Extraordinary photographs purporting to show a secret pregnancy of film icon Marilyn Monroe can today be revealed for the first time.
The world exclusive images of the beautiful Some Like It Hot actress and model were sold as original color slides at an auction in Hollywood in November last year from the estate of well known Monroe confidante Frieda Hull.
But the stunning photos went under the radar, selling for a mere $2,240 with wealthy collectors not aware of their true significance.
Now DailyMail.com can reveal the six unique images were the prized possession of Monroe’s loyal friend Hull, which she dubbed the ‘pregnant slides’ – a reference to a shocking secret the screen siren kept right up until her death.
The shots were taken on July 8, 1960, outside Fox Studios in New York after Monroe had completed costume and hair tests for her film The Misfits, starring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift .
The images clearly show a prominent bump from Monroe’s belly which Hull claimed was evidence the star was in the early stages of pregnancy.
And DailyMail.com can reveal the would-be father was not Monroe’s then husband, playwright Arthur Miller, it was in fact Italian-French actor Yves Montand – who she met on the set of film Let’s Make Love and who she had a very public affair with.
DailyMail.com spoke to Tony Michaels, the man who bought the color slides at the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ Marilyn Memorabilia Auction held by Julien’s Auctions in LA.
Tony, 56, was a close friend and next door neighbor of Frieda Hull before she passed.
He reveals that Hull had confided in him about Monroe’s secret pregnancy and claims the ‘pregnant slides’ are genuine evidence that she was with child.
And in an extraordinary and tragic Hollywood tale Tony says Monroe kept her pregnancy a secret from the world before ‘losing’ the baby during a hospital visit.
Tony told DailyMail.com: ‘Frieda was very proud of those slides and she was very proud to keep them a secret until the day she died.
‘But she told me the story behind them, that Marilyn got pregnant by Yves Montand.
‘It wasn’t a guess or a presumption, it was something she knew for sure, she was very close to Marilyn.
‘As far as she was concerned Marilyn was pregnant in the summer of 1960 and the slides prove it.’
Monroe had wanted a baby more than anything in the world, but that joy was denied her.
She had three miscarriages prior to losing this baby, all of which played out in the public eye. The star suffered with a condition called endometriosis her entire life that caused severe menstrual pain and she also struggled to conceive.
‘I suggested she sell the slides and all her other memorabilia so she could afford a better place to live, but again she refused, she said she would never sell out on her friend of ten years Marilyn.’
At Julien’s three day auction the Frieda Hull estate had 187 lots on sale.
Rare items from the archive included unseen color photos of Monroe as she sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962 as well as Frieda’s original ticket and program to the gala event; never-before-seen slides of Monroe on location as she filmed the now famous subway skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch and a large collection of many unpublished photos of Marilyn at the 1955 premiere of East of Eden.
In total, according to Julien’s, ‘The Frieda Hull Marilyn Monroe Photo Archive’ included over 550 color and black and white candid snapshots and photographs, over 150 color slides, nearly 750 movie stills, publicity photos and lobby cards, and personal home movies.
Even the camera Frieda had used to take the ‘pregnant slides’ as well as dozens of other photos of Marilyn – a Mercury II, model CX 35mm – went up for sale selling for a bid of $3,437.50.
Tony said: ‘It was amazing stuff, Frieda had 14 Marilyn autographs, some went as high as $14,000.’
The provenance for all the lots – which sold for $433,000 – was simply that they came as part of the Frieda Hull estate.
Tony recalls: ‘Frieda had even gotten permission from Marilyn to get a couple of locks of hair from her hairdresser.
‘I’m not talking much, just small lots of hair, together the two locks of hair went for $72,700.
‘She also had a red scarf that Marilyn had given her in there.
‘But out of all the lots her prized possession was the six ‘pregnant slides’ as she called them.
‘She talked about these to me all the time, they were very important to her.’
Julien’s auctioneers decided not to mention the pregnancy claims when selling the slides.
As a result the slides went relatively unnoticed and Tony felt it his duty to snap them up, paying just $2,240 – a bargain given the back story now emerging.
Of course, the astonishing claims which will send Marilyn Monroe historians into a flap, cannot be proven – both Marilyn and Yves Montand are long dead.
But Tony’s compelling account of what Frieda had confided in him is difficult to ignore.
And today he wants to tell Frieda’s story and how his long time friend was infatuated with Marilyn Monroe.
Speaking from his home in Las Vegas, the high stakes casino croupier told DailyMail.com: ‘I met Frieda over the wall in my back yard around 20 years ago…