Sunday, March 22, 2015

Marilyn and Joe...Crazy Love?

Have you ever heard of The Wrong Door Raid? Possibly, if you're a Marilyn fan or Rat Pack fan, but surprisingly, many haven't heard of this outrageous tale.

Although Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had quite the love affair, their union ended in divorce after less than a year of marriage. However, it's fair to say that Joe had a hard time getting over Marilyn.

(The following info / retelling is from June 5, 2011 L.A. Time article by Steve Harvey)

One version of the story holds that Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra were having dinner at the Villa Capri restaurant in Hollywood on a November evening in 1954 when they got the tip: A private investigator phoned to say the ballplayer's estranged wife, Marilyn Monroe, was inside a nearby apartment building, possibly with a lover.

Without bothering to pay the bill, DiMaggio stormed out of the eatery, followed by Sinatra and various associates, as well as Billy Karen, the restaurant maitre d'.Someone volunteered to pay the bill later, but the maitre d' responded that the bill was no problem, he just wanted "in on this thing."

A few minutes later, the group kicked in an apartment door on Waring Avenue. They found not Monroe but a lone resident, Florence Kotz, who was in her bed, screaming in terror, witnesses later related.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Wrong-Door Raid, as it came to be known, was how easily it was covered up. Half a century ago, paparazzi didn't stake out celebrity haunts, so there was no initial alert that anything was up.
Later, police were called to the apartment building but, as was their job back then when big celebrities were involved in some sort of mischief, they just took a report and calmed everybody down.
No charges were filed.
Kotz didn't rush out and file a lawsuit.
And the scandal-wary Times published no story on the affair for more than two years.
 Pictures of Marilyn from the press conference, where she announced her separation / divorce from Joe.
I've read a few accounts of The Wrong Door Raid. Some contend that Sinatra stayed in the car, others say he was part of breaking down the door--and that the door was broken down with an axe!
I've also read that Florence filed charges a year later and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. 
Marilyn WAS in the apartment building, which was not a typical apartment complex that we tend to think of nowadays. She was in the apartment next door, visiting her friend Sheila.
Ah, the scandals of Old Hollywood.

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