How Mary Astor’s Purple Diary Sparked an Infamous Hollywood Sex Scandal

How Mary Astor’s Purple Diary Sparked an Infamous Hollywood Sex Scandal

If you read someone else’s diary, you get what you deserve.” 

This maxim attributed to famous diarist David Sedaris should go without saying for anyone in need of its lesson. But it came over half a century too late for Dr. Franklyn Thorpe or, as he was better known in the 1930s, Mr. Mary Astor.

In 1935, with his marriage to one of Hollywood’s leading ladies on the rocks, Thorpe decided the best plan of action was to search his home for his wife’s diary. Allegedly acting on a tip from one of the family’s housekeepers, he found the book and was shocked by what he discovered inside—a detailed and risqué record of his wife’s extramarital sex life. 

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