Debunking The Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe Sexual Allegation

Did Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe have a sexual relationship? The answer is: There is no proof

      Several Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe biographies, along with many modern day internet sources, claim these two women engaged in a sexual relationship; Or that Joan made a "sexual pass" toward Monroe. However, there is no proof of this allegation. This claim is simply repeated over and over by a new source, however, the sources who repeat the allegation have never conducted any research to confirm its validity. Meanwhile, one very large element of this allegation remains missing; The evidence.

     To date, there has been no witness of such an occasion. No "confession" of this occasion by either women; Nor any evidence whatsoever this situation even occurred. Observers of this charge are quick to call attention to John W. Miner's alleged "transcripts" of Monroe's 1962 therapy session tapes. However, according to Marilyn Monroe researchers, there are factual issues regarding Miner's claims, and those issues are explained further in this debunking page.

     Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe have, for various reasons, become two of the most controversial stars of classic Hollywood.

Both women are still known throughout the world, and both have always garnered mass attention from the public and the media. Due to these elements, both women have also become easy targets for false sensationalist stories. Therefore, to attach these two women together makes for even greater sensationalism. 

     The first instance of a journalist doing exactly this was in March 1953, when reporter Bob Thomas published off-the-record negative comments about Monroe that Joan stated to him. Thus began the assertion by the media that Joan and Monroe had a "feud." This is an assertion that is still upheld today, despite the fact that it is not true, and that both women confirmed it was not true. A special debunking page of Joan and Monroe's "feud" can be viewed here.

      In addition to tracing the origin of the sexual relationship allegation, we must establish the first instance of when Joan Crawford's sexuality was called into question. Information on this topic is detailed on a separate debunking page regarding Joan Crawford's sexuality, which can be viewed here.

     The purpose of this debunking page is not to claim this Webmaster knows the actual truth of Joan and Monroe's association; but rather to debunk the sources, particularly the original source, who claimed Joan and Monroe's brief association contained a sexual element. 

John W. Miner and Marilyn Monroe's Therapy Tape "Transcripts"

Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe's Association

     In 1974, Marilyn Monroe's alleged autobiography, "My Story" was published. Monroe and Ben Hecht allegedly began writing this book prior to Monroe's death in August 1962. According to the New York Times, Monroe gave a copy of the book's manuscript to her friend and business manager, photographer Milton A. Greene, who later published it.

     New York Times, June 26, 1974:

     "The publisher of a forthcoming “autobiography” of Marilyn Monroe, titled “My Story,” said yesterday the book was written by the late Ben Hecht. Sol Stein, President of Stein and Day, said Mr. Hecht originally wrote the manuscript for Doubleday in the mid‐fifties on the basis of several interviews with the late star. But Doubleday never published the book. Miss Monroe later gave a carbon copy of the manuscript to her business partner, Milton Greene, Mr. Stein said. When there was a revival of interest in the Monroe story last year, Mr. Greene brought his copy to Stein and Day."

     Within "My Story," there is a chapter devoted to Monroe's "feud" with Joan. In this chapter, the following is stated regarding Joan:

     "I met Joan Crawford at Joe Schenck's house. She was an impressive woman. I admired her during dinner. I hoped that when I was her age I would keep my looks as well as she had. Some movie stars don't seem like stars when you meet them, and some seem more like stars off the screen than on. I don't know which type is better, but Miss Crawford was definitely the latter type. She was as much the movie star at Mr. Schenck's table as she could have been electrifying a courtroom drama, even a little more.

     I was pleased to see I had made an impression on Miss Crawford. She said to me after dinner. 

     "I think I could help you a great deal if you would let me. For instance that white knitted dress you're wearing is utterly incorrect for a dinner of this kind."

     It was the only good dress I owned. I wore it evenings as well as daytimes when I was going any place important, and I cleaned it myself everyday. I looked at Miss Crawford's beautiful evening gown and understood what she meant. 

     "Taste" Miss Crawford went on, "is every bit as important as looks and figure." She smiled very kindly at me and asked, "Will you let me help you, my dear?"

     I said I was flattered to have her offer to. We made a date to meet Sunday morning in church. It turned out Miss Crawford and I went to the same church.

     After the church service Miss Crawford said as we met coming out, "I'm so glad to see you. But you mustn't come to church in flat heels and a gray suit with black trimming. If you wear gray you must wear different gray tones, but never black." 

     It was my only suit, but there was no sense defending it on that ground. 

     "Would you like to come to my house with me?" Miss Crawford asked.

I said I'd like to very much, and it was arranged that I should follow her car in mine.

     I was excited at what I thought was going to happen. Miss Crawford, I felt pretty sure, was going to offer me some of her old ball gowns and ensembles that she'd grown tired of.

     The house was very beautiful and elegant. We had lunch in the kitchen with Miss Crawford's four children and a beautiful white poodle.

After lunch Miss Crawford asked me to come upstairs to her room. 

     "Brown would look very good on you," she said. "I must show you the things I've been knitting." 

She showed me a number of knitted dickies in different shades of brown and explained that they were to be worn under different shades of brown suits.

     "The main thing about dressing well," Miss Crawford explained, "is to see that everything you wear is just right; that your shoes, stockings, gloves and bag all fit the suit you're wearing. Now what I would like you to do is to make a list of all the clothes in your wardrobe. and I'll make a list of all the things you need to buy and see that you buy the right things." 

     I didn't say anything. I usually didn't mind telling people I was broke and even trying to borrow a few dollars from them to tide me over. But for some reason I couldn't tell Miss Crawford that she had seen my wardrobe in full; the incorrect white knitted dress and the wrong gray suit.

     "It's so easy not to look vulgar," Miss Crawford assured me, when I was ready to leave. "Do make out a list of all your things and let me guide you a bit. You'll be surprised at the results and so will everyone else."

     I don't know why I called Miss Crawford up again, except that I had promised I would. Maybe I was still hoping she would present me with some of her discarded ball gowns. I think, also, I had some intention of telling her the truth about not being able to to buy any fancy clothes. But when I heard Miss Crawford's voice on the phone, I had to start palavering as I'd done before. Had I made out that list of my wardrobe? No I hadn't. That was very lazy of me. Yes, I knew. And I would make the list out in a few days and call her up again. "Good," said Miss Crawford. I'll be expecting to hear from you."

     I didn't call Miss Crawford again. In fact, the next time I heard from Miss Crawford was in the newspapers. This was a year later. I'd gone to work at 20th Century Fox again, and the Marilyn Monroe boom had started. I was all over the magazines and movie columns, and the fan mail at the studio was arriving in trucks.

