NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, it’s been one of Hollywood’s darkest rumours: A teen-age Natalie Wood was sexually assaulted in a Los Angeles hotel by a top movie star more than twice her age.
In a memoir coming out next week, Wood’s younger sister identifies the long-suspected attacker: Kirk Douglas.
“I remember Natalie looking especially beautiful that night when Mom and I left her at the entrance of Chateau Marmont,” Lana Wood wrote in “Little Sister”, alleging that the incident happened in 1955. It happened in the summer, at that time it was Natalie Wood. Filming “The Explorers.” According to Lana Wood, the meeting was arranged by his mother, Maria Zakharenko, who thought that “many doors might be open to him, with his famous, handsome head pointing at him”.
“It seemed like a long time had passed before Natalie got back in the car and woke me up when she closed the door,” she writes. “She looked terrible. She was very frustrated and very upset, and she and Mom started whispering to each other. I couldn’t really hear them or understand what they were saying. Apparently Something bad had happened to my sister, but whatever it was, I was apparently too young to tell about it.”
According to Lana Wood, Natalie Wood did not discuss it with her until the two were adults, and Natalie, after describing being brought to Douglas’ suite, told her sister, “And, uh… He made me hurt Lana.”
“It was like an out-of-body experience. I was nervous, I was confused,” Lana Wood remembers. Lana, now 75 and almost 8 years old, when the alleged incident occurred, was reminded of her sister and their mother, who agreed that it would ruin Natalie’s career for publicly accusing her.
According to “Little Sister,” “suck it up” was Maria’s advice, much of which focused on Natalie Wood’s death in 1981, when her body was found from Catalina Island, California. Authorities initially ruled the death to be an accidental drowning, but that has changed after years of investigation and more witnesses have come forward. Wood’s husband at the time, Robert Wagner, is said to be a person of interest and Lana Wood is among those who hold him responsible for her death.
In her book, she remembers her sister promising not to discuss being attacked by Douglas, but rumors were so prevalent that when she died in 2020 at the age of 103, Natalie Wood was named after her. Also started trending on Twitter. Lana Wood, whose own acting credits include “The Searchers” and the TV series “Peyton Place”, believes that much has changed since her conversation with Natalie that she can no longer tell the full story. can.
She wrote, “There’s still no one left, I’m sure she’ll forgive me for breaking that promise.”
Douglas’ son, actor Michael Douglas, said in a statement released through his publicist: “May they both rest in peace.”
Kirk Douglas was best known for films such as “Spartacus,” “The Bad and the Beautiful” and “Gunfight at the OK Coral” in his late 30s at the time of the alleged assault. He was one of the first major actors to form his own production company and was a prominent liberal activist, widely credited with helping break a Cold War blacklist against suspected communists, when he hired Dalton Trumbo. was hired to write “Spartacus” and enlisted him. Name for 1960 release. Douglas and his second wife, Anne, donated millions of dollars through the Douglas Foundation, which they founded in 1964 with a mission, “to help those who might not otherwise be able to help themselves. “
Douglas received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and the Legion of Honor from France in 1985. He was given an honorary Oscar in 1996, when the Film Academy praised him as “a creative and moral force”.
Douglas himself admitted that he was a womanizer and an unfaithful husband. Speaking to the Associated Press about Douglas in December 2016, less than a year before the #MeToo movement, actress and dancer Neil Adams said lightly about her friend, “You don’t sit next to him. Can’t let his hands crawl on your feet. “
In his memoir “The Ragman’s Sun”, published in 1988, Douglas writes briefly about Natalie Wood. He remembers driving home one night and stopping at a red light. The car door opened in front of him and “a pretty little girl in a suede jacket stepped out” and ran up to him.
“Oh, Mr. Douglas, would you please sign my jacket?” He remembers his proverb. “As I obliged, the woman driving got out and introduced herself. ‘This is my daughter. He is also in movies. Her name is Natalie Wood.’ That was the first time I met Natalie. I saw him several times afterward, before he died in that brutal accident.”