Trial

Mary Astor's Diary (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 13) by Karina Longworth

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In 1936, actress Mary Astor (who had not yet made her most famous film, The Maltese Falcon) and her husband went to court to fight for custody of their four year-old daughter. The trial made international news thanks to both sides’ use of Astor’s diary, in which she had recorded details of her affair with playwright George S. Kaufman. How much did Astor truly reveal in her diary, and what role did the scandal play in her life and career?

Mary Astor testifies in court, 1935 | Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Mary Astor testifies in court, 1935 | Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Mary Astor and Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, 1941

Mary Astor and Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, 1941

Music:

The music used in this episode, with the exception of the intro and outro, was sourced from royalty-free music libraries and licensed music collections. The intro includes a clip from the film Casablanca. The outro song this week is “Secret” by Madonna.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Club Noir 2  - John Allen
One Two Three 2 - Peter Sandberg
One Two Three 5 - Peter Sandberg
A Playful Mood 2 - Peter Sandberg
Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg
In The Lounge 05 - Lars Olvmyr
In The Lounge 02 - Lars Olvmyr
Downtown Alley 2 - Magnus Ringblom
Say It Is So - Magnus Ringblom Quartet
Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Franz Gordon
City Fashion 3 - Björn Skogsberg
Eventually Maybe - Oakwood Station

Mary Astor in a still from the trailer for The Great Lie (1941)

Mary Astor in a still from the trailer for The Great Lie (1941)

Credits:

This episode was written, narrated and produced by Karina Longworth.

Editor: Cameron Drews.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.

Mary Astor, c. 1920’s

Mary Astor, c. 1920’s