     Among the honors that were now showering on me was the privilege of presenting one of the Oscars to one of the Award winners at the Academy's annual affair. I was frozen with fear the night of the Academy Award Ceremonies. I waited tremblingly for my turn to walk up to the platform and hand over the Oscar in my keeping. I prayed I wouldn't trip and fall and that my voice wouldn't disappear when I had to say my two lines. When my turn came I managed to reach the platform, say my piece, and return to my table without any mishap. Or so I thought until I read Joan Crawford's remarks in the morning papers. I haven't saved the clippings, but I have sort of remembered what she said. She said that Marilyn Monroe's vulgar performance at the Academy affair was a disgrace to all of Hollywood. The vulgarity, she said consisted of my wearing a dress too tight for me and wriggling my rear when I walked up holding one of the holy Oscars in my hand. I was so surprised I could hardly believe what I was reading. I called up some friends who had seen me at ceremony and asked them if it were true. They laughed. It wasn't true, they said.

They advised me to forgive a lady who had once been young and seductive herself.

     I have written out this accurate account of one of my "feuds" because it is typical. The feuds are all started by someone whom I have mysteriously offended, always a woman. The truth is my tight dress and my wiggling were all in Miss Crawford's mind. She obviously had been reading too much about me. Or maybe she was just annoyed because I had never brought her a list of my wardrobe."

      There are Monroe researchers who question "My Story" as a legitimate autobiography by Monroe. In the above passage, the awards ceremony whereby Joan criticizes Monroe's dress is cited as the Academy Awards. However, it was actually the Photoplay Gold Medal Awards dinner. Therefore, there are some factual issues with this recollection. This error may even lend credibility to the idea that Monroe did provide this information; being that a writer could have easily obtained the accurate information from news articles to know the correct awards ceremony in question.

     Regardless, the authenticity of "My Story," isn't relevant. What is relevant is that this 1974 publication is the first instance when it is stated that Marilyn Monroe visited Joan Crawford's home.

Despite the fact that no sexual situation whatsoever is described in "My Story," I contend this laid the foundation for the sexual allegation to come.

      The origin of the Crawford/Monroe sexual allegation is rarely (if ever) cited by the sources who repeat it. This is likely because no one seems to know the actual origin. In fact, it took this Webmaster quite some time, and expense purchasing many Monroe biographies, to decipher the true original source.

     In my own findings, I discovered the allegation's origin is Fred Lawrence Guiles' 1984 biography, "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe."

In Guiles' biography, he states the following:

     Page 200 "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe": 

     "No sooner had [Marilyn] extricated herself from her entanglement with Natasha than she became involved in a serious friendship with Joan Crawford. Although Crawford's career was again in decline, she was still a social presence of considerable importance in Hollywood.

She had initiated the relationship by phoning Marilyn at the studio and inviting her to her home for Sunday brunch. Marilyn was trilled to be taken up by one of her early idols and began dropping by Crawford's home frequently. They found that they had a mutual interest in Christian Science. The aging film queen began to give her advice on how to dress and even offered her part of her own wardrobe, but since Crawford was petite and Marilyn was five foot six, nothing would fit. Just before Marilyn's first date with DiMaggio, at another brunch and with the hostess slightly drunk, Crawford made a sexual pass at Marilyn and the friendship abruptly ended. Marilyn, who saw nothing wrong with lesbianism, recoiled more from shock than offense.

     Marilyn had a strong self-protective instinct and she must have sensed that any intimate involvement with Crawford would lead to big trouble down the road. Although she turned Crawford down, she determined to be discreet about what had happened. Within the next year and a half, her loyalty to the woman would be severely tested."

     Guiles provides absolutely no source for this information. He does not say if he was told it by a firsthand source (Crawford or Monroe); by a secondhand source; or if it was simply a rumor that he overheard on the street. In addition to no source, Guiles published an alternate version, with different details, of this exact same story eleven years later in his Crawford biography, "Joan Crawford: The Last Word."

     Pages 154 - 155 "Joan Crawford: The Last Word":

     "Joan invited Marilyn one day to Sunday brunch at her Brentwood house. Marilyn felt honored by the invitation, and arrived on time for a change. The two women shared an interest in Christian Science, but that topic was quickly exhausted and Joan asked whether Marilyn would like to see her wardrobe. They adjourned to the master suite, where a room-sized closet held a hundred or more of Joan's outfits.

Marilyn was wearing something obvious and snug-fitting, and Joan thought she might give her one of her dresses. It turned out, however, that Marilyn was several sizes larger than Joan, and, after she tried on several outfits, it became clear that she could not wear Joan's clothes.

     There is some mystery about what happened next. Joan had been drinking all afternoon, whereas Marilyn was sober when she arrived but had then had several drinks with her hostess. Later, Marilyn told her press agent, Rupert Allan, that Joan had made a subtle pass while she, Marilyn, was partly undressed. Perhaps this was true, or perhaps Joan merely made an affectionate gesture - a squeeze of the shoulder or a pat on the cheek - gestures which were immediately misinterpreted by Marilyn, who was at the time deeply involved with an affair she did not want with her drama couch and mentor, Natasha Lytess. Marilyn left almost immediately, and over vodka Joan nursed her hurt feelings and regretted having invited Marilyn to her home.

     Several months later, Marilyn was to appear at the Photoplay Magazine Gold Medal Awards ceremonies to accept the award as "Best new star of the year."

The Origin of The Crawford/Monroe Sexual Relationship Allegation

     In evaluating Guiles' stories regarding this allegation, one will immediately notice several inconsistencies in what Guiles' wrote in "Joan Crawford: The Last Word," from what he previously wrote in "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe."

     In reviewing the inconsistencies between the versions, below are several points of interest I would like to call to your attention:

1) Guiles claims in " Legend," that Monroe's relationship with Natasha Lytess had ended. In "The Last Word," Monroe and Lytess were "deeply involved" during the time of this "sexual pass."

2) In "Legend," Guiles claims Monroe went to Crawford's home more than once, and it was during one of the subsequent visits that Joan allegedly made a "sexual pass" towards Monroe, which Monroe rejected. However, in "The Last Word," Guiles claims this "pass" occurred during the one, and only, visit Monroe made to Joan's house. 

3) Within "The Last Word," Guiles states it is entirely possible that if Monroe did think Joan was making a "pass" towards her, that Monroe could have simply misunderstood. 

     These inconsistencies are curious because Guiles recites the same story in both biographies, but with different elements surrounding it, and with changes to the timeline of events. Presumably, Guiles would have used his original research of this story for both of his biographies; therefore these two versions should be in sync with one another, but they are not.

     In addition, I would like to call your attention to the fact that many of the elements surrounding Guiles' claim could have easily been constructed from what was stated regarding Joan in "My Story," published in 1974.

     As mentioned above, In "Legend," Guiles provides no source for this story. However, in "The Last Word," he provides a name as the source, Rupert Allan.

     On page 16 of "Legend," Guiles provides a list of acknowledgements for those he interviewed for this biography and Rupert Allan is among those acknowledged. However, if Allan is who relayed this secondhand story to Guiles, why is Allan not also cited as the source of the story in "Legend"?

Perhaps this is because Rupert Allan died in August 1991, four years prior to the publication of "The Last Word." Therefore, Allan could not be questioned regarding the validity of this story, or if he actually told this to Guiles.

