Lana Wood, sister of Natalie Wood, has accused famed actor Kirk Douglas of raping the late actress during a meeting at the Chateau Marmont in her new memoir, “Little Sister,”
In an excerpt published by The Associated Press, Wood, 75, writes that she was 8 years old when the incident occurred in 1955, when both sisters appeared in the famous John Wayne Western “The Searchers.” Natalie Wood would have been 16 or 17, while Douglas would have been 38 or 39.
Lana Wood remembers that her mother arranged the meeting between Natalie and Douglas under the belief that “many doors might be thrown open for her, with just a nod of his famous, handsome head on her behalf.”
“It seemed like a long time passed before Natalie got back into the car and woke me up when she slammed the door shut,” she writes. “She looked awful. She was very disheveled and very upset, and she and Mom started urgently whispering to each other. I couldn’t really hear them or make out what they were saying. Something bad had apparently happened to my sister, but whatever it was, I was apparently too young to be told about it.”
Wood says her sister revealed the alleged rape directly to her once they were both adults and asked her to keep it a secret to protect her career. “He hurt me Lana,” Wood recalls Natalie saying.
Lana Wood had previously revealed that her sister had been raped at the Chateau Marmont in an interview for a 2018 podcast series, but did not identify Douglas as the attacker. In Suzanne Finstead’s 2001 biography, it was written that Natalie Wood had confided that she had been raped by a “former screen idol” to close friends like actor Dennis Hopper, though Douglas was also not directly named in the book.
Wood says she is naming Douglas now following his death in February 2020 at the age of 103. As the AP noted, Natalie Wood’s name was trending on Twitter last year alongside Douglas upon news of his passing because of long-standing rumors.
“With no one still around to protect, I’m sure she’ll forgive me for finally breaking that promise,” she wrote.
Natalie Wood, a three-time Oscar nominee who appeared in films like “Rebel Without a Cause” and “West Side Story,” died in 1981 off the coast of Catalina Island. Her death was initially determined to be an accident, but was officially changed by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office in 2012 to “drowning and other undetermined factors” due to new, conflicting witness testimony.
Representatives for Douglas’ son, Michael, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment, but in a statement to the AP sent by his publicist he said, “May they both rest in peace.”