Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frank Sinatra, Dominick Dunne, Mark Fuhrman and the N-Word

By David in TN

Dominick Dunne (1925-2009), who spent the last 25 years of his life writing about crime among the rich and famous, had a strong dislike of Frank Sinatra.

In the mid-1950’s, Dunne married an heiress and moved to California. He’d worked for Robert Montgomery in New York, and got a job in TV production. With his wife’s money, he acquired a fancy Beverly Hills house and hosted and attended parties with Hollywood royalty.

Frank Sinatra didn’t think Dunne rated socializing with the big stars and told Dunne he was a “no-talent hack.” In the mid-60’s, Dunne and wife were dining in an upscale restaurant when the Maitre d’ walked up to Dunne's table and hit Dunne with a right to the jaw.

The man apologized to Dunne and said, “I'm sorry Nick, he (Sinatra) made me do it.”

Dominick Dunne believed in getting even and had a mafia-connected character based on Sinatra in several of his novels.

In Dunne’s novel about the O.J. Simpson trial, Another City, Not My Own, he has a scene (taken from real life) with a Hollywood party hosted by Kirk Douglas (1916-) and the latter’s wife, Anne. Dunne regularly attended these parties, where he gave the latest news on the trial.

Sinatra and his wife Barbara were there. It was the first time Dunne and Sinatra had been in the same room in a long time. Kirk Douglas, an old lefty, was talking about Mark Fuhrman’s denial about using the n-word when cross-examined by F. Lee Bailey. Douglas criticized Marcia Clark for not preparing Fuhrman for the question. On page 216 of the paperback edition:

“She should have asked him the question, ‘Have you ever used the word “nigger,” and worked out the answer with him. There are all kinds of answers like “Yes, I may have said it years ago, when I was a cop on the beat in South Central Los Angeles, dealing with the gangs, and I wish I hadn't said it,” But no. He said, “I NEVER said the word ‘nigger.’

“I know it’s not very nice to say, and I probably shouldn’t even say it, but I suppose EVERYONE has said the n-word at some time or another,’ said Anne Douglas.

“‘Frank said it this morning,’ said Barbara Sinatra.”

Dunne thought he was getting even with Frank Sinatra with this passage.

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