     It is also interesting is that "Legend" was actually Guiles' SECOND biography on Monroe. His first Monroe biography was "Norma Jean," published in 1969. In the acknowledgement section of "Norma Jean," Guiles also cites Rupert Allan as an interviewee. However, Guiles makes absolutely no mention of any interactions between Joan and Monroe in his 1969 biography. This raises the question as to who Rupert Allan was, and if he did tell Guiles this story. 

     According to Allan's August 28th, 1991 Associated Press obituary, he was a tall, courtly gentleman who was appreciated for his discretion and loyalty to his clients, and he was regarded as one of the most respected personal publicists in Hollywood. He "left journalism in 1955 to become a publicist, handling such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Steve McQueen, Rock Hudson, Marlene Dietrich, Gina Lollobrigida, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve and Melina Mercouri." 

     According to Allan's Los Angeles Times obituary (also published on August 28th, 1991), he had been a naval intelligence officer and a Rhodes Scholar.

     With such a noble reputation for "discretion" and "loyalty," it is curious that he would provide such a scandalous story to a biographer, and that said biographer would not credit Allan with one of the most sensationalist allegations until after Allan was dead.

     This calls into question the credibility of biographer Fred Lawrence Guiles. One must question if he misappropriated the story from the facts; or if Allan actually ever relayed this story to Guiles. In evaluating those questions, we must consider the integrity of Guiles.

    In defiance of Guiles' claim in "Legend," it is curious why he made this statement in "The Last Word" regarding the allegations that Joan was bisexual:

     "As time passed on, and women stars began to dominate the screen in the 1930s and throughout the 40s,...all figured in stories circulating in Hollywood which linked them romantically with another woman. None of these stories can be confirmed...A suggestion that Joan Crawford might be among this not very exclusive circle of strong leading ladies came from her daughter, Christina."

      Guiles is referring to a passage in "Mommie Dearest" whereby Christina Crawford stated, "I already knew about my mother's lesbian proclivities." However, Christina would later recant this statement in the 20th Anniversary Edition of her book in 1998, and provided the original text from her manuscript, which stated she had no knowledge of any lesbian actions by her mother. 

   To demonstrate Guiles' credibility as a biographer, and his history of adding untrue sensationalism to his subjects, particularly Joan Crawford, I would like to point out a blatant sensationalist lie by Guiles regarding Joan.

     In "Joan Crawford: The Last Word," Guiles discusses Joan's alleged 1924 arrest in Detroit, Michigan for prostitution. Please note that no evidence has ever surfaced to prove this long-held allegation. Nonetheless, Guiles attempted to validate this unproven allegation by stating the following in his 1995 Crawford biography:

     Page 41 "Joan Crawford: The Last Word":

     "Apparently something happened in Detroit before Joan's career began...three separate F.B.I. documents repeat the allegation that she was arrested in Detroit."

     This Webmaster is in possession of Joan Crawford's F.B.I. file. I can confirm that Guiles is misrepresenting to the public what is stated within Joan's file.

     Indeed, there are documents (four in fact, not three as Guiles stated) citing the allegation that Joan was arrested in Detroit, Michigan. However, these documents explicitly state there is "no record" of this alleged Detroit arrest. This is despite the F.B.I,'s attempts to locate any such record.

One document, dated June 11th, 1955, emphatically states "there was absolutely no record" of this alleged arrest or conviction:

     "You will recall that Howard Rushmore recently informed me of a story which he received from a police official to the effect that many years ago, Joan Crawford had been arrested in Detroit and convicted on a charge of prostitution...I asked the Detroit Office to recheck their files under the name of Lucille Le Sueur, which was the name presumably used by Joan Crawford at the time of the arrest. SAC [Special Agent in Charge] McIntire informed me that there was absolutely no record in the Detroit Office of Lucille LeSueur, and there was no indication that the Detroit Office had any information from the Detroit Police Department."

The Credibility of Biographer Fred Lawrence Guiles

     Despite the lack of authenticity for the sexual allegation in Fred Lawrence Guiles' "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe," it appears this was the original source, the planted seed, for the Joan and Monroe sexual relationship claim; which grew more and more elaborate throughout each Crawford and Monroe biography until finally becoming an established "fact" in modern day Hollywood folklore.

     As exhibited in the following excerpts, with each reincarnation of this allegation, nearly every element of the story changes from one source to the next.

      In 1988, Jane Ellen Wayne published "Crawford's Men," which is a horribly researched biography with many questionable quotes.

In her biography, Wayne repeated the sexual allegation in "Legend" (without a citation to Guiles), but changed some of the basic elements of the story.

For example, the "sexual pass," as told by Wayne, took place at a "cocktail party." 

     Additionally, Wayne elaborated upon the sexual allegation further by claiming Crawford and Monroe met at a cocktail party in 1948 (Not in 1951/1952 via Crawford phoning Monroe at the studio as claimed by Guiles). Wayne also added uncited dialogue between the two women when they were in Joan's home that is not found in Guiles' 1984 "Legend;" Nor in 1974's "My Story."

     Page 182 "Crawford's Men":

     "Marilyn Monroe found herself in a similar situation with Joan when they met at a cocktail party in 1948. Joan tried to give Marilyn tips on how to dress properly. It was an honor for Marilyn when Joan laid out several expensive dresses on her bed and said, "They're yours if they fit." Marilyn was taller and heavier. "I wouldn't even attempt to try them on," she smiled, "but thank you." 

     At a cocktail party Joan was slightly drunk and made a sexual pass at Marilyn; their friendship abruptly ended."

     Jane Ellen Wayne goes on to repeat this story in her 1992 Monroe biography, "Marilyn's Men."

     The next biography to allege that Joan and Monroe had a sexual relationship was 1989's "Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud" by Shaun Considine.

I cannot stress enough the amount of credibility issues with this biography. This Webmaster personally knew Considine. He was a supporter of my research and of this website. When he died I was given all of his research materials used for "Bette & Joan."

     Prior to his death, Considine admitted to me, due to my repeatedly asking him for sources for information in his biography that I found to be inaccurate, that many passages, quotes and stories in "Bette & Joan" were taken from secondhand sources; thirdhand sources; folklore, rumors and gossip.

Considine explained to me that his publisher wanted his book to be as "juicy" as possible; Therefore he published every sensationalist rumor he unearthed regarding Joan and Bette Davis. Upon receiving the research materials used for his biography in 2016, I confirmed what he had confessed to me was true. Indeed, his research materials lack interviews and reliable sources for many of the most outlandish claims in his biography. The book's passage regarding Joan and Monroe is of no exception.

     Pages 261 - 262 "Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud":

     "Author Fred Guiles claimed the two met in 1947 in a church - Saint Victor's in Los Angeles - when Monroe was making "Ladies of the Chorus." Attorney Greg Bautzer said that Crawford was with him when they first met Marilyn at the home of Joseph Schenck - and old-time producer and patron of aspiring starlets. Bautzer's story was that Crawford was with when they spotted the provocative young starlet, dressed in a tight tan skirt and white angora sweater, standing in line at Schenck's buffet table. Talking initiative, Joan approached Marilyn and said sincerely, "You're very pretty, my dear, but you don't know shit about clothes." 

