A classified file released by the FBI shows how the agency tracked Marilyn Monroe’s suspected ties to communism in 1956.
The agency documented an anonymous phone call to the New York Daily News that year warning that playwright Arthur Miller was a communist and Marilyn Monroe had “drifted into the communist orbit” after her marriage to him earlier that year.
The file is just one piece of the puzzle about what the FBI knew about Marilyn Monroe when she died in August 1962.
The Associated Press waging an ongoing campaign to have more of the FBI documents released by the agency, coinciding with the 50th anniversary Marilyn Monroe’s death.
The redacted document reveals that on July 11, 1956, the agency got a tip that an anonymous male caller phoned the Daily News to report that the actress’s company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, was “filled with communists” and that money from the company was being used to finance communist activities.
The caller said Arthur Miller’s marriage to Marilyn Monroe during a Jewish ceremony less than a months earlier was a “coverup”.
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were both suspected of communist activities by the FBI
Arthur Miller, the man said, “was still a member of the CP [communist party] and was their cultural front man”.
The FBI has long made portions of its documents about Monroe public, but most of them are heavily redacted.
However, the FBI claims it has lost its files on the actress and cannot release them.
Finding out precisely when the records were moved – as the FBI says has happened – required the filing of yet another, still-pending Freedom of Information Act request.
The most recent version of the files is publicly available on the bureau’s website, The Vault, which periodically posts FBI records on celebrities, government officials, spies and criminals.
The AP appealed the FBI’s continued censorship of its Marilyn Monroe files, noting the agency has not given “any legal or factual analysis of the foreseeable harm that might result from the release of the full records”.
Marilyn Monroe’s star power and fears she might be recruited by the Communist Party during the tenure of longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover led to reports being taken on her activities and relationships, including her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller.
Marilyn Monroe’s file begins in 1955 and mostly focuses on her travels and associations, searching for signs of leftist views and possible ties to communism. The file continues up until the months before her death, and also includes several news stories and references to Norman Mailer’s biography of the actress, which focused on questions about whether Marilyn Monroe was killed by the government.
There have been two major government investigations into Marilyn Monroe’s demise – the original inquiry immediately after her death and another effort by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in 1982. The second inquiry, released in December 1982, reviewed all files available investigative reports, including files compiled by the FBI on her death. The records, the DA’s office noted, were “heavily censored”.
That mention intrigued the man who performed Marilyn Monroe’s autopsy, Dr. Thomas Noguchi. While the DA investigation concluded he conducted a thorough autopsy, Thomas Noguchi has conceded that no one will likely ever know all the details of Marilyn Monroe’s death. The FBI files and confidential interviews conducted with the actress’ friends that have never been made public might help, he wrote in his 1983 memoir “Coroner”.
“On the basis of my own involvement in the case, beginning with the autopsy, I would call Monroe’s suicide <<very probable>>,” Thomas Noguchi wrote.
“But I also believe that until the complete FBI files are made public and the notes and interviews of the suicide panel released, controversy will continue to swirl around her death.”
Joanne Trattoria, the Italian restaurant owned by the parents of Lady Gaga, has been slammed once again, this time by the New York Daily News, which called it “worse than herpes”.
But after Lady Gaga blamed her family’s Upper West Side restaurant for her recent 25 lbs weight gain, can the simple family establishment, owned by Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta, be that bad?
Lady Gaga told radio host Elvis Duran: “I’m dieting right now, because I gained, like, 25 pounds… My father opened a restaurant. It’s so amazing… it’s so freaking delicious, but I’m telling you I gain five pounds every time I go in there.”
While paying diners appear to agree with Lady Gaga since the spot opened its doors in February, it has received only scathing verdicts – the latest published on Wednesday in the New York Daily News.
After the New York Post’s surly Steve Cuozzo popped in for what he called “a 2 1/2-hour meal that seemed like as many days”, and described the interior as a “brick-walled affair of the sort considered cozy in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods, but which in these parts registers as plain cramped (and loud as an avalanche)”, it seemed the only way the restaurant could go is up.
But despite the trattoria’s celebrity connection (Lady Gaga isn’t involved in the restaurant), and the kitchen boasting Art Smith, who for years was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef, reviews continued to take a nose dive.
Joanne Trattoria, the Italian restaurant owned by the parents of Lady Gaga, has been slammed once again
The New Yorker, which waited five months to put its own palette to the test, was similarly unimpressed.
Leo Carey, the magazine’s senior editor, described a homemade focaccia as “good in the same way that the garlic bread at Domino’s is good”.
He continued in the July write-up: “The squid in the grilled-calamari salad, though bearing the browned marks of grilling, has none of the charcoal richness you might expect – indeed, it has almost no flavor at all.”
While he throws the restaurant a bone, calling a few staples “creditable”, like the lasagna, “an overwhelming paving-stone slab of meat and ricotta with micro-greens on top”, he labels the more “ambitious dishes” as going “uniformly awry”.
“Osso buco is more or less just osso, and such bone marrow as there seems to be is oddly chewy,” he notes.
Finally, Michael Kaminer, one of two dining-out critics at the New York Daily News, called the Italian spot now frequented by Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise, “an incomprehensible imitation of a restaurant”.
“I came with an open mind, despite the fact that most of my colleagues have portrayed Joanne as the worst thing since herpes,” he admits.
Mostly taking offense at the restaurant’s fine dining prices, which lack the fine dining experience, he says: “A dry lemon chicken [$28] did have a discernible taste, but only in its zesty skin.
“The meat itself came closer to those supermarket birds in foil bags. And people: That $28 doesn’t include sides. The only adornment is a shriveled lemon segment perched atop the meat. Sauteed spinach or rosemary fingerling potatoes will set you back $9.”
