AUBURN – The estate of a retired police detective who was Marilyn Monroe’s first husband claimed a filmmaker who documented the couple’s marriage blew the money on massages, dating services and child support, among other things.
An Androscoggin County Superior Court judge granted a motion to freeze $1 million of the defendant’s assets, the Sun Journal newspaper reported.
The late James Dougherty of Auburn married Norma Jeane Baker – before she went to Hollywood to become Marilyn Monroe – when she was 16 and he was 21 and they were living in California. They were divorced after four years while he served as a merchant mariner during World War II.
Dougherty, who was a Los Angeles police detective before moving to Maine, wrote two books about their friendship and marriage, the latest titled “To Norma Jeane with Love, Jimmy.”
He also appears in the 2004 documentary “Marilyn’s Man,” which explores Monroe’s early life as Norma Jeane Baker. The lawsuit by Dougherty’s estate targets Schani Krug of York, who made that movie after signing a contract with Dougherty in 2002. Dougherty died last year at age 84.
In the lawsuit, Krug is accused of using production money and revenues to pay for twice-weekly massages, dating services, child support, antiques, birthday presents, rent, lawn care, car repairs and even chiropractic services.
In all, he received about $800,000 after the movie was nearly complete, the lawsuit said. “All of this money remains unaccounted for,” the complaint said.
Other plaintiffs include Dougherty’s agent, Thomas Peters II; Dougherty’s co-writer, L.C. “Elsie” Van Savage; and an investor, Jayson Baron of Pennsylvania.
Krug called the claims against him “nefarious and conspiratorial.”
“These allegations are absolutely ludicrous. They act like I’ve been living like a king, which is far from the truth,” Krug said. The other investors in the project have been happy with the way the project has progressed, he added.
The lawsuit says Krug agreed to give half of the documentary’s revenues to the plaintiffs as well as additional money to Baron.
Krug told the newspaper that he drives an old truck and lives a modest lifestyle. “I’ve been living in basically a hovel,” Krug said.