Here are some instances where the dirty secrets of famous people who indulged in questionable and contradictory behavior were exposed after their deaths
1. Strom Thurmond, The Segregationist Presidential Candidate Had A Child Of Mixed Race
Strom Thurmond was an American politician who served for 48 years as a United States Senator from South Carolina until he was 99. He ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the short lived ‘Dixiecrat‘ party on a States Rights platform supporting racial segregation. The Dixiecrat’s wanted to retain Jim Crow laws and white supremacy. He opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He insisted he wasn’t a racist despite being against ending segregation. He was also against gay rights.
He died at the age of 100 without renouncing his earlier positions. Six months after his death it was revealed that he had a child of mixed race. Her name was Essie Mae Washington-Williams who was born to Carrie Butler, a 16-year-old African-American girl who worked as a household servant for Thurmond’s parents, and Thurmond, then 22 and unmarried. Though Thurmond never publicly acknowledged Essie Mae Washington, he paid for her education at a historically black college and took an interest in her and her family all his life. She said she kept silent out of respect for her father.
2. Clark Gable Date Raped Loretta Young Which Resulted In A Child
Clark Gable is a Hollywood great and one of the biggest stars of all time. He was the star of the movie, Gone With The Wind, which when adjusted for monetary inflation, is still the highest-grossing film in history. Loretta Young who was 12 years his junior started as a child actress.
In 1935, while filming The Call of the Wild, Loretta became pregnant with Clark Gable’s child, while he was married to another woman. A child out of wedlock in 1930s would have damaged both their careers, so the studio wanted her to have an abortion. Young was a devout catholic who thought abortion was a sin. Young had a child, Judy Lewis in secrecy and placed her in an orphanage and adopted her 19 months later. Because Lewis bore a striking resemblance to Gable, including having ears that stuck out, nobody believed the adoption ruse. Young privately admitted to Lewis that she was her birth mother. Lewis wouldn’t learn of her father just before her marriage and Gable never acknowledged her as his own.
In 1999 while giving interviews for her authorized biography which were authored by Joan Wester Anderson, which she would not allow to be published until after her death, she publicly stated that Lewis was her biological child and the product of a brief affair with Gable. In 2015, after both Young and Judy Lewis had died, Linda Lewis, the wife of Young’s son, Christopher, stated publicly that in 1998, a then-85-year-old Young had told Lewis that Gable had raped her. Loretta Young had previously believed it was a woman’s job to fend off men’s amorous advances and blamed herself for her inability to thwart Gable’s attack as a moral failing on her part. She learnt about the concept of date rape from watching Larry King Live.
3. Merle Oberon Who Was Oscar Nominated In A Then Segregated Hollywood Passed Off As White But Was Biracial
Merle Oberon was a British Actress who was very active and successful in Hollywood during the 1930s. In 1935 she was Oscar nominated, which wouldn’t have happened if the then segregated Hollywood knew that she was of mixed race origin. She was born in Bombay in 1911 to a British mechanical engineer and a 12-year-old Charlotte Selby, a Eurasian from now Sri Lanka who was part Maori. Her grandmother brought up Merle and her mother as siblings.
To avoid criticisms which she suffered in her childhood over her birth to a 12-year-old mother and to hide her biracial identity, she would often state her her background was Tasmanian. She would tell friends and acquaintances that the older woman who lived in her house was her maid, while the woman was actually her mother. Harry Selby who was Merle’s half brother revealed to Maree Delofski, the creator of the 2002 documentary The Trouble with Merle about her origin 23 years after her death.
4. Jimmy Savile, The Philanthropic English DJ was a pedophile
Jimmy Savile was a English television and radio personality who hosted BBC shows including Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It. He raised over 40 million pounds for charities and hospitals. He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990. In 2009, he was described by The Guardian as a “prodigious philanthropist” and was honored for his charity work. He was a lifelong bachelor.
During his lifetime, there had been accusations of sexual abuse which were dismissed and the accuser ignored. There were investigation into the claims of him being a sexual abuser after his death, and it was revealed that he indulged in child abuse for six decades and 300 potential victims came forward and testified to the police across UK. Age of his victims ranged from 5 to 75.