     During that evening, Joan also extended an invitation to the struggling actress to dine at her Brentwood home. Marilyn, a long-time fan of Crawford, said she was thrilled to accept the invitation. She was also eager to meet Joan's adopted children. But on the chosen night, when she arrived at Crawford's home, there wasn't sight or sound of the Crawford children. Furthermore, Joan never served dinner. She served a drink to Marilyn, replenished her own, then, without much ado, brought the girl upstairs, "to see what a real star's wardrobe looked like."

     Marilyn reportedly "gasped" when she saw Joan's dressing room, "which was bigger than most people's living room." The walls were stacked with shelves and plastic color-coded boxes containing shoes, gloves, hats, and handbags, while underneath hundreds of dresses, coats, and evening gowns were hanging on multiple racks. A special room nearby held her furs, including minks and sables, some seventy in number. "Try one on," Crawford told the impressed starlet, who reached for a skimpy white-fox stole.

     In her bedroom, Crawford presented Marilyn with a box. Inside was an expensive brand-new black cocktail dress, in Monroe's size. "Take off your things and try it on," said Joan. "If it's not OK, I'll send it back tomorrow."

     "Oh!" the breathily excited Marilyn whispered, then slipping out of of her clothes, the nubile young beauty sent the semi-intoxicated Joan into a state of cold sobriety. Under her street dress, Marilyn wasn't wearing a stich of underwear.

"Oh!" said Joan, her eyes widening and her temperature rising, as she began to experience the full impact of seeing the naked, exquisitely formed body of America's future sex symbol.

     It has been said that what transpired between Crawford and Monroe that night was more than a mere fashion show. Some also believed that Joan's intentions were strictly philanthropic. "Joan was very generous to newcomers," said Vincent Sherman.

     "I often wondered about Marilyn," said publicist Harry Mines, "But Joan? We were close friends. I never saw it, and I doubt it seriously. She liked men too much."

     "Mother had "lesbian proclivities," said daughter Christina, revealing how, when Joan was drinking, she sometimes wanted to sleep with the children's nurse.

     Author Fred Guiles claimed that "at another brunch, and with the hostess slightly drunk," Crawford made a sexual pass at Marilyn and the friendship ended."

     I want to state, as emphatically as possible, that the above passage from "Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud" is a total lie. Not only is it an obvious lie, it can be proven as a lie. Before I begin debunking the above passage sentence by sentence, I would like to call your attention to the biography's "Source Notes" section, which is located at the back of the book. On page 426, Considine claimed the sources for the Crawford/Monroe passage is as follows:

     "260-262 Details on Crawford-Monroe passage came from numerous sources, including interviews with Sheilah Graham, George Cukor, Harry Mines, Hector Arce; and from Fred Guiles, "Norma Jean;" Bob Thomas, "Joan Crawford"; Marilyn Monroe, "My Story"; Randall Riese and Neal Hitchens, "The Unabridged Marilyn." 

     After I researched each and every citation Considine claimed to a "source" for this passage's information, I discovered that NONE of these sources provide any information whatsoever regarding an alleged sexual occurrence between Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe. NOT A SINGLE ONE.

The one exception is: "Author Fred Guiles claimed that "at another brunch, and with the hostess slightly drunk," Crawford made a sexual pass at Marilyn and the friendship ended." This passage comes from Guiles' 1984 "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe" (which is discussed further up on this debunking page), but not Guiles' 1969 biography "Norma Jean."

     Considine did interview Sheila Graham; however, after reviewing his raw interview with Graham, there is absolutely no mention of this alleged incident between Joan and Monroe; Nor any comments pertaining to Joan or Monroe's sexuality. The same is also true for Considine's interviews with George Cukor, Harry Mines and Hector Arce. 

     Likewise, there is no sexual allegation passage in Bob Thomas' 1978 Crawford biography regarding Joan and Monroe. This is also true for "The Unabridged Marilyn;" and Monroe's autobiography, "My Story" (the entire excerpt is documented at the top of this debunking page).

     Therefore, where did Considine obtain all of his quoted material? The answer is obvious: He fabricated it.

     In reading the above passage from "Bette & Joan," it's clear that the only people present during this alleged occasion in Joan's home were Joan and Monroe. Neither woman ever publicly stated anything Considine claimed, and he does not provide any source for the dialogue between Joan and Monroe.

     In addition there are many inconsistencies in this passage that does not correspond with Guiles' biography on Monroe. which was the obvious inspiration.

1) Guiles never stated in any of his biographies that Joan and Monroe met in "1947." In fact, Guiles never provides an actual year. Instead Guiles states a point of reference to the timeline of events as Joan's sexual pass towards Monroe being "a year and a half" prior to the February 9th, 1953 Photoplay Awards dinner ("Legion," 1984); and "several months" before the Photoplay Awards dinner ("The Last Word," 1995).

     Note that Jane Ellen Wayne claimed Joan and Monroe met in "1948."

2) Guiles never stated that Joan and Monroe met at Saint Victor's Church in Los Angeles. At this point, this claim by Considine made THREE different locations for when/how Joan and Monroe met:

(A) Joan telephoning Monroe at the studio; "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe" (1984)

(B) Joan meeting Monroe at a "cocktail party"; "My Story" (1974) and "Crawford's Men" (1988)

(C) Joan and Monroe met at Saint Victor's Church; "Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud." (1989)

3) Considine claims Joan invited Monroe to her home for "dinner" in the "evening." However, both of Guiles' biographies claimed Joan invited Monroe to her home for "brunch," which is a meal in the late morning.

("Brunch": "a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch" - Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

4) While it is true that the 1978 edition of "Mommie Dearest" contains the quote, "I already knew about my mother's lesbian proclivities." Christina Crawford herself redacted this claim in her 1998 20th Anniversary Edition of "Mommie Dearest." Christina replaced this passage with the statement that she did not have any knowledge of her mother being a "lesbian." Stating, "I had already seen so much my mother had done...having someone tell me they thought she was also a lesbian made little difference to me."

     (Note: According to the forward of Christina Crawford's 20th Anniversary Edition of "Mommie Dearest," this passage is taken from her original manuscript, which William Morrow had heavily edited. This topic is greatly elaborated upon on this website's debunking page regarding Joan's alleged bisexuality.)

     In spite of all the credibility issues with the biographies who made this sexual allegation regarding Joan and Monroe, namely the biographies by Guiles and Considine, these sources have been used as the foundation for repeating this sexual allegation for decades in biographies, magazine and newspaper articles, internet articles and even social media posts and videos.

     It is an established fact that the biographies written by Guiles, Wayne and Considine (the primary sources used to perpetuate this sexual allegation) clash with one another in term of coinciding the most basic elements surrounding this allegation. Specifically, these sources are inconsistent with one another in regard to:

(A) The year/timeline of when this sexual pass/action occurred.

