Jack is remembered today for being a womanizer and for having relationships that were violent on his part. But whats said about Jack and his Women are mostly rumor's nowadays. No one really knows what went on except for Jack and his wives.
Rumor's are said about Jack being a cheater, abuser, and possibly even a murderer.
It all started with Olive Thomas. Both Jack and Olive loved to party and occasionally drink. They had a "strange" relationship and fought a lot. When Olive mysteriously died, people automatically assumed it was a fight between Jack and Olive that led to Olive's tragic demise(To read more on Olive's death go to my Tragic Night in Paris post). Which over years and years of exaggerating stories on what happened that night, people believe that it was Jack that killed Olive. Even though it was by Olive's own hands. People rule out what actually happened, it was an accident! People always find ways to blame Jack because they don't want to believe that someone could make a mistake like that. Excuses like, Jack had syphilis and he used mercury to treat it, that's why they had the pills in the first place. Mercury was the most common way to treat syphilis back then, but it was a very common household item. It was used as a cleaning product, so having this product in a hotel bathroom doesn't seem so suspicious when you think about it. It was never proven whether or not Jack even had syphilis. People believe it, Olive Thomas' biographer said he contracted it in 1917, how she got that information, I have no idea. There is not a validated document that says he ever had it. Not a medical record, nothing. So everyone, stop jumping to conclusions about why they had Mercury, everyone had it back then, a lot of people made the deadly mistake of taking mercury pills. Olive was just one of the famous ones to actually die from taking them. It's been reported that hundreds and hundreds of people have died from ingesting Mercury in those days.
|Jack and Olive before fatal trip.|
It's no doubt that Jack felt responsible for Olive's death, even though she made that deadly mistake on her own. After her death, that's when Jack's bad boy reputation really began. No one really noticed it back in those days but when we look back, we can see a broken man. He didn't make many films after that night and his marriages seemed to have gotten worse.
In his second marriage to actress and Ziegfeld dancer, Marilyn Miller he was allegedly abusive towards her. Whether he hit her or not is unknown but he was not kind to her. Marilyn decided that she had enough and sought a divorce. Their divorce was finalized in 1927, on the grounds of desertion and neglect.
|Jack and Marilyn Miller.|
His third and final marriage to Ziegfeld dancer, Mary Mulhern, was just as bad as his second, if not worse. Within three months of marrying Jack, Mary grew afraid. Allegedly he spent days being abusive towards her and other days being off somewhere drunk. Jack was hospitalized in late 1932, with years of not taking care of himself caught up with him, and Mary sought out a divorce. Mary said in court that Jack once tried to break her door down, and chased her outside where she hid in the bushes. "He was a very nasty man," said Jack and Mary's maid. Eileen Witfield, who wrote the biography on Mary Pickford (Jack's very famous sister), The Woman Who Made Hollywood, wrote "He was a very hard man to get along with."
Their divorce was finalized in 1932.
|Jack and Mary Mulhern. Note that Jack was only 33 years old here, you can see how ill he was becoming.|
In a sad and cruel twist of fate, Jack was all alone and ill in Paris, staying in the same hospital Olive was at 13 years earlier. His last wish was to see his second wife, Marilyn Miller, saying "I'd like to see Marilyn one more time, if she isn't mad at me." Marilyn agreed to see Jack but passport problems halted her journey to Paris. Marilyn never made it to his bedside.
Jack's last words where, "After all, I've lived more at thirty-six than most people have in a lifetime."