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« In Which Nothing About Audrey Hepburn's Ex-Husband Interests Us »

The Dark Side of Audrey Hepburn


Nothing about my ex-husband interests me. I have spent two years in hell – surely the worst in my life.

More than once, I was at the station seeing trainloads of Jews being transported, seeing all these faces over the top of the wagon. I was exactly the same age as Anne Frank. We were both 10 when the war broke out… if you read [her] diary, I’ve marked one place where she says, ‘Five hostages shot today.’ That was the day my uncle was shot.

I admit that people have often said they never really get to know me. But does anyone ever know someone else completely?

 It’s become cliché for teenagers and young women of our generation to love Audrey Hepburn. For some reason girls of the 90s grew up with an affinity for Hepburn to where it became, "Welcome to college, here’s your Breakfast At Tiffany’s poster for your dorm room." That film is based on a dark novella in which Holly Golightly doesn't get her cat back, doesn’t get the guy, and is generally a horrible person. But in the film, it’s not even really clear that Hepburn plays a prostitute. That completely went over my head the first time I saw it. I thought she just liked to wake up early and put on a party dress. Also there’s that horribly racist Mr. Yunioshi character that Mickey Rooney threw in there. So I guess if you really analyze it, there is a dark side to the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, just not in an obvious way.

And that’s the thing about Audrey Hepburn. She has darkness but it isn’t obvious. The problems of Marilyn Monroe became part of her legend but Audrey’s were carefully tucked away in a Givenchy handbag. A friend of mine once despaired about a fight she got into with a rude friend of a friend. She didn't even know this person and yet she was torn up about it. When I asked her why it bothered her so much, she said it was because she strived to be like Audrey Hepburn, and "no one ever said anything bad about Audrey Hepburn."

Challenge accepted.

She is a rank amateur who needed a dozen takes. – Humphrey Bogart

Bogart hated working with Hepburn, but he had a point. Though she had come off a major film (Roman Holiday) for which she won an Academy Award, her success was partly due to luck, timing, and the graciousness of her costar Gregory Peck, who insisted on giving the unknown equal billing. Before Roman Holiday Hepburn starred in the play Gigi. Paramount actually considered her "plump" and put her on a strict diet of steak tartare and greens before filming. (You know Hollywood is fucked up when Audrey Hepburn is put on a diet.) Hepburn herself never believed that she was thin.

According to her son, Hepburn would refer to herself as “fake thin” because her upper body and waist was especially thin and would give her an overall appearance of slightness. One can’t help but roll their eyes at her claim because, well, look at her. Rumors of an eating disorder plagued her, but if you consider World War II an eating disorder, then yes, she was very disordered. In 1944 Nazis occupied the Netherlands, where she and her mother lived.

Audrey and her family, with the exception of her Nazi sympathizer father, worked for the resistance. She suffered severe malnutrition and once had to hide in a cellar for a few days. When she was a child she almost died of whooping cough. This, combined with her poor nutrition during the war, lead to her asthma. Despite the fact that she had weak lungs and knew it, she continued to smoke for the rest of her life, even though she was consistently told that she "might be in the early stages of emphysema." Yes, it was the fifties and sixties and smoking was a vice, but even someone in that era with those symptoms would know it was a bad idea.

In the 80s she lamented over the condition of her skin, but it was typical of her to point out flaws. She would often call herself ugly and wished that she had a bigger chest. It is of course these "flaws" that have made her so iconic, but it’s very possible she had some form of body dysmorphic disorder or at least a very low self-esteem.

Her weight plummeted to an all-time low during her first divorce from her controlling and jealous husband Mel Ferrer. A child of divorce and with a child of her own, Hepburn desperately wanted to make the marriage work, but Ferrer's likely infidelity and definite need for complete control over Hepburn’s professional and personal life sent her into a deep depression. The man had to be a total asshole for Hepburn to refer to her divorce as "two years in hell" considering that she spent most of her early teens dodging Nazis.

