The cover of a Penthouse magazine published in 1980 proclaimed in bold capital letters: Exclusive: The Real Marilyn Monroe Stag Film. According to an article in that edition of Penthouse, a Swedish photographer discovered a print of an 8mm sexually explicit movie earlier in 1980, a movie that allegedly depicted Norma Jeane Mortenson as she engaged in some sexual gymnastics with a fairly unattractive, older fellow. Penthouse proclaimed that the movie was undoubtedly real and absolutely authentic.
Cinema experts immediately opined about and then argued about the year of the film’s production, asserted to range from 1946 to even, remarkably enough, 1953. Certainly, the woman performing on the discovered strip of celluloid was not the same woman who performed on the strip of celluloid entitled Niagara. Even so, the pornographic depiction created a loud noise in the ever sensationalistic media, offered at various auctions on a few occasions, sold and bought, sold and bought again, etcetera. The movie disappeared from the world of commerce, media headlines and news reports around Y2K, possibly due to the fear mongering hype and media reports that the world just might end when all the digital clocks and digital calendars in those mysterious computer programs flipped to the digital representation 00 and not 2000. Remarkably enough, the world survived. Then, remarkably enough, 2010 arrived.
In late 2010, a print of the Norma Jeane movie surfaced in Spain where Mikel Barsa, a Spanish broker who claimed he sold a 16mm print of the same movie for $1.2M American in 1997, planned to auction the discovered 8mm print in August of 2011. The owner’s of Marilyn’s image, Authentic Brands Group, advised Barsa that he would be violating the law and possibly committing a fraud by selling the dubious movie. Bravely and fearlessly, Barsa placed the movie on the auction block but reduced his asking price to a mere $500K American. His efforts to sell the movie, however, proved unsuccessful, possibly because of ABG’s warnings and possibly because more than a few Marilyn experts stated unequivocally that the movie was not a stag film depicting the real Marilyn Monroe, or in the case of the movie in question,1the real Norma Jeane Mortenson.
Scott Fortner, a well-known collector of Marilyn Memorabilia and recognized Marilyn expert, analyzed the film on his website, The Marilyn Monroe Collection. Scott concluded, by comparing several 1946 vintage photographs of Norma with the plump woman performing on that film, the performer was not even a reasonable facsimile of Norma Jeane Mortenson, who, in 1946, was a mere twenty years old.2Michelle Morgan and Lois Banner, both Marilyn biographers, agreed with Scott’s conclusion; and despite what Barsa asserted about the pre-fame Marilyn Monroe, her alleged multiple plastic surgeries and so forth, all false rumors, clearly a young Norma Jeane did not make the pornographic movie Barsa offered for sale.
In August of 2011, the website, FilmThreat.com, published an article entitled: “The Bootleg Files: The Alleged Marilyn Monroe Porn Film,” written by a member of the site’s Administrative Staff. The writer noted: Monroe, of course, was no stranger to exposing her fine flesh for the cameras, noting correctly the future Hollywood star posed nude for Tom Kelley and those photographs then appeared in Playboy. But then, the writer also noted:
No Monroe biographer had ever located any evidence that the actress went beyond the relatively benign nude photographs into the hardcore world of pornographic films. For years, a rumor existed that Monroe appeared in a porn short called “Apple Knockers and Coke,” but research confirmed that the film’s star was 1950s Playboy model Arline Hunter, who had a slight resemblance to Monroe. […] Needless to say, it is all very interesting and entertaining. There is just one tiny problem: the woman in the film is clearly not Marilyn Monroe.
