Marilyn Monroe and Bobby Kennedy 'were an item', letters to Hollywood star suggest
For more than half a century, unproven rumours have swirled that Marilyn Monroe was romantically involved with Bobby Kennedy.
Now the most convincing evidence yet has emerged in the form of a letter from a family member. It appears to show that two of the most famous people in America in the early Sixties were secretly an "item".
The letter was sent by Jean Kennedy Smith, younger sister of Bobby Kennedy and then President John F Kennedy, to Monroe. "Understand that you and Bobby are the new item!" she wrote. "We all think you should come with him when he comes back East!"
The letter is being auctioned in California on November 17 as part of a trove of Monroe's personal belongings.
Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions, the Beverly Hills firm handling the sale, said: "There's always speculation about her relationship with the Kennedys.
"This speaks to the fact that there was in fact a relationship between Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe."
At the time, Bobby Kennedy, who was married and had 11 children, was his brother's Attorney General.
J Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, as part of his titanic feud with Bobby Kennedy, tried and failed to catch the pair out. In his autobiography, William Sullivan, Hoover's deputy director at the FBI, wrote: "Hoover was really trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything he ever did. We used to watch him at parties."
Eventually, Hoover concluded that "the stories about Bobby and Marilyn Monroe were just stories".
Much of the later speculation about Monroe centred instead on her alleged relationship with President Kennedy.
The letter to Monroe from Jean Kennedy Smith was found among a batch of her papers. They were left by Monroe to Lee Strasberg, the acting coach who was a father figure to her.
His son David Strasberg, 45, discovered them stuffed in suitcases and cupboards during a clean-out. Some were in a trunk with his old football boots.
After reading the emotional notes written by the actress, Mr Strasberg said: "For Marilyn, I think she was always after that 'something more'." In one despairing letter to a therapist in 1961, Monroe wrote: "Last night I was awake all night again. Sometimes I wonder what the night time is for. It almost doesn't exist for me. It all seems like one long, long horrible day."
She described her time in a mental institution as like being sent to prison "for a crime I hadn't committed". She also wrote: "Oh, well, men are climbing to the moon but they don't seem interested in the beating human heart."
The actress, who would have turned 90 this year, died from an overdose of barbiturates aged 36 on August 5, 1962. Bobby Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968, in Los Angeles.
The papers are being auctioned alongside some of Monroe's most famous clothes, including the flesh-coloured dress she wore to sing 'Happy Birthday' to President Kennedy in 1962. Also for sale will be her dress from the film 'Some Like It Hot' and the negligee she wore in Niagara.