During the separation Mel stayed with Hepburn but only out of concern for her health; she was apparently, according to a friend, "down to 82 pounds and looks thin and wan; she has never looked so frail in her life, even when she was ill." Again, quite the statement, considering that Hepburn compared her youth to Anne Frank's.

Their divorce was described as "absolutely unexpected" not only to her fans and the media, but their friends as well. One of them, Dee Hartford Hawks, said that only two weeks before their separation she ran into them at a nightclub in France and that "Audrey and Mel were acting like honey-mooners. They danced every number together – even the Watusi." The Watusi!! Who could have predicted this?? A second miscarriage also put a strain on their already frail marriage.

In an article by Tom Daly from the 1960s, he reported that Audrey attempted suicide twice. Once she tried to slit her wrists and it was Mrs. Yul Brynner who got her to the hospital in time. An unnamed insider said that "I've heard about Audrey’s suicide attempts, too, and that shocks me, but in a way I’m not surprised. Whatever that woman does she does with her whole heart and soul. And when she married Mel, she invested everything she had emotionally. It’s no wonder that she feels lost now." And it’s no wonder that so many sources (aside from Bogart and Hawks) wanted to keep such scandalous thoughts to themselves because Audrey was revered and famous for her elegance and charm. In an article "The Two Hepburns" (not referring to Katharine and Audrey, but to Audrey’s light and dark sides), Eliot George tapes into this darker side of Hepburn: "The wispy, sable-browed, gamin-faced Audrey is either Elfin Charmer or Iron Butterfly, depending on where you stand."

Another person who had plenty of bad things to say about Hepburn was Brenda Marshall, William Holden’s wife at the time that Holden and Hepburn shot Sabrina. Hepburn and Holden carried on an affair. (It was ironic that later in life Audrey would try so hard to create the perfect family and do anything for her children, though she slept with Holden well-knowing that he was married with three kids.) Holden would invite Hepburn over to his home for dinner and he, Audrey, and Marshall, who eerily resembled Hepburn, would all eat together. "Audrey felt guilty all through the meal." No! This is Watusi shocking!!

Everyone assumed that Holden would leave Marshall for Hepburn but as soon as she found out that Holden had a vasectomy and could not provide her with children, she left. Holden was also a crazy drunk who died when he fell and hit his head on his coffee table and didn’t realize that it was serious so he didn’t go to the hospital and just kind of bled out to death in his living room. Charlie Sheen has nothing on William Holden.

Paris When It Sizzles, 1964

Holden and Hepburn would reunite about ten years later for the film Paris When It Sizzles, which one column described as "the worst movie ever made by anyone at any time." It was also around this time that Hepburn's marriage slowly and painfully began to unravel, and one can see the stress this put on her body. Even for Hepburn, she is unusually thin in his movie, and it may have been the only time in her life in which the eating disorder rumors were true. Holden tried to reignite their affair, but this time she was the married one and would not cave in.

People think of Hepburn as ever humble and ladylike but even she had her moments of divadom and snarkiness. While filming The Nun’s Story in Africa, Hepburn demanded that, "quarantine laws in the Belgian Congo would be waved for [her terrier] Famous […] and most important of all, that a bidet would be installed and waiting for her... It was probably the only bathroom fixture of its kind in Central Africa at that time." Slyly ironic considering she was playing a nun and nuns are all living without possessions. She did routinely visit a leper colony and refused to wear protective gloves "out of sympathy with the afflicted." She then likely went to her guest house and freshened up in her bidet-equipped bathroom.

While filming My Fair Lady she wouldn’t let Ferrer see her until her street urchin Eliza Doolittle look was completely washed away, though even though this look consisted of mere soot dotted on her face, Vaseline smeared in her hair, and dirty finger nails, and of course she still looked stunning. After retiring from film she married second husband Andrea Dotti and announced, "Now Mia Farrow can get my parts." Perhaps she meant it as a way of passing the baton over to another doe-eyed actress, but there is a certain edge to the comment, considering that after divorcing Mel, Hepburn "emerged with a hairdo even short than Mia's!"

