In March I bookmarked a story from Gawker about a mysterious Hollywood insider (possibly Robert Downey Jr.) who commented that a high profile celebrity allegedly abused Natalie Wood. I was interning for another network at the time and the editor wanted me to research it but I just couldn't. I know as a writer you are supposed to bravely go where no man has gone before but I found the whole thing shocking.
There have been long standing rumours for years that Kirk Douglas allegedly raped Natalie Wood and she was terrified of him. In those days if you were a big box office draw studios covered up things so as not to destroy their stars credibility. The Hollywood insider known as Himmmm delivered three long posts in the comments that were supposedly about the Douglas-Wood story.
It describes how Natalie Wood wanted edgier roles (Rebel Without a Cause comes to mind) and eventually had an affair with a married director to get a desired part. Word got around that she would do the deed with anyone (with her mother's encouragement) for a movie part and supposedly the Spartacus actor took her up on it.
Wood at this time thought she was powerful in the movie world, accepted the invitation and as soon as she walked into the door the actor made his intentions known. She decline his advances and he threw her down and ripped her clothing off. He allegedly raped her repeatedly and told her as she laid battered and hurt to come and see him the next night and he might give her a part. The actress's mother accused Wood of making the actor angry and the damage to Natalie was permanent, both mentally and physically.
But should Kirk Douglas rot in hell because he was allegedly accused of doing something that was on the internet? The media accused Douglas of this rape and yet no one went to the police. In summation the victim did not report the rape and he could not be arrested based upon what a person who is now deceased allegedly told her friends. Her sister Lana has stated that she would announce who the creep was in a letter after she died.
In 1949 actress Jean Spangler disappeared and Douglas's name was brought up once again. On October 7, 1949 Spangler kissed her 5-year-old daughter goodbye and the next day an employee at Griffith Park reported finding Jean Spangler’s purse near the Fern Dell entrance to the park. Inside the purse, written in Jean’s hand, it read: "Kirk – Can’t wait any longer. Going to see Dr. Scott. It will work out best this way while mother is away." The 27-year-old B actress was reportedly three months pregnant and going to get an illegal abortion.
According to Palm Springs Life actor Robert Cummings, told police that the last film Jean had been working on she mentioned a recent new romance. Spangler told Cummings it wasn't serious but she was having the time of her life. Douglas, when asked by police said he didn't remember her and Spangler's mother said the only Kirk Spangler talked about was the actor on the set. After exhaustive investigation Dr. Scott was found out to be a medical student who performed abortions for the Hollywood-set and the case is still open. Was it Douglas, her ex -husband, or the mob?
Robert Downey J.r told online gossip site Jezebel that he was not Himmmm as he said he was a much better writer. Initially that account was rumoured to have been created by four inside- Hollywood people and then it went down to one. Maybe the commenter ran in the same circles as Downey and they felt safe hiding behind the RDJ persona; I guess we will never know.
So who do you believe? If studios covered up for their stars back in the day why did they "let" Robert Mitchum get busted for marijuana, since the studios always protected their stars? Word was the Feds were breathing down MGM's neck about how messed up Judy Garland was and Mitchum got busted at a sting specifically directed at celebrities. He and an actress were the only two who didn't get tipped off about the sting, and it would be interesting to know if those who did get tipped were MGM people (Mitchum was RKO at the time).
Here were some other cover-up stories:
Drunk Clark Gable ran over a man who died and the studios covered it up but used that information to control Mr. Gable.
I guess we will never know the Hollywood true story and I will be long gone before Natalie Wood's sister spills the beans. So if you find out please find a psychic to email me- as I just love rumours!
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Linda will also have a story in Lanark County's The Humm in August