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August 6, 2012

The End of the Marriage: Tearful Photos From the Day Marilyn Monroe Divorced Joe DiMaggio in 1954

On Jan. 14, 1954, Marilyn Monroe and retired baseball player Joe DiMaggio were married in San Francisco. By Oct. 4, 1954, the marriage was over.

Even for Hollywood, where unhappy endings for the real love stories come with almost unseemly haste, this ending seemed abrupt. It was only last January that the press was mobbing the San Francisco city hall, waiting for Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe to emerge as newlywed man and wife. Now the press was gathered again in front of the DiMaggio home in Beverly Hills, waiting for Joe and Marilyn to come out as newly-separated man and wife.

Nobody had been surprised when they got married — they had been going with each other for two years. Nobody doubted their love — they had smiled happily through their married life. And almost nobody professed surprised when they broke up — the conflict in their two careers seemed inevitable.

The photographs here are not pleasant. They're not easy to look at. There's real pain in Marilyn's face, posture and demeanor — the pain of a young woman who knows she's doing the right thing, but who wishes all the same that there was some way, any way, that she could avoid doing it.

Still, these pictures tell one small but integral part of the Marilyn Monroe story, and capture the star at a pivotal point in her fraught life. She would marry again. She would make more movies in the coming years, including several classics. But deeper and more enduring pain was also in her future, and an especially discerning eye might see in these photographs something in Marilyn's attitude that suggests she herself was aware of the gathering, ill-defined storm, and was bracing for it.

Oct. 6, 1954: Marilyn Monroe crying during media gathering outside her home after Joe DiMaggio packed his bags and moved out. Monroe clings to her attorney, Jerry Giesler.

Reporters hound Marilyn Monroe and attorney Jerry Giesler outside of her home after Joe DiMaggio moved out.

Marilyn Monroe and her lawyer, Jerry Giesler, at the time she filed for divorce from Joe DiMaggio.

An unhappy Marilyn with lawyer Jerry Giesler, kept repeating “I can't say anything..”

Marilyn Monroe with her lawyer Jerry Giesler clutching her arm as she comes out in front of home to face dozens of reporters after announcement of her divorce from Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn Monroe at the time she filed for divorce from Joe DiMaggio.

Oct. 27, 1954: Actress Marilyn Monroe walks from Santa Monica courthouse with her attorney, Jerry Giesler, left, after divorce from Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn Monroe waves to fans while leaving court following divorce from Joe Demaggio.



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