Though people praise her for aging gracefully, perhaps the most shocking Hepburn quote ever was given during a 1980s interview with Harper’s Bazaar: “I think it’s [plastic surgery] a marvelous thing, done in small doses, very expertly, so that no one notices.” Not even Nicole Kidman will admit to her notoriously frozen face, but here was a beauty icon freely praising plastic surgery.

It is just another part of Hepburn’s life that most people breezily skip past. She is more than that waif figure forever posed in that little black dress on 5th Avenue. She came from a god-awful childhood, suffered from depression, got divorced twice and had an affair. There is nothing new or evil about any of these things, but it is interesting that these aspects of her life remained hidden. Monroe was just as sweet, just as loving, but her secrets spilled out and are still notorious. Why is Hepburn so sacred? Granted, the work she did with Unicef was immense and admirable, and nothing should detract from that. But why must she be a goddess? She was human, like any of us. She had flaws.

And Grace Kelly really was a slut. I stand by that.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is the creator of Apocalypstick. She last wrote in these pages about her life with rapper Kanye West.

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Reader Comments (61)

BOOO! Hiss! Audrey is a sacred cow!

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermordicai

The reason why Monroe's life is "notorious" perhaps has to do with the fact that this was part of her schtick. She was an alluring sex symbol whose first brush with fame was as a model: the scandal and the rumour that surrounded her life was part of her image and her appeal. She deliberately pushed the envelope, whereas Audrey was determined to play nice. Can you imagine Hepburn singing "Happy birthday Mr President" the way Norma Jeane did it?

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralice

This is Watusi shocking!!

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

Seriously though, living outdoors with a bidet sounds tremendous.

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Carnevale

Alice, it's interesting that you brought up JFK, because apparently when he was a senator he and Audrey briefly dated. He went on to declare to Time Magazine that "Roman Holiday" was his favorite film of the year.

Hepburn even personally sang "Happy Birthday" to him in '63, a year after Monroe did in '62. Given her breathless singing voice as heard in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" I can hear a similarity.

February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlmie

Everyone is different/unique, that is the beauty of humanity.

People are people wherever you go. Audrey was a beautifully real person and should be noted for that. Stars today are selling an image everytime they appear, in a project or out. It would be nice to see some more real people in holiwood who do not care as much for their image as for the people the truly are.

She was a real person, not some some publicist"s idea for churning out money by the truckloads. We need to acknowledge true beliefs, feelings, and spirit more and more each day. I don't want my children believing in some acting agent's wet dream.

And to the spirit of Audrey Hepburn, I respect your life, and hope to make mine half as noteworthy as yours.

March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

I shall respectfully disagree with you when it comes to Audrey Hepburn. And celebrities in general. :)

Truth be told, we hardly know everything about those closest to us, and to expect anyone to know (or even want to know) everything about a celebrity (ie, someone we will never meet or interact with) is a bit absurd. When I think of why I admire Audrey Hepburn (or why so many other girls do), it's hardly because of her personal life. I didn't know her, and I will never know her. What I do like/admire is that which she projected: class, sophistication, elegance, common sense, humanity, and above all the idea that beauty comes from the inside. Are these really horrible qualities to aspire to? And as long as a young girl actually tries to be more elegant, educate herself, or simply dress decently, does it matter that the real person who inspired her had flaws? No one is perfect, after all, but poking holes in the image of a woman that has done much more good than bad won't help anyone. Especially when those holes are poked with such a cynical tone. I am sure that everyone who has cared enough about miss Hepburn (ie, is interested in her life/career and not just her "image") already knows these things from the various biographies people have been writing/publishing over the years. How true they are, or how close to the truth the interpretation of various undeniable facts in her life is, is completely debatable. This information isn't new, really, it's just vaguely maliciously reiterated.