But if anyone wants genuine evidence that the woman in the film is not Monroe, all you have to do is watch the flick. The woman on screen appears to be in her thirties, is fairly heavy and bears no facial resemblance to Monroe whatsoever. There is absolutely nothing even vaguely sensuous or compelling in her presence, and her graceless physical presence is worlds removed from someone with professional modeling and acting experience. […] As for the film itself―eh, it is a substandard old-time stag reel.3
Still, a digital video file created from the grainy and dreary 8mm movie can be viewed on and downloaded from the cornucopia of pornographic websites which populate Al Gore’s Amazing Internet. Those websites invariably present the movie as the young Marilyn Monroe’s bootlegged sex tape, calling it a fantasy come to fruition, grainy celluloid of the as yet unglamorized sex goddess before plastic surgeons, stylists and designers transformed her into the sexualized myth. Unfortunately, that movie was the harbinger of pornography yet to arrive.
For years, idle chit chat and gossip circulated about a second pornographic movie depicting Marilyn as she engaged in a round of kinky oral sex, dutifully positioned on her knees before an unknown male whose face never appeared on-screen; but the movie itself, hereafter the Oral Sex Movie, remained just a titillating rumor until 2008 when memorabilia dealer, Keya Morgan, announced that he had uncovered the rumored reel, the sale of which he then brokered for $1.5M American. In 2008, Lara Spencer and Harry Smith interviewed Keya Morgan during the Early Show, which CBS aired on April the 15th. Morgan’s story of the film’s discovery follows hereafter.
According to Morgan, he discovered that the rumored Oral Sex Movie actually existed when he interviewed a former FBI agent in late 2007.4The former FBI agent aimed Morgan at the son of a deceased FBI informant. The son, who obtained the pornographic movie after his father’s death, wanted to monetize it; so Morgan brokered the movie’s sale to a conservative New York City businessman. A Marilyn Monroe fan himself, the conservative businessman pledged to lock the film in storage to prevent it from appearing in public and to prevent it from appearing on pornographic websites across Al Gore’s Amazing Internet, the ones that promote pornography depicting the rich and famous. The new owner merely wanted, and intended, to protect the memory and the legacy of his favorite blonde movie actress; but apparently the conservative businessman either changed his mind or perhaps the film was stolen from its place of storage: not long after its sale, the Oral Sex Movie surfaced on several pornographic Internet sites. O well. So much for protecting the memory and legacy of the blonde movie actress; but the Oral Sex Movie’s quick public appearance after its sale for $1.5M American by Morgan leads a fellow to an obvious question: how did an explicit pornographic reel of the world’s sex symbol, the world’s most famous blonde remain concealed and unsold during the four decades plus three years leading to Morgan’s unintentional and accidental discovery of its existence? Well, speaking only for me, of course, I have my doubts that the reel would have remained concealed for that long; and I find it difficult to accept that the FBI informant who allegedly possessed the Oral Sex Movie would not have sold it for, say, $500K or $750K or $1M prior to his death sometime before 2008. Indeed. I certainly have a reasonable doubt; and then, an anecdote involving Marilyn’s appearance in the Oral Sex Movie also quickly appeared in a literary effort describing a love affair that developed between Jackie and Robert Kennedy after the tragic assassination of John Kennedy, husband to Jackie and brother of Robert.
Enter the fabulist biographer, C. David Heymann. In Heymann’s frequently criticized 2009 publication, Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story, the dubious biographer recounted a Clark Clifford anecdote involving the pornographic movie depicting Marilyn’s performance of oral sex; and according to Heymann’s published source notes, he actually interviewed Clifford. What follows is a summary of Clark Clifford’s anecdote involving the Oral Sex Movie as presented by Heymann.
Clifford, a well-known Washington DC attorney, a former member of John Kennedy’s administration and also Lyndon Johnson’s advisor at the time, received a telephone call in 1966 from J. Edgar Hoover. The Director of the FBI asked for a meeting with Clifford at the FBI’s headquarters. After Clifford arrived, Hoover escorted his guest into an office where the FBI director proceeded to screen a three minute silent movie of a woman as she performed fellatio on an unknown male whose face remained off-screen. Both men agreed that the woman was obviously Marilyn Monroe; and even though Clifford stated correctly that the man’s identity could not be determined based on the film screened by Hoover, the Director of the FBI asserted that the man who appeared in the movie was, more than likely, Robert Kennedy. Hoover reported to Clifford that Jimmy Hoffa’s minions had filmed the actress and attorney general in 1962 as the two enthusiastic lovers cavorted in Marilyn’s Fifth Helena Drive bedroom. Precisely when and where the pornographers allegedly filmed the Oral Sex Movie was, and is, of particular importance, as will become apparent.
