Newsweek’s article Pulp Fiction delves into years of blatant lies from best-selling author C. David Heymann about Marilyn Monroe, The Kennedy’s, Elizabeth Taylor and more.
The New York Times describes C. David Heymann as a celebrity biographer, trained literary scholar and best-selling author who died in his apartment lobby in May of 2012. He was very successful at selling books, but his career as a respected biographer was always dogged by allegations that he was making a lot of stuff up. Now Newsweek has exposed just how much the biographer was a fiction writer.
One of the more troubling problems with Heymann’s research comes from his interviews with the dead. In his last book before his death, Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love, a story of the short lived marriage between Marilyn Monroe and Joe Mimaggio, Heymann claims to have interviewed journalist Jack Newman, writer George Plimpton and former White House press secretary Pierre Salinger. Problem is they were all dead by 2005.
Not only that, when they were alive, each man refused to do interviews with Heymann for past projects. Jack Newfield even wrote a column in the New York Post saying that Heymann was “libeling the dead” in his work. Ironic that Heymann would allegedly use fake interviews with the then dead Newfield for the Marilyn Monroe biography.
Some of the scandalous and questionably inaccurate passages from Heymann’s Monroe book include a story of when Marilyn called the White House and told Jackie Kennedy Onassis that she wanted to marry the president. A story which was quoted from actor Ralph Roberts, but earlier attributed to actor Peter Lawford.
He also wrote that a few hours before Marilyn Monroe’s death the actress lunged at Bobby Kennedy with a kitchen knife. That story appeared in his biographies A Woman Named Jackie and RFK, but changes dramatically in Joe and Marilynwhen the kitchen knife becomes a glass of champagne thrown in Bobby’s face.
If the allegations from Newsweek are true, it might be difficult to say what’s more disturbing, that the biographer could get away with so many lies or that he seems to go after subjects who are already dead and cannot defend themselves, like Marilyn Monroe.
In any case, it shows just how much celebrity gossip can sell in the book market, as the Joe and Marilyn book has received numerous accolades from critics.
To read the full article on lies about Marilyn Monroe and more click here.
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