Date: 10th December 2000
MARILYN MONROE's first husband, who she married when she was just 16, wed the tragic star to save her from an orphanage.
Former sailor and policeman JAMES DOUGHERTY, now 76, claims he became the movie icon's first lover, back when she was still known as NORMA JEANE BAKER (correct). In a new book, titled TO NORMA JEANE, LOVE JIMMIE, Dougherty says he met the teenage Monroe through former Los Angeles neighbours DOC and GRACE GODDARD, who were her foster parents.
And when he was 20, Dougherty's mum told him that Grace wanted him to marry Norma Jeane, then 16, because the Goddards were moving to Virginia and she'd be put in an orphanage. But when, shortly after marrying, when Dougherty went to sea with the Marine Merchant during WORLD WAR II, star-struck Monroe sent him divorce papers after being told she'd have to be single to sign a studio contract.
Dougherty recalls, "Norma Jeane explained she wanted to be a movie star, and they'd told her she had to be single to sign a contract with a studio. "She wanted us to live together after the divorce, but I said no. I repeated I wanted a wife, not a movie star." The two were divorced in September 1946 after four years of marriage. (LE/NE/KW)