Movie stars have always had to weigh the facts of their authentic lives against the cost that revelations about those might inflict. This was the bind that screen legend Mary Astor was in back in 1936. Her unfaithful husband had been abusive, but his addiction to her money, and the reputational cost she would face for divorcing him, meant he was going nowhere. Until he found her diary, and realized he could have it all: her money, their daughter, and his freedom, by blackmailing her into a divorce on his terms. But when Mary realized that her daughter was in danger, she put it all on the line in a headline-grabbing custody trial that could have finished her career.
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My Story: An Autobiography, by Mary Astor (Amazon link)
Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936, by Edward Sorel (Amazon link)
George S. Kaufman And His Friends, by Scott Meredith (Amazon link)
George S. Kaufman: An Intimate Portrait, by Howard Teichmann (Amazon link)
Mary Astor Divorce Trial: 1936 | Encyclopedia.com (encyclopedia.com)
Scandal, The Trial of Mary Astor Full Interview SIFF 2019 (YouTube link)