Thousands of fans may have been fooled by a Marilyn Monroe exhibit, according to a lawsuit filed in L.A. on Friday. The showcase of items owned or used by the late movie icon is hosted by the Queen Mary, which is docked in Long Beach, and it costs each fan $22.95 to see it. It turns out you can't fool an expert, as the lawsuit was filed after Ernest Cunningham, an expert who wrote a book called The Ultimate Marilyn, attended. It also turns out the Queen Mary had gone ahead of the exhibit despite the fact that the Hollywood Museum had already cancelled the same display because it doubted the authenticity of some of the items, which are owned by a collector, Robert W. Otto, who insists they are the real deal.
Hopefully this controversy will make fans, not just those of Marilyn Monroe, think twice about their obsessive urge to see material objects owned by a movie star or other celebrity. In fact, it makes me wonder about every museum and Planet Hollywood I've ever been to. How do I really know the items in The Smithsonian are what they are supposed to be? How do I know that the paintings in the Louvre are the originals? Well, I don't. But someone does. Anyway, if any of that stuff wasn't real, would you even care? If you didn't know?