She made her West End debut in 1972 and starred in the 1973 West End production of Pippin, directed by Bob Fosse. This made MGM lawyers stall the proceedings, and, although David Ross was the main defendant, process servers never contacted him. She had lemon Cokes at drive-ins with Dick Powell (“When the waitress saw him, she almost fainted”), barhopped with Bing Crosby and pre–I Love Lucy Bill Frawley (“The three of us used to go to this dive on Sunset Boulevard; Bing would sing, and the drunks didn’t even care”), dined at the Brown Derby with Jimmy Durante (“His daddy wanted him to marry me, and I was all of 15”), played kid-sister confessor to George Raft (“He couldn’t get it up, but he had to keep that manly reputation, so the studio manufactured a big romance with Betty Grable”), and learned “truckin’,” the Cotton Club’s latest hep step, from Larry Fine, one of the Three Stooges (“What a blue tongue! “He always went for the underdog,” says Kelly Brown, “and took cases no one else would touch.” After offering to represent Douglas pro bono, Brown fired off an ultimatum to Fitts: either the D.A.’s office would investigate his client’s complaint or she would share it with the press. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Another victim might have exploited the cover-up for advancement, demanding hush money or an ironclad contract. Back in the grand-jury room, Lester Roth called Clement Soth, the parking attendant who had discovered Douglas. David Ross (circled) was one of the salesmen at a luncheon on the MGM lot with the studio’s stars on May 3, 1937. “Someone would’ve seen me naked.”, Delegates mistook the professional dancers for party favors and Forced to recount her rape in detail, Douglas had to watch Lester Roth, a Silberberg law partner representing Ross, point at her with withering scorn and say to the jurors, “Look at her. “I don’t think she ever saw herself as special or unique, and she was both.”. To a bunch of starstruck Babbitts, hobnobbing with Hollywood royalty was a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, and MGM understood the effect it would have on them. She was professionally ruined, and what happened in her personal life was worse. Since she was supported by her mother, Douglas had no need to work.

Summoned by casting assistant Vincent Conniff, these fetching unknowns with marquee-friendly names—Teddie Blue, Dona Dax, Iris Gaye, Maren Marlin—were outfitted in felt cowboy hats, belted bolero jackets, leather-studded cuffs, short suedette skirts, and black boots. . .

The douche had removed all evidence.”. “They put me through such misery. Most women would have given up, but Douglas was quickly proving to be unlike most women. He claimed that while he could not prove his point, he believed there had been no intercourse. Chaperoned by her mortified mother—”I don’t remember any words of comfort from her, no ‘Too bad this happened to you,’ nothing”—Douglas appeared at the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to swear a complaint against David Ross. “We have read with astonishment the alleged charges of the girl,” it began. Douglas’s anger led her to make a momentous decision. . But they thought it was funny. In an apparent legal first, a female plaintiff made rape a federal case, based on its violation of her civil rights. The unidentified studio released a brief statement. Dr. Edward Lindquist, who treated Douglas, co-owned the hospital, and his practice was largely dependent on MGM. wanted.”. It ruined my life. “And I’ve never had an orgasm. When he saw her truckin’ on the dance floor, he approached her and demanded a lesson. Selznick had left MGM for Paramount and then RKO when he returned to work with his father-in-law at MGM in 1933, given a job as vice president and head of his own production unit at the studio. Douglas told Stenn that David Ross, from the Chicago office, had tried to “cop a feel” on her during a dance.

In all the discussion re: Weinstein, not seeing enough about *how* & *why* a predator can fly under the radar in an industry for so long. Patricia Douglas identifies her attacker, David Ross, from a stack of photographs. Still, it was significant, because the case was “an apparent legal first,” Stenn wrote, in that “a female plaintiff made rape a federal case, based on its violation of her civil rights.”. “Douglas must have attempted to proposition men,” read an internal Roach Studios memo. No woman had ever dared to link a sexual assault to a Hollywood film studio, especially the almighty MGM. Douglas was in a state of collapse for 14 hours. Nicholas Hoel, Mimi Ma, Adam Appich, Ray Brinkman, Dorothy Cazaly, Douglas Pavlicek, Neelay Mehta, Patricia Westerford, and Olivia Vandergriff are people who had unique relationships with trees which occasionally led to tragedy or salvation. I just wanted to be vindicated, to hear someone say, ‘You can’t do that to a woman.’”.

Weeks passed without any word from Fitts. Beery rushed her from the premises and “socked a couple of men” in the process. I remember a lot of laughter.” As soon as her tormentors released her, Douglas fled to the washroom and threw up. PROBE OF WILD FILM PARTY PRESSED, headlined the William Randolph Hearst–owned L.A. Patricia Douglas trusted the system and waited. “And I’ve never had an orgasm. To battle the Depression, which had already sent rivals Fox, Paramount, and RKO into bankruptcy or receivership, MGM sales executives had devised a radical scheme to re-structure film rentals: rather than charge exhibitors on a sliding-percentage scale of box-office receipts, which declined with each booking, the studio would set fees on a per-film basis, calculated on first-run grosses in 30 key cities. The timing of Douglas’s suit was most unfortunate for Mayer and Mannix. After three days of “strenuous business activities,” delegates were rewarded with a down-home respite. “The power MGM had is unimaginable today. “I’m going to destroy you,” he boasted. From the Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library/Corbis, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “I guess the Irish in me came out,” she says. treated them accordingly. “We want you to go back to your respective territories,” a studio bulletin exhorted the salesmen, “firmly convinced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, under the leadership of Louis B. Mayer, is bending every effort to back up the men who provide the one connecting link with the exhibitor, and through him, the public.”.

“He and another man held me down,” she says, shuddering. I was frigid.” She described herself as “a lousy mother” and “a walking zombie who glided through life.”. You’re the only person who can, David.”. “My god,” she moaned, her eyes swollen shut. In the spring of 1937, Patricia Douglas was a chunky, chestnut-haired 20-year-old with porcelain skin and perfect teeth.

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