Considering what we know of Marilyn Monroe's lonely childhood, many have wondered if she had experienced real love in her adult life.
But now that her most intimate love letters and other personal items are up for sale at Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills this week, the public will see she did indeed experience sincere love.
"I love you and want to be with you," Joe DiMaggio wrote in a letter to Monroe, who had announced only months earlier that she was filing for divorce from the New York Yankee star in 1954. "There is nothing I would like better than to restore your confidence in me."
DiMaggio also wrote: “Dear Baby — Don’t know what your thoughts are about me but I can tell you I love you sincerely — way deep in my heart, irregardless of anything.”
And then there were her love letters from third husband, Arthur Miller, in 1956:
“I am walking around in a daze of love…I wanted to buy a wedding ring but they don’t have really nice ones here….I looked.”
Another reads: “But what can I do, I love you. When I love somebody I love them," he wrote. "I want them to be near me. To bear my children, to be my wife. You think I am so clean, so faultless, so uncapable of untruth that in comparison you are undefiled? I have sinned Marilyn; I am no better than you in any way. I can hate every man you were ever with but I can’t hate you.
Your lover, slave, friend, father, son and Pest, Art”
An excerpt from a letter from Monroe to Miller confides:
“there was no choice to make…the same road was always before me….So when you speak of my nobility it really wasn’t so noble….
Though Monroe's relationships with DiMaggio and Miller were complicated, dysfunctional, and ultimately led to divorce, the emotionally charged letters they exchanged revealed that the icon was passionately loved. Unfortunately, that love never seemed to be enough.
See some of Monroe's photos, letters, apparel, and other items that will be auctioned off to the public: