Friday, November 9, 2012

Attorney Jerry Giesler consoles Charlie who wept on the witness stand describing the night Joan Barry came to his house with a gun, March 1944

Charlie was on the witness stand for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Below he describes the night in December 1942 when Joan confronted him with a pistol at his Beverly Hills home:

"I came home rather late. I was in my bedroom. I heard a disturbance and there was Joan with a gun pointing at me. She half-circled around the bed and said 'I am going to kill you.'"

"I was scared. I tried to reason with her and said to her 'What of this supposed love for me? It is all a pretense and a sham or you wouldn't act this way!"

"She phoned me night after night and this led to intimacies. I asked her why she would embarrass me night after night in front of servants and help with her scenes and tantrums."

"I told her of my belief in her as she stood there with the gun. I told her of my faith in her ability. I told her how I'd bought a play for her and how it would cost $250,000 just to stage the production."

"Finally she said to me, 'I don't think you're worth it,' and then she added, 'I'm going to kill myself and I'm going to do it here in your room.'"

Charlie choked up and began to cry.

"I heard Edward [his butler] and my two sons out in the hall. I called out to the boys, 'Sons, there is a little trouble, you had better go home to your mother. They couldn't go. They didn't have a car."

"I told Joan she would have to go home. She said, 'I am destitute. I am going to stay here.' I said, 'you can't stay. I'm going to throw you out.'"

"She said if I came near her she would kill herself. I went downstairs."

Charlie finally agreed that she could sleep in the guest room. The next morning, Charlie gave her money and his butler drove her home.

After a recess, Charlie's attorney, Jerry Giesler, asked him:

"Now Mr. Chaplin, that night in your home did you in your bedroom have an act of sexual relationship with Miss Barry after she had laid the gun on the table and after which she picked up the gun?"

"I did not," replied Chaplin.

"Did you have any act of intimacy that night with Miss Barry?"

"I did not."

(Milwaukee Sentinal & Pittsburgh Post Gazette, March 31st, 1944)

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