AceShowbiz - Natalie Wood's sister has named Kirk Douglas as the man who sexually assaulted the actress when she was a teenager in her new memoir.
The story of the "West Side Story" star's encounter with a movie star twice her age has been rumbling around Hollywood for years but the assailant has never been identified - until now.
In "Little Sister", which comes out next week (beg08Nov21), Wood's younger sister, Lana, writes, "I remember that Natalie looked especially beautiful when Mom and I dropped her off that night at the Chateau Marmont (hotel) entrance."
"It seemed like a long time passed before Natalie got back into the car and woke me up when she slammed the door shut. She looked awful. She was very disheveled and very upset, and she and Mom started urgently whispering to each other. I couldn't really hear them or make out what they were saying. Something bad had apparently happened to my sister, but whatever it was, I was apparently too young to be told about it."
Lana alleges the incident took place in 1955 while Natalie was filming "The Searchers".
Years later, Natalie described being taken into Douglas' hotel room and told her sister, "He hurt me Lana."
Lana recalls her sister telling her "it was like an out-of-body experience," adding she was "terrified" and "confused."
She recalls her sister and their mother agreeing it would ruin Natalie's career to publicly accuse Douglas, telling the young actress to "suck it up."
Lana explains she promised her sister not to discuss the assault by Douglas, but his death last year, at the age of 103, and things like the #MeToo movement made her feel compelled to tell the story.
"With no one still around to protect, I'm sure (Natalie) she'll forgive me for finally breaking that promise."
Douglas' son, actor Michael Douglas, has released a simple statement through his publicist which reads, "May they both rest in peace."
Kirk Douglas recalled meeting Wood in his 1988 memoir, "The Ragman's Son", explaining she ran up to him while he was stopped at a red light on his way home one night, calling her "a pretty little girl wearing a suede jacket."
She asked him to sign an item of clothing.
"As I obliged, the woman who was driving got out and introduced her: 'This is my daughter. She's in movies, too. Her name is Natalie Wood.' That was the first time I met Natalie. I saw her many times afterward, before she died in that cruel accident."
Wood drowned in a boating accident near Catalina Island off the coast of California in November, 1981. She was 43.