Playboy and Vanity Fair row over Marilyn Monroe images

Posted: May 11, 2012

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death yet the Hollywood screen siren is still the object of ‘jealous spats’ – this time between Playboy and Vanity Fair magazines, following the latter’s recent feature on the star in their June issue.

The magazine cover, which reads “Marilyn: Inside The Lost Nudes”, has prompted a critical response from Playboy, the original publishers of images from the same collection, which have already featured twice in their magazine: “An astute scholar of Monroviana will take exception with this cover-story claim. None of these nude photos were lost” wrote a Playboy representative in an indignant news article on Wednesday. “In fact, they are in the Playboy photo archives, or have been previously published in Playboy.”

It is true that photos from the collection – which was shot on the set of Monroe’s last film, “Something’s Got to Give” – were first published by Playboy in 1964 (and later again in 2005), two years after the collection was directed for publication in Playboy magazine by the star herself. Monroe had left them for photographer, Lawrence Schiller, with a note that read, “Send this to Playboy, they might like it” shortly before her death, for which reason Hugh Hefner postponed using them.

A Vanity Fair spokesperson informed news entertainment news website Gawker that 12 of the images featured by Vanity Fair alongside a revamped Lawrence Schiller memoir had, in fact, never been published before although they may have been similar to those used by Playboy.

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