In February 1961, Marilyn Monroe spent four harrowing days in a New York psychiatric clinic. And now a letter to her psychiatrist revealing the horror of her ordeal has been released ahead of an auction of her personal items in November.
By the end of 1960 Marilyn Monroe was completely exhausted.
Recently divorced and living in a daze of prescription drugs, she needed to rest but instead spent four days locked in a padded cell in a New York psychiatric clinic.
There she would endure a complete loss of of privacy, forced baths and sleeplessness.
“There was no empathy at Payne-Whitney, it had a very bad effect,” she wrote in a strikingly candid six-page letter to her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson.
“They asked me after putting me in a ‘cell’ (I mean cement blocks and all) for very disturbed depressed patients … they asked me why I wasn’t happy there.
“I answered: “Well, I’d have to be nuts if I like it here.”
Monroe had been committed by her other psychiatrist Dr. Marianne Kris and just one year later would found dead in her Californian home.
In February 1961, Marilyn Monroe spent four days in the Payne Whitley Psychiatric Clinic. Source: Facebook
The letter details her experience in the clinic where she says she felt like a prisoner locked up for a crime she didn't commit.
"The inhumanity there I found archaic," she writes.
"Everything was under lock and key; things like electric lights, dresser drawers, bathrooms, closets, bars concealed on the windows -- the doors have windows so patients can be visible all the time, also, the violence and markings still remain on the walls from former patients.
"Then there were screaming women in their cells -- I mean they screamed out when life was unbearable I guess."
Becoming increasingly desperate she threatened to self-harm, an idea she got from one of her films.
The trailer from The Misfits, which was released in 1961 (post continues after video):