Friday, July 1, 2022

Mother and Son

A very beautiful photograph of Ada Guglielmi Del Mazzone and Jean Valentino. 


 

Year by Year

I have updated the www.zumayawinslawsuit.com website and am posting a year by year synopsis as overview of the actions. I included some court evidence which is public record and otherwise used excerpts to illustrate the narrative. As of now I have posted 2010 and 2011 as well as the official court translations of the filing, the verdict and the evidence. 

I will post the rest of  years as I complete them and carry it forward to the present. Eleven more posts to go. Somewhat overwhelming but I think it is important to record this for posterity because it happened and those who perpetrated it will be held accountable. 


Thursday, June 30, 2022

O'er the Hills of Gaslighting We Go

In April of 2014, Tracy Terhune, as “TRT96” posted the following (see below) on the blog he had then been running for about a year and a half under the title of my Valentino biography, Affairs Valentino. It was obvious from his day one after he opened the blog, that his intention was to divert my web traffic to find his defamation of me and mine.

Images used as a Fair Use excerpts from the blog thread for the purpose of illustrating this narrative.


Bearing in mind Terhune posts this on a blog he runs which is designed to deceive people googling my book's title and where he tries to gaslight those finding the blog into believing I am the villain. As Renato captured years of screenshots which I did not read, it was only today I read this post for the first time.

A few points for Mr. Terhune's information and I say better late than never:

1. I never threatened to disrupt his memorial service, I said I should show up, maybe bring some books to pass out. As far as I know it is a public event.

2. We did not fake our books being sold in the Turin book shop as he claims. They were being sold there.

3. And I did not use my blog when it was mine...to “expel my hate”. I used it for the same reason I use this blog; to save my reputation from Terhune's savaging and defend myself, my husband and our work.

4. Terhune's saying he never criticized me except for the Forewarning is preposterous. He writes that on a blog where the first posts he made were impersonating me and saying my book was “Pure Fiction”. And it got way worse from there as you all know; the mocking, the satanic images, the pigs, the connecting to Bret, the lies about me having a criminal past, etc.

5. And he does not seem to understand the concept of karma. If someone gets beaten up in the street, it is not their karma. They are a victim of a crime. It is as if someone steals your car and drives by every day tooting the horn and waving. Is that your karma? No it is not. His gloating... that I have to disavow any affiliation with the blog his partner in crime David Bret terrorized me into closing, is not karma... it is pure evil.

6. And yes I called him a Valentino cult leader but now I change that and call him a Terhune Cult leader. As he knows little about and has little to do with Valentino. Imo its all about him. And if you search definitions of cult leaders you will find I am not far from the mark on that one.

But Terhune's taking the time to call me “evil” and make sure that word was in red and bold is a telling and truly childish touch. I guess he wanted extra, red, bold emphasis.

But he is posting in the wrong place to demand credibility. From the day he opened that blog in 2012, it has been a trash hit blog targeting me, Renato and our work. It always was and it still is only that... now eight years later and counting. Who is he kidding?


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Letter Found

Regarding the subject of my previous post, I share the transcript of a heart-felt letter which was sent to me some years ago. I found the letter today and thought it articulate on the subject. I am not revealing the sender's name for obvious reasons. 



Victory Read!


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Excuse Me...But Who Is the Liar?

In my previous post titled, "Those Letters To Florey", I mentioned how David Bret began pointing the finger about trying to convince me those "Valentino Diaries" were the source of gay material... actually claiming Valentino wrote about it himself. 

He first told me the Valentino Diaries were published by an Italian publisher and I fact checked that to find it was an Italian translation of the ghost written, PR piece, My Private Diary. And the book he is referring to was published five years after his book so it could hardly have been a source. 

As he later claimed he never said that to me, I post the following from his Facebook page in the spring of 2010. And fyi to Bret, "Edizioni" (as in Edizioni Lindau) is spelled with a "z" and not a "t".  And what a moment in history here... as he invokes Tracy Terhune. This excerpt used under Fair Use Guidelines to illustrate a point in this narrative. 


Monday, June 27, 2022

Mrs. Valentino

Evidence of the true love between Rudolph Valentino and the woman he would marry, not once but twice, Natacha Rambova can be found. Even the thought of proving their love was unheard of until recently. Snarky, misogynistic comments were made about her, but the honesty of their love as husband and wife was accepted as far as I could see until the great fiction writers, i.e. Chaw Mank, David Bret decided she was a ready target and began to sling their mud. Why? Partly because that is what those kind of people do and partly because they wanted Valentino gay and in order to make him gay, the fact he was in love with and made love to his wife, had to go. Hence the lies. 

A major part of the "Valentino was gay" hoax by Bret was the vilification of Rambova. He began as he does with all his targets to call her names and along with Terhune's taglines the attack was on. How antiquated of them to participate in attacking Rambova so unjustly, behavior which was considered offensive back in the 1920's. 