Audrey Hepburn herself might be a myth. But it's a nicer myth to believe in than, say, Lindsay Lohan's. Or even Miley Cyrus', who looks, excuse my French, like a cheap hooker, but who is idolized by millions of teenage girls. I don't know, obviously, whether Miley acts like she looks, but it's the look and the image she projects that girls are trying to emulate, for they don't know the "real" Miley and never will. Idem for miss Hepburn. Only, in the other direction. ;)

Since we cannot know and interact with celebrities, or even famous writers/politicians/any public figure worthy (or less worthy) of our admiration, I'd say we refrain from discussing their personal lives and/or personalities. Bogart might have not liked her, period; and perhaps she didn't like him either. Sometimes people just don't get along. We have no way of knowing, since both are dead. I put very little stock in what others say about people in general, and famous people in particular. However, plenty of other people did like miss Hepburn, or she wouldn't have been able to maintain her "image", however much perfected.

Same for Marilyn Monroe. What do we truly know about her? About who she was, how she felt, what she thought about. Everything's inferred and hearsay and speculation. Her poems paint her in quite a different light than the one we've been used to seeing her in, after all.

April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Who thinks that the unpleasant parts of her life are hidden? I think the author falls into the college-freshman category of B-A-T poster fangirl. Anytime there's a moderated Hepburn movie on TV (movie channel or PBS) the host mentions the holocaust, divorce, and miscarriages. Maybe the author did her research by watching a Hebpurn marathon on TMC?

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmmy

Everything I've read in this post leads me to continue to believe that Marilyn, Audrey and Grace were just women. And still more woman than I'll probably ever be. I will continue to worship.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrandi

A life-long American, I'm not a bidet-user, but I can entirely sympathize with having no desire to "go native" where one's intimate hygiene is concerned. Nothing eye-rollingly diva-ish about it, and my affection for Audrey remains undiminished. All this seems merely to make her seem more vulnerable, and thus probably that much more appealing to her fan base.

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUmbriel

Almie and Alex,

I just discovered your site today and really do admire your taste in people or subjects and your desire to better know artists. But I do feel the need to point out a mean-streak that is beneath your curiosity and leads to pretty simplistic takes on people like Hepburn (or Dahl or Beatty or Holden) that only fascinate because they run contrary to common public opinion without any added accuracy or insight but with plenty of liberties and gossip.

I don't mean offense here, because I can see your hard work and good intentions, but I would also point out that you can address any criticism whereas most everyone you've criticized has either died or moved on or above it.


June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGMans

Hepburn looked frail and feminine, while Monroe was busty and looked more like she could take some hateration. Which isn't to say that's OK, but Monroe had sex and Hepburn was a manic pixie dream girl. The fantasy she represented just holds less agression.

July 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJG

Most of this article made good points, but I don't really appreciate the significance of the bidet. So she liked to shoot water up her butt, does this make her such a hypocrite?

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSocks
Audrey Hepburn was Anne Frank !
August 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
so what are you trying to prove with this article?yes all people have their flaws but who are you to put it out there on display
August 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramber
I like watching her films for the same reason I like watching lots of other films of the fifties and sixties - for the wardrobe and the sets and the music, and for the tone/message so reliably synchronic to the mores of the era, and for what she represents of society through that medium. She was a beautiful person with an interesting life story, but a rather awful actor, which is unfortunate. Her performances are occasionally grating but thankfully the camera loved her face so much that it's enjoyable to just sit back and admire her angular bones' contrast with her molten eyes and get a bemused/benevolent b-movie kick out of the acting.

