marilyn was in Los Angeles looking over photo proofs with Douglas Kirkland, Bobby was in New York.


1 FEBRUARY 1962

Although misdated on Julien’s website, Marilyn wrote to Bobby Miller on 2 February 1962 stating:

“Oh, Bobby, guess what: I had dinner last night with the Attorney-General of the United States, Robert Kennedy, and I asked him what his department was going to do about Civil Rights and some other issues. He’s very intelligent, and besides all that, he’s got a terrific sense of humor. I think you would like him. Anyway, I had to go to this dinner last night as he was the guest of honor and when they asked him who he wanted to meet, he wanted to meet me. So, I went to the dinner and I sat next to him, and he isn’t a bad dancer either.” She continues telling Bobby about her conversation and pressing Kennedy to find out what he planned to do about civil rights and that he answered her questions and told her he would send her a letter with all of his plans. He asked her if she had been attending “some kind of meetings” she writes to Bobby, “I laughed and said ‘no, but these are the kind of questions that the youth of America want answers to and want things done about.’ Not that I’m so youthful, but I feel youthful. But he’s an old 36 himself which astounded me because I’m 35. It was a pleasant evening, all in all.”

Marilyn wrote a similar note to Isidore Miller.

This event was at the home of Pat and Peter Lawford, with many guests in attendance to celebrate RFK’s visit to the Far East for a month-long diplomatic journey. Interestingly, reports from 1 February state that Ethel and JFK accompanied him on his flight from Washington (which would require a stopover in Hawaii via Los Angeles). However, according to JFK’s appointments, he did not accompany his brother. However, reports showed that Ethel was with him.

1 February 1962

Pat Newcomb who was there said that Marilyn, “really cared about learning” and goes to state how Marilyn had prepared questions to ask about civil rights.

Guests such as Joan Braden commented that Marilyn was “quite sober – a terrifically nice person” and that “they had an instant rapport.”

That evening (the next morning) Marilyn took a limo home, getting back to her Doheny apartment at 3am.


19 May 1962

Actress Marilyn Monroe sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday.

After the birthday gala held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Marilyn and the other performers attended the home of Arthur Krim where an after-party celebration was held. This meeting is the only one in which Marilyn and the Kennedys are photographed. Present with her ex-father-in-law Isidore Miller and Pat Newcomb, Marilyn met with other guests such as Maria Callas and very briefly spoke to the President and Attorney General. After seeing Diahann Carroll sing, Marilyn took Isidore back to his Brooklyn home in the early hours of the morning before returning to her own home, where James Haspiel claims he saw her for the last time.


13 June 1962

Marilyn declined an invitation to a dinner party at the home of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. It’s unclear what “freedom ride protest” she was referring to but Marilyn, not being the most sociable person probably felt this was a good excuse to not attend.


26/27 June 1962

According to Donald Spoto’s biography, Marilyn was being collected by Pat and Peter Lawford from her home in Brentwood to attend a party at their home and Bobby was with them (on 27 June). Marilyn is believed to have given them a tour of her new home. Her housekeeper, Eunice Murray stated, “She certainly didn’t go sneaking around with Mr Kennedy or have a love affair with him!”

Kennedy had indeed arrived in Los Angeles on the 26 June and left some time on the 27 June when he departed via Los Angeles International Airport.


Marilyn didn’t write about JFK or talk about him often other than his politics. But she did talk about Bobby. She met him on more occasions than John and found him to be an interesting person.

Marilyn was a family friend who made a few phone calls and saw him at a few public meetings. Does this mean they had an affair? Well, unlike JFK there is no evidence to suggest this. Marilyn is likely to have at least had a one-night stand with the President. But as far as the Attorney General, it was more of a platonic relationship.

Marilyn may have hoped to “woo” RFK. Perhaps Marilyn started the rumours herself? Who knows! But no matter what evidence points to the fact that Bobby was incredibly loyal and faithful to Ethel. I feel sad for her and their children that these unproven rumours still circulate to this day with absolutely no credible evidence.

Marilyn Monroe and JFK – The Affair That Never Happened… Or Did It?

Since the 1970s the rumour that Marilyn Monroe and President John F Kennedy had a wild and passionate affair has plagued Marilyn historians’ lives. But did it happen? Well, not the way gossip magazines like to tell it…

Note: This post will solely discuss Marilyn and JFK’s “relationship” and not the theories surrounding her death. For that, please read here.