Natacha Rambova, according to all who knew her, had an infectious and pleasing laugh, was generous with her time and money. She recognized talent and advocated folks who became great stars. The article below was coverage of Natacha's trip east in the spring of 1922. And I am sorry for all the damage Bret and Terhune have done to this charming and lovable lady. She was the best thing that ever happened to Valentino. #rudolphvalentinosqueen



Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Promoter

Was Rudolph Valentino almost hospitalized for a nervous breakdown during the first weeks of the Mineralava Tour? Truth or fiction? The answer to those questions requires mention of the tour's managers, S. George Ullman as the manager for Mineralava and Jacques Armand Schuel, a.k.a. Jack Curley acting as Valentino's promoter/manager. As we know by tour's end, Jack Curley would be out and George Ullman in as Rudy's business manager. But for a while it was all up to Curley to book the venues, grab some press and in one case...manage the press. He was the advance man.

Jack Curley was a heavyweight in every way; a boxing and wrestling promoter/impresario and some say racketeer. By the end of 1922, his mighty income was compromised after professional wrestling was placed under the supervision of the New York State Athletic Commission. That really cramped Curley's booking style. The impresario was broke and accepting work as press agent.

I believe George Ullman brought Curley on to represent Valentino for the Mineralava tour because Ullman was a professional boxer for a while, was a true boxing fan and surely knew all about Jack Curley's situation. Curley became Valentino's promoter, representing him on the Mineralava Tour; booking tour venues and managing the events in the manner of a sporting event.

I think the body language says it all in this image, taken at the February 1923 contract signing (see below): Rudy absolutely sold on the whole idea and thrilled, Natacha looking fierce thinking, “Oh, do not mess with me.” And Jack Curley thinking big bucks as in, “Gotcha!”


Jack Curley's lifestyle was an advantage and nearly a disadvantage. On March 10, 1923, during the first days of the Mineralava tour, Edward Smith, New York mason contractor, was hit and killed by one of Jack Curley's cars. The driver was a mechanic but the headlines were not making Rudolph Valentino's new promoter look good at all. As we see in this coverage below, neither the driver of the car or the poor victim Mr. Smith had their photos included in the article; only Jack Curley. It seemed the death of Mr. Smith was on his head because he owned the murder vehicle. (from The New York Daily News, March 21, 1923)


Within the next few days, a rumor appeared in syndicated columns reporting Valentino was about to check in to John Hopkins Hospital because he was having a nervous breakdown. (from The Los Angeles Evening Express, March 30, 1923)


I have to wonder if someone was out to make Jack Curley pay for the death on that highway in Long Island, or if it was someone he crossed who planted the rumor to, as Curley said, “damage the Valentino tour.” I think Curley knew who was behind this attempt because his threatening a lawsuit in the amount of $1,000,000 seems a bit harsh for one rumor he could have easily just declared false.

It is probably safe to say Curley had his enemies. Being a promoter of wrestling and boxing events is scarcely the life of a Presbyterian minister; Curley had to deal with a lot of rough characters. Was he too tainted to represent Valentino? There is little doubt he knew the business of booking the sports arenas and running the events logistically, but did he have enemies? Did he put Valentino in some firing line?

Was there any truth to the nervous breakdown story? Was it just vengeance on Curley, a random rumor or fact. I would not doubt for a minute Rudy could have been on the verge of collapse at that point. Makes one wonder. Imo, I think it was a hit on Curley. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Curley


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Those Letters to Florey

For many years, David Bret claimed he was in possession of a secret diary written by Rudolph Valentino in which the star's secret homosexual life was divulged. I thought the location of this secret diary should be made public and I asked him about that. And so it began... as Bret pointed in one direction after another to claim a source for what so far has turned out to be no source at all other than his imagination.

At first he called it the “unpublished diary of Rudolph Valentino”, which he claimed was published by an Italian imprint, Edizioni Lindau. I discovered this was the Italian translation of My Private Diary, a book published in 2004, five years after Bret's book on Valentino. 

Then he pointed the way to Jeanne DeRecqueville and built the fantasy that she revealed Valentino and Andre Daven were lovers. We translated that book to see exactly what DeRecqueville wrote and in fact she revealed the opposite. She conducted some of the first, authoritative research proving Valentino was heterosexual. So Bret moved on.

Then he claimed it was revealed in Robert Florey's installments published in the French fan magazine, Cinemonde in 1956. His proof, he said, that Valentino was gay was right there in the letters Valentino wrote to Florey. 

