Natalie Wooden was assaulted by Kirk Douglas, sister alleges


NEW YORK (AP) — For many years, it’s been one in every of Hollywood’s darkest rumors: A teenage Natalie Wooden was sexually assaulted by a prime film star greater than twice her age when she met with him at a resort in Los Angeles.

In a memoir popping out subsequent week, Wooden’s youthful sister identifies the long-suspected assailant: Kirk Douglas.

“I do not forget that Natalie appeared particularly stunning when Mother and I dropped her off that evening on the Chateau Marmont entrance,” Lana Wooden writes in “Little Sister,” alleging that the assault occurred in the summertime of 1955, across the time Natalie Wooden was filming “The Searchers.” The assembly had been organized by their mom, Maria Zakharenko, who thought that “many doorways could be thrown open for her, with only a nod of his well-known, good-looking head on her behalf,” in response to Lana Wooden.

“It appeared like a very long time handed earlier than Natalie acquired again into the automobile and woke me up when she slammed the door shut,” she writes. “She appeared terrible. She was very raveled and really upset, and she or he and Mother began urgently whispering to one another. I couldn’t actually hear them or make out what they had been saying. One thing unhealthy had apparently occurred to my sister, however no matter it was, I used to be apparently too younger to be advised about it.”

Based on Lana Wooden, Natalie Wooden didn’t focus on together with her what occurred till each had been adults and Natalie, after describing being introduced into Douglas’ suite, advised her sister, “And, uh … he harm me, Lana.”

“It was like an out-of-body expertise. I used to be terrified, I used to be confused,” Lana Wooden remembers her saying. Lana, now 75 and round 8 when the alleged assault occurred, remembered her sister and their mom agreeing it will smash Natalie’s profession to publicly accuse him.

“Suck it up” was Maria’s recommendation, in response to “Little Sister,” a lot of which focuses on Natalie Wooden’s demise in 1981, when her physique was discovered off Catalina Island in California. Authorities initially dominated the demise an unintended drowning, however that has modified after years of scrutiny and extra witnesses rising. Wooden’s husband on the time, Robert Wagner, has been known as an individual of curiosity and Lana Wooden is amongst those that maintain him accountable for her demise.

In her e-book, she recollects promising her sister to not focus on her being assaulted by Douglas, however rumors had been so prevalent that when he died in 2020, at age 103, Natalie Wooden’s identify trended alongside along with his on Twitter. Lana Wooden, whose personal performing credit embody “The Searchers” and the TV collection “Peyton Place,” believes sufficient has modified since her dialog with Natalie that she will now inform the entire story.

“With nobody nonetheless round to guard, I’m certain she’ll forgive me for lastly breaking that promise,” she wrote.

Douglas’ son, actor Michael Douglas, stated in an announcement issued by means of his publicist: “Might they each relaxation in peace.”

Kirk Douglas, in his late 30s on the time of the alleged assault, was identified for such movies as “Spartacus,” “The Unhealthy and the Lovely” and “Gunfight on the O.Ok. Corral.” He additionally was one of many first main actors to type his personal manufacturing firm and a distinguished liberal activist who has been broadly credited with serving to to interrupt the Chilly Struggle blacklist in opposition to suspected Communists when he employed Dalton Trumbo to write down “Spartacus” and listed him by identify for the 1960 launch. Douglas and his second spouse, Anne, donated thousands and thousands of {dollars} by means of the Douglas Basis they co-founded in 1964 with a mission to “serving to those that may not in any other case be capable to assist themselves.”

Douglas obtained a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and the Legion of Honor from France in 1985. He was given an honorary Oscar in 1996, when the movie academy praised him as “a artistic and ethical drive.”

Douglas himself acknowledged that he was a womanizer and an untrue husband. Talking to The Related Press about Douglas in December 2016, lower than a 12 months earlier than the #MeToo motion caught on, the actress and dancer Neile Adams lightheartedly stated of her buddy, “You possibly can not sit beside him with out his hand crawling up your leg.”

In his memoir “The Ragman’s Son,” printed in 1988, Douglas wrote briefly about Natalie Wooden. He remembers driving residence one evening and stopping at a pink mild. The door of the automobile in entrance of him opened and “a fairly little woman sporting a suede jacket hopped out” and ran as much as him.

“’Oh, Mr. Douglas, would you please signal my jacket?’” he remembers her saying. “As I obliged, the lady who was driving acquired out and launched her. ‘That is my daughter. She’s in films, too. Her identify is Natalie Wooden.’ That was the primary time I met Natalie. I noticed her many occasions afterward, earlier than she died in that merciless accident.” | Natalie Wooden was assaulted by Kirk Douglas, sister alleges


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