A portrait taken on December 3, 1961 shows American actress Marilyn Monroe. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read ARCHIVE/AFP/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY by Olivia Barker) Back in the day, Fred Otash was a hundreds-of-dollars-per-day L.A. private investigator who snooped on the era's biggest names: John Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson.
A new Hollywood Reporter story says he claimed he recorded the president and his presumed paramour having sex (the tape has since gone missing) and was hired by Hudson's wife to spy on him amid the rampant rumors of his homosexuality.
In notes obtained by THR, Otash writes that he "listened to Marilyn Monroe die."
Hours earlier he bugged a heated argument between Monroe, Bobby Kennedy and Peter Lawford. "She said she was passed around like a piece of meat. It was a violent argument about their relationship and the commitment and promises he made to her. She was really screaming and they were trying to quiet her down. She's in the bedroom and Bobby gets the pillow and he muffles her on the bed to keep the neighbors from hearing. She finally quieted down and then he was looking to get out of there."
Hudson's wife, Phyllis Gates, had Otash record her 1958 confrontation with the actor regarding whether he was gay. THR got their hands on the transcription:
Regarding a Rorschach test Hudson took, Gates said: "You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes. (A therapist) told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent that male penis. I'm not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize your problem, you would want to do something about it."
She told him his homosexuality was something he should "grow out of." She also complained about "your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?"
"Well, it's a physical conjunction (sic)," replied Hudson, then, like his wife, 32. "Boys don't fit. So, this is why it lasts longer."
Added Gates: "Everyone knows that you were picking up boys off the street shortly after we were married and have continued to do so, thinking that being married would cover up for you."
"I have never picked up any boys on the street," Hudson maintained. "I have never picked up any boys in a bar, never. I have never picked up any boys, other than to give them a ride."
In her autobiography, published after Hudson's AIDS-related death in 1985, Gates wrote that she was in love with Hudson when they married in 1955 and didn't know he was gay. The couple divorced in 1958.