I do admire her compassion very, very much, though. She was so charitable and outspoken in bringing unjustifiable inequality to public attention and inspired a lot of other people to use their fame to philanthropic ends. And plastic surgery or no, she did age very gracefully.
August 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertiggyt
I actually find this article refreshing. Rather than the usual "Audrey was the classiest, most wonderful woman to ever live", it actually presents a more realistic picture of her. I find all the hero-worship surrounding her rather annoying. It's not that I have anything against her, it's just that no one is THAT perfect. Like you mentioned in your article, if this had been about any sexy bombshell types like Marilyn, Elizabeth, etc, people wouldn't even bat an eye over the fact that you pointed out their flaws. However since Audrey presented a more "ladylike" demeanor to the world, her fans bristle at the idea that she was anything less than a saint. Honestly I think I would like her more if she wasn't placed on such a ridiculously high pedestal.
September 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMs
You really do get the ultrasensitive to come out and post on your articles, don't you. I adore Audrey and I love this article. I'm glad to see that she was not perfect, that she was human and yet still so wonderful. It gives hope that other imperfect people (like me) can be wonderful too.
September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Definitely love this article. The part people always forget is that Audrey had affairs with married men, and had an affair while shooting Two for the Road despite being married to Mel. Her son Sean, who was raised by her and considered her his best friend, stated that Audrey was also at fault for the fall out of the marriage between her and Mel. Fans always try to rub that out by saying that Sean was just trying to be kind and graceful to both of his parents. lol. NOPE. I think the people who can't see how Audrey could have sucked at relationships don't understand how real relationships work.

I still admire her and her image.
October 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjo
I think why people today are fascinated by deceased hollywood icons, in this case women, is that they sort of become incarnations of feminine ideals and beauty that are either extinct (e.g. Audrey Hepburn) or sexually banal (Marilyn Monroe), or both (Grace Kelly). People respond differently to Audrey, and they're drawn to her because she represents someone in the past that hardly exists today. Marilyn Monroe is the face of hollywood, but so what people seek out the extinct prototypes. So if the author thinks that Grace Kelly is a slut, and Marilyn Monroe probably much lower to that effect, I'd be completely okay if Audrey Hepburn wishes a bidet in the Congo. I get that this author has not an ounce of passion for hollywood, so why even spill all these historical redundancies, much less talk about it.

Audrey Hepburn is an arbiter of class and, perhaps publicly, etiquette, which is one thing this author, like you and me and of this generation, has yet to learn.
October 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjhunie20
Nice work Almie Rose :0
December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkate
I think every Audrey's fan knows this already. And still, i think she's the most down to earth human being ever. She's simply inspiring.
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
No, that is EXACTLY my point. This commercial is offensive to ALL women
January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRS
Where are your sources for all of this information?
February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
That's funny, 'cuz there's nothing new (or "dark" or shocking) in your article, even for a guy like me, not so interesting in showbiz, from Poland and in my late 20's. - "(...) these aspects of her life remained hidden" - simply bullshit. An article written for a prepared thesis that comes from your very own imagination.
February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAtticus
The article is titled "The dark sides ...". I`m sorry to disappoint you but the facts you`ve mentioned are neither dark, nor shocking.
I wish all modern actresses obtained the same so called "dark sides" as Audrey had. In fact she`s a wonderful human being in comparison with many of today`s "stars". I call her a 'human being', not an angel. And all human beings have drawbacks, they`re not saint.
I guess this article will be really "shocking" for someone who is sure Audrey was an angel or a good fairy or some other supernatural creature. I`d also call her an angel, but apart from that she was a Human.
March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStef
Thats Shocking and intrusting news to read about here life
April 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpath too long utility
Monroe acted like a tramp, but Hepburn carried herself like a lady. Apparently, Steve McQueen was in line for the male lead in B at T and was seriously pissed off about having to turn it down due to other commitments as he wanted to bone the living shit out of the lovely Miss H. And who could blame him? I would have given my granny to an African witch doctor for the chance to pork that sexy Dutch snatch! And i know that i'm being very rude, something nobody does when talking about Hepburn. But why? She was a fucking root!
April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKoos
The attempted suicide story is a load of...this article makes me mad! Why would you waste your time trying to find a load of imperfections in somebody!? ... There are more imperfections in this article than there are in Audrey, i can tell you that much!
June 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up!
June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternumis network review
EVERYBODY has imperfections and a 'dark side'. i cant even finish this article i am absolutely disgusted
August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
I love Ms. Hepburn. As someone who struggled with some of the above mentioned issues, I find it comforting to know that through all of this she was able to maintain herself. To me, the plastic surgery quote has always seemed bizarre so I agree with you on that, but she found a way to keep herself just a little bit happier as she grew older. I wont do that, but hey, to each their own. As for Ms. Monroe, I find her to be under the same prowess that Audrey Hepburn is nowadays. Everyone seems to put both of these leading ladies as icons and the perfect examples of how to live. Now if you understand that these women have gone through some serious stuff and they have done some unhealthy things, and you still find them beautiful and wonderful, then that's good because at least you did your reading and you discovered more about them. Most people just see their pretty faces nowadays and forget that you can't just read a book by it's cover. If more people looked at these ladies in depth, the appreciation, I believe, would be more profound and meaningful to everyone. Still for me, I'm not too much of a Marilyn Monroe fan, but Audrey Hepburn means a heck of a lot to me.
August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Stacy's comments above, written on February 11, 2011, mirror mine. Audrey embodied grace and elegance - naturally. It was one of her many gifts. As with any human being, she was not without flaws. I believe that the WHOLE person Audrey was is who I revered. We all have parts of our lives about which we are not proud. How we handle them, and how we emerge speaks to who we become, who we are. Audrey Hepburn lived an extraordinary life. She was an exceptional human being. Do you really think criticizing the installation of a bidet while working in Africa could tarnish her image? Please..... An affair, depression, eating disorder .... at least ours are not shouted to the entire world in print and newscasts.
August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaryjean
hope you will be able to read this :