(B) The elements surrounding how Monroe was invited to Joan's home.

(C) What actually occurred in Joan's home.

(D) The time of day this sexual pass/action took place.

    Yet, we, as the public, are presented this sexual allegation as a "fact," and expected to believe it without question. However, as exhaustively demonstrated above, this sexual allegation does not hold any merit whatsoever. 

     I also contend Guiles and Considine's biographies were used as the inspiration for John W. Miner's alleged "transcript" of Monroe's "therapy tapes." 

How The Allegation Grew

     The above debunking of this passage from "Joan Crawford: The Last Word" exhibits Guiles' willful conduct to mislead the public in regard to unproven sensationalist elements of Joan Crawford's life, and he did so by misrepresenting official documentation.

John W. Miner with a Marilyn Monroe impersonator

     In discussing the allegation that Joan and Monroe had a sexual relationship, many observers reference the notes John W. Miner allegedly took of Marilyn Monroe's therapy recordings. These alleged notes by Miner have been repeatedly referred to as "transcripts" of the tapes.

To clarify, these alleged notes are not, in any sense of the word, transcripts. A transcript is a very detailed written version of audio or video material. This is not a definition of Miner's notes. According to Miner, during his investigation of Monroe's death in 1962, he was allowed to listen to audio recordings that Monroe allegedly made for her therapist, Dr. Ralph Greenson.

Miner has claimed alternate versions of how these notes were taken. He has claimed that he took verbatim notes as he listened to the tapes, and he has claimed that he took notes after he had listened to the tapes. However, there is a question regarding Miner's claim that he even listened to these recordings, or if these alleged recordings ever actually existed.

     According to "The Unabridged Marilyn," Dr. Greenson first began treating Monroe in August 1960 while she was in Westside Hospital in Los Angeles, California, following her breakdown on the set of "The Misfits." When Monroe returned to Los Angeles to live in 1961, she attended therapy sessions with Dr. Greenson three times a week in his home in Santa Monica. Monroe, Dr. Greenson and Greenson's family became close friends to the point that Monroe celebrated Christmas day 1961 in the Greenson's home.

     On August 4th, 2005, the Los Angeles Times published a long article detailing the claims of former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, John W. Miner.

Miner claimed to have investigated Monroe's death despite the fact that he was a deputy district attorney and not a law enforcement official, such as a detective; which is typically the person assigned the duty of investigating a crime. Usually, a deputy district attorney does not conduct investigations, but rather only reviews evidence to determine if charges should be filed in a criminal investigation.

     Miner explains this away by claiming he founded and headed the District Attorney's "Medical-Legal Section," and that he was a "liaison" to Los Angeles County's Chief Medical Examiner. Miner claimed that during his investigation into Monroe's death, that Dr. Greenson allowed him to listen to the recordings Monroe had made to determine if she was suicidal.

     Miner's notes were first published in the 2003 British biography "Victim: The Secret Tapes of Marilyn Monroe" by Matthew Smith. However, Miner's notes did not become mainstream news until The Los Angeles Times published the notes in an article in August 2005.

     Below is the public statement Miner submitted to the Los Angeles Times when the newspaper published his alleged therapy tapes "transcripts."

     The Los Angeles Times, August 4th, 2005:

"The Autopsy

     For me it began when I looked at the naked body of a 36 year old woman. She was dead She was beautiful. She was Marilyn Monroe, awaiting her autopsy.

     Why was I there? Soon after I was appointed a Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles County, California, I founded and headed the Medical-Legal Section which specialized in the investigation and prosecution of crimes presenting complex medical problems. I was designated as liaison to the County’s Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner As such, I went to as many autopsies as my schedule permitted, amounting to several thousand over the years.

     Forensic pathology asks the body to tell every thing it can about what caused its death: when it died; how it died; was it murdered. To get answers involves surgery, microscopic examinations and the laboratory sciences. Some answers belong to the Law which makes this branch of medicine forensic. The process begins and ends with the pathologist who is the autopsy surgeon.

     For Marilyn Monroe, as for so many other celebrity deaths, this surgeon was Deputy Medical Examiner Thomas T. Noguchi MD--her final physician.

Nothing externally told why she died. Dr. Noguchi and I searched her entire body surface and orifices with magnifying glasses to look for any traces of needle injections. There was none. He then took smears from her genitals, anus, rectum and mouth which, under microscopic examination, would disclose if there had been any sexual activity. He then began dissection. I will not describe the surgery in detail.

     Since the autopsy revealed no apparent cause of death, a lethal drug dose became suspect. If this were the case it would be revealed by the laboratory analyses of the various specimens taken from the body. These specimens included organs, brain, blood, urine, smears of genital, anal, and oral areas, stomach contents.

     The results of the blood analysis were conclusive. Death was caused by a massive amount of Nembutal, a barbiturate which may be prescribed for such symptoms as nervous disorders and sleeplessness. The blood sample also revealed a non-fatal level of chloral hydrate. This is the knock-out drug popularly referred to as a “Mickey Finn.” It is infrequently prescribed for insomnia.

     The question then is how did the lethal dose of the barbiturate get into the system. There are three main possibilities: orally, by injection and through the large intestine (colon).

     Finding the answer to this question was made extremely difficult because of a very strange circumstance: the disappearance of much of the specimen materials that had be submitted for examination. The stomach contents, the organ samples, the smear material somehow all vanished! I know of no other such instances. There were, however, two examinations that could be and were made: tests of the blood and the liver.

     The blood examination gave us the cause of the death-- the Nembutal, The liver examination provides an indication of the means by which it was administered. The liver contained a level of 13% of Nembutal and this is very significant. It is in the liver that the drug is detoxified (broken down into harmless compounds). For the liver to have so high a barbiturate reading means that the drug was slowly absorbed over a substantial period of time before death occurred.

     So now we may assemble the pieces of this puzzle to reconstruct what happened.

1. It is unlikely that Miss Monroe swallowed a large amount of Nembutal capsules without leaving any traces of the drug in her stomach or duodenum (first part of small intestine into which the stomach empties). Even though the stomach contents disappeared and were thus not available for examination, we can conclude this from the fact that, had she taken so many capsules orally, the yellow coloring of the capsules (from which come the street name “yellow jackets”) there should have been yellow dye stains in the stomach or duodenum. There were no such stains.

2. Miss Monroe lived long enough to accumulate 13% Nembutal in the liver where detoxification stops at death. This means she was gradually absorbing the drug for a prolonged time before death.

3. Nembutal is not excreted by passing through the large intestine (colon).

4. She was not killed by a hypodermic injection for 2 reasons: one, there were no needle marks on her body; two, had she died from lethal injection, death would have incurred promptly, before any liver metabolism could have taken place.

5. From the above, two possible ways for the Nembutal to have killed her are eliminated. Only the third remains: absorption from the large intestine. Nembutal is intestinally absorbable. Indeed, it is packaged as a rectal suppository for physicians to use when a patient is unable to swallow. However the blood and liver readings were far too high to support a suppository as the Nembutal transmitting agent But Nembutal readily dissolves in water.

