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Did Marilyn Monroe Have An Affair With Her Psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson?

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Did Marilyn Monroe Have An Affair With Her Psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson?

There are plenty of conspiracy theories that have been circling for years, some even for decades. Whether it’s a government-ordered assassination of John F. Kennedy, vaccinations causing illnesses, the Earth actually being flat, or the existence of the Illuminati, that’s just the tip of the iceberg — because there are plenty of theories that deal with celebrities and their untimely deaths.

And one conspiracy theory suggests that actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe was killed, rather than overdosing on drugs. Of course, many of us are aware of her numerous affairs with men, including JFK, Robert F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, George Sanders, and Milton Berle. But when it comes to her cause of death, there may be other details that are hidden from the public. 

Did Marilyn Monroe have an affair with her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson, in addition to these other men?

RELATED: Who Killed Marilyn Monroe? Details On Explosive New Claims She Was Murdered

Ralph Greenson was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known for being Monroe’s psychiatrist at the time of her death. He’s been accused of being involved in Monroe’s death, including a possible cover-up. And a new episode of the podcast “The Killing of Marilyn Monroe” is delving into the theory that they had more than just a doctor-patient relationship. 


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The podcast is a 12-part series that investigates Monroe’s life away from the public eye, her life and career, and the events leading up to her death in 1962. Many believed Monroe was depressed and took her own life or accidentally overdosed, while others think she was murdered.

But why? Did she know too much? That’s what “The Killing of Marilyn Monroe” wants listeners to ponder.

According to the podcast, Monroe would often stay at Greenson’s home. Said Bill Birnes, an author and Hollywood historian who appears on the podcast, “She was obviously astoundingly beautiful, but she was also very needy and she was a very damaged person.”

Added entertainment journalist Charles Casillo, “Dr. Greenson fell in love with Marilyn Monroe. Like many people before him, he fell under her spell. That was crossing all kinds of bad lines for doctor-patient because there was no separation between her therapy and her friendship. She became more and more and more and more dependent on him. He was making all kinds of decisions for her about who she should see and who she shouldn’t see, and telling her who she should be friends with and who she shouldn’t be friends with.”

Greenson was also one of the first people to discover her body.

According to Biography.com, at 5:15 PM the night before her death, she talked to him for an hour, and she was told “to go for a ride when she complained she could not sleep.” Greenson said he thought she was going to the beach for fresh air. 

Around 3:25 AM, her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, noticed Monroe’s lights were still on after heading to bed around 8 PM, and didn’t hear any response when she went to check on her. She called Greenson, who broke the window and discovered her body. Around Monroe was an empty pill bottle that was prescribed to her only days before, as well as 12-15 medicine bottles. Could Greenson have already been aware that Monroe was dead?

While Greenson was treating Monroe, he diagnosed her as a “borderline paranoid addictive personality.”

He believed that traditional psychoanalysis wouldn’t work for Monroe, and began an “unorthodox” approach, including “inviting her into his family, for drinks after the final analytic hour of the day, for dinner and to social gatherings. He also ruled that she should sever old ties and encouraged his two children, then in their early twenties, to befriend her instead. He eventually persuaded Marilyn to buy a Spanish hacienda for herself in nearby Brentwood, which she decorated to resemble the Greensons’ home.”

There are some biographers and historians who believe Greenson was using drugs to make Monroe reliant on him. Said Donald Spoto, a biographer and theologian, Greenson “betrayed every ethic and responsibility to his family, his profession and to Marilyn Monroe” in his “egregious mishandling of his most famous patient.”

He called into question Greenson’s statements about prescribing her medication, including that he wanted to “give her something of me to swallow, to take in, so that she could overcome the sense of terrible emptiness that would depress and infuriate her.”

RELATED: Details Of Marilyn Monroe's Secret Plastic Surgery And Beauty Procedures

But Greenson’s children, Daniel and Joan, have spoken up in the past about their father and came to his defense. In 1961, Monroe suffered a nervous breakdown, complained of hearing voices, and was in the midst of separating from Arthur Miller. She was committed to the Payne Whitney psychiatric clinic, and Greenson became worried about her.


A post shared by Marilyn Monroe (@loverlymarilyn) on Sep 27, 2019 at 11:59am PDT

According to Daniel, his father “became increasingly desperate. He felt that therapy as he knew it wasn’t working, he couldn’t hospitalize her because everyone came to stare and gawk at her, which was awful, and medication wasn’t helping in her case.” At the advice of therapist Milton Wexler, he encouraged Monroe to spend time at Greenson’s home to “alleviate her separation anxiety.”

Living with the Greenson family meant bonding with his two children. And she also began staying after therapy sessions.

Said Daniel, “Until she came along, [my father] was assiduous in not saying anything about who his patients were. She was the only person I ever met who was in treatment with him at the same time. It was very much a thought-through process — to have her hang out with us — and we’d do things together and go places.” 

Joan also added how her father felt about Monroe’s death, saying, “He always felt that it was an accident that she killed herself. That she was getting better and that she no longer had a tolerance for barbiturates and sleeping medication and stuff like that because she had been slowly weaned off it.” 

Daniel also believed she either committed suicide or accidentally overdosed: 

“My father was hurt by the fact that she killed herself, and he would tell himself that it was accidental. People who take a lot of pills — and she took a lot of pills — can get so stoned from all the pills they’re taking that they lose track and they think they haven’t taken enough and they take more and then it kills them. That was his rationalisation. The idea that someone murdered her... Some people say that he killed her, Bobby Kennedy, the Mafia. All that crap is very hard on my mum, my sister and myself.”

My father’s heart was in the right place, but his mind wasn’t. I think he was backed into a corner and he couldn’t give up on the idea that he could help her, but then the whole thing came down. The fact is, it didn’t work. I mean, she killed herself.”

RELATED: 9 Things You Didn't Know About Marilyn Monroe's Love Life

Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.