Judy Garland was reportedly groped by some of the Munchkins during the filming of The Wizard of Oz, her ex-husband Sid Luft has alleged in a new book.
Luft made the stunning claims in his posthumous memoir Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland, in which he details his love affair with the Hollywood star who shot to fame as Dorothy from Kansas.
The biography also detailed the alleged abuse, claiming some of the actors put their hands up the skirt of a then 16-year-old Garland, as she filmed the 1939 Oscar-nominated musical. There were 225 Munchkins in the cast.
“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress … The men were 40 or more years old,” Luft wrote in an excerpt from the book, quoted by People magazine. “They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small.”
Garland and Luft were married from 1952 to 1965, and the producer and business manager is credited with turning around her career after MGM tore up her contract. He produced her 1954 film comeback, A Star is Born, which earned Garland an Academy Award before her death in 1969.
Rumours about the Munchkin actors’ bad behaviour have been circulating Hollywood for decades, with Garland detailing it during an interview in 1967. She told an interviewer, “They were little drunks… They got smashed every night, and they picked them up in butterfly nets.”
However, Munchkin actress Margaret Pellegrini told British newspaper The Independent in 2009, “There were a lot of them who liked to go out and have a few drinks, but nothing got out of hand. Everyone was having a good time and enjoying themselves. There was no rowdiness or anything like that, and those stories are very upsetting.”
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