Teenage Judy Garland Was Allegedly Molested By Munchkins in Her Ex- Husband Sid Luft’s New Book Reports CBS News and People Magazine
A new book due out March 1 written ( posthumously) by Sid Luft, who was married to Garland from 1952-1965, described the alleged abuse in a new, posthumous memoir, Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland. Sid was also the father of Judy’s children Lorna Luft and Joey Luft.
Our book from Simon & Schuster, The Life and Times of Mickey Rooney details the abuse of Judy and Mickey at the hands of MGM to get better performances by methamphetamine and sleeping pills. We never found any of this type of “abuse” by the munchkins nor have we viewed this book yet or its research or any substantive evidence.
Do we believe it? Probably NOT. First, I have met the late Sid Luft. He was a sleazy, unscrupulous promoter and cashed in on Judy himself. So I’m very wary of this charge
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I would say I probably do NOT believe the claim. However, I will wait until I’ve read Luft’s memoir Judy made a lot of untrue claims in her life and this could also be one of them. Judy did have a caretaker named Betty Asher, who was the sister of directors William Asher ( Bewitched, married to Elizabeth Montgomery) who was hired by MGM to watch over her, so we are very wary of this claim
Here is the story about the book from this week’s People Magazine. CBS News also reported the story- here is the link:
Here is the story by People Magazine:
Teenage Judy Garland Was Repeatedly Molested by Munchkins on Set of Wizard of Oz, Says Her Ex-Husband
BY MICHAEL MILLER•@WRITE_MILLERUPDATED FEBRUARY 7, 2017 AT 8:38PM EST
In The Wizard of Oz, the lovable Munchkins help Dorothy follow the yellow brick road to find her way home. But just like Oz himself, it turns out some of the Munchkins may not have been all they seemed.
A new memoir by Judy Garland’s ex-husband claims the Dorothy actress was repeatedly molested by some of the actors who played the Munchkins in the classic musical.
Sid Luft, who was married to Garland from 1952-1965, described the alleged abuse in a new, posthumous memoir, Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland.
‘They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress … The men were 40 or more years old,” wrote the producer and business manager, who died in 2005.
Sidney Luft and Judy Garland in 1957
“They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small,” he added.
Garland, who died in 1969, described the actor’s behavior before her death. In a 1967 interview with Jack Paar, Judy Garland said, “They were little drunks … They got smashed every night, and they picked them up in butterfly nets.”
Rumors about the actors’ bad behavior — ranging from Caligula-like orgies to gambling to prostitution — have been floating around Hollywood for decades. Julie Lugo Cerra, whose father worked near the Wizard of Oz studio in Culver City, CA at the time, told NPR that the hundred and twenty some Munchkin actors “had a really good time” during filming because, for many of them, it was their first time interacting with other little people.
Judy Garland with the “Lollipop Guild” in The Wizard of Oz. No specific actors were accused of abuse in Luft’s memoir.
“They were having a very good time and they celebrated a lot,” Cerra added. Her father told her that the Munchkin actors “were all over the place” … “and they would pile them into cars, and they would be even under the dashboards because you could get so many in.” While she denied many of the rumors, Cerra said, “I’m sure that they had a very good time, and I’m sure that most of them remembered it for the rest of their lives.”
Many of the Munchkin actors have denied the claims, arguing that they worked hard for little pay. Munchkin actress Margaret Pellegrini told The Independent in 2009, “There were a lot of them who liked to go out and have a few drinks, but nothing got out of hand. Everyone was having a good time and enjoying themselves. There was no rowdiness or anything like that, and those stories are very upsetting.”
Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. No specific actors were accused of abuse in Luft’s memoir.
Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin at 97, reportedly asked, “How could you get drunk on $50 a week?” He added, “There were a couple of kids from Germany who liked to drink beer. They drank beer morning, noon and night, and got in a little trouble. They wanted to meet the girls, but they were the only ones.”
In addition to the Munchkin allegations, Luft’s memoir details his love affair with Garland, including her drug addictions and multiple suicide attempts.
Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney on Lux Theater. 1941
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The Marriage of Mickey Rooney & Ava Gardner
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