So Renato then took considerable time to find a complete copy of all the installments and translated them into English. Those letters? In The Rudolph Valentino Case Files, pp. 113-114 you can read some of those letters which Florey includes. Here are a few extracts from Installment #7, which was published in Cinemonde on November 22, 1956:

(Letter dated December 29, 1922, extracts)

“I have happily just received your nice letter which is the first one I received since your sudden departure for the beautiful Hollywood as you call it. I wonder if it's true that you wrote to me or if it's just to make me believe you did...Thank you very much, old boy for the good publicity you give me and I will order Abbe to print for me a set of new photos which I will send to you as soon as they are ready. At the same time I'm going to send you two speeches I gave on a radio show, which almost a million radio fans heard; the first against the bad method of producing films adopted by trusts like Famous Players etc. and another where I explain the mission of the cinema in the future of the world."

"I would like you to translate those two speeches and send them to your overseas magazines. I believe this is good publicity. Tell those two brave boys, Limur and Caracciolo, to write me a note, and tell Jean not to forget to exercise my horses with Caracciolo if they want to. Send me their addresses. I have to stop now since I have to leave for Philadelphia for a radio interview.

Greetings to all my true friends and many wishes from me and my wife too. Yours always your friend, Rudolph. "

(Letter of May 20, extracts)

"I also want to tell you that while in New York the other day, I posed for new photos of which I chose twenty-eight different poses, and I ordered two hundred glossy reproductions of these and different ones, so you will have enough photos of me to begin with until I get to London and Paris to check in. I also decided that the tenth of July may be a little late for your departure and I changed your passage for the first of July... "

**I am not sure what Bret is claiming now as his source. Those “love letters” in French written from Rudy to Florey were just business directives and travel arrangements; all sent in the course of conducting business.

I still get comments from the team and I am sure Bret, pointedly scolding me for forgetting that Florey and Valentino were lovers. On that I would direct them to the “Nacissistic Gaslighters” memo in my previous post and the item titled, “Outright Denial of Facts”.

This has nothing to do with the subject of anyone's sexuality. It is all about intellectual honesty.


For the Record

I found the image below which I think says it all in regards to the “team” or the “VSC” as they like to be called. According to this list I guess they can rename themselves the, "Narcissistic Gaslighters". I think their actions here, there and everywhere (for 12 years and counting) follow this listing perfectly, with the "shifting blame to avoid accountability" being top today; maybe tied with "indignant outrage" and "playing the good guy". 

For the record: 


 

Friday, June 24, 2022

"An Eloquence of Silence"

I think the following passage is one of the most insightful pieces on Natacha Rambova. Journalist and friend, Herb Howe interviews Natacha in her successful dress shop in New York in 1929. I included the entire article in Astral Affairs Rambova and we also included it in The Rudolph Valentino Case Files. I highly recommend the entire article as the bottom line on the Valentino marriage.

I excerpt pp. 214-215 from, Astral Affairs Rambova, “Her Years as Valentino's Wife, Why Natacha Rambova's Marriage to the Greatest of Screen Idols came to a Tragic End”, By Herb Howe, published in, The New Movie Magazine, December 1929-May 1930.

Even her worst enemy has admitted the genius of Natacha, that unquenchable flame of ambition that sweeps out from her ruthlessly to combat Hollywood and its intrigues implacable instinct, a fighting' spirit of Amazonian fierceness. Yet, for all her electric vitality, I think Natacha's spirit is a little weary. Very young, she has witnessed with shrewd eyes the mockery of the world's spectacle, and from the highest throne of idolatry this age has known, she has experienced its sharp irony.

I recalled the days I spent in her apartment collaborating with Rudy on his life story. Because of some legal technicality pertaining to his divorce from Jean Acker, he and Natacha were forced to maintain separate apartments for several months after their marriage in Mexico, but of course Rudy spent most of the time in Natacha's.

There was a moment of constraint as Natacha and I set down on the divan. To break it, I referred to the hours spent on his life story. 

"Now we ought to do your life," I said. "But I guess all your real names have been told." 

"Yes, and I've been called a lot of names that weren't mine," laughed Natacha. "No, I'm here to tell you right now that I don't give a hang for publicity. God knows there has been too much for me already. I've been called everything from Messalina to a dope-fiend."

 "Did you feel it much?" 

"I was tortured. I was tortured to agony," she said. 

Her eyes met mine in an eloquence of silence. In that minute the interval of years passed by. I felt certain I knew her as I hadn't before. She turned the poignancy of the revelation with a quick laugh.

I always loved the laughter of Natacha. It is clear and gay. And it can shield a multitude of sorrows with its courage. 

"They even said I have no sense of humor!" Her laugh mounted. "That's equivalent to saying I am dead. Without it, I would have been, long ago."


Thursday, June 23, 2022

"Butterfly!"

From pp.117-118 in The True Rudolph Valentino, I share Baltasar Cue's narration of the first encounter between Pola Negri and Rudolph Valentino. He describes the events as they took place in the Biltmore Hotel, during a gala organized by Pola in honor of British author, Michael Arlen. This passage takes place just after Rudolph and Pola danced together and after they retired to a private sitting room:

"Rudolph was so thrilled with this first intimate encounter with Pola Negri, he began to sing his favorite tunes. Sitting on the floor, at her feet, this man so admired by millions of women all over the world, sang and sang to the delight of the no less admired woman. She, from the height of her narcissism, listened to him sing joyfully, much as a Queen receiving a tribute which she had long, longed for and which had been very difficult to realize.

