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Mary Astor Divorce Trial: 1936

"he'd Shake Her So Hard Her Teeth Rattled"

By the summer of 1936, Astor brought suit against Thorpe, saying she was coerced into the divorce and charging him with abusing Marilyn—"He'd shake her so hard her teeth rattled and bit her lips," she sobbed in court. Astor demanded custody of her daughter, formal annulment of the marriage, and abrogation of the property settlement. To persuade the court he was unfit to have custody of Marilyn, she produced evidence that Thorpe had been married previously but had not told her so, and that he had had four postmarital love affairs.

Thorpe's attorney, Joseph Anderson, said he would dispute Astor's contention that she was coerced. "We can prove in her own handwriting that this was not the situation at all," he announced, "but that she wilfully abandoned the child for a married man—George Kaufman."

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Mary Astor Divorce Trial: 1936 - "he'd Shake Her So Hard Her Teeth Rattled", The Diary Written In Purple, Playwright Flees In A Laundry Basket