     These facts lead to a scenario of what really happened:

Marilyn Monroe took or was given chloral hydrate to render her unconscious. Someone dissolved Nembutal in water by breaking open 30 or more capsules. That person then administered the Nembutal loaded solution by enema to Miss Monroe using an ordinary fountain syringe or enema bag. As the drug was slowly absorbed, the tissues of the large intestine reacted to the trauma of exposure to the poisonous substance by an inflammatory response producing congestion and a marked purple color. That congestion and purple color were in evidence when the body was opened at the autopsy. Never regaining consciousness, Marilyn Monroe died.

     It must be concluded from the medical evidence alone that Marilyn Monroe was killed by person(s) unknown.

     The administering of the Nembutal by enema would also provide a plausible explanation for a puzzling event recounted by Anthony Summers in his book “Goddess” (by far the best investigative Monroe reportage). He relates that Eunice Murray, the live-in housekeeper, admits to operating the washing machine at midnight, while her employer was lying dead in her room. Mrs. Murray never explained this peculiar activity. Does it not seem likely, in view of the other evidence, that some enema fluid and fetal matter escaped soiling the bed sheet? Ancient Rome provides a historical precedent for death-by-enema theory. Suetonius reports that the Emperor Claudius was murdered by his wife who gave him poison in an enema.

The Greenson Interview

     In 1962 I was an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical School of the University of Southern California (Clinical means part-time and unpaid.) Through attending lectures and seminars, I was acquainted with Ralph Greenson MD who was Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatrist.

(I pause to say something about Dr. Greenson. Indisputably, he was among the outstanding psychiatrists of this century. His writings and teaching deservedly earned admiration and respect internationally. His brilliance and intuitive understanding of psychology made him a very successful practitioner of the most difficult of healing arts. Especially unyielding was his adherence to high ethical standards to protect and safeguard his patients. Although a Freudian psychoanalyst, he varied from orthodoxy when he thought it helped his patient.)

     Dr. Theodore J. Curphey, Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner was aware that I knew Dr. Greenson. Soon after the Monroe autopsy, Ted (we were long-standing friends) informally asked me to interview Dr. Greenson on the suicide question.

     Dr. Greenson agreed to see me on the condition that I would promise not to disclose to anyone what was said or heard in the interview. I gave him that promise. He said that I could quote his opinion that Miss Monroe did not commit suicide, but nothing more. (After having remained silent for 30 years I was released from my promise under circumstances described at the end of this document and so can relate the material that follows.) Dr. Greenson said that many in his profession would make such diagnoses about Monroe as obsessive-compulsive, manic depressive, or schizoid but these were just labels that did not help in understanding her neurotic difficulties. He made the point that few, if any, women were subjected to pressures and stress of being viewed by all as the world’s greatest sex object, that some of her abnormal behavior was reactive defenses. But he thought that she was well on the path to overcoming her problems and realizing her tremendous potential. However, he wanted me to understand that the greatest catastrophe that could befall a psychiatrist was to have a patient commit suicide. That would be the ultimate therapeutic failure. So his opinion that she did not kill herself would be considered biased by self-interest and lack objectivity. Accordingly, he would let me hear two tapes she had made for him in her home. From her own words I could thaw my conclusions concerning the likelihood of suicide.

The Tapes

     I will not reproduce here the transcription of what I remember Miss Monroe said in her tapes. (The transcription in full is attached. The transcription may be edited by someone other than me to remove possible offensive material. However I will make certain the editing does not distort or change the meaning of what she said.)

     I summarize the tapes as follows:

I. She explains that she has recorded her free associating (saying whatever comes into her mind; a necessary technique used in psychoanalytic therapy) at home because she could not do it in office sessions. She hoped this would assist in her treatment. And she believes that she has discovered a means of overcoming the resistance which patients have in being unable to comply with the psychiatrist’s request to free associate because the mind becomes a blank.

2. She tells how she plans to become the highest paid actress in Hollywood so that she can finance everything that she wants to do.

3. She says that she aspires to do Shakespeare and that she will pay Lee [Strasberg] to coach her in Shakespeare as his only student for one year.

4. Laurence Olivier, she says, had agreed to polish her Shakespearean training after Strasberg finished, and she would pay him whatever he asked.

5. She says she would pay Dr. Greenson to be his only patient while she was undergoing the instruction in Shakespeare.

6. She says that when she is ready she would produce and act in all of the Shakespeare plays that she would put in film under the rubric Marilyn Monroe Shakespeare Festival.

7. For those many writers who maintain that she was going to blow the whistle on J. F. Kennedy about their sexual relationship, she shoots down such speculation when she expresses utmost admiration for the President and explicitly says she would never embarrass him.

8. Her remarks disprove those who claim that she killed herself because Robert Kennedy broke off their relationship because it was she who broke it off.

9. She strongly assert that she wanted to rid herself of Eunice Murray, her housekeeper, and requested Dr. Greenson’s assistance in so doing.

10. She says that she never had an orgasm before becoming Dr. Greenson’s patient but that he had cured her of that infirmity for which was she was forever grateful. (I add, so much for author Spoto and his ilk who falsely and maliciously claim that Dr. Greenson was implicated in killing her.)

     After hearing these tapes, any reasonable person would have to conclude that Marilyn Monroe did not kill herself. She had too many plans to fulfill, too much to live for, and had, at last, found the physical satisfaction that she so missed for all of her life.

I am certain that Dr. Greenson destroyed these tapes. And he died some years ago. I am now the only living person who has heard them. But there is some verification that Miss Monroe did make these tapes. Again, Anthony Summers, that matchless reporter, puts in his book an item about them. Another investigative reporter, Seymore Hersh, told me he can verify, a somewhat “kinky” tape item.


     Marilyn Monroe bears the stigma of suicide. That is wrong and must be corrected. The medical evidence here assembled is sufficient to show that she was a homicide victim. However, I would propose that her own body give definite proof, if possible, of this conviction. Because she is interred in a water impenetrable crypt, well off the ground, there is a good chance that the large intestine is sufficiently preserved to enable modern technology to determine the presence of a barbiturate. Dr. Noguchi has volunteered to do the re-autopsy without cost provided that independent and competent witness is present.

I have, in the past, successfully petitioned the Superior Court for exhumation orders in many other cases. For this case, I will do all the necessary court and paper work without fee for which the District Attorney or Attorney General can deputize me. The Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, the District Attorney, the Attorney General have standing to so petition. Under these circumstances, there are legal and moral requirements to open an investigation of Marilyn Monroe’s death and to perform a re-autopsy.

     Personal Note I. I kept my promise to Dr. Greenson to respect the confidentiality of his interview with me and the contents of Miss Monroe’s tapes, I kept that promise in spite of incredible pressures from reporters, authors, and official investigators to relate this information. It is only after Donald Spoto, Marvin Bergman and others accused Dr. Greenson of being responsible in some way for causing Marilyn Monroe’s death that I approached Dr. Greenson’s widow to ask for a release from my promise to her husband. She wishes to do whatever is possible to clear his name and granted my request."