He sang "Little Princess" with special care and as the lyrics were timely in that circumstance, he sang it translated from the Spanish. Pola felt she had finally arrived at the height of the triumph hearing those lyrics pronounced by the lips of the beautiful, manly and proud Rudolph, whose words to her after his song were,

"Little Princess. . . Butterfly! ... Look at the man who sighs at your feet! . . Love the one who would die leaving you! ... Kiss me!”

Around three in the morning the three cabbed to Pola's bungalow at the Ambassador Hotel. In the cab, Rudolph, seated between the two women, placed his virile arm around Pola, therefore, in a gallant gesture."

The third party was the woman Cue refers to as "the Latina". Did we ever determine who that might be? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

"Somewhat Hidden in his Tiny Office..."

In The True Rudolph Valentino by Baltasar Cue, he includes an article titled, “My Last Visit with Rudolph Valentino” which I excerpt.

“It was on the eve of Valentino's last trip from Los Angeles to New York, when I surprised him, somewhat hidden, in his tiny office attached to the rich library of his brand new mansion, Falcon Lair; perched high above the populated city of Beverly Hills. He was writing a love letter by hand and I could not help noticing it began with the eternal words, "My love," in English. It was not inscribed to his beloved Pola Negri. Was, then, the 'Sheik', in the disposition which most characterized him, in life as well as on screen?”

...on p. 149, Cue writes:

“Pola Negri entered her boyfriend's office that day and saw on his desk the letter which began with the eternal words "My love," as it was addressed to another woman. She did not pluck a single hair from the Italian actor's head! She remained as calm as if the epistle was something required as a prop for some movie. 

Did she know it had a different significance, that it was destined for a real person and that Valentino was not working for any movie at the time? Probably, Pola could not conceive that Rudolph could love another woman and this was the reason for her unheardof trust.

Once, when she visited the studio where the movie The Son of the Sheik was being completed, she arrived just at the time when Valentino and Vilma Banky were engaged in an enviously tight and long-lasting kiss. Those around Pola at the time watched to see her reaction to such a situation. Very calmly and with a broad smile showing her confident happiness, the Polish actress told them, "He kisses Vilma, but he thinks of me.”

I guess the love letter could have been written to a number of women, but it makes me wonder who. Did the reconciliation with Natacha begin sooner, was this a secret lover who was never known publicly? Who was the lady and did she receive her love letter. And more to the point, where is that letter today?

The events in Falcon Lair before Valentino left for New York on his final trip east, as witnessed by Baltasar Cue make his account unique. Baltasar Cue's reputation as a respected journalist opened some doors for him as far as interviews and in the case of Valentino; an autobiography. Cue was not a gossip columnist, not a reporter rushing about trying to get some scoop. He was distinguished, hard working, sought after and talented. The "team's" efforts to demean the man by referring to him as a fan magazine hack is only because our names our on the translation of the book. He was a well-known journalist his entire life. Here a front page feature article he wrote about Marie Dressler in 1934.



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A Partial Listing

In The Case Files of Rudolph Valentino, I included a section in which I shared some of our sources. In the interest of disclosure, here is the listing of the archives, which is a partial one compiled last summer. Despite this, Tracy Terhune, Donna Hill, Cindy Martin, Eleanor Gribbin, David Bret, Simon Constable, et al, have done their best to portray us as writing "fan girl fiction" and being lazy people who send out a team of researchers to comb through fan magazine archives. Their false statements about our work and our integrity have been a sickening constant in our lives for many years. 

I share the following in support of our honest, hard work. 

 
The comments I do not publish await in this file (see below) and are not refused because they express a different opinion but because they are personal insults, disturbing defamation and demeaning scoldings as repetition of tired old lines they have all memorized years ago. Regarding the 644th and 655th snipes, Leider's book imo is only their "gold standard' because she pandered to the cult by leaving Rudolph Valentino as gay and/or bisexual. That was all it took. Despite the book's impressive publication it is heavily referenced to fan magazines and has many factual errors as well as huge holes in the story left unaddressed. And I did not "build" the Cue book which is a publication deemed so reliable Jeanine Villalobos referenced it "heavily' in her PhD dissertation. Baltasar Cue was a respected journalist and not some gossip columnist. 



The Chatelaine


As excerpted from:

Sunday, June 19, 2022

The Diligent Mr. Ullman & The Generous Ms. Negri

In my opinion, the Register of Actions for Rudolph Valentino's estate, is an extremely informational document. Obviously debts incurred tell a story. We have published the entire document in the Affairs Valentino Companions Guide but this page (see below) got me to thinking.

