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I compared every feature of the face, the makeup, the hair, the legs, the hands and arms with the Marlene I knew from her early photographs.
Soon little gold nuggets began to glimmer at me from between the lines of letters, published and unpublished; they lurked embedded in thousands of pages of long-secret government documents that, after realizing their importance for my purposes, I slowly acquired.In my view, it was the turning point in Greta Garbo's life.Much of what defined the mysterious starher obsession with privacy and secrecy, the bizarre rules she set up for those allowed to peep into her temple of solitude, even the premature ending of her film careersprang from her reaction to this pivotal event, which occurred when she was nineteen.Through the rubble, I glimpsed a never- before-reported affair between Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich (who lied for the rest of their lives, saying that they had never met).
I found a hitherto- untracked husband-cum-consort of Dietrich (who lied about his existence)and swirling about him, and the girls, I found some long-lied-about Hollywood skullduggery, which ultimately led to the Hollywood Ten trials of suspected Communists halfway through the century. Let's take the Garbo-Dietrich affair, which I explore in Part 2.What's more, the affair's denouement, evidently a cruel and vulgar revelation to mutual friends by Dietrich, which she repeated decades later, quite clearly lay at the root of Garbo's lifelong obsession with privacy.