According to Clifford, as reported by Heymann, Hoover announced that the FBI had received the salacious movie from Jimmy Hoffa in 1965; and Hoffa evidently hoped to make the movie a blackmail weapon to be deployed against the Senator from the State of New York and the former US attorney general. Hoover then offered the film to Clark Clifford with a not so subtle suggestion that President Lyndon Johnson, certainly not a friend of Robert Kennedy’s, should know about the movie’s existence and its availability. Hoover had always resented the attorney general, Heymann asserted, and Clifford was aware of Hoover’s resentment. Clifford was also aware that the FBI director wanted to politically ruin Robert Kennedy at the highest White House Level; but even so, Heymann asserted, Clifford never planned on delivering the movie to President Johnson, despite a statement by the attorney that he would give the offer some thought. Clifford then told Heymann about his encounter with Jacqueline Kennedy during a dinner party in Manhattan. The former First Lady tugged Clifford to one side and directly asked, while staring squarely into his eyes, Clifford vividly recalled, if he knew anything at all about a movie on which Bobby and Marilyn could be seen engaging in sex. Of course, Clifford denied any knowledge of such a vulgar movie.
Once again we find ourselves faced with an all too common conundrum, different accounts describing essentially an identical event involving Marilyn. In the case of this Oral Sex Movie, we have Keya Morgan’s account and the Clark Clifford account as rendered by C. David Heymann; and obviously the accounts are in conflict. So, which account is factual and which one should we believe? Or after evaluating the details each account presented, should we summarily dismiss both?
In December of 1984, the FBI declassified two memoranda involving the Oral Sex Movie; and both memoranda originated in the FBI’s Albany New York Office, the first dated February the 15th and the second dated June the 7th, both in 1965. Copies of the actual memoranda follow:
The transcribed text of the preceding FBI memorandum follows hereafter:
TO: DIRECTOR, FBI DATE: 2/15/1965
ATTN: FBI LABORATORY
FROM: S(pecial) A(gent in) C(harge), ALBANY (145-0)
On 2/11/65, [redacted] advised that on the previous date, 2/10/65, he, in company with [redacted], had visited subject [redacted] at [redacted] office [redacted] NYC, and while at that address, [redacted] had exhibited a motion picture which depicted deceased actress Marilyn Monroe committing a perverted act upon an unknown male. According to [redacted] claimed that former baseball star Joseph Di Maggio in the past had offered him $25,000 for this film, it being the only one in existence, but that [redacted] had refused the offer.
The above is being furnished to the FBI Lab and the NYO for information purposes in the event reports are received from other divisions describing the obscene film which might be identical to above.
Since the dissemination of above information at the present time may compromise source, [redacted] this information should not be discussed outside the Bureau.
February 18, 1965
GENERAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION
[redacted] is an informant of the Albany Office well acquainted with the Italian Hoodlum element in [redacted]. The Laboratory has no information concerning Marilyn Monroe’s participation in a film described in the attached communication (emphasis mine).
Since dissemination may compromise the informant, it is recommended this information not be disseminated outside the Bureau.
Approximately three months later on June the 7th in 1965, the Special Agent in Charge of the Albany FBI office dispatched to Bureau Headquarters in Washington, DC, some additional information regarding the pornographic movie. Following hereafter is the actual memorandum.5
The significant information pertaining to the movie appears in the second paragraph.