We see that four months after Valentino' death, his close friend and trusted business manager George Ullman was receiving and paying a lot of bills. The entries on January 7, 1927 are many... with one entry dominating the page for me. That would be the claim made to Pola Negri for $15,000. By today's exchange rate that would have been $225,000. Not a small piece of change.

Ostensibly, she loaned the money to Rudy for renovations on Falcon Lair. But when news broke she actually petitioned her deceased lover's estate for the loan repayment, Pola came under brutal attack by Rudy's fans. Pola came back with the defense that she only petitioned Ullman for the money to give it to Alberto Valentino so he could afford to bring his wife and son to Los Angeles. As we know this did not happen for quite some time.

But Pola did give Alberto the money and she loaned it to Rudy. She would later sign another loan for Alberto; one he would not repay in full. I think this speaks well of this woman's generosity. I guess a great deal can be said about Pola Negri, but it appears she was not cheap.

And we see on this page, George Ullman was hard at work wiping out Rudy's debt. And I have no doubt in January of 1927, he thought that was a realistic goal.

At the bottom of this page you can see the payments due to the Polyclinic Hospital doctors. Dr. Meeker did not come cheap charging $3500. Today that would be a bill of $52,000.


Thank You For All the Eagle Gifs

 



Saturday, June 18, 2022

Mr. Ideman's Contribution

While sorting through the archives, I have been finding things I have not read in many years. Today, I found the article below... just this excerpt... and a quick review of this awful piece of iconic fiction by Kenneth Anger reveals many things are factually wrong.

The Fascist guard was not a stunt by Campbells, but arranged by con man Sterling Wyman.

Anger's statement they made Rudy's corpse "resemble a pink powder puff” is extremely homophobic and wrong. What does that mean anyway?

Rudy did not leave that single dollar in his will to “ex-wife” Jean Acker but Natacha Rambova.

Novarro did not own a black art deco dildo and did not keep such a thing on a shrine in his bedroom. And he did not receive any such thing as a gift from Valentino.

Another monument to Michael Morris' research was the total debunking of that myth in this letter (below) from James Ideman, the Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted Novarro's killers.



More Instagram Art




 

A Few of My Instagram Graphics




Friday, June 17, 2022

In Remembrance

It is hard for me to believe that it was five years ago when Michael Morris passed away. He has missed some things which have happened since his passing: the revelation that Svetoslav Roerich's mother, Helena was the one to call her son home to India and break off his engagement to Natacha. Michael always thought it was the father, Papa Roerich who made the demand. He also did not know that the reason Helena Roerich called Svetie to her side was that she believed Natacha to be the reincarnation of Bathsheba. This was revealed to me by the Spanish Roerich Society as I completed Michael's Roerich chapter in Beyond Valentino.

Michael passed away not knowing that Natacha and Svetoslav lived together and were engaged for three years. I guess when we all go, fabulous things will not cease to be because life goes on. New things get discovered. But I hope in some way Michael does know.

I realize in posting this remembrance of my dear friend, the Valentino Gaslighting Narcissists will begin with their tired old comment provocation. They will chant in unison how I took advantage of Michael's work and his family to promote myself, etc. That is the provocation even though they know it is not true at all. Beyond Valentino was Michael and Renato's project in the beginning and I was acting as a behind-the-scenes collaborator. 

When he died, it broke my heart to think of his work and dream being lost and forgotten. After working with him on the book for a couple of years by then I had all the materials, his plan was laid out, I knew what he wanted to do. I never doubted for one minute that I would do anything but work hard to finish his book and do the best job possible. 

My name appeared on the book because the Superiors of the Dominican Order in Berkeley insisted this be the case and it was never a move by me to exploit Michael's death. The accusation this was my motivation is made by people who not only do not know me, but who will not stop trying to destroy me.

Michael was a deeply devoted supporter of me, my work and at a time when no one else was. He talked me through years of investigation and how he loved to be the detective. We were so excited with each discovery, each interview I did and he would anxiously await the phone call. I remember once talking to him from the airport in Irvine after an interview with Bob Ullman. Michael and I met many times over the years before I moved to Italy; often in cafes in Berkeley where we gabbed nonstop for hours about our topics: Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova.

Every Christmas I gave him a gift of some brandy or cognac which I knew he loved. And he would say he would share it with the other priests in the house. When I lived in Los Angeles years later, he came to my home and on two occasions he cooked me dinner. We inspired adventure in each other as friends and made many, many great memories together. 

The most precious memory I have of Michael is hearing his voice on the phone so chipper, “Hi E!!” He would never let me be discouraged about Affairs Valentino, always kept me on the path and when I wrote him I thought it a very bad idea to put my name anywhere on Beyond Valentino, he scoffed. He then wrote me that the “devil's brigade” would "hoot and holler" but we could never let them run our lives.