Michael Kaminer calls the servers “sweet, solicitous and patient”, however, adding that “they genuinely seem to enjoy sharing the stories behind Joanne’s recipes, like the Sunday gravy Joe cooks for family”.
This goodwill is short-lived however. He continues: “[The] <<Expresso>> – yes, with an <<x>> – for $5 on Joanne’s menu… is more like concentrated Sanka, but you’ll need it to avoid choking on a tiramisu cake [$14] whose desiccated base holds gelatinous cream tasting vaguely of plastic.”
Diners appear to have formed a very different opinion however.
One local, who works in the food industry, said: “I have eaten in the restaurant and I know for a fact that the portrayal in the Daily News was inaccurate and seemed to be more about selling a sensational story than giving an unbiased restaurant review.
“What they have failed to mention is the warm, inviting atmosphere the staff happens to create for all of their customers, regular and otherwise…
“They also failed to taste the best item on the menu, the meatballs.”
Restaurant critic Gael Greene also had reservations about the pricing, however, writing for The Insatiable Critic: “Aside from the fine focaccia, a lush lasagna (too small, too pricey) and my $38 veal osso bucco, much needs to be reconsidered. Okay, the meatballs and spaghetti were fine – but $23?”
Yet rave reviews on Yelp! and Zagat praise the food, the servers’ attention to detail and the cozy atmosphere.
One Zagat reviewer wrote: “Met the owner, Cynthia, who was lovely and engaged. Food is amazing. Service is quick. Decor is very friendly. Traditional Italian fare with a twist. Comfortable ambiance. If you can get in..worth it.”
And a Yelp! visitor, possibly one the many groups of young girls chaperoned by their mothers, excitedly tweeting about Lady Gaga, commented: “Came here for lunch and this place is adorable!”
However, these seemingly misguided appraisals are scattered in between even more disturbing quips from unhappy customers.
One restaurant go-er wrote: “ATROCIOUS! An insult to Italian cooking. This place makes Olive Garden a viable option.”
While a neighborhood local said: “Okay. They are passionate. They are trying. They are re-staffing. BUT…they are just not doing it to it…yet. I’ll give them a few more tries (because I live next door…and that’s the only reason).”
Wednesday night Alec Baldwin made an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman, and seemed to be in the mood to play the antics of recent days down.
But even dropping his pants for the host at the Ed Sullivan Theater, didn’t knock the host off course.
After taking the stage to Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Alec Baldwin broke the tension by declaring that he’d lost weight – and dropped his pants as proof, David Letterman then downed his trousers too.
But sensing the inevitable, Alec Baldwin then said: “Let’s get to it, shall we?”
“You’re obviously burning to hold up the cover of the Daily News.”
“The picture, without knowing the story, tells a tale that’s not often true,” said David Letterman.
Alec Baldwin broke the tension by declaring that he’d lost weight and dropped his pants as proof, David Letterman then downed his trousers too
Alec Baldwin then offered his explanation, while pointing at the cover of the newspaper.
“I’m forming the letter <<F>> with my mouth, and what I’m saying is, <<What F-stop are you on with the camera?>>” Alec Baldwin said.
Earlier in the day, Alec Baldwin rolled his mountain bike over a television reporter’s foot outside his East Village apartment.
The actor then allegedly used the bike to knock the Inside Edition reporter aside as she asked Alec Baldwin a question about the row.
“Ouch, my back,” the 5-foot-2 woman said after her brush with the hot-headed Alec Baldwin.
“He shoved me and ran over my foot,” the Daily News reported.
They added that a Daily News reporter and photographer were hit by the handlebars.
Earlier Alec Baldwin tweeted: “15-20 cameramen outside my bldg this am, chasing me on my bike.”
“They’re knocking into ppl on the street, yelling <<Will you seek help, Alec?>>”
It came a day after he was accused of assaulting New York Daily News photographer Marcus Santos.
Alec Baldwin told The Charlie Rose Show earlier in the week that he was a victim.
“The guy lunged and almost hit me in the teeth with the lens of the camera,” Alec said Baldwin.
“So I just pushed the guy away.”
There were numerous reports this week saying that Aretha Franklin was “banned” from Whitney Houston’s funeral on Saturday.
New York Daily News reported that Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston’s godmother, “angered” the late singer’s mother, Cissy Houston, with her comments during an interview on the Today Show.
“Parents have to really talk to their children before they leave home,” Aretha Franklin told Al Roker.
“They have to make sure when they leave home, they have all the right things. She left home with all the right things, but she just kind of lost her way along the way.”
The Daily News story also suggests it was this “veiled criticism” of Whitney Houston’s upbringing – and not Aretha Franklin’s medical excuse – that led her to miss the legendary singer’s service.
Meanwhile, HollywoodLife seized on the possible controversy, writing that Aretha Franklin’s “drug comments” might have caused her to be “banned” from the funeral by Cissy Houston.
There were numerous reports this week saying that Aretha Franklin was “banned” from Whitney Houston’s funeral on Saturday
The website uses the fact that Aretha Franklin played a sold-out concert in New York on Saturday night as evidence that there could be something to the “ban” explanation.
But Aretha Franklin said in her statement regarding her absence from the funeral that she wanted to “stay off [her] leg” as much as possible until her concert that night.
And it warrants mention that during the funeral, Dionne Warwick called for Aretha Franklin – still on the scheduled speakers list – to address mourners, before being alerted that the singer was not in attendance.
If there was any animosity between the Houston family and Aretha Franklin, it was awfully well hidden.
HollywoodLife also leaves out Aretha Franklin’s rep’s comments to the Daily News in which she reiterates that the singer was essentially incapacitated between concert performances over the weekend.