Source [the informant] related that they had also visited [redaction] New York City, who source [the informant] described as a [redaction] and while in his office [name redaction] ran an 8 or 16 mm. “French-type” movie which depicted Marilyn Monroe, deceased actress, in unnatural acts with an unknown male. Source [the informant] advised that [NYC businessman’s name redacted] informed them that he had obtained this film prior to the time Marilyn Monroe had achieved stardom (emphasis mine) and that subsequently former baseball player Joseph Di Maggio [sic] had attempted to purchase this film from [NYC businessman’s name redacted] and had offered $25,000 for same. [NYC businessman’s name redacted] intimated it was the only such film in existence and that he would not part with it.
Obviously, the February memorandum simply transmits some information obtained from an unidentified FBI snoop about a French-type obscene movie declared to involve Marilyn Monroe and an unidentified male participant. The FBI snoop and informant along with another unidentified individual, the informant’s companion, watched the movie in the New York City office of another unidentified individual, the actual owner of the pornographic reel. Two handwritten notations printed on the document are of particular importance and rele-vance: Interstate Transportation of Obscene Materials, the ITOM MATTERS noted in the Subject Line, and La Cosa Nostra, meaning the Mafia or the MOB, usually represented in FBI shorthand by the acronym LCN. According to the FBI’s website and the history of its many offices, Albany was instrumental in the bureau’s efforts to thwart the spread of MOB’s influence and the MOB’s involvement with the odious crimes of human trafficking, interstate prostitution and the interstate distribution of obscene materials. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the infor-mation regarding an obscene movie, particularly one transported between states, arrived in Washington through the Albany New York office, the assertion that the movie allegedly depicted Marilyn Monroe notwithstanding. Furthermore, it is apparent that the FBI suspected the MOB’s involvement with the movie, a suspicion obviously confirmed by the second, June the 7th memorandum.
Admittedly, accepting as truthful and factual simply by virtue of their existence, any FBI file or memorandum pertaining to Marilyn Monroe and the middle Kennedy brothers and the information presented thereon, is a tricky proposition; but, on the other hand, the two preceding FBI memoranda certainly introduce information, and raise pertinent questions, that must be considered in any discussion or evaluation of the Oral Sex Movie, particularly any evaluation of the accounts offered by Keya Morgan and C. David Heymann. The most pertinent question is: do the FBI memoranda support either account? The quick and simple answer to that question is, of course, NO.
Regarding Keya Morgan’s account, the first question asked must be this one: how did the FBI informant obtain that movie? The NYC film owner declared that the film he screened was the only extant copy and he would not part with it; he would not even sell the movie to Joe DiMaggio for $25K, which has an equivalent value in current funds of approximately $206K. Once again, how then, in Morgan’s movie account, did the FBI informant actually come to possess that expensive reel?
On April the 18th in 2008, TheSmokingGun.com, a website dedicated to publishing documents and other materials obtained from government and law enforcement sources, via Freedom of Information requests, published an article without a byline entitled, “The Marilyn Monroe Sex Film Hoax.” The article began: A New York business-man’s claim that he recently brokered the $1.5 million sale of a Marilyn Monroe sex tape is belied by the very FBI documents the man has cited to support his bizarre and unsubstantiated story […]. The article then proceeded to question the Oral Sex Movie account often recounted by Keya Morgan, noting that the FBI memoranda touted by Morgan clearly indicate: 1) the NYC Man who screened the movie obviously possessed it; and 2) the movie was never possessed by the Informant, who merely watched the movie and then reported its existence to the FBI’s Albany New York Office. When confronted about his contradictions and disparities pertaining to the actual FBI memoranda, Morgan performed an abrupt pirouette and proclaimed: It doesn’t matter what it says in the docu-ments. The very documents Morgan had previously touted as corroboration for his story had suddenly become irrelevant. And yet, when asked to reveal the name of the FBI agent that he had interviewed and the deceased informant’s name along with the name of the deceased informant’s son, and to explain a few additional inconsistencies in his story, Morgan declined, according to TheSmokingGun.com, and deflected the requests by noting: his story should not be doubted: he watched the film after he obtained it from the informant’s son and the Oral Sex Movie does exist. Most certainly, I agree: the Oral Sex Movie does exist. It is currently available for repeated viewings and can be downloaded from more than a few pornographic websites. Still, it’s obvious existence does not settle the prevailing issue, the prevailing question: does the Oral Sex Movie actually feature Marilyn Monroe?
