Hearsay about celebrities after their deaths. Do we give credence?

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I've come across some news items recently (don't want to go into details just yet) about negative rumors, hearsay, claims about or accusations of celebrities after they've died.

How should we take these?
  • Accept that the accuser has a right to their story and understand there may have been good reasons to keep it a secret when the person in question was still alive?
  • Or view it with skepticism and ask, why didn't you speak about this when the person in question was around to defend themselves. It's uncouth to speak badly of the dead and disrespectful of their survivors to besmirch their name if you have no evidence to support your claim.
  • Or, just forget about it and move on since nothing can be done about it now anyway?



Trouble with a capital "T"
Believe the accusations if we hate the celebrity. Deny the accusations could ever be true if we like the celebrity. That's about how it goes.

If it's a celebrity who I like their work then I don't really want to hear something crappy about them. A few times I've did some deep reading on an actor long since past and read some nasty stuff about them and that kinda puts a damper on my enthusiasm for their movies. But it doesn't stop me from watching their movies.



It depends on the actor and the rumor/s.



I don't care what they did or do, I'll still watch the movies if I like them and say they give a great performance if that's what they do. There's always going to be actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, etc. that I like who do bad things that I don't know about. If I know someone personally, that's different.



Trouble with a capital "T"
I've come across some news items recently (don't want to go into details just yet) about negative rumors, hearsay, claims about or accusations of celebrities after they've died.?
Is it time yet? I'm very curious as to what you read and your reactions.



The one I just learned about (maybe it's old news, but it's new to me) is the accusation by Natalie Woods' sister that Kirk Douglas raped Natalie when she was a teenager. As far as I know, this accusation was made public after Douglas died(?)

Based on the report, Natalie confided this to her sister at some time before she herself died. Problem is, there's no one alive to corroborate the claim (either the one made by Natalie to her sister or the sister's claim itself).

This one tears me up because I loved them both. And I always thought Kirk was one of the truly stand-up guys of Hollywood.



Trouble with a capital "T"
The one I just learned about (maybe it's old news, but it's new to me) is the accusation by Natalie Woods' sister that Kirk Douglas raped Natalie when she was a teenager. As far as I know, this accusation was made public after Douglas died(?)

Based on the report, Natalie confided this to her sister at some time before she herself died. Problem is, there's no one alive to corroborate the claim (either the one made by Natalie to her sister or the sister's claim itself).

This one tears me up because I loved them both. And I always thought Kirk was one of the truly stand-up guys of Hollywood.
That bums me but...it is as you say an accusation, not proven. Loretta Young made the same claim that Clark Gable forced himself on her during the filming of Call of the Wild. I seem to recall that a child resulted. I don't remember if the adult child had his DNA matched to Gable or not? I'm sure that information is on the internet.



We don't know these people. Social media has only made a new illusion to what we "hope and rest easy at night" with, but no, they're all perverts. And not in a good way.



Nearly every famous actor has an incredible financial incentive to seem nice and relatable and down to earth. They also usually pay a small team of people to help with this. I'm sure some of them are, but it would be crazy to believe it with any seriousness about any particular celebrity.

Love art, not artists.



Trouble with a capital "T"
Nearly every famous actor has an incredible financial incentive to seem nice and relatable and down to earth. They also usually pay a small team of people to help with this. I'm sure some of them are, but it would be crazy to believe it with any seriousness about any particular celebrity....
Very true. In Hollywood's golden era, publicity agents were crucial to keeping 'wayward stars' from negative press while promoting their virtues. The 1955 film The Big Knife (1955) is all about the efforts of the studio to maintain a positive image of one of their leading men actors. They go to great lengths to keep his drunk driving hit&run accident that killed a person a secret. It's a dynamic study of that Hollywood system of hiding the truth.



The one I just learned about (maybe it's old news, but it's new to me) is the accusation by Natalie Woods' sister that Kirk Douglas raped Natalie when she was a teenager. As far as I know, this accusation was made public after Douglas died(?)

Based on the report, Natalie confided this to her sister at some time before she herself died. Problem is, there's no one alive to corroborate the claim (either the one made by Natalie to her sister or the sister's claim itself).

This one tears me up because I loved them both. And I always thought Kirk was one of the truly stand-up guys of Hollywood.
That's an old claim I've known about for at least a couple of decades which, considering it happened in the 60's, isn't a surprise. I don't know if it's true or not, but let's say I wouldn't be surprised because few things surprise me. If the rumour is true (and I have no trouble believing the rape occured whether it was him or not) it was said to be a very violent attack, too.

