Libel of the Dead…

Recently some pictures were purchased by Tony Michaels, a long lost friend of one of the Monroe Six, Frieda Hull. Here’s where things get tricky. Michaels claims that Frieda told him that Marilyn was PREGNANT in these photos with a child fathered by Yves Montand. I could spend a lot of time breaking this down but long story short, Michaels is full of crap or Frieda was (which I HIGHLY doubt Frieda even told him this story). For a great debunking, check out the article written by Marilyn Remembered’s Scott Fortner here.

From Frances Farmer getting a lobotomy, to Jean Harlow sleeping with truck drivers and killing Paul Bern, to Jayne Mansfield being a practicing Satanist, to Marilyn being pregnant with numerous love children, libeling and slandering the dead is a hot market. Books and articles can print nearly anything they want while any random person can say the same garbage. There is absolutely no consequence for defaming the dead (something I personally think should be overwritten being it can affect estate earnings but that’s another post).

Darwin Porter has cornered the market on these “hot” stories. Here is an excerpt from one of his sources, Liz Renay.

He was very proud of his noble tool, perhaps prouder than he should have been. I heard that when he wasn’t screwing Tallulah Bankhead or Marilyn Monroe – my rival – he liked to plug the boys, especially James Dean.

Who is the above about? Marlon Brando. Renay’s accounts have since spread like wildfire.

On Rory Calhoun:

He was Guy Madison’s longtime lover and those two gorgeous boys enjoyed banging each other more than they enjoyed banging me.

Porter then goes on to make gigantic claims about sexuality including Monroe, Astaire, Wayne, and countless others.  Who are his sources? I’m not able to tell you being a lot aren’t listed. Note that all of the celebrities mentioned were dead by the time Porter’s “Hollywood Babylon Strikes Again” was published.

So, we’ve covered the legalities and some of what you see but the main question is why? That’s where personal opinion comes in. What seems likely is being the studios shrouded their celebrities in mystery and kept actual scandals out of the papers, anyone who so much as whispers something scandalous is taken as repeating a fact. These whispers then get back to reporters and writers like Porter. I won’t say that Porter makes up his claims, it’s likely that he has heard that a friend of a friend of a friend’s third cousin seven times removed knows a guy who knows a guy whose best friend’s sister slept with Jeanne Carmen. So what now? All I’m calling for is writer and researcher responsibility.

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