A REPUTATION

John F Kennedy is well known for his extra-marital relations but Marilyn is arguably the most famous, despite it not being officially confirmed.

Marilyn herself had slept/had relationships with married men in her time (Johnny Hyde, Andre De Dienes, Arthur Miller to name a few), one of which was when she herself was married (with Yves Montand). As well as Marilyn Monroe, JFK is believed to have had affairs with :

  • Mimi Alford (White House Intern)
  • Judith Exner
  • Blaze Starr (stripper)
  • Marlene Dietrich (actress)
  • Anita Eckberg (actress)
  • Ellen Rometsch (call girl)
  • Mary Meyer (CIA agent ex-wife)
  • Priscilla Wear and Jill Cowen (White House Secretaries)

Can these be confirmed? Well, some have more evidence than others. Which is an important thing to consider when making such claims.


WHEN AND WHERE DID THE KENNEDY/MONROE AFFAIR RUMOURS START?

A ‘HANDSOME GENTLEMAN’

In 1962, Dorothy Kilgallen alluded that Marilyn was spending time with an unnamed man.

Now, it’s important to note Marilyn was spending time with multiple gentlemen in the 1960s, but that doesn’t mean they were all sexual. According to Mimosa by Ralph Roberts, Marilyn and her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio had agreed to see each other and, if they so wished, date others. So, since her divorce from Arthur Miller, it can be confirmed Marilyn spent time with Joe, Frank Sinatra, Jose Bolanos (at the Golden Globes) and, almost definitely, John F Kennedy. But how serious was this “love affair” and how often did it take place?

Well, Dorothy believed she had the scoop…

It could be a Kennedy brother or maybe even Frank Sinatra, although that story was old news in 1961. This name is never confirmed in print. Dorothy did later tell friends that it was in reference to Robert Kennedy although that theory is never proven. Robert’s sister even wrote to Marilyn joking about how they were “now an item!”

In 1994, Jean Kennedy Smith addressed the letter before it went to auction stating to New York Post “The suggestion that the letter verifies an affair is utter nonsense. I am shocked anyone would believe such innuendo about a letter obviously written in jest.”

But Bobby deserves his own post.

So, how did the infamous gossip columnist, who is known for both raising and trashing Marilyn’s name, find out this juicy information?

“CIA” DOCUMENT

According to an alleged CIA document (now believed to be a forgery*), Kilgallen received this intel via her interior decorator friend, Howard Rothberg who had no direct link to Marilyn. The unauthenticated document states that Kilgallen’s conversations had been wiretapped, that the Kennedy brothers had “broken up” with Marilyn, and that she “had secrets to tell” such as UFOs in Roswell…

1. Rothberg discussed the apparent comeback of subject with Kilgallen and the break up with the Kennedys. Rothberg told Kilgallen that she was attending Hollywood parties hosted by the “inner circle” among Hollywood’s elite and was becoming the talk of the town again. Rothberg indicated in so many words, that she had secrets to tell, no doubt arising from her trists with the President and the Attorney General. One such “secret” mentions the visit by the President at a secret air base for the purpose of inspecting things from outer space. Kilgallen replied that she knew what might be the source of visit. In the mid-fifties Kilgallen learned of secret effort by US and UK governments to identify the origins of crashed spacecraft and dead bodies, from a British government official. Kilgallen believed the story may have come from the New Mexico story in the late forties. Kilgallen said that if the story is true, it would cause terrible embarrassment for Jack and his plans to have NASA put men on the moon.

2. Subject repeatedly called the Attorney General and complained about the way she was being ignored by the President and his brother.

3. Subject threatened to hold a press conference and would tell all.

4. Subject made reference to “bases” in Cuba and knew of the President’s plan to kill Castro.

5. Subject made reference to her “diary of secrets” and what the newspapers would do with such disclosures.

Dorothy Kilgallen herself since has been a victim of conspiracy theories surrounding her death which officially was due to a cocktail of alcohol and barbiturates.

BOB SLATZER – A SECRET HUSBAND AND CONFIDANT

The real affair claims between Marilyn and JFK began a decade after Marilyn and JFK had died. The source for this affair came from Robert Slatzer, who had been featured in a column by Dorothy in 1952 regarding his “romance” with Marilyn who was dating baseball legend Joe Dimaggio at the time.

