The President’s Henchman
I’m going to start this out by telling you that I always thought Lawford was an alcoholic louse who had just lied after being bitter about his divorce from Pat Kennedy and his unceremonious eviction from the “Rat Pack”. What better way to get back at everyone than to say Marilyn was involved with the Kennedy’s and that Frank had betrayed Marilyn? What I uncovered with the help of Marijane Gray is that Peter is actually quite boring with slight variations in his story.
How did Lawford and Marilyn meet? This actually dates back to 1947. According to Michelle Morgan’s “Private and Confidential”, Marilyn was a struggling starlet and Lawford was a struggling actor. Lawford was sitting next to Ana Lower’s home in a convertible when Marilyn’s friend/boyfriend Bill Purcell pulled up. Marilyn jumped in Bill’s car and they drove off. According to Purcell, when he asked Marilyn if he was interrupting anything she responded with “No you aren’t…You just rescued me from a beach wolf.”
In October 12, 1950 Sheila Graham reported that Marilyn and Lawford were spotted canoodling on the beach. Lawford and Marilyn were both apart of the surfing crowd at this point so it’s not shocking that they would be seen together. In November of 1952, Marilyn will have this to say:
From “Holding A Good Thought For Marilyn”
Lawford had this to say in 1983 about Marilyn in 1950: “I’ll never forget going to pick her up on our first date. When I walked into the apartment I had to step around the dog shit. Marilyn just looked and said ‘Oh, he’s done it again.’ She just clammed up over dinner, but I saw her some more. We went down to Malibu in the jeep, to go surf boarding. I remember her shielding her skin under a big sun hat. We went on a couple of dates I guess.”
Lawford then went on to date Dorothy Dandridge for a brief time, according to “Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams” by Donald Bogle. If they weren’t romantic, they were certainly close being Lawford was asked to present her eulogy at her funeral. Marilyn and Dorothy knew one another from the Actor’s Lab in 1950 as well as both sharing Phil Moore as a vocal coach. Dorothy lived in a duplex with Phil on the other side. Reportedly, Marilyn came to Dorothy’s home to practice. It’s entirely possible that Marilyn saw Lawford during this time.
The next confirmed communication we have is Marilyn seeing Lawford about 9 years later at the Sands for Dean Martin’s birthday in 1961.
They then saw one another pretty frequently until her death and Marilyn developed a friendship with Lawford’s wife, Pat.
Some theories say that Peter Lawford was involved with Marilyn’s death but those rumors originate with Fred Otash (who I have written an article about). . .
and Debra Gould.
Gould married Lawford after knowing him for three weeks. Their marriage last 2 months. Debra Gould was interviewed by Anthony Summers for his book “Goddess”. This is where the majority of the “statements” from Lawford come from. All of my quotes come from the 1986 paperback edition of “Goddess”
“Peter told me that Jack – he always called him Jack – had always wanted to meet Marilyn Monroe; it was one of his fantasies. Could Peter arrange for that? He did – he would do anything he was asked to do.”pg 292
Gould claims that an affair between Marilyn lasted before the presidency and up until a few months before her death. This story is also supported by Mary Rowan, another former wife of Lawford. pg 292
Lawford then wakes up from this drunken binge of drugs and alcohol and “He told me that I should forget everything he says.”pg 292
Gould then claims to have found a mysterious photograph that has never come to life. “Showed Peter Lawford, Marilyn Monroe, and Bobby Kennedy. They were all arm in arm. As I recall Marilyn had on a robe and was holding a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. It looked like they were all having a wonderful time; they were at the beach.”pg 336
She then goes on to claim that Bobby and Marilyn got involved after Bobby was sent as the “messenger boy” to end Marilyn’s affair with JFK. “Marilyn took it quite bad and Bobby went away with a feeling of wanting to get to know her better. At the beginning it was just to help and console but then it led into an affair between Marilyn and Bobby. From what Peter told me, he fell head over hills.” pg 336
Gould asks Peter if he knew anything about how Marilyn died. “Marilyn took her last big enema.” Thanks to Eric Patry for bringing this to my attention. pg 433
On Lawford’s last phone call to him where Marilyn was talking about suicide: “Nonsense, Marilyn, pull yourself together; but, my God, whatever you do don’t leave any notes behind. That was the end of the conversation as far as he told me.” pg 465
On whether or not Marilyn left a note: “Yes she did.” pg 465
On what the note said “I don’t know, it was destroyed.” pg 465
Who destroyed it? “I’m sure Peter did, he told me he did.” pg 465
When asked why he destroyed it: “To protect loved ones involved” pg 465
When asked who the loved ones were: “That’s where Peter’s role came in, to cover up all the dirty work, and take care of everything.” Gould then goes on to say that the Kennedy’s prevented her death from being investigated. pg 465
“He went there and tidied up the place, and did what he could, before the police and the press arrived. . .” pg 465
Gould then says that Lawford told her Bobby tried to end the affair a few days before she died. “She tried desperately to get in touch with Bobby. Peter mentioned she made calls out to Pat, trying to figure out where Bobby was, and found out that he was on the West Coast, in San Francisco.” pg 467
Gould then has Bobby visiting Marilyn on August 4th to tell Marilyn it was over in person. He had originally tried to do it over the phone because “he did not want the thing to get out of proportion.” She goes on to say that one of the reasons was that he felt threatened that his enemies might get hold of information that could ruin his career. “He came straight to see Marilyn at her home. Marilyn knew that it was over, that was it, final, and she was very distraught and depressed.” pg 470
It should be noted that in Summer’s release of Goddess in 2012 for Kindle has only one use of the 1983 interview with Gould. It is in regards to Lawford’s drinking and doesn’t even include a direct quote.
There is nothing to support Gould’s frankly outlandish claims. Gould is the person who started the enema rumor that has been proven to be improbable by Cyril Wecht in his interview with Marijane Gray. There are rumors that Gould herself suffered from a drug problem and was in this for the money. She has only done interviews for the documentary “Say Goodbye to the President” and “Goddess”, which she was paid for.
So what did Lawford actually say and when did he talk about her? His story pretty much stayed the same through the years and the amount that he talked about her is surprisingly small.
August 6, 1962
August 8, 1962
Snippets from Earl Wilson’s book in 1971. This is the first time Lawford claims that Marilyn said “Say goodbye to Pay, the President, and yourself because you’re a nice guy.”
July 14, 1973
London Observer 7/14/1973
Lawford claims that RFK was on the East Coast. I don’t really know if this is a lie or if he had just forgotten being it was nearly 11 years before.
LA Police Department 10/16/1975 Thanks to Marijane Gray for this.
2/17/1976 and 2/24/1976 – Lawford denies affairs between Marilyn and the Kennedys
Interview with Anthony Summers for “Goddess” in 1983
His final statement was in a hospital bed in 1984
As you can see, his story pretty much stayed the same over a 22 year period. Lawford was not a rich man when he died and could have made a mint in the ’70’s and ’80’s by selling his secrets to the press. Lawford is a man who has been unjustly slandered by a possible drug addicted wife and the slime-ball that is Fred Otash. It’s time to let him rest in peace.