Natalie Wood‘s sister, Lana Wood, previously divulged in 2018 on the “Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood” podcast that the late movie star had been sexually assaulted “for hours” when she was 16 years old at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont by an unnamed star. Now, she’s claiming that the assailant in question was none other than Kirk Douglas.
“I remember that Natalie looked especially beautiful when Mom and I dropped her off that night at the Chateau Marmont entrance,” Lana writes in her upcoming book, Little Sister: My Investigation into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood. According to Lana, the alleged incident happened in 1955 after a meeting was set up by her and Natalie’s mother, Maria Zakharenko, with the idea that “many doors might be thrown open for her, with just a nod of his famous, handsome head on her behalf.”
However, Lana claims that the meeting that was meant to build Natalie’s career left her shaken and hurt.
“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 adds. “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 said that they were not able to discuss what transpired until they were adults, and that when they did talk about, Natalie allegedly told her sister, “And, uh … he hurt me Lana,” before adding of the alleged sexual assault, “It was like an out-of-body experience. I was terrified, I was confused.”
With Natalie and Maria both deciding to keep the alleged assault under wraps for fear it could impact her career, Maria’s apparent advice was: “Suck it up.”
Despite promising her sister not to divulge her alleged assailant, Lana believes enough time has passed: “With no one still around to protect, I’m sure she’ll forgive me for finally breaking that promise.”
For his part, Douglas, who died in 2020 at the age of 103, mentioned meeting Natalie in his own memoir, The Ragman’s Son. The Spartacus star said that he was stopped at red light “a pretty little girl wearing a suede jacket hopped out” to ask him to autograph her jacket.
“As I obliged, the woman who was driving got out and introduced her,” he said. “This is my daughter. She’s in movies, too. Her name is Natalie Wood.”
He claimed that he saw “her many times afterward, before she died in that cruel accident.”
Natalie tragically died at the young age of 43 from what was initially determined to be an accidental drowning after she fell overboard off her husband Robert Wagner‘s yacht, Splendour. Since her tragic passing, Lana has long implicated Wagner in her death.