Judy Garland’s late ex-husband Sid Luft claimed in his unfinished memoir that she was repeatedly molested as a teen by Munchkins on the set of her 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.
Luft wrote about the alleged behavior in Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland. The book is being published more than a decade after Luft’s 2005 death at age 89 from a heart attack. An editor recently compiled the final section from interviews with the author.
“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress. … The men were 40 or more years old,” the former business manager and producer claimed in his book, according to People, of the actors who played the Munchkins.
“They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small,” continued Luft, who did not mention the names of anyone who was allegedly involved.
Garland, who died of a drug overdose at age 47 in 1969, mentioned the Munchkins’ allegedly rowdy antics during a 1967 interview with Jack Paar. According to the Hollywood legend, “they got smashed every night.” However, there is no record of Garland speaking out about the crude conduct Luft alleges in his tome.
Margaret Pellegrini, who was 15 years old when she played a Munchkin, shut down rumors of unruly behavior during a 2009 interview with The Independent. “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,” she said at the time. “There was no rowdiness or anything like that, and those stories are very upsetting.”
According to Luft’s publisher, Chicago Review Press, Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland also details the iconic actress’ “drug dependencies and suicidal tendencies” and how they “put a tremendous strain” on her relationship with Luft.
After Luft and Garland divorced in 1965, the Meet Me in St. Louis star went on to marry actor Mark Herron, from whom she split in 1969 after four years of marriage. She wed musician and entrepreneur Mickey Deans in March 1969, nearly three months before she passed away that June. For his part, Luft was married to Patti Hemingway from 1970 to 1971 and then tied the knot with actress Camille Keaton in 1993, whom he was still married to at the time of his death.
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