LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The widow of Marilyn Monroe’s longtime mentor and acting coach lost her bid today to stop the auction house Profiles in History from going forward with plans to sell a letter written by the late actress.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin told attorney Bradley Mancuso, who represents plaintiff Anna Strasberg, that he had not shown the likelihood that his client would eventually prevail at trial.
Lavin also said numerous items were previously sold by the estate of the plaintiff’s late husband, Lee Strasberg.
“I can’t determine if the letter was on the list and was in fact sold,” Lavin said.
Lavin said Strasberg’s sworn declaration that she does not believe her husband sold the letter before he died was insufficient evidence.
Mancuso said that if the letter is purchased during the auction, he likely will file a motion to compel Profiles in History to name the buyer. The purchaser then would be added as a defendant in the lawsuit and Strasberg would attempt to recover it through her lawsuit, Mancuso said.
“We’re not done,” Mancuso said.
Mancuso said his client still does not know how the auction house obtained the letter.
Strasberg, who was married to Lee Strasberg, filed suit Tuesday, saying she found out last month that a single piece of Monroe correspondence, dubbed a “letter of despair” in a New York Post article, was missing from the plaintiff’s personal collection of the star’s letters.
“This article further states that this letter is being sold by an anonymous American collector and is expected to fetch $30,000 to $50,000,” the suit states. The letter at issue was undated and written by Monroe to Lee Strasberg on Hotel Bel-Air stationery. ”My will is weak but I can’t stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I’m going crazy … It’s just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I’m trying to learn leaves me,” Monroe wrote. “Then I feel like I’m not existing in the human race at all.”
Strasberg’s court papers say she thought the letter was with others written by Monroe that she keeps locked in her filing cabinets at home.
The 74-year-old Strasberg, who is also seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, says she became heir to her husband’s estate, including the Monroe letters, when he died in 1982.
Monroe died in Brentwood in August 1962 at age 36 of acute barbiturate poisoning. The coroner’s office listed the death as a probable suicide.
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