Things have become muddled over the past 90 or so years about what really happened with this A+ list actress who was the biggest actress on the planet.

Her career crashed and burned when it became known what she did to supplement her income.

Although she was the highest paid actress, she was underpaid for what she brought to the studios.

She made far more money having s3x on the side with wealthy men.

Tabloids used to talk about it and it ruined her image and ultimately her career. Her defenders say that the publisher of the tabloid went to jail for extortion.

He certainly did and was certainly trying to blackmail her along with others.

Her defenders say that proves their case and the accusations were wrong.

You will notice though that the publisher was not sued for defamation or libel or slander.


Because he had photos, lots of photos of her at two parties.

One with several other men naked standing around her and another where she is naked and there is a dog next to her.

Clara Bow

Tabloid: The Coast Reporter

Publisher: Frederic Girnau


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The troubled life of Clara Bow is legendary. Behind the vivacious and fun-loving persona of the “It Girl” was an uneducated woman whose mad mother had tried to kill her and whose drunken amd worthless father had most likely sexually abused her. Her trusting nature and lack of a support system that had her best interests at heart lead her to be taken advantage of by friends, lovers, family and employers. Paramount Studios had notoriously overworked her and exploited the quintessential flapper in movie after movie and, when she was worn out by life and frightened by the microphone, famously saw her as all washed up at age 25. Her no-good father continued to mooch off of her until his death and lovers used her to get their names in the papers.

From 1923 – 1929 Clara Bow was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. She was also one of its most provocative, with scandals always swirling about her. Her parade of lovers was legendary (she had four fiancees: Gilbert Roland, Victor Fleming, Harry Richmond and eventual hubby, Rex Bell, as well affairs with Gary Cooper, a married doctor whose wife named her as the “other woman” in a divorce case and maybe Bela Lugosi who kept a nude portrait of Clara until his death) and her devil-may-care attitude shocked many of Hollywood’s elite.

By 1930, Clara was worn out. Tired of the merry-go-round of lovers, the callousness of her studio and scared to death of sound films, Clara thought she had found 2 strokes of good luck when (a) handsome cowboy star Rex Bell entered her life, and (b) private secretary (and former hairdresser) Daisy DeVoe (originally DeBoe) began to set her affairs in order. There was only one problem: Bell and Devoe disliked one another and guarded Clara, and their position in her life, with equal jealously.

In 1929, DeVoe opened a “special account” in which Clara’s paychecks were deposited and from which DeVoe paid her bills. Under DeVoe’s management, Clara went from near bankruptcy to financial health. However, she lost the power struggle with Bell, who accused Daisy of stealing from Clara and fired her. When Daisy asked for a severance settlement, Bell interpreted this as blackmail and notified the police.

At Bell’s and Paramount’s request, DeVoe was arrested and questioned for 27 straight hours. Sticking to her guns, she refused to sign a confession and steadfastly asserted her innocence. She was then jailed without the opportunity to contact an attorney. Upon release, she sued the Los Angeles District Attorney for false imprisonment who, in turn, retaliated by charging Devoe with 37 counts of grand theft.

In the end, DeVoe was cleared of 34 counts and found guilty, unbelievably of only 1. It was unbelievable because it involved a check for $825 signed by Clara herself and made payable to the IRS for her income taxes. For this offence, DeVoe got 18 months in prison.

But it was Clara Bow who received the harshest punishment. During the trial DeVoe divulged the most intimate and unflattering tales of Clara Bow’s life. Tales of wild sexual encounters, drunkenness and gambling kept the public’s attention glued to the trial. Smelling blood, a smarmy yellow paper called The Coast Reporter printed unsubstantiated tales of drugs, gang sex with the USC football team, sex in public, sex with multiple partners, sex with men, sex with women and even sex with dogs. Clara was ruined. In the court of public opinion, Clara Bow was morally unfit to appear in films. Adding insult to injury, Paramount cancelled her contract and screwed her out of the money owed to her. – Source

Final Thoughts on The “It” Girl and the Secretary

Clara Bow’s former secretary Daisy De Voe had attempted to use her insider knowledge of Clara’s private life to extort money from the actress; but the truth was she didn’t know much that was worth reporting. So what if Clara liked to party, that was hardly big news in Hollywood. Clara refused to pay her off.

When Frederic Girnau (the publisher behind the excretory rag The Coast Reporter) and Daisy De Voe put their malicious heads together they concocted a revolting 60 page document called “Clara’s Secret Love-Life as told by Daisy.”

Girnau contacted Rex Bell and offered to sell The Coast Reporter for $25,000 — but Bell, acting on Clara’s behalf, rejected the offer. The spiteful Girnau then sent copies to Will Hays (first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, and the man for whom the Hollywood censorship code was named), Superior Court Judges, and local PTA officials. By doing so the idiot violated Section 211 of the U.S. Penal Code which prohibited “mailing, transporting or importing anything lewd, lascivious, or obscene.” – Source

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