Slatzer met Marilyn once during her filming of Niagara in 1952.

These letters and phone calls mentioned in the article have never been documented or publicised, nor was he present in any of her telephone books, something Marilyn used constantly. If you weren’t in her phone book, you weren’t in her life.

His name came up again in 1957, stating he and Marilyn were intimate in 1952 (no mention of marriage). If this very private woman was aware of this blabber mouth’s existence, he certainly would not be a friend to her by 1962. Needless to say, his allegations have been debunked and dismissed.

In his 1973 book, The Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe, Slatzer mentions that Marilyn had an affair with the President, was passed to his brother and was soon dumped by him. The evidence for this is Slatzer’s word and nothing else which have previously been proven to be unreliable.

Despite Robert Dallek’s biography of John F. Kennedy stating gossip columns were discussing an affair (which apparently the President wanted to be quashed), there is no record of this (that I have yet to come across). The rumours were predominantly regarding his younger brother (again, never confirmed with viable evidence) and the JFK/Monroe affair only really started in the 1970s.

*Due to the printing quality, and being “over the top” with the use of TOP SECRET and experts have said documents like this are attempting to seem official and are easy to forge, it’s believed this document is utterly fake.


MARILYN & JFK, A TIMELINE OF MEETINGS
RUMOURED AND CONFIRMED

11 April 1957

Marilyn and her third husband Arthur Miller attended the April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf Hotel. Also present were Senator John F Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. It’s unclear if Marilyn met the future president and First Lady, but the couples were among the 1,300 guests. This is the first event that can place Marilyn and JFK in the same room.


23 and 24 September 1961

Biographer Keith Badman believes Marilyn and Pat Newcomb were at Hyannis Port with JFK and Jackie on these dates.

According to the press, Frank Sinatra and an “unidentified” couple were in attendance on 22 September. But according to the JFK archives, Frank Sinatra was present at the White House on Thursday 21 September. There’s no note of him being at Hyannis Port on the White House records.

Sunday, 24 September 1961

On 18 September 1961, Marilyn said to Ralph Roberts she needed to return to New York for some business. On Friday 22 September 1961, Marilyn and Ralph flew at 1:30 pm to NYC. The plane had experienced engine trouble and had to turn back. She sent Joe DiMaggio this telegram using a pseudonym:

“Dear Dad Darling, airplane developed engine trouble plus all oil ran out of same plane so we had to turn back and land back in LA. Leaving again on another plane at 5pm arrive New York 1pm. When plane was in trouble I thought about two things, you and changing my will. Love you I think, more then ever. -Mrs. Norman.“

Marilyn was due to arrive at Idlewild at 1 pm NY time, and, according to Ralph, they travelled directly to the Lexington Hotel where Joe was living at the time. This means Marilyn could not have been with Frank Sinatra (although he wasn’t listed on the President’s records, so even he may not have been there).

It’s been noted by some biographers that Marilyn met with WJ Weatherby this weekend. However, the way the Conversations with Marilyn is written, it appears Marilyn and Weatherby were reacquainted in November 1960 (due to the mention of the election), not September 1961. Of course, his book also says Marilyn admitted to having an affair with a famous, married Washington politician. Weatherby’s book was first published in 1976 – and what better tale than the one where Marilyn Monroe confides in you that you’re sleeping with a Kennedy? Or both!

Back to the dates… Could she have left Joe the following day and flown from Idlewild to Massachusetts? Possibly. Although, there is no published confirmation that Marilyn flew that day or where she flew back to (tickets, being spotted by fans, photographs etc.) but it’s far more likely she spent time with Joe and the Strasbergs.


October 1961

According to Allan ‘Whitey’ Snyder, he took Marilyn to the home of Peter and Pat Lawford (sister to John F Kennedy) where they held a party at their Santa Monica home in honour of President Kennedy. Even so, Kennedy did not visit Los Angeles in October 1961. He did attend a dinner in November 1961, Marilyn may not have been listed officially as a guest.


18 November 1961

18 November 1961

Kennedy gave a speech at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and some have suspected Marilyn met him after. But that evening, Douglas Kirkland met Marilyn to show her photo proofs of his photos taken the day before.

