In yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter actress-singer Janis Paige, 95, posted a first-hand saga of a traumatic attempted rape. It happened in 1944, when Paige was 22. Her assailant was Alfred Bloomingdale, the compulsive, dick-driven heir to the Bloomingdale fortune who was 28 at the time. The incident was ugly and brutal, but at least Paige managed an escape.
A hot ticket in her ’40s and ’50s heyday, Paige ends the article by saying “maybe there’s a special place in hell for the Alfred Bloomingdales or Harvey Weinsteins of the world, and for those who aid and then deny their grossly demented behavior.”
For some reason Paige doesn’t mention Bloomingdale’s most sordid Los Angeles-based relationship. It happened between the early ’70s and early ’80s, and was with the notorious Vicki Morgan, whose sad story was told in Gordon Basichis‘s “Beautiful Bad Girl.” Alfred and his wife Betsy had been friendly with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, but Bloomingdale’s kinky cavortings with Morgan (reportedly sado-masochistic in nature) tarnished his rep in that regard. I distinctly recall Mort Sahl calling the Bloomingdale-Morgan scandal “a cynical attempt to humanize the Reagan administration.”
Bloomingdale died from cancer on 8.23.82. Morgan quickly filed a palimony suit against Bloomingdale’s estate. 11 months after his passing Morgan was beaten to death with a baseball bat by her gay roommate.
Janis Paige Esquire cover, which appeared in mid 1954.