When it comes to this stuff, I always think 'you don't have to believe it, but it would be foolish to think it couldn't have happened'. This is power and it happens wherever and whenever some people have power. Not just rich people or politically powerful people either, look at schools, hospitals, offices and, more often than not, homes. It doesn't have to be sexual either. Listen to some of the stories runners have who work for TV companies or studios. In fact, the 'minions' are the best people to hear from, because they have no power and people talk openly in front of them and treat them however they feel. Waiting staff, hairdressers and chaffaeurs are the best people to hear this stuff from because they're often around and no one gives a crap about them.

I've heard some horrid stories about chefs. Why? Because they have the power.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



Another I heard recently on a YouTube video was a woman accusing Jerry Lewis of rape after he'd died. (Not a romantic situation that got out of control, or overzealous, hands-on flirting, but an actual forced, violent rape.)

I've argued with people here about the merits of Lewis (people either loved him or hated him) and, no matter what he'd done, he'll always be considered an innovator in filmmaking and a comedy icon.

I always thought his rumored faults (being a philanderer, a rude & arrogant jerk and a bad father) was balanced out by his dedicated work for the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association). I thought that perhaps in the same way Dean Martin boosted his false image as a drunk for comedy's sake, Jerry Lewis tried to make "Buddy Love" his solo-career, on-set persona, but I have to draw a line at rape - no amount of good deeds can balance out such a heinous act.




I've heard some horrid stories about chefs. Why? Because they have the power.
Having worked in food service under multiple chefs, I can attest to this claim.

I realize it's still a generalization, but almost every chef I worked with was borderline insane.
Some were very effective as cooks and as staff managers, yet behaved like maniacal tyrants or just pure looney-kazoonies! With the mood swings, the temper tantrums, the inconsistent commands as to how things should be done, etc., chefs are some of the most difficult people to please, to work with or to work for.

Kitchens have a very different hierarchy & structure than say your typical office.



There is no universal rule, it is obviously case-by-case.
This. If someone comes out and the context is clearly some sort of scheme to benefit themselves, then ignore it. If there is something that seems more real---then maybe pay attention?



I don't care what anyone says about the living. Let the monsters be outed, but leave the dead in peace.
*covers ears*
lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalal



The one I just learned about (maybe it's old news, but it's new to me) is the accusation by Natalie Woods' sister that Kirk Douglas raped Natalie when she was a teenager. As far as I know, this accusation was made public after Douglas died(?)
...
Hmmm. Kirk Douglas was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He was very handsome and magnetic. Half of the women in the country would probably have laid down with him. I wouldn't think Douglas would have had to force any woman to have sex with him. Same with Gable.



The trick is not minding
It isnít out of the question, since weíre mere observers and have no real inkling how they could be outside of the spotlight, but as Yoda said, itís a case by case basis.
That doesnít necessarily mean we shouldnít believe their innocence, but rather also not rush to judgement and acknowledge that they arenít necessarily innocent either



That's an old claim I've known about for at least a couple of decades which, considering it happened in the 60's, isn't a surprise. I don't know if it's true or not, but let's say I wouldn't be surprised because few things surprise me. If the rumour is true (and I have no trouble believing the rape occured whether it was him or not) it was said to be a very violent attack, too.

When it comes to this stuff, I always think 'you don't have to believe it, but it would be foolish to think it couldn't have happened'. This is power and it happens wherever and whenever some people have power. Not just rich people or politically powerful people either, look at schools, hospitals, offices and, more often than not, homes. It doesn't have to be sexual either. Listen to some of the stories runners have who work for TV companies or studios. In fact, the 'minions' are the best people to hear from, because they have no power and people talk openly in front of them and treat them however they feel. Waiting staff, hairdressers and chaffaeurs are the best people to hear this stuff from because they're often around and no one gives a crap about them.

I've heard some horrid stories about chefs. Why? Because they have the power.
It actually happened in 1955 when Wood was 16.

When I saw the thread topic, it was the first thing I thought of, though as you say, the story has been out there for quite a long time.

I have no doubt that Wood was telling the truth, though there are those who don't understand the dynamic of rape and rapists who might (quite incredibly) ask why a man (Douglas) who could have any number of women at his beck and call would rape a nervous teenager.

These people have much to learn.