JFK was also recorded as having returned to Beverley Hills Hotel at 10:35 pm before he dropped in on a dinner being held at the hotel where 700 guests were present. None of the guests claims to have seen Marilyn.


5 December 1961

John F Kennedy gave a speech addressing the National Football Foundation at the Waldorf Astoria. Some say Marilyn was in attendance but was a couple of hours late due to her having her hair done by Kenneth Battelle. However, there seems to be no press coverage or images of her being there nor proof she was with Mr Kenneth on that date.

According to Dr Engleberg’s bill, he visited Marilyn in LA on 4 December (maybe Marilyn flew to NYC and returned before 8 December but unlikely)

Some believe there was a dinner party held at the home of Fifi Fell after the Waldorf Astoria conference but the President had left the Waldorf and gone straight to the Carlyle Hotel.


February 1962

According to Donald Spoto, in February 1962 (between 3 and 7*), Marilyn’s talent manager Milton Ebbins stated he escorted Marilyn to the home of Fifi Fell, where a fundraiser dinner party was held (often confused with a December fundraiser despite Marilyn not being in NYC). Ebbins also stated he took her home.

JFK’s diary shows that he was in Virginia on all the dates Marilyn was in NYC and therefore they both couldn’t have been in attendance.

*Marilyn is placed in LA on 1 February and begins moving into her Brentwood home 8 February. Most other dates in February can be accounted for.


24 March 1962

Marilyn called Ralph Roberts to tell him she was going to be staying at Bing Crosby’s home in Palm Springs (previously the venue had been at Frank Sinatra’s home but was changed for security) on Saturday 24 March 1962.

24 March 1962

That day, from midday the President’s movements, are not recorded.

Philip Watson the Los Angeles county assessor told Anthony Summers that Marilyn had been with JFK by the pool and it was clear they were enjoying their time together. However, his presence there cannot be verified.

From Palm Springs Marilyn apparently called Ralph again and put JFK on the phone to discuss a bet Marilyn had with him regarding thigh bones.

A familar man’s voice, “Hello.”

I answered, “Hello. The thigh bone is connected, as the song goes, to the hipbone. But not toward the outside of the body, but it articulates with the pelvic bone, well near the center.”

A laugh, “Well, I take your word. She speaks highly of you.”

Mimosa, Ralph Roberts

She later told Ralph how she had given the President a massage with Ralph later telling Donald Spoto, “Marilyn told me that this night in March was the only time of her “affair” with JFK. A great many people thought, after that weekend, that there was more to it. But Marilyn gave me the impression that it was not a major event for either of them: it happened once, that weekend, and that was that.” Ralph also said that “She asked me about the solus muscle which she knew something about from the Mabel Ellsworth Todd book [The Thinking Body], and she had obviously been talking about this with the president, who was known to have all sorts of ailments, muscle and back trouble.”

Susan Strasberg, friend and daughter of Lee and Paula Strasberg, stated that Marilyn felt it was “okay to sleep with a charismatic president – and she loved the secrecy and drama of it. But he certainly wasn’t the kind of man she wanted for life and she was very clear about this.”

In 1976, American Secret Service Agent Floyd Boring was interviewed by Bill Hartigan, who denies this happened as no one was allowed at the property.


April 1962

The dinner party at Fifi Fell’s home has also been dated to April 1962 but Marilyn had spent most of that month Los Angeles preparing for Something’s Got To Give. There is also no record of Kennedy being in New York in April 1962.


19 May 1962

Actress Marilyn Monroe sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday.

After the birthday gala held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Marilyn and the other performers attended the home of Arthur Krim where an after-party celebration was held. This meeting is the only one in which Marilyn and the Kennedys are photographed. Present with her ex-father-in-law Isidore Miller and Pat Newcomb, Marilyn met with other guests such as Maria Callas and very briefly spoke to the President and Attorney General. After seeing Diahann Carroll sing, Marilyn took Isidore back to his Brooklyn home in the early hours of the morning before returning to her own home, where James Haspiel claims he saw her for the last time.


Luckily for Marilyn fans and researchers, we are able to pinpoint where she was on many of the dates claimed, or at least where JFK was based on the fact that most of his movements were recorded by the minute.

So did Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy have an affair?

