Marilyn may have been tricked into killing herself as part of a plot hatched with the knowledge of the former US attorney general, Robert Kennedy, according to a secret FBI file. The document, uncovered by an Australian film director, Philippe Mora, suggests Monroe was "induced" to make a suicide attempt, in the belief she would be found in time, and her stomach pumped. Instead, it suggests, she was left to die by staff and friends, including the actor Peter Lawford, who was married to Kennedy's sister, Patricia.
The 36-year-old actress was found naked and face down on her bed on 5 August 1962, with a large quantity of barbiturates in her system. For 45 years conspiracy theorists have claimed that her death was not a simple suicide, with some linking it to alleged affairs with Kennedy and his brother, the then President, John F Kennedy. According to the FBI report, Robert Kennedy called Lawford from a San Francisco hotel that night "to find out if Marilyn was dead yet".
Mr Mora, who is based in Los Angeles, says he found the file among thousands of classified documents recently released under freedom of information laws. Compiled by a "former Special Agent" whose name is deleted, it is headed "Robert F Kennedy”. The FBI received the file on 19 October 1964. It contains a report that claims Monroe was deliberately given the means to fake a suicide attempt.
Those in on the conspiracy, as well as Lawford, were her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson, her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, and her secretary and press agent, Pat Newcomb. The former agent warns he cannot evaluate the authenticity of the information. Even so, says Mora, his file was circulated to five top FBI officers, including Clyde Tolson, right-hand man of bureau chief J Edgar Hoover.
The report that it cites suggests the motive was to silence Monroe, who had threatened to make public a "romance and sex affair" with Robert Kennedy. Monroe had, it says, realized Kennedy was never going to divorce his wife and marry her, as promised.
Kennedy had also reneged on a pledge to "take care of everything" after the actress's contract with 20th Century Fox was cancelled. The pair had "unpleasant words" on the phone.
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