This is the summer of Marilyn Monroe.
Last week a public sculpture of the famed film star went up, amid considerable controversy, in Chicago and last month her famous subway dress sold at auction for $5.6 million.
Mikel Barsa, a Spanish memorabilia collector, is looking to get in on the action. He announced in an interview yesterday that he plans to sell an 8mm copy of a sex tape allegedly featuring the actress, made in the late 1940s, at an August 7 auction for international film collectors. The auction will take place at the Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, with bids starting at $500,000 — though Barsa would like to see the film fetch $1 million.
The black-and-white tape has no sound and supposedly shows the screen icon when she was around 21 years old and still went by the name Norma Jeane Baker. It's advertised as an alternate version of a 16mm film that was bought for $1.2 million in a private sale also brokered by Barsa.
According to an unnamed expert cited by the Associated Press, the woman in the film is not Marilyn, as she is too heavy and has slightly different facial features. But others note that she lost weight and had plastic surgery after she became a star. According to a report by the French newswire service Agence France-Presse, the American Film Institute certified that the woman in the film was indeed Marilyn.The AFI did not return calls to confirm this.
Another sex tape from the 1950s featuring a more clearly identifiable Monroe performing oral sex on an unidentified male was bought by a New York businessman in 2008 for $1.5 million. The tape had originally been in the possession of the FBI, and rumors circulated that J. Edgar Hoover spent a substantial amount of time attempting to prove that the man in the tape was John or Robert Kennedy. Declassified FBI records from 1965 show that Joe DiMaggio, who was married to Monroe for less than a year in 1954, tried to buy the tape for $25,000.
For the curious, copies of the original film may just be available on YouTube, but you'll have look for them yourself.