...from anything ever associated with the organization, I do -- now -- accept their decision to remove him as National Chairman in the first place.
Remember, less than a week after Jerry won his long-overdue Academy Award -- not for his film work, but for his charity dedication -- the story broke about Suzan Lewis.
This had to embarrass both the Academy AND, definitely, the MDA.
Now, granted, MDA execs were paying themselves outrageous salaries -- so they deserve no accolades either. Still, to learn that Jerry would treat his own child like that made him seem hypocritical. Of course, once Suzan had aligned herself with Rick Sapphire all hope for a reconciliation was gone -- but why did Jerry have Joe Stabile callously ditch her, virtually in the manner of a cease and desist method, in the 1970s ... lonnnnng before the Sapphire connection?
And, sadly, despite doing an outstanding job hosting the 2008 and 2010 'Thons, it was, most likely, the '07 and'09 Telethons that had the powers-that-be thnking: "Ya' know, it might be time for Jerry to bow out gracefully."
Which, I'm sure, Jerry never considered for a minute. He'd invested too much emotional energy into his life's top goal.
That's probably what made things turn ugly. Still, to act like Jerry never existed was a stupid move on their part.
Going off on the Suzan part, I find it annoying that she keeps changing the story of how much and to what degree Jerry actually had contact with her, and gave her financial support when she was a child. Not really sure what to believe. She's said that Jerry used to have a room next to her parent's sometimes when they went on vacation, and that he would come over and play with her sometimes. She even recalled that he and her mother took her to school once, and that he paid for her until Suzan's mother was re-married.
is it a fact that JL knew early on that she was his daughter? like back in the day when she was a child? of did he find out much later? has he claimed her, even privately? (i know about the DNA stuff). she obviously has mental illness...it doesn’t seem to me she wanted anything from him, not even necessarily recognition.
Yes, he always knew. She said that he provided money for her until, Lynn Dixon (her mother) married Hy Uchitel. He would sometimes take a room next to her family on vacations, and just "happened" to be staying at the same place. He also provided reward money for the capture of those who mugged her at one point in time. In another story, she said that Jerry had played ball with her as a child, I believe.
She said that the 3 yr affair between Jerry and her mother became an engagement when Jerry gave Dixon a ring. But Jerry couldn’t get a divorce. Suzan was born on Feb. 3, 1952. Jerry was on the road at the time promoting his soon-to-be released, Sailor Beware, so he convinced Berle to visit Dixon in the hospital on his behalf.
"As Suzan’s mother kept the true identity of her daughter’s biological father a secret from Hy, she nonetheless found ways to reunite father and daughter whether they met on Miami Beach for several play dates.
A good example of that cooperation was that when Suzan was 2, Jerry and Lynn (together) enrolled Suzan in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
And when the Uchitels vacationed in Miami Beach, they stayed at the posh Fontainebleau hotel. So did Jerry—that’s where he filmed perhaps his most famous movie, The Bellboy, in 1960. During the filming of that movie, Jerry met with Lynn several times in order for him to spend time with his daughter Suzan.
“When I was little, we’d have a cabana around the pool and he’d get the one next to ours so he could be near us. He’d play with me in the sand, all of that,” Suzan said. “He’d be silly. He say something like, ‘Let’s play ball,’ and then he’d fall all over the place.”
Back in New York, they’d arrange discreet meetings periodically and often cross paths by pure chance. After all, they socialized in the same circles. Publicly, meanwhile, Jerry led a happily married life: By 1964, he and Palmer had six sons including one adopted—but no daughters.
“He was very affectionate. He gave me gifts, dolls. And I loved dolls,” Suzan said. “He wanted a daughter but he could never tell anyone he already had one.”
Certainly her sons could have helped her at this point a well. One son seems to do somewhat well for himself at least. Her mental issues are unfortunately caused from her accident. Also I don't think Gary can even help out his own mother at this point, since he had Rick Sapphire set up a Gofundme account for her. So I don't think he will be helping out Suzan.
Since Jerry could not get a divorce from Patti to marry Lynn Dixon, I am assuming that Patti knew about the affair and Suzan. And this while she is letting herself be operated on practically every year in order to give Jerry more children! She really hung on to her marriage. On the other hand, if she had divorced him, the whole mess would have been made public, Jerry's career might have been endangered and thus HER and the two boys' livelihoods as well. There is another thing I don't understand: why her French sons don't support her. Maybe she does not want it.
