Charlie Chaplin, the great comic entertainer, was a man who wore many hats. Chaplin lived a complex life and it was hard to see-through with all the various roles he dawned. One of the lesser known aspects of his life was his fondness for younger wives.
Recently Chaplin’s 50-page divorce papers from his second marriage, with Lita Grey, came under the hammer in America. The original copy of the couples divorce papers was set to fetch an estimated £15,000, according to The Daily Mail.
The legendary comedian was said have bedded the impressionable 16-year-old Grey after promising her marriage and then tried to convince her to have an abortion when she fell pregnant.
It was then that Grey’s mother put her foot down and objected to the abortion, She threatened Chaplin with legal action if he didn’t marry her daughter. Grey was just 16-year-old then.
On the wedding night Chaplin was also said to have confided in friends that the union was a better prospect than prison.
In the papers it was alleged that Chaplin slept with the ‘virtuous and inexperienced’ Lita when she was barely 16 after promising to marry her. He said to Lita: ‘This marriage won’t last long, I will make you so damn sick of me that you won’t want to live with me.’
The divorce papers also reveal that she was forced to perform sexual acts that were illegal in California during the 1920s. He also demanded she take part in a threesome with another woman.
Grey described Chaplin’s actions as “revolting, degrading and offensive”.
On one occasion, he screamed at her: “All married people do those kind of things. You are my wife and you have to do what I want you to do.”
The graphic details saw a judge award Grey the world’s then-largest divorce settlement of £557,000 – worth £8 million today.
Grey, during the three-year marriage, gave birth to two sons.
Chaplin, who died in 1977 aged 88 from a stroke at his estate in Switzerland, said he had had sexual relations with more than 2,000 women.