when I was very young my gynecologist then said to me:

Never ever use a bidet ; pour water from a jug while sitting in the toilet...
I´ve never been to a doctor ever since I started practising this tip...
September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdora
it's interesting to read this article which is quite rare in talking about Audrey's dark side. well you know everybody has a dark side and im not surprised at all if audrey has it too. after all, she's a human being like us experiencing struggles, hardships, confusions, temptations, wrong choices, etc..and also has weaknesses in attitude or character too. if this claimed dark side of audrey as what the author mentioned are true, i should say that these were only overshadowed by her strength in character as a person having gracious and compassionate heart for humanity which is clearly reflected in her warm surface and aura that made people continue to love her even up to these days in my generation. still lovin Audrey!
September 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzhay
What a silly, meaningless, and quite vicious challenge you've taken on.

Where is the source for:

"article by Tom Daly from the 1960s, he reported that Audrey attempted suicide twice"?

I own, and I've read, every biography on Audrey Hepburn, and I've never read about any suicide attempts until I read it here, and I don't believe it. Who is Tom Daly? Was this "National Enquirer" material? I can't find this information anywhere else on the Internet, either.

Where do you get: "An unnamed insider said that 'I've heard about Audrey’s suicide attempts, too'"?

What on earth are you quoting from throughout this piece?

What kind of research is that? How totally irresponsible of you!

You take her quotes out of context from the very beginning of this rubbish. Facts mingle with fiction throughout.

There is no evidence that she ever slept with William Holden. You assume so. That doesn't make it so. He was a womanizer, and she was "the love of his life", but that doesn't mean anything else! Your assumption says more about you than it does about Audrey Hepburn.

That Audrey Hepburn defended plastic surgery is commendable, not deplorable. Half of her friends had probably had plastic surgery, so for her to condemn it would have been extremely rude, wouldn't it?

There simply wasn't this "dark side" that you're furiously searching for. She was human, she was insecure, but that's hardly "dark", and it's better than being a diva. She was made of hardy stock, or she would never have gone to Somalia. That was the closest that she ever came to a "living hell".

I'm appalled that other readers mistake this garbage for the "facts", as stated by some expert.

Shame on you for writing such an ill-informed piece of work based on undocumented, and questionable material.

You write, "She came from a god-awful childhood, suffered from depression, got divorced twice and had an affair. There is nothing new or evil about any of these things, but it is interesting that these aspects of her life remained hidden."

None of this is "hidden" information. That people don't dwell on it says a lot about the real legacy that she left behind.

The theory that Audrey Hepburn was not a saint is hardly new. No one in their right mind would believe that she was perfect. She's considered a "goddess" because she was a great deal better than the rest of us in every way: physically, mentally, and spiritually. She is someone to emulate for her intelligence, beautiful manners, style, and committment to giving back what she felt she had acquired through sheer "luck", such is her modesty.
September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Broeker
write whatever you want, but remember she was the one and only,most beautiful and graceful person ever.
November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
I was immediately attracted to this article because I love seeing the other (often darker) sides of beautiful things, not out of outright malice, but to round things out realistically.

I think you were grasping at straws for this one though-- as everyone has said, most of these things were not hidden at all, and the others? ...sound pretty exaggerated and apocryphal. I'd love to see sources for all of these claims, because they range from stretched/spun truths to outright rumor mill fare.

Like how the fuck could you get a bidet installed in 1950's Africa

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryellowjournalism
.obviously Audrey wasn't perfect, only teenargers sees her as the "iconic diva of all time" without knowing her at all... but some things in this article are really exaggerated! I wonder if you did it only to be noticed..
February 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterk.
I feel very disgusted that people reading this poor excuse of an article take it seriously. How do you know Audrey ever dined with Holden and his family "feeling guilty"? The way you write about her reeks of jealousy and contempt; you sound bitter & pathetic. You have no sources for any of this crap. And your quotations of her are flat out fakery! It's so laughable that you bring up that bidet story; when Audrey herself addressed this rumor she thought it ludicrous that someone would even think that it's possible to do that! You obviously know NOTHING of Audrey Hepburn; you probably googled any piece of gossip you could find on her and then formed your own stories written as fact. Why don't you watch the video of her speaking on behalf of UNICEF after her visit to Somalia; during that speech she already knew she was dying yet you could hear the ache in her voice as she recounted what she saw...she could barely contain her tears of torment remembering the half-dead babies and children. I think you are the kind of person that is so resentful of someone being rightly recognized as a genuine philanthropist. This is coming from someone who hates Breakfast At Tiffany's; as I feel that role suited anyone but Hepburn...the whole aura surrounding Golightly as a prostitute or call-girl or whatever the hell she was supposed to be was terribly sugarcoated. What a pity that this film is what most people only know of her! I'm ashamed for you that people take this article as some kind of new insight into her; it is nothing of the sort. Just bitter rambling of a nasty person. "Almie Rose" you have no business writing anything at all as far as I'm concerned...get a life and stop pursuing your dirt-digging obsessions of people far greater than you will ever be.
March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterN.K.
Best analysis :
September 22, 2012 by J. Broeker
March 19, 2013 by N.K.

I don't care who Almie BOSE could be.
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCJZ van Z
N.K.~ We are obviously on the same page, but I must disagree about Audrey as "Holly". It was certainly a Monroe part, but who else could bring you to tears by singing "Moon River", in that divinely simple, minimalist way? The film is awful, apart from that one magical moment. That has to be one of the greatest songs of all time, and Audrey's version is the absolute best!

CJZ van Z: Many thanks for the praise; I know that people will remember the remarkable charm, and style that Audrey had, but hopefully, and more importantly, she'll be remembered for her trips on behalf of UNICEF. She was an original: A fey, otherworldly creature, who was also the first to attempt to try to alleviate the enormous suffering this world of ours is inundated with.