Perhaps. Was it as dramatic as people claim? Far from it. The most it would have been was a one-night stand in Palm Springs, otherwise, most other dates can be debunked with both facts and logic. All that can be clarified is Marilyn and JFK were in the same room in April 1957, March 1961 and May 1962. The other dates are hearsay.

Natasha Lytess: Friend or Foe?

Read almost any biography on Marilyn and you will find Natasha Lytess’s name. Why? If you were to ask Natasha she’d claim it is because she made Marilyn famous. You will also read how after more than 20 pictures together, Marilyn cruelly shunned her acting coach of eight years. But was it really like that? Did Marilyn simply cut off someone who had supported her for almost a decade?

WHO IS NATASHA LYTESS?

Natasha Lytess aka Natalia Postmann was born in Berlin and immigrated to Los Angeles after the Nazis came to power in Germany.

After failing at her own acting career in the States, she became a drama coach with students such as Mamie Van Doren and Virginia Leith.

In April 1948, she was assigned a new student at Columbia pictures where she was employed. The starlet was working for six months at the studio and had been offered acting classes. The 21-year-old, whom she described as, “in a shell” had a voice that “voice got on my nerves” was Marilyn Monroe.

WORKING WITH MARILYN

Natasha began working with Marilyn in 1948, for her supporting role in Ladies of the Chorus teaching her how to talk and act on screen.

After their first movie together, Natasha started to give Marilyn private and intensive coaching prior to all her auditions. They worked three days and nights a week rehearsing for The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and when Marilyn got the part, Lytess quit her role at Columbia to coach Marilyn full-time.

John Huston was the first of Marilyn’s directors to have Natasha guide Marilyn through almost every scene. Dealing with her reliance on her drama coach was a habit which he witnessed again in 1960 when directing her in The Misfits.

Many directors who worked with Marilyn throughout the years experienced immense frustration when she would often turn to her dramatic coaches for approval (or disapproval) as opposed to the directors themselves. You can witness her glance over at Natasha at approximately 1:10 in this scene.

Jean Negulesco became so frustrated from shooting retakes, he banned Natasha from the set of How to Marry a Millionaire. However, Marilyn refused to work without her present feeling as if without Nattasha she wouldn’t be able to perform. He relented and Natasha was back, sitting next to or closely behind Negulesco shaking her head when she disapproved of a scene, causing Marilyn to call for another take.

Billy Wilder would end up telling Natasha what he wanted from Marilyn and who would relay it to the actress. This early habit became an occupational hazard for directors in years to come, sabotaging many of Marilyn’s business and personal relationships. This style of working would provide a sense of dread for the cast and crew who worked with her as having the coaches on set was more of a hindrance than a benefit to her acting and confidence.

THE FRIENDSHIP

In the fall of 1950, Marilyn moved in with Natasha, her daughter and maid where she and her coach could work continuously on her craft. However, this was undoubtedly a confined lifestyle for Marilyn, giving her little time for herself or anyone else.

Stories have been released over the years, even from Natasha herself, implying that there was a romantic relationship between the two. “I took her in my arms one day, and I told her ‘I want to love you.’ I remember she looked at me and said, ‘You don’t have to love me, Natasha – just as long as you work with me.’”

This claim is contrasted by the fact that Natasha admitted to not finding Marilyn beautiful and that she had had a face “as wooden as a ventriloquist’s dummy… She was tense and apprehensive, utterly unsure of herself.”

Marilyn stated in her autobiography, My Story, that she was most certainly heterosexual, “Now having fallen in love, I knew what I was. It wasn’t a lesbian.”

When Marilyn’s agent Johnny Hyde died, Marilyn sold her mink stole that he gifted her in order to help Natasha financially whilst still paying Natasha for private tutoring. Natasha earned $500 a week, plus $250 for the private courses she gave to Marilyn, meaning she was making more money than her student. In 1951, Marilyn asked the William Morris agency for a $200 deduction in her monthly salary from 20th Century Fox so that she may cover a dental bill of $1,800 for Natasha.

Despite being closely monitored by Natasha, in 1952, Marilyn had begun dating Joe DiMaggio, much to Natasha’s dismay, and she wasn’t afraid to say how she felt about the baseball star. Natasha “disliked him at once. He is a man with a closed, vapid look.”

This opinion however didn’t phase Marilyn, who went on to marry Joe “the often morose baseball star-with-muscles” in 1954. It was after the completion of The Seven Year Itch that year that Marilyn stopped taking Natasha’s calls and refused to see the woman who was her “only protection in the world”.