So I say to the “Devil's Brigade”, go ahead and, "hoot and holler", and send along your provocations. It only takes me a word or two to recognize the intent and then I slide it in the trash file. I know you believe you are doing God's work in keeping your noses glued to this blog, but when a priest refers to you all as the "devil's brigade", that might make you want to take pause. 

Today I remember my great friend and supporter and send all love his way wherever he may be. Below a post he made on a Valentino chat room long ago which I cherish and below that a picture I took of Michael on one of our fun, adventurous days! 



I never forget... for the record:






Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Lovers Reconciled

The following quote seems a logical progression from the previous two posts, as excerpted from A Curious Life by George Wehner. What a fascinating character and how rewarding it was to get to know him while researching Astral Affairs. I could see why Natacha would trust him and be mesmerized by his calming presence. No, Natacha and George Wehner were not romantically involved; he was gay. But they were inseparable for a considerable time and he traveled with her after the separation. He was in the Hudnut chateau in France when news of Rudy's death reached Natacha. This is his eloquent and very personal testimony:

"Natacha was prostrated by the news. Those who fancy this much misunderstood child to be cold and indifferent should have seen her as I saw her then. Her genuine grief proved her great love for Rudy and her remorse at their misunderstandings and mistakes was heart-breaking to see.

I am convinced from my closeness to the true facts surrounding these romantic figures and regardless of what others might say, that Rudy was and ever will be the one real love of Natacha Rambova's earth-life.

I was happy that these two children of the limelight had been reconciled by their exchange of cables before death had stepped in. It made the final separation easier and Rudy made the Great-Change with Natacha's cable under his pillow."


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Natacha's Letter

The following is the transcript of the letter I read at the end of the Madam Valentino podcast.  This is the letter written to Rudolph Valentino by Natacha Rambova which Michael Morris sought to have access to but was denied. The question marks denote illegibility.



Natacha's "Million Kisses of Love & Tenderness"

As Rudolph Valentino began work on his true autobiography with Baltasar Cue, he gave the Spanish journalist letters for his reference. Some of them are included in the book which are obviously of great historical value. The first letter I excerpt, because most of the letter is a long story Natacha suggests to Rudolph as inspiration for Daydreams. The second letter Natacha writes to Doug Gerrard around the same time.

From The True Rudolph Valentino, p.84, Natacha writes to Rudolph just after her arrival in Foxlair, summer 1922:

“...You do not know how the strain exhausts me; it's so hard! And it seems that I'm going from bad to worse. Instead of correcting myself, despite what I do. Nor does it ever leave me, the fear that this will separate us in the end. If you could hurry up and come before it's too late!

Try to have a little patience and I will also try to master myself as best I can. My imagination seems to be always active and exaggerating and I can not stop it. I anxiously await your letter telling me of your plans. I hope that this time we can make them. Things are getting so discouraging! That's all for now, my life. I must close, because A ... is waiting to take the correspondence.

All my love is for you, little boy. If I did not love you, I would not be so excited, nor would it excite you either; but I can not manage life without you.

A million kisses of love and tenderness.

Your naughty – LITTLE DOLL.“

*****

(A second letter from Natacha to Douglas Gerrard) “G.” is their lawyer, W.I. Gilbert, p. 82:

"Dear Gerry,

Thank you very much for your more than appreciated letter, which came to me last night. Of course, you had a lot of reasons to be angry when you received my letter. As for me, Gerry, please do me the favor of believing that I fully trust you and that I know that you have been my best friend, as well as Rudolph's, and that you are helping us in everything so that we can see each other again.

I am currently terribly worried about what I think I should do and want to do most of all in the world. Rudolph will probably have received my letter by this date and he will have told you how things are, as you will understand, I am dying to return home, but I can not ignore the advice of all or run the risk of ruining the future and the career of Rudie. I would never forgive myself; and it would remain between him and me for a lifetime, even if the fault was not mine.

After the stupid advice that G. gave us before, it is natural that your opinion does not inspire much confidence now that everyone advises me otherwise. G. is a good lawyer, but he does not realize how much the public opinion and the press opinion matter to Rudie. Perhaps the best thing I could do is go abroad with my mother and convince Rudie to make his next film in Europe.

But I hope everything is fixed in no more than a week. The idea of having to leave makes me feel weak. I know that you will continue to help us and that you will advise him what suits him the best. But his career must be considered first of all since that will mean his happiness. Nothing else for now. Do not stop giving me news of you when you have time.

With all my love for my dear and loyal friend Gerry.

N. " 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

In Appreciation

In a comment left yesterday on the William Bianchino article, appreciation is expressed for his convincing Valentino not to move to Oklahoma and become a landscape architect.

I think there are others to appreciate who at various times, saved Valentino from sure oblivion. And in reference to the above article, I believe Valentino's career was saved in 1922, from a death by rampant yellow journalism.

Yellow journalism and yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate, well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales.”

