Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio tied the knot at San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954, barely two years after DiMaggio asked a friend to set him up on a date with the blonde bombshell. The marriage was short-lived: it ended nine months later with Monroe citing DiMaggio’s “mental cruelty” in her filing.
There we rumors that their divorce was the result of DiMaggio not wanting to take a back seat to his wife’s fame, but a new book claims the split happened because Monroe couldn’t have children. DiMaggio had a son, Joe Jr., from his first marriage to actress Dorothy Arnold, but wanted a family with his new wife, according to the biography Dinner with DiMaggio: Memories of an American Hero co-authored by brothers John Positano and Dr. Rock Positano.
“Joe wanted kids with Marilyn, and Marilyn wanted to reward him with a family,” the book reads. “In Italian terms, sex meant kids. Great sex meant great kids. Marilyn gave goddess sex, but no kids.”
Dr. Positano first met DiMaggio while treating him for an old heel spur injury, People reports. Their friendship formed over dinner at various New York City restaurants.
However, the dissolution of their marriage didn’t stop DiMaggio from caring about Monroe, who was 12 years his junior. In 1961, when the end of Monroe’s four-year marriage to playwright Arthur Miller left her feeling “emotionally fragile,” DiMaggio picked up the pieces. He secured her release from a psychiatric clinic, according to History.com, and whisked her away for some R&R at the Yankees’ spring training camp in Florida.
“He felt that she was very vulnerable and very sweet and that it was very easy for people to take advantage of her,” Dr. Positano told People.
DiMaggio cared for his former wife so much, in fact, that he never forgave his friend Frank Sinatra for introducing her to the Kennedy family. Monroe was coping with depression and drug addiction around the time rumors about affairs with John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy began circulating.
“The understanding was that her involvement with Mr. Sinatra and the Kennedy clan put her in a position where maybe it wasn’t good for her mental health or her emotional health,” said Positano. “[DiMaggio] didn’t think they were good people for her to be around.”
Monroe’s death at age 36 in August 1962, just 17 months after her psychiatric treatment, was ruled a “probable suicide.” But Positano claims the actress had told DiMaggio someone was going to “do her in.”
“‘The whole lot of Kennedys were lady-killers,'” DiMaggio told Positano, according to the book, “‘and they always got away with it. They’ll be getting away with it a hundred years from now.'”
“I always knew who killed her, but I didn’t want to start a revolution in this country,” DiMaggio allegedly told Positano. “I’ll go to the grave regretting and blaming myself for what happened to her.”
The baseball star, whom the book says Monroe loved to the end, is the one who arranged her funeral. He sent roses to her Los Angeles grave every week until his death in 1999. His last dying words were, purportedly, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”