While Charlie Chaplin will forever be remembered and revered as one of the world’s greatest comedy actors and movie directors, the same can’t be said for the way he allegedly treated his wife, Lita Grey.
While most people know that Chaplin was 20 years older than his teenage bride at the time he married her in the 1920s, most aren’t aware that his treatment of her was said to be “cruel and inhumane” during their three-year marriage.
The revelations came out after the couple’s divorce papers were found and are now set to go up for auction, with an expected price tag of around $25,000 for the 50-page document.
Apparently, on his wedding night, Chaplin said to his new wife, “This marriage won’t last long, I will make you so damn sick of me that you won’t want to live with me.”
The papers, which are to be sold by Parade Antiques, reveal a lot about Charlie Chaplin. The owner of Parade Antiques, John Cabello, said, “We got it from a person in America – he was told to clear out some supplies and old documents at the bank and he found them. He was told they would be thrown away and he kept them instead. When the papers were published, Chaplin was ostracised for a while. People in the know thought he was quite a nasty piece of work. All this comes out and makes for quite hard reading, even by today’s standards.”
At the same time, Rob Morrish, who runs the Parade website, has been reading the document and told reporters, “About a week’s worth of work went into researching the document, reading through it took some time. It’s all hand signed and very old and fragile. It was folded for a long time and required a lot of very careful handling.”
Morrish went on to speak about some of the content in the Charlie Chaplin divorce document.
“They met on set of one of his films and he seduced her as a young woman. It was frowned upon but he tried to make the most of the situation. When she became pregnant he wasn’t particularly pleased to be trapped in a marriage. He squirrelled her away and did not report the birth until months later to make it look like the child was conceived after they wedded.”
[Image credit: Imgkid.com]