OUT WITH THE OLD

Marilyn had been belittled and exploited by Natasha for eight years before she finally broke off their relationship – both working and personal.

In 1952, when she was still working with Marilyn, she openly admitted “She was very inhibited” and “unable to take refuge in her own insignificance”. Despite her student being “insignificant” and that she would be “easily forgotten”, Natasha had no qualms when it came to talking about her to newspapers and gossip columnists.

It isn’t a surprise that Marilyn had reached the end of her tether with Natasha by the end of 1954. As a private person, Marilyn wasn’t a fan of discussing her personal life with the media. However, Lytess felt zero shame in doing it for her, using Marilyn’s name as a gateway for her own publicity. For example, in 1954, she was a secret guest on What’s My Line? as Marilyn’s dramatic coach. One has to wonder if she asked Marilyn’s permission to appear on the show or whether she did out of her own desire to be known as the woman who “put the world at her feet”.

Not only did Natasha seem to control Marilyn on set but the relationship was borderline obsessive. “I created this girl – I fought for her… I am her private property, she knows that. Her faith and security are mine.”

It is said and can be believed based on patterns of behaviour, that the driving force behind the end of the relationship was Natasha planning on writing a book about Marilyn.

Many have blamed Joe DiMaggio for this professional break-up and that he attempted to drive a wedge between Marilyn and Natasha. However, the couple split up soon after The Seven Year Itch was completed. If Marilyn had felt the need for support during the divorce proceedings, Natasha would’ve been the first person by her side.

Alas, Marilyn had completely shunned her former teacher and was in the process of divorcing the man Lytess openly loathed. Marilyn was ready to head East leaving Hollywood, Natasha and her marriage behind her. She wanted to start afresh.

In March 1955, Natasha spoke with columnist Hedda Hopper stating she hadn’t “heard a peep” from the star.

Although listed as an anonymous source, it can only be assumed that it was Natasha who spoke to Steven Cronin for an article titled The Storm About Monroe. The “one of the few women in Hollywood who has worked with Marilyn closely for many years” can only be Lytess because who else? This source stated “Marilyn Monroe doesn’t know her own mind” and was “unhappy while she was married to Joe DiMaggio”. The piece continues to drive at Marilyn’s miserable marriage which clarifies that Natasha was still happy to continue discussing private matters that weren’t hers to divulge.

Despite Natasha’s years of catty remarks, Marilyn kept her opinions of the dramatic coach to herself.

Despite not talking to Marilyn for half a decade, Natasha couldn’t seem to let Marilyn go. In 1960, researcher Jane Wilkie spoke to Natasha and ended up not publishing Lytess’s manuscript which did nothing but complain about her former pupil.

In 1962, Natasha had written yet another memoir which she sold for $10,000. Marilyn’s press agents attempted to purchase it back from France-Dimanche but the publishers said they’ll make more money by keeping it. The first article was entitled “Marilyn Monroe: Her Secret Life, I Made Her – Body and Soul.” As suggested by the title, the article is nothing but the ramblings of a woman who is obsessed with the sex life of Marilyn Monroe. The articles were published on 15, 22 and 29 July 1962, weeks before Marilyn passed away. The fourth instalment was published on the day Marilyn had been found dead in her home.

However, Natasha didn’t stop her verbal abuse. She continued writing about Marilyn after the 5 August, discussing Marilyn’s death and why she had killed herself… And it was all because of men and how they viewed her as nothing but a sexual object. The article never portrayed any sadness for Marilyn’s passing, just more bitterness.

In 1964, before passing away from cancer, Natasha said “I wish I had one-tenth of Marilyn’s cleverness. The truth is, my life and my feelings were very much in her hands. I was the older one, the teacher, but she knew the depth of my attachment to her, and she exploited those feelings as only a beautiful younger person can. She said she was the needy one. Alas, it was the reverse. My life with her was a constant denial of myself.” This backhanded compliment demonstrates her relentless resentment and disdain which lasted for over ten years.

Natasha continued her belittling remarks about Marilyn long after their communications had ended, and was obsessed with Marilyn’s sexual habits, love life, fame and career. This was her pathetic attempt to give herself some sense of purpose and to be recognised as somebody when really, all she did was exploit her student.