Lynn Dixon was for Jerry what Jeanne Biegger was to Dean, and the affairs happened at about the same time. Oddly they were also cheating on their wives and Lynn and Jeanne, with Gloria DeHaven and June Allyson, and who knows who else. I wonder at what point he asked for a divorce/gave Lynn a ring.
I think Patti saw what happened to Betty Martin and firmly decided the same would not happen to her. So if Jerry wanted a divorce to marry Lynn Dixon, it would be over her dead body. They must have patched things up, because they went on to have 4 more children together, and Patti stuck it out till 1980. I would guess Jerry asked Patti for a divorce as soon as he knew that Lynn Dixon was pregnant. All in all, it was a lot for someone of Jerry's age. He's not quite 26, has a wife and 2 kids, has an affair that has resulted in a pregnancy, has more affairs going on, and has a rocketing show biz career that in itself could take up all his time and energy. I can only shake my head.
I find it interesting that jewelry was Jerry's way of making everything right. He gave Lynn Dixon a ring, and she probably expected a marriage. And we know that Jerry heaped jewelry on Patti, and she said, the worse the thing he did, the more expensive was the piece of jewelry he gave her to make up. She praised his taste in jewelry, so she must have had beautiful stuff.
Well despite the affairs and everything they still loved each other and he wrote to her and called her every day. She did leave him a few times, during the period of the Lynn Dixon thing, because of his behavior (parties, too many people at their house all the time, his attitude, affairs, etc) and not being grown up. Honestly he shouldn't married that young, and he was just doing what any other person in their 20's does, fall in love with a bunch of different people constantly, party a lot, be irresponsible, and have unexpected pregnancies. lol. I believe that he loved Patti a lot, and that he could have been in love/infatuation with others too. It can happen and just depends on the person. Unfortunately many people do not understand this. I think a lot of his problems could have been solved if he hadn't gotten married so early.
I definitely agree that Jerry married too young, too fast. He was in such a great rush to be an adult. He wanted to marry any girl who looked at him twice. I am sure he loved Patti (as much as he was capable of real responsible love at 18), but I'm not so sure it was the other way around. I suspect they married at that time because they thought she could be pregnant. She wasn't (yet), but they weren't sure - that's how I read it.
I really do go back and forth on that. I think she was attracted to him, but what really disturbs me is what she said in her own book, or better said, what she did NOT say. Namely, when she explained to a friend why she married Jerry, of all people. In her own words she said she married him because he loved her and made her laugh. No word from her about loving him. Heck, if I were to tell someone why I married a guy, love would be the first reason I would name, and she didn't mention that at all. I think she may have been physically attracted to him (he could be really good looking when he wanted to be), he DID make her laugh, he loved her (and that certainly was missing in her childhood/youth), he was certainly like no one else she knew ("I married a wild and wonderful boy". Boy, not man.), and at some point they jumped into bed and the result was the quick elopement to Connecticut. Why the rush? Because they thought she could be pregnant. (I can understand his parents' reaction, but that's another thread.) I think the love came later, I don't think it was there for Patti from the beginning, like it was for Jerry. But we both agree that he married too young. He didn't give himself a chance to sow his wild oats before he committed himself to one partner.
Well, at a certain point in the book, Patti is talking about Ted Fiorito and writes: "Ted was not pleased with my instant infatuation with Jerry and our dating caused a lot of tension" I mean she is saying that she was very attracted to him. She left the band to be with Jerry when Jerry wasn't famous yet! So I don't know... I also think that they got married too soon. At that time was normal to get married very young. I also believe that both Jerry and Patti had some serious childhood trauma and they both were looking for someone to love and they wanted to be loved so they fell into each other's arms really fast! They needed each other. About Suzan, I think that if Patti knew it, she probably told Jerry not to make it official. She might have felt embarrassed (obviously) and she was also very Catholic! She always said to him to kinda do what he wanted to do (sexually with other women), but to keep it for himself! There is soooooooo much we don't know. It's complicated and if you are a famous person , it makes it even more complicated.
Yes, Ted FioRito did give her a hard time about Jerry, but that may have only strengthened her resolve to keep seeing him. She had no one else in the world, he didn't either, they owed no one an explanation, although the estrangement from his parents must have been hard for Jerry. He was a loyal son, although he had little reason to be, after the lifelong rejection he experienced at their hands. Getting married young and quick was by no means the exception. The war was still going on, young men were still being drafted and sent overseas, not knowing whether they would return at all. So many young couples got married while they still could. Out of the ordinary was the age difference, that she was 6 years older than he. I think that turned out to be a problem later on.