DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Evidence

Marilyn Monroe Sex Film Hoax

FBI documents contradict broker's unsubstantiated claims about reel

Marilyn Monroe

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Marilyn Monroe Sex Film Hoax

APRIL 18--A New York businessman'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 Smoking Gun has learned.

According to accounts spun out this week by collectibles dealer Keya Morgan, the purported film was sold by the son of a late FBI informant who had somehow obtained it in the mid-1960s. The 15-minute film, which supposedly shows Monroe performing oral sex on an unknown male, was purchased by a wealthy New York man who wanted to guarantee that it was never shown, Morgan has claimed.

Morgan, pictured at right, told TSG that he tracked down the informant's son after learning of the snitch's identity from a retired FBI agent. Morgan said he interviewed the former G-man within the last year for a Monroe documentary he is preparing, and that the former agent was the first person to inform him of the existence of the Monroe tape.

Morgan claimed the purported agent, now in his late-80s, lives in California and "has a very severe case of prostate cancer." The man, Morgan said, had never previously been interviewed by the horde of authors and journalists who have written about Monroe. Now, nearing his deathbed, Morgan claimed, the agent was willing to speak (and out a confidential informant) because, "I don't think he could care anymore."

The dying man, Morgan added, had viewed the film when he worked for the bureau, which had obtained a copy of it from the confidential informant.

In interviews this week, Morgan has declined to identify the FBI agent, the informant, the snitch's son, or the businessman who bought the 16mm film. The only corroboration he has offered is a few pages of FBI records, documents that TSG posted online in February 2002 (but which had first been made available years earlier to those filing Freedom of Information requests).

But it is those FBI documents that Morgan has mischaracterized as supporting the central claims that he has made about the purported Monroe film. The redacted documents were sent to FBI headquarters from the bureau's Albany field office, which apparently controlled the informant.

Based on the informant's own statements to agents, the documents provide this account of a February 1965 trip to New York City by the FBI source:

In New York, the informant visited the office of a man whose name has been blacked out from the reports. While in the office, the man showed the informant a "French-type" movie depicting Monroe "in unnatural acts with an unknown male." The man told the informant that he had obtained the film before Monroe became famous and that Joe DiMaggio, one of her former husbands, had once sought to purchase it from him for $25,000. The man intimated that the film was the only one of its kind in existence, "and that he would not part with it."

[Click on the above thumbnail to view one of the 1965 FBI documents]

The FBI records make it clear that the film was in the possession of the New York man who screened it in his office--and not the FBI informant.

Morgan has flipped this key point, claiming that the supposed Monroe film was the property of the FBI source, who later provided agents with a copy of the film. While doing his media rounds this week, Morgan has conveniently made no mention of the New York man in whose office the film was screened for the snitch.

Morgan has also claimed that the documents reveal that the informant provided a copy of the film to the FBI (which is how his cancer-stricken source was supposedly able to view it many years ago). He has supported that assertion by pointing to a closing line in one memo that provides details about the film: "The above is being furnished to the FBI Lab and the NYO [New York Office] for information purposes..."

While he contends that "The above" is a reference to the film itself being provided to the bureau, it is clear that the phrase actually refers simply to information about the film being furnished by the Albany office. During this period of time, when J. Edgar Hoover's FBI had a great interest in the interstate distribution of obscene material, it was routine for the FBI Lab to receive reports about such illicit material floating around.

[Click on the thumbnail at left to view another 1965 FBI memorandum]

So how could the son of the late informant have possessed an X-rated Monroe film that the FBI documents reveal was the property of the man with the New York City office? And how did the informant provide the FBI with a film he did not have?

Confronted today about these serious contradictions between his claims and the FBI records, Morgan--who has waved the documents around on MSNBC and directed viewers to the FBI web site where they can be downloaded--did an abrupt pirouette.

"It doesn't matter what it says in the documents," said Morgan, who added that doubters can be assured that the Monroe film exists since he himself watched it after obtaining it from the son of the now-deceased FBI informant.

When TSG asked how he located the snitch's son, Morgan initially claimed that, after learning the informant's identity from the dying FBI agent, he went to a court in Washington, D.C. (where the confidential source resided at the time of his death) and examined the man's probate file. Information in the court file, Morgan said, led him to the informant's son.

Asked later to identify what probate court he visited, Morgan changed his story, saying that it was actually his lawyer who did that research in Washington. Not surprisingly, when asked to identify the attorney by name, Morgan would not answer.