I must express some doubts and reservations regarding Heymann’s account, simply because, as I noted in an earlier section dedicated to Heymann’s biographical escapades, he was not always honest; and he is not a reliable source. The celebrity biographer often invented not only persons from the whole cloth of his imagination but also interviews and testimony. It is entirely possible that the anecdote and the Clifford interview never actually happened. What follows are a few reasons why I doubt Heymann.
According to Heymann, Jimmy Hoffa presented Marilyn’s pornographic performance to J. Edgar Hoover in 1965, a performance the FBI director then delightedly screened for Clark Clifford; and yet, not one of those details can be found in the FBI’s memoranda: no mention of Jimmy Hoffa: no mention of Clark Clifford. Also, the FBI’s documents are exceedingly clear regarding who actually possessed the Oral Sex Movie in 1965 and how the FBI received the information about the film. That being the case, how did Hoover obtain the movie and, once again, how did the informant obtain the movie? If we momentarily accept David Heymann’s account, meaning that J. Edgar Hoover actually possessed and controlled that explosive movie, would he have allowed its transfer to an unidentified informant? Any person possessing a small amount of knowledge about Hoover’s career―and the Director’s often less than forthright shenanigans―any person with that knowledge could not and would not answer that question affirmatively: most certainly J. Edgar would not have relinquished possession of that politically priceless movie.
As the powerful Director of the FBI, J. Edgar had direct access to the president. If Hoover actually hoped to poli-tically ruin Robert Kennedy through Lyndon Johnson, why offer the pornographic movie to Clark Clifford instead of taking the movie directly to the most powerful man in the US Government? Every person in Washington at that time bent themselves into pretzels, even presidents, to please J. Edgar Hoover. Besides, Clark Clifford was friends with both of the middle Kennedy brothers, an important detail conveniently omitted by Heymann; there-fore, why would Clifford, even from a relatively safe distance, engage in blackmailing his friend, Robert Kennedy.6
Additionally, even though Heymann mentioned Clark Clifford in his other lurid literary efforts involving Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, the anecdote regarding the Oral Sex Movie does not appear, which I find suspicious.
Heymann did not indicate in his source notes exactly when he interviewed Clifford; but the attorney, presidential advisor and Kennedy friend died in 1998,7eleven years prior to the publication of Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story, and the same year Heymann published his candid Robert Kennedy biography; therefore, the biographer must have known about the movie anecdote prior to 1998. Why, then, would Heymann withhold such a salacious anecdote if he knew about it prior to the publication of his two biographies about Robert Kennedy? Heymann frequently repeated juicy accounts from one book to another. It seems more than reasonable, therefore, to keep Heymann’s account involving J. Edgar Hoover and Clark Clifford at least at an arm’s length of reasonable doubt.
There are also a few assertions contained in Heymann’s account and Morgan’s account that conflict with reality. In Heymann’s anecdote, J. Edgar screened a three-minute movie; but the CBSNews.com article about Keya Morgan’s involvement, asserted that the Oral Sex Movie is fifteen minutes long;8however, the grotesque video that is currently viewable on the Internet is forty-eight seconds longer than twelve minutes.
Morgan, like Hoover and Clifford, allegedly saw a brief movie during which the male participant’s face remained unseen. However, the amount of time that the man’s face is out of camera range is a mere fifty-one seconds.
Morgan asserted that J. Edgar Hoover and a slew of FBI agents attempted to determine the identity of the male participant and even solicited the assistance of prostitutes known to have visited President John Kennedy and commissioned them to study the man’s anatomy. If Hoover had reason to believe the male in the movie was Robert Kennedy, why was the FBI director concerned with John Kennedy’s anatomy? Also, evidently, Hoover did not hire prostitutes familiar with Robert Kennedy’s anatomy; and we are left to speculate why. At the beginning of the movie, however, and at several points during his vigorous performance, the man’s face is clearly visible: he was neither John Kennedy nor his younger brother Robert.