     Therefore, according to Miner's theory, Monroe probably died from a lethal enema. One may ask "What does any of this have to do with Joan Crawford, or a sexual encounter between Joan and Monroe?" To answer that question, one must read Miner's alleged "therapy tapes" notes, which are documented below.

      Interestingly, two versions of Miner's "theory tape notes" pertaining to Joan have been published. One version was published in the Los Angeles Times on August 4th, 2005, which you can read here. The alternate version was published in the 2003 biography "Victim: The Secret Tapes of Marilyn Monroe" by Matthew Smith, which you can read here. The version published in Smith's 2003 biography references Crawford's use of an enema on her daughter.

For whatever reason, that information was not published in the 2005 Los Angeles Times article.

     "There's someone on the radio trying to restart a fire under the old so called [Joan] Crawford-Monroe feud. OK, she said some mean things about me a while back. What do I care. I don't know why she did. Crawford and I started out friendly. As always, Shakespeare said it best; "He that takes from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and make me poor indeed." No, Doctor, I did not look it up. I've memorized a lot of Shakespeare. That reminds me of Prince and the Showgirl. Olivier came into my dressing room to give me hell for screwing up. I soothed him by telling him I thought his Hamlet was one of the greatest films ever made. You know he won an Oscar for it. But the Prince was a real clown. He was superficial -- no, that's not the word — supercilious, arrogant, a snob, conceited. Maybe a little bit anti-Semitic in the sense of some of my best friends are Jews. But, damn him, a great, great actor.

Oh yes, Crawford...

     We went back to her house from a cocktail party. She asked if I minded waiting while she gave her daughter an enema the doctor had ordered because of the flu. But the little girl screamed that she didn't want an enema and wouldn't let her mother give it to her. I could see that Crawford was getting so angry she was going to hit the child. 

     I gave it to the sweet angel so gently she giggled. Joan gave me a sour look and said, "I don't believe in spoiling children." I felt she had a cruel streak towards the child. 

     We went to Joan's bedroom...Crawford had a gigantic orgasm and shrieked like a maniac. Credit Natasha. She could teach more than acting.

     Next time I saw Crawford she wanted another round. I told her straight out I didn't much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful. An English poet best describes it: hath no rage like love to hatred turned; and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – most people wrongly credit that to Shakespeare. William Congreve is the author. That's me, Marilyn Monroe, the classical scholar.

     You know I have a very poor memory of my early childhood. After the enema thing with Crawford's daughter I remember a little bit about the enemas I had as a child. They were what you and Dr. Freud called repressed memories. I'll work on it and give you another tape.

John W. Miner's Credibility

      Much, if not all, of Miner's alleged "notes" seem to be taken directly from the pages of Fred Lawrence Guiles' 1984 Monroe biography, "Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe," with a dash of "Mommie Dearest" mixed into it. To this Webmaster, the entire passage regarding Joan giving her daughter (Christina? One of the twins?) an enema and becoming so angry that Monroe thought Joan was going to hit the girl reads like bad fanfiction.

     Beyond this obvious homage to the allegations published in "Mommie Dearest," John W. Miner's notes add even more contradicting details into the mix of the already many contradicting elements surrounding the Crawford/Monroe sexual relationship allegation.

     According to Miner's notes, Monroe visited Joan's home at night immediately following a cocktail party. Whereas, the prior sources for this allegation ranged from Joan and Monroe meeting by telephone; To meeting at church; To meeting at a cocktail party with Monroe visiting Joan's home on separate day.

     Marilyn Monroe researcher and biographer Ted Schwarz discredits Miner's claims. Schwarz stated in his 2008 biography, "Marilyn Revealed":

"Seemingly credible individuals came forward with stories...and some thought that if they waited long enough to bring forth "the truth," no one could discredit them. This apparently was the case with long-retired Los Angeles prosecutor John W. Miner."

     In "Marilyn Revealed," Schwarz states the following regarding Miner's credibility:

     Pages 632-633 "Marilyn Revealed":

     "Miner's claim to fame was in 2005 when he disclosed that Dr. Ralph Greenson had let him hear tapes Monroe had recorded in her home for use by the psychologist between their sessions. Miner said he put together a transcript of the tapes, though his description was not of a transcription but of notes made after he listened to the tapes. Either way they are dramatic and prove that she was undoubtedly murdered -- and are absolute nonsense. They contain only information that seems titillating to the public and do not reflect the type of personal concerns that would be normal for work done with a psychologist. In addition, they go against the sessions she was used to having starting back when she first entered psychoanalysis in New York. Her comments, if real, seem to have been made for a tabloid audience, not a trusted doctor.

     The "transcripts" include much biological information about various relationships. But, Marilyn is not new to this doctor/patient relationship.

Dr. Greenson would have known these details; she would not have wasted her time providing them at this stage.

     Much of Marilyn's so-called phrasing makes no sense when it comes to everyday speech. They seem to be included as "proof" of her intelligence and literary acumen.

     The "transcript" is also riddled with errors. For example, in one of the creepier sections she discusses her relationship with Mae West, providing such intimate details as "She is given an enema every day and she has at least one orgasm a day...Mae says her enemas and orgasms will keep her young until she is a hundred." Titillating, but Mae West said she never met Monroe.

     There is also the supposed sexual liaison with actress Joan Crawford. This story is also nonsense."

     At the time of the August 2005 Los Angeles Times article regarding Miner's notes, Los Angeles Times journalist Robert W. Welkos also questioned the integrity of Miner's claim by saying in an August 5th, 2005 article: 

     " accept Miner's story, one must make a leap of faith — he is the only one still alive who claims to have heard the tapes. Greenson died in 1979, and Miner believes that he destroyed the tapes...No one has established the exact date that the recordings were made. Smith says his research suggests that Monroe gave the psychiatrist the tapes on August 4th. According to Miner, Greenson's sole purpose in playing the tapes for him was to help establish her state of mind at the time of her death, "so they were made pretty close to the time she died."

     Welkos went on to counter Miner's claim that Monroe could have died from a lethal enema by citing the factual medical findings of Monroe's autopsy.

     "It is Miner's theory that the actress took or was given chloral hydrate to render her unconscious — possibly in a soft drink — and someone then dissolved Nembutal in water by breaking open 30 or more capsules and administered the lethal solution by enema. He said that he and Noguchi noticed a discoloration of the large intestine in the original autopsy and that there is a possibility that if the body were exhumed, tissue samples could be taken to determine if she had been given an enema filled with enough drugs to be toxic. 

     Carroll, the former prosecutor who conducted the 1982 review of Monroe's death, said he has no objections to a "re-autopsy" and stressed that he has "no vested interest" in the outcome. But he noted that in his review, he talked to an independent expert, Dr. Boyd G. Stephens, who was then chief medical examiner-coroner for the city and county of San Francisco, who said the amount of Nembutal in the liver was about twice as much as in the blood, suggesting that the person lived for "quite a period of time" after ingesting the drugs.

