Natalie Wood was sexually assaulted as a teen by Kirk Douglas, her sister writes in memoir

1 year ago 106

For decades, it’s been 1 of Hollywood’s darkest rumors: Natalie Wood was sexually assaulted by a apical movie prima much than doubly her property erstwhile she met with him astatine a edifice successful Los Angeles arsenic a teenager.

In a memoir coming retired adjacent week, Wood’s younger sister identifies the long-suspected assailant: Kirk Douglas.

“I retrieve that Natalie looked particularly beauteous erstwhile Mom and I dropped her disconnected that nighttime astatine the Chateau Marmont entrance,” Lana Wood writes successful Little Sister, alleging that the incidental happened successful the summertime of 1955, astir the clip Natalie Wood was filming The Searchers.

The gathering had been arranged by their mother, Maria Zakharenko, who thought that “many doors mightiness beryllium thrown unfastened for her, with conscionable a motion of his famous, handsome caput connected her behalf,” according to Lana.

“It seemed similar a agelong clip passed earlier Natalie got backmost into the car and woke maine up erstwhile she slammed the doorway shut,” she writes. “She looked awful. She was precise disheveled and precise upset, and she and Mom started urgently whispering to each other. I couldn’t truly perceive them oregon marque retired what they were saying. Something atrocious had seemingly happened to my sister, but immoderate it was, I was seemingly excessively young to beryllium told astir it.”

According to Lana, Natalie did not sermon with her what happened until some were adults and Natalie, aft describing being brought into Douglas’s suite, told her sister, “And, uh … helium wounded maine Lana.”

“It was similar an out-of-body experience. I was terrified, I was confused,” Lana Wood remembers her saying.

Lana, present 75 and astir 8 erstwhile the alleged incidental occurred, remembered her sister and their parent agreeing it would ruin Natalie’s vocation to publically impeach him.

“Suck it up,” was their mother’s advice, according to Little Sister, overmuch of which focuses connected Natalie Wood’s decease successful 1981, erstwhile her assemblage was recovered disconnected Catalina Island successful California.

Authorities initially ruled the decease an accidental drowning, but that has changed aft years of scrutiny and much witnesses emerging. Wood’s hubby astatine the time, Robert Wagner, has been called a idiosyncratic of involvement and Lana Wood is among those who clasp him liable for her death.

In her book, she recalls promising her sister not to sermon the battle by Douglas, but rumors were truthful prevalent that erstwhile helium died successful 2020, astatine property 103, Natalie Wood’s sanction trended on with his connected Twitter. Lana Wood, whose ain acting credits see The Searchers and the TV bid Peyton Place, believes capable has changed since her speech with Natalie that she tin present archer the full story.

“With nary 1 inactive astir to protect, I’m definite she’ll forgive maine for yet breaking that promise,” she wrote.

Douglas’s son, histrion Michael Douglas, said successful a connection issued done his publicist: “May they some remainder successful peace.”

Kirk Douglas, successful his precocious 30s astatine the clip of the alleged assault, was known for specified films arsenic Spartacus, The Bad and the Beautiful and Gunfight astatine the O.K. Corral.

He was 1 of the archetypal starring actors to signifier his ain accumulation institution and a salient wide activistic who has been wide credited with helping to interruption the acold warfare blacklist against suspected Communists erstwhile helium hired Dalton Trumbo to constitute Spartacus and listed him by sanction for the 1960 release. Douglas and his 2nd wife, Anne, donated millions of dollars done the Douglas Foundation, which they co-founded successful 1964 with a ngo of “helping those who mightiness not different beryllium capable to assistance themselves”.

Douglas received a Presidential Medal of Freedom successful 1981 and the Legion of Honor from France successful 1985. He was fixed an honorary Oscar successful 1996, erstwhile the movie academy praised him arsenic “a originative and motivation force”.

Douglas himself acknowledged that helium was a womanizer and an unfaithful husband. Speaking to the Associated Press astir Douglas successful December 2016, little than a twelvemonth earlier the #MeToo question erupted, the histrion and dancer Neile Adams lightheartedly said of her friend, “You could not beryllium beside him without his manus crawling up your leg.”

In his memoir The Ragman’s Son, published successful 1988, Douglas writes concisely astir Natalie Wood. He remembers driving location 1 nighttime and stopping astatine a reddish light. The doorway of the car successful beforehand of him opened and “a beauteous small miss wearing a suede overgarment hopped out” and ran up to him.

“‘Oh, Mr Douglas, would you delight motion my jacket?”’ helium remembers her saying. “As I obliged, the pistillate who was driving got retired and introduced her. ‘This is my daughter. She’s successful movies, too. Her sanction is Natalie Wood.’ That was the archetypal clip I met Natalie. I saw her galore times afterward, earlier she died successful that cruel accident.”