Jeanne Carmen claimed she was a very good friend of Marilyn’s.They met in 1948 when they both lived in the same apartment complex. At a bar, Carmen claimed she sat beside a girl with dark hair who said “hi, I’m Norma.” Carmen read for Norma Jeane then Norma Jeane re-appeared with blonde hair and Carmen realized she had been talking to none other than Marilyn Monroe. Later the two women shared an apartment that was owned by Frank Sinatra. In the early years of their careers they saw a lot of one another. Carmen explained the two women often “partied” with members of the Rat Pack including Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Dean Martin, plus the two Kennedy brothers, Robert and Jack. Usually the two women “partied” with the men at Lawford’s beach house. “There was a lot of stuff going on, a lot of nudity.” In those days Carmen was also a beautiful pin-up queen. She made a name for herself not so much in the movies as it turned out, but in calendars, posters and magazines. Carmen made a handful of forgettable movies including Portland Expose, Riverboat, Guns Don’t Argue, The Last Rebellion, Sometimes she was a sultry brunette, sometimes she was a bubbly blonde. Either way, every look she wore was beautiful on her. Marilyn and Carmen must have made a gorgeous pair of friends and a welcome pair of Rat Pack Mascots, the demeaning term for Rat Pack groupies.
Another commonality the two women supposedly shared was drugs. Carmen often visited Marilyn’s house with a “bag of pills” they took to relax and enjoy the day or evening. Years after Marilyn’s death Carmen would star as Marilyn in a “fictional” documentary called The Last Word. Although Carmen’s acting was good the documentary excluded many significant developments in Marilyn’s life before her suicide and deliberately set the stage for a murder. The documentary states that one week before Marilyn died she would spend a weekend at the Cal-Neva Lodge (true). The documentary also states she spent that weekend “in a whirlwind of drink, drugs and sex.” This allegation hasn’t been proven true. The information states Sam Giancana had “sex with her repeatedly during the weekend much to the dismay of Marilyn….she was very humiliated and depressed.”
For her part, Carmen states she remembers the fist time she met Bobby Kennedy, was when she opened Marilyn’s door to him. Carmen claims Marilyn jumped into his arms and the two embraced passionately. Carmen however swears Marilyn “loved Bobby“, not Jack “because Bobby was fun, he was cute, he was boyish, he was a prankster.” Carmen claims she, Marilyn and Bobby would go to the beach and skinny dip. Personally I don’t believe that story. I believe it was JFK Marilyn wanted and Bobby played the role of “clean-up crew” for Jack after he was finished with Marilyn.“With Jack she was having a big blast of celebrity…she felt like WOW! But with Bobby I think she fancied herself in love with him.” Eventually Carmen states she saw “trouble brewing between Marilyn and Bobby. It may have started over Marilyn’s red diary.” The infamous diary makes me snicker. Marilyn writing in a diary reminds me of a schoolgirl writing about a crush and nothing more.I can picture large, round writing and little hearts around the Kennedy’s names. Neither Kennedy brother was foolish enough to tell Marilyn Monroe powerful secrets about the U.S. government, Hoover,or the mob. Nor would they discuss their “innermost feelings” about their wives and families. There is a difference between love and lust and both men knew it even if Marilyn did not.Had Robert been “livid” about her diary he would have taken it and discarded it.
Anthony Summers, in his biography Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe states Robert Kennedy paid Marilyn two visits to her house earlier in the day before she died. Marilyn wept and insisted one of the Kennedy brothers had promised to marry her. Kennedy left then later returned insisting “where is it?” in the tapes that were found from Marilyn’s house days later, neither Marilyn nor Robert stated what it was he wanted. In the book however, Summers concludes he highly doubts that Marilyn was murdered and that she herself overdosed.
On the last night of her life, Marilyn called Jeanne Carmen at 10:00 p.m. asking her to visit and to bring a bag of pills.In another documentary, Carmen stated she said, “I’m blasted, I’m drugged, I can’t drive I’ll get a ticket. I just can’t do it tonight Marilyn.” This was the last time the two friends spoke to one another. Carmen was convinced Marilyn didn’t commit suicide and that she was murdered. When asked why she won’t reveal the name of Marilyn’s killer Carmen joked, “I’d still like to breathe,” implying that person would have her killed. I highly doubt anyone is still living who would be a threat to Carmen if she revealed the so-called killer’s identity. What’s the big deal now? This was in 1962. These people are very old or very dead. If Carmen really knew Marilyn’s killer she could make a killing (pun) by writing yet another biography about her.
Marilyn Monroe: A Case for Murder by Jay Margolis, there is a frank statement about what it was Robert Kennedy supposedly sought at Marilyn’s house on the day she died. “The fucking bug you used to record me with.” I believe that’s a little over the top, but it makes a lot more sense than Bobby Kennedy irate over a silly diary. The biography also states that Carmen barely knew Marilyn. Margolis claims: “Carmen’s book Jeanne Carmen: My Wild Wild life should be renamed Jeanne Carmen My Wild Wild Lie.” Carmen didn’t know Marilyn at all. There are no pictures of the two of them together and Marilyn simply didn’t have close friends, male or female, as she told Richard Meryman during The Last interview. Meryman asked if any of her friends had called her after hearing that she was fired by Fox from her latest movie. Marilyn denied this. Carmen might have called Marilyn, although this is unlikely since it is debatable whether the two really were good friends. And even if Carmen considered herself to be Marilyn’s friend it would appear the feeling was not mutual, since Marilyn obviously didn’t think of Carmen when Meryman asked her the question.
Carmen mentioned the stuffed tiger in her biography. Her version of events stated “[Marilyn told me] a messenger came up and said he had a package for me. I took it and he left. When I opened it up, inside there was this really cute stuffed little tiger.inside….Then I noticed there was a letter hanging around the tiger’s neck so I took it off and read it….Bobby loves me, not you. you’re old, you’re fat and you’re ugly.” Margolis claims that the biggest error Carmen made in this account was in stating the letter told Marilyn she was fat and ugly. He mentioned that she was at her lightest weight (117lbs). And the supposed note still doesn’t explain the tiger. However women are inclined to write scathing, false insults to each other when a man is involved. The comments were untrue but if they were real, they certainly gave Marilyn reason to be depressed. A friend reporter of Marilyn’s, George Carpozi Jr, stated “Have you heard of the name Jeanne Carmen? … She didn’t know Marilyn from a hole in the wall. Now that I believe.
Margolis claims:Marilyn’s longtime friend, Gloria Romanoff, stated “[Jeanne] came very late to the scene….I never did see them together in truth.I heard Marilyn prattling on about this girl…..Marilyn was not given to that sort of friendship to tell the truth. Margolis asked Romanoff if Carmen was lying. Romanoff’s reply was “Oh enormously. i give no credit to anything she says. She makes all kinds of claims this woman.” Romanoff informed Margolis that Carmen claimed Carmen only spoke about Marilyn after her death. No one ever heard Carmen speak about her “close friend” until “after the fact.”
There’s Carmen’s 15 minutes of fame . Rack up another point for Warhol.