     Carroll told the Times that if Monroe had an enema containing the drugs, it would have gotten into her system rapidly and "you wouldn't expect it to have that ratio in the liver."

     The district attorney's review concluded that "the cumulative evidence available to us fails to support any theory of criminal conduct relating to her death."

     John W. Miner was admitted into the California State Bar in January 1957. He was hired by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office in 1959.

Miner resigned in 1970 and went into private practice as an attorney.

     According the the California State Bar, disciplinary charges were filed against Miner in August 1996 and thereafter he was not eligible to practice law in California. The Bar would later suspended Miner at least two more times (in 1997 and 1999) before he resigned from the Bar in April 2001.

In chronological order of publishing date: 

"Modern Screen" magazine; Issue: July 1953

Contains the quote from Marilyn Monroe:

"I don't know Miss Crawford very well - I met her once at a dinner party, she was a symbol to me of kindness and understanding to those who need help."

“Norma Jean” by Fred Lawrence Giles (McGraw-Hill) 1969
No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

“My Story” by Marilyn Monroe and Ben Hecht (Stein and Day) 1974

No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this autobiography.

"Mommie Dearest" by Christina Crawford (William Morrow) 1978

Contains the claim that Christina knew her mother had "lesbian proclivities." (Page 130)

This statement was later redacted in the book's 1998 anniversary edition. (Page 139)

"Joan Crawford" by Bob Thomas (Simon & Schuster) 1978

No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

“Marilyn Monroe Confidential” by Lena Pepitone and William Stadiem (Simon & Schister) 1979
No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

“Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe” by Fred Lawrence Guiles (Stein and Day) 1984

Contains the original allegation that Joan made a "sexual pass" to Monroe. (Page 200)

"Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe" by Anthony Summers (Macmillian) 1985

No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

“The Unabridged Marilyn” by Randall Riese and Neal Hitchens (Corgi) 1987

No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

“Marilyn” by Gloria Steinem (Plume) 1987
No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

“Crawford’s Men” by Jane Ellen Wayne (Prentice Hall Press) 1988
Alleges “At a cocktail party, Joan was slightly drunk and made a sexual pass at Marilyn; their friendship abruptly ended.” (Page 182)

“Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud” by Shaun Considine (Dutton) 1989

Contains debunked statements by the biographer regarding the allegation that Joan and Monroe had a sexual relationship. (Pages 261-262)

“Norma Jean: My Secret Life with Marilyn Monroe” by Ted Jordan (William Morrow) 1989

Claims that Monroe told Jordan that Joan wanted to sleep with her but that Monroe did not. (Page 192)

“Marilyn’s Men” by Jane Ellen Wayne (St. Martin’s Press) 1992

Repeats the same story in Wayne’s 1988 biography, “Crawford’s Men.” (Page 75) 

“Marilyn: The Last Take” by Peter Brown (Dutton) 1992

No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

"Joan Crawford: The Last Word" by Fred Lawrence Guiles (Birch Lane Press) 1995

Contains an alternate version of the story in Guiles' 1984 Monroe biography, "Legion." (Page 154 - 155)

"Victim: The Secret Tapes of Marilyn Monroe" by Matthew Smith (Century) England 2003

A book regarding John W. Miner's "notes" of Marilyn Monroe's alleged therapy tapes to Dr. Greenson.

The Los Angeles Times, August 4th, 2005

Contains a statement from John W. Miner, along with Miner's "notes" from Monroe's alleged therapy tapes to Dr. Greenson.

The Los Angeles Times, August 5th, 2005

An article by Robert W. Welkos discrediting John W. Miner as a reputable source.

"Marilyn Revealed" by Ted Schwarz (Taylor trade Publishing) 2008

No mention of Joan and Monroe’s alleged sexual relationship is within this biography.

However, provides statements by the biographer discrediting John W. Miner's alleged "notes" of Monroe's therapy tapes. (Pages 632 - 633)

“Marilyn: The Passion and The Paradox” by Lois Banner (Bloomsbury Publishing) 2012
Makes the following blatant false claim: “In “My Story,” Marilyn charged that Crawford made a pass at her.” (Pages 159, 206)

Published Sources Cited In This Debunking Page

Final Thoughts and Joan Crawford's Generosity Towards Young Actresses

     This debunking page has been one of this website's most lengthy debunking pages to date. For those who have read all of the content presented above, you can understand why. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to discredit a long-held falsity; and in order to discredit this one it involved evaluating and discrediting all original sources. 

     One question that was not addressed above, which this Webmaster feels was the genesis for this entire allegation: "Why was Monroe invited to Joan's home in the first place?"  The version published in Monroe's alleged autobiography, "My Story," in 1974 claims that Joan invited Monroe to her home to give her advice on her wardrobe. This is plausible given that Joan had a long history of providing young actresses advice on their wardrobe.

However, Monroe claimed in an interview with Louella Parsons, which was published in the July 1953 issue of "Modern Screen" magazine, that she only met Joan once, and that meeting was at a dinner party.

     "I don't know Miss Crawford very well - I met her once at a dinner party, she was a symbol to me of kindness and understanding to those who need help."

     Actresses such as Gloria de Haven, Diane Baker and Joan Evans have all publicly proclaimed how much Joan helped them when they were starting their careers. In addition, former New York television news reporter Trish Reilly told me during my 2019 interview with her that between 1975-1977, Joan was constantly talking with her on the telephone to give her advice on her wardrobe and what colors, etc. suited Reilly the best.

     In a May 28th, 1954 letter, Joan's secretary, and longtime friend, Betty Barker, corroborated this behavior by Joan.

Barker stated to columnist Hedda Hopper:

     ...and what about the numerous young girls and men who are starting out in Hollywood and who have talent but need some help in starting their careers, or maybe their careers have been started but they are now at a standstill? Joan takes those kids to her heart, and many a time I have spent Saturdays with Joan and one of the "hopefuls" while she boosted their morale, bought clothes for them, taught them to walk, talk, dance; told them what agents to see, where to go for training. I've seen her take the girls upstairs to her wardrobe closets, and she just goes through her clothes with them, giving them dresses, coats, etc. by the armloads. There were Jean Muir, Mary Martin, Ann Rutherford, June Allyson, Dinah Shore, Janet Leigh, Joan Evans, Marion Morgan. Even Marilyn Monroe was asking and getting advice from Joan at one time."

     Not one of these women ever stated there was anything sexual about their association with Joan, nor that Joan ever made a sexual pass at them.

Therefore, for Joan to extend her hand to Marilyn Monroe when Monroe was starting out was not unusual or uncharacteristic of Joan's documented generosity.

An interview with actress Gloria de Haven whereby de Haven describes the help Joan volunteered to her early in de Haven's career.

John W. Miner

Document from Joan Crawford's F.B.I. file pertaining to her alleged Detroit arrest, dated June 11th, 1955