For that alone, she is untouchable.
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Broeker
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March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
I am one of those 90's co-eds who developed a deep admiration for Audrey Hepburn, although I never had a Breakfast at Tiffany's poster on the walls of my dorm (I did however have the rather cliched Robert Doisneau Kiss photo and Monet prints up... but I digress.) I have amassed a pretty impressive collection of Audrey Hepburn biographies and literature over the years, and nothing you have written about her hasn't been tossed out there, or implied before. Although the bidet in the Congo bit seemed on the desperately fabricated side, and you did miss an opportunity to re-expose her alleged, and quite probable affair with Albert Finney during the filming of Two for the Road. Anyone who admires Audrey Hepburn for little black dresses and is shocked by her relationship troubles, insecurities or the fact that the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany's was a Hollywood-ized rendition of a gritty and depressing Capote short story, probably believes in unicorns, sliding down rainbows and meeting Prince Charming, and knows nothing about Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Hollywood history and well... reality in general. In short, only a vapid, irritating, shallow moron would idolize a person for the narrow parameters that your article implies shape people's admiration for this amazing woman. I'm so tired of seeing Audrey Hepburn misquoted to suit the shallow, brainless understanding of young women who are fashion obsessed, yet clearly lacking in style, taste or common sense. Yes, Audrey Hepburn was a human, and a flawed one at that, but her humanity and compassion are what makes her stand out in a sea of Hollywood self obsession and frivolity. She was mostly sweet and kind, but unlike Marilyn Monroe, she was also wise and was able to overcome her tragedies and failures, learn from her mistakes and develop into the kind of person that realized and lived what is really important in life. THAT is what made her a goddess (if such a thing exists) and her elegance or what she was wearing, mean nothing in comparison. Her flaws and humanity have only ever served to make who she became all the more inspiring. Audrey Hepburn is still exceedingly worthy of admiration (regardless of all of the tacky merchandising abusing her likeness) and not everyone who admires her does so for the wrong reasons.
April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisa
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July 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralia
So, I'm curious, did you write this article simply to prove your friend wrong and that people can talk ill of Audrey Hepburn?

Yes, Audrey made mistakes, there isn't a single Hollywood star that hasn't. And not everyone idolizes Audrey Hepburn because she was a style icon or a famous, wealthy, beautiful actress.

I idolize her because she overcame all of the struggles in her life and endured what she could not overcome.

Wether it was a damaging war that left her hungry, or realizing that she would never be able to fulfill her real dream of becoming a prima ballerina because that same war left her physically incapable of it, or breaking her back while riding a horse which lead to her second miscarriage, or dealing with two failed marriages and raising two sons, or an eating disorder that she couldn't help, or even her appendiceal cancer which lead to her premature death.

I admire Audrey Hepburn because she overcame all of that. And, she even devoted her time to UNICEF because of what she had seen during the war, and she didn't want any child to be starving like she was.

So, so what? She had an eating disorder, 10 million other women do too, and that's just in America. And she had an affair with a married man, yes, a mistake, but 50% to 60% of women do the same mistake in the States. As for Bogart's 'comment', I don't know a single person who doesn't have a problem memorizing a line, not to mention, Audrey was under a hell of a lot of stress because, hello, it's BOGART! And she was going to be in a movie for Christ's sake; if I had been in her place, forget the script, I would have forgotten my own name. And she supposedly made one rude comment. Compared to what other celebrities have said, I think she could have said much worse.

So your article only proves that Audrey was a regular woman, just like the rest of us, except she was a woman who lived during a traumatic war that left her physically and mentally scarred, a woman who knows twice the pain of a miscarriage, a woman who broke her freaking back but recovered and still stayed in the hellish business of Hollywood, a woman who divorced a man that was overly-jealous and the cheating Italian Dr. Love, and overcame all of that. She even overcame the criticism thrown her way. And when she learned she was going to die of appendiceal cancer, she didn't make a big hussy over it. She accepted her fate, even if she was too young to be taken just yet.

So say what you want about Audrey, or anyone else for that matter. Just make sure you really know exactly who you're bashing before you do it.
September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKay-Kay
You know what I think? If the author of this article is still alive, it must be such a small life. One wonders how people make a living and spend their time on this earth nit-picking others. My admiration for Audrey only grew from this article. My view of the author diminished...
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterR S
Um how about a no
November 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterme
This article needs to sit on a bidet.
November 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQuantumnerd

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