I set the context for Valentino's precarious situation in Affairs Valentino, but found this article could have been the moment Valentino's career was truly saved; because of the timing. The Roscoe Arbuckle trials were headlines and despite his eventually being acquitted, the yellow journalistic attacks caused his films to be banned and his career to be ruined. Valentino knew Arbuckle, was certainly aware of the situation and could take no chances.

In Valentino's case, I believe he was saved from yellow journalism ruination and the banning of his films by the quick intervention of Doug Gerrard, June Mathis, Thomas Meigham and Marion Davies. Despite Valentino's nick of time salvation, the lies about Arbuckle were perpetuated.

Valentino narrowly escaped the wrath of the yellow journalists then, but I believe he is now a victim of the same tactics. With fictionalized books by David Bret... which are obscene undocumented porn... being supported by Tracy Terhune on his vicious blog against Renato and me, I find this a high level of yellow journalism in regards to Valentino's truth.

It seems a continuation of the same thoughtlessness and the sensational; i.e. the self-serving promotions (letting the faithful wear Valentino's ring at the memorial) all which nearly ruined Valentino's career in 1922. If Zukor and Hays bowed to the lies, the sensational and banned Valentino's movies, what would have been his fate?

So many distinguished people during Valentino's life, other than Mr. Bianchino...George Ullman, Teresa Werner, Natacha Rambova saved the day back then... and many fine people today carry on the interest in the decency of Valentino's story, respecting the well-researched, the legitimate and here, even on this blog, endeavor to save his legacy everyday from the yellow journalistic ravaging.

The innuendo, the statements made as truth when they are not, the narcissism and gas lighting, the gross fiction of David Bret sponsored by the man who emcees the memorial every year. How is this all not the same yellow journalism which ruined Arbuckle's truth, and which nearly took down Valentino in May of 1922?

Monday, June 13, 2022

A Persistent Myth

When I asked Frank Mennillo's grandson how and when Frank knew Rudolph Valentino, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Met him at the docks”. And the story began.

Frank took Rudolph straight to the tailor and got him set up. Frank made one lasting impression on Rudolph that day by telling the teenager he was never to be seen in public without spotless white spats.

Despite this and the entire testimony of Frank's family, despite the testimony of Uncle Ernesto Filomarino's family, despite Uncle Ernesto's address being entered as Rudolph's destination in New York on his immigration record, despite the $4000.00 waiting for Rudolph in a New York bank as funded by his mother, despite this by today's exchange being $118,099.39, and despite the testimony of William Bianchino who witnessed Valentino in the Filomarino office on arrival. (see article below)...despite all of this a myth persists. 

The myth Valentino arrived in New York City broke, penniless, floundering about knowing no one, etc. is still so entrenched in his legacy. Someone asked me recently if I thought there was one false thing about Valentino which could never be changed and I said this: the myth that he arrived destitute and not speaking English. It still seems to be everywhere.

I understand why it was generated and I get why Valentino would have gone along with it. It made him a hero to his Italian-American countrymen and women who came to America as immigrants believing they could do exactly as Valentino did.

But now there should be some accountability to reference the facts as they line up. I am not sure what the attraction is to maintain that rags to riches story in light of these families histories and the evidence. Why does Valentino still have to be portrayed as some wandering lost soul on his arrival when he was not that at all?



Sunday, June 12, 2022

Woof, Woof, Woof

After living in El Jadida, Morocco for three months, (hell) Renato and I loaded up our car (a small Fiat) to drive five hours through Moroccan wilderness to get to Tangier where we would board a boat home to Genoa. I will not speak for Renato, (he had a reasonably good time) but I was destroyed, (I hated wearing the hijab, etc.)

We pulled off the road at one point to let our little fur baby Leeloo have a bathroom break. But before Renato could even stop the car, we were attacked by a pack of huge wild dogs. They came out of nowhere and were biting at the tires, gnashing at the front bumper and it was terrifying.

Renato inched us out of the horror, but that feral pack assaulting our car came to my mind this morning as I pondered a fresh post. “Feral” would be the word I was looking for to describe those people, rushing at us everyday as a unified pack of irrational hatred/gnashing.

But the poor Moroccan dogs were no doubt starving and had nothing but their predatory instincts; we were food. The comments of the feral “Valentino Stalking Community” do not generate any sympathy. They have every advantage over those poor dogs and logically should act more civilized. This said, for me... it is a perfect metaphor.

I have come to the decision that it is not censorship to refuse publishing their comments. They will not get inside the car. Gnash away beasts.


3 - George Ullmans Creation of Memorial Guilds and Memorial Service


I recorded this ten years ago. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Man Wearing Glasses

 My photo of Renato reflected in the old mirror (see post titled, “Find Renato”) prompted a response from a reader. They pointed out how a similar image occurs in The Son of the Sheik. At around 17:34 into the movie (see link), you will notice a mirror propped up against the tent pole.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eruhkz7DTTY

At 18:23, a brief image appears in the mirror; that of a man wearing glasses.