A few of the movie’s features should be noted.
Firstly, the projection of it does not display any of the shutter or jiggle associated with handheld cameras, meaning the camera was obviously mounted on a tripod.
Secondly, the camera angle changed a few times during the actor’s performances, meaning the cinematographer shifted the camera’s location relative to the position of the enthusiastic performers. Exactly how was that cinematic maneuver surreptitiously accomplished?
Thirdly, 8mm movie cameras available in the early 1960s were noisy and required the use of unusually bright lights. As I previously noted, Marilyn’s Fifth Helena bedroom was relatively small and cluttered. How, then, were the camera, the lights, the tripod, the cinematographer and the sounds generated by the camera’s noisy motor successfully camouflaged in such a limited space? In point of fact, they could not have been.
Fourthly, the individuals involved in the movie were obviously performing for a camera; and they knew where the camera was positioned or going to be positioned. The Oral Sex Movie was not captured as the lovers engaged in an intimate or a spontaneous love making session.
Fifthly, the background against which the lovers performed in no way resembled any of the walls in Marilyn’s Brentwood bedroom. Well, maybe the backdrop was just temporary, which certainly indicates that the movie must have been staged. Also, exposed brickwork can be seen in the background; and Marilyn’s bedroom did not have any walls with exposed masonry. Therefore, it is easy to conclude: the grotesque Oral Sex Movie currently viewable and downloadable via Al Gore’s Amazing Internet most certainly was not filmed in Marilyn’s small Fifth Helena bedroom.
Finally, two overlooked details in the excerpts from the FBI memoranda printed above must be noted.
The Albany FBI office directed the February memorandum to the attention of the FBI laboratory; and the brief memorandum from the General Investigative Division, dated the 18th of February, clearly stated: The Laboratory has no information concerning Marilyn Monroe’s participation in a film as described in the attached communication. Clearly, the FBI laboratory never possessed the Oral Sex Movie, never viewed it and, therefore, never performed any forensic analysis of the film or its performers. If the FBI’s forensics and scientific division never possessed the Oral Sex Movie, the next logical conclusion is, neither did J. Edgar Hoover.
As I emphasized on my transcription of the June 7th memorandum, the NYC Film Owner clearly asserted that he acquired the Oral Sex Movie prior to the time Marilyn Monroe had achieved stardom. Therefore, Jimmy Hoffa’s minions most certainly did not film Marilyn cavorting with one of the middle Kennedy brothers in her Fifth Helena Drive bedroom. When she purchased and occupied her Brentwood hacienda, she was already incredibly famous, had already achieved her incredible stardom. Obviously, that detail alone creates reasonable doubt regarding the stories recounted by both Keya Morgan and Clem Heymann.
During his Early Show interview, Morgan asserted, like Hoover and Clifford asserted in Heymann’s anecdote, that the woman performing oral sex on film was obviously Marilyn Monroe; however, during the course of the almost thirteen minute movie, the performing woman’s face also appeared in close-up several times. Considering other revealing aspects of her anatomy, the woman performing obviously was not Marilyn Monroe; and I am not sure how anyone could state unequivocally that the woman performing was the world’s most famous blonde. Perhaps the men who observed the Oral Sex Movie simply wanted the woman on her knees to be Marilyn, a desire caused in part by the observer’s voyeurism and in part by some unfulfilled boyhood sexual longings―at least that is my opinion and one explanation why any man would insert Marilyn into that pornographic monstrosity. Besides, if Morgan was intent on protecting the memory of Marilyn Monroe, as he asserted to Lara Spencer and Harry Smith, why was he on the Early Show even talking about the dubious Oral Sex Movie in the first place and thereby alerting the curiosity of a voyeuristic humanity? Perhaps the motivations of both Heymann and Morgan can be reduced to this, the lowest of banal human terms: denarii.