Who is this? Was this intentional or a production glitch?

They also suggested it looked like Joe Kennedy. In March 1926, he moved to Hollywood to pursue business in the film industry. Its an interesting point in the movie and who knows?


Friday, June 10, 2022

Apparently Signed, "Toro"...

Well I would ask Mr. Serge. V. Sherdin, which is it? Did you find the Valentino artifacts in the Wilshire Boulevard garage or did you import it all from Italy? For me the suspicious line reveals Mr. Sherdin, “dabbles in art as a sideline”.

Did the reporter not get the story straight? Or did Mr. Sherbin find the Beltran Masses portrait in a garage in 1953? Or did he paint one? Did he paint them all?

Fact-checking the story reveals the man did own a day care and a motel at 608 San Vincente Boulevard in Santa Monica. But this story has some missing parts and could be a tempting rabbit hole.

Above from The West Los Angeles Independent, February 8, 1952

Above from The Los Angeles Times, February 12, 1956

The Rudolph Valentino Production Company's prop house was on Santa Monica Boulevard so that is not an explanation. I also doubt in 1953, all of that was abandoned in a garage on Wilshire. And the importing it from Italy... well Serge V. went too far imo.

***P.S. And imagine the insanity if I were to ever promote Tracy Terhune and David Bret's book/books? After what they do every day to massacre our books? Not in a million years of Sundays would I give them a tiny nod. Sorry to you who did your best earlier today with comments sent it to insult me, my husband and my integrity... that is your answer. I would not care if those two wrote the Magna Carta, I would not promote it. Has nothing to do with my ego... it has to do with pride. 


Find Renato


Renato took this selfie at the vintage outdoor fair in Turin. Right now he is busy translating Professor Miccoli's latest book, Rudolph Valentino & The Professor, into English with my assistance and we are excited about the project. Renato's first book in Italian is also happening. Thank you all for the encouragement and insights. We won't be silenced and I hope certain people have an awakening of spirit soon.


Life Goes On

I have often said it does not matter to me if someone does not like Affairs Valentino. They can hate it, use it as kindling, or toilet paper for all I care. They have that perfect right. But what people can not do is set out to destroy and torture me for writing the book. And I think by now I have explained sufficiently what I mean by “their” destroying/destruction ...calling us names, depicting us as fraudulent criminals and thieves while repeatedly broadcasting how we are people we certainly are not.

Renato and I are honest to a fault perhaps and maybe that makes us boring... but we do not lie or commit crimes and have no reason to...and we are not hateful folks at all.

I am not comfortable talking about or posting about Mr. Terhune. I am uncomfortable even mentioning him let alone posting analyses about him. Why? Because I hope to give him the most minimal amount of attention for his awful behavior. But it is hard to avoid since he has made himself the center of attention... and there is a lot to be said... he is like a spoilt brat throwing a tantrum in the middle of church or the Queen's jubilee. I base my judgment on the fact I was raised knowing how to behave and my children were raised the same way. This is what I know as being normal. But somewhere Mr. Terhune missed the lesson in, “do not act like the center of the universe with your obnoxious tantrums”.

It is shocking anyone shows up to worship Terhune as he positions himself a few feet from Rudolph Valentino's final resting place. I am so appalled people think it is fine to let him have that pulpit while he goes the extra miles... with Bret in hand... and behind-the-scenes... to tell the world we are people we are not. I remember one year watching his service as he read the 23rd Psalm while I was reading his latest hit post attacking us on the blog he runs under the title of the book he loves to hate. It was pretty hard to take.

It is a very disappointing element of the Valentino world that year after year he gets that position. Imagine a new face at the crypt, someone who does not run bully blogs against the author of a book they did not like. Someone at the helm there who does not name call, mock....someone who does not reek of David Bret... someone who represents the sanctity of that tomb.

Renato and I have taken these two men's defamation since 2011 and I was subjected to it some years prior to that. Before Affairs Valentino was even finished, before it was ever published anywhere, they had ruined me, the book and all hope to recover my reputation. They slaughtered me online. After they did this, they have since mocked how Affairs Valentino did not have a huge publisher. I always said it is as if someone shoots you in the legs and then laughs at you for not being able to dance.

They did not have to like our work... but they can respect the serious work that went into it. And in the days before the internet, doing what they do to us would surely land them in jail; i.e. you do not publish someone's fake obituary, you do not post that they have criminal records, drug histories and warrants out on them when that is all false, you do not write about their deaths, you do not post years of salacious commentary about their sexual lives and you do not recruit people to spy and spread the ugly false propaganda. I think at one point these amoral tactics to ruin someone would have been punishable criminal acts.

We have lived our lives around their endless and extremely high levels of gaslighting and abuse. This said we are happy people who refuse to allow them to rob us of a moment of our days and we are grateful that at our ages we have a lot of energy and each other. So our love for life goes on. I hope it is the same for all of you.