Xan Brooks and agencies
... The silent 16mm footage was sold earlier this week to a New York businessman for a reported $1.5m (£750,000). The sale was brokered by memorabilia collector Keya Morgan, who claims to have obtained the film from the son of a dead FBI informant.
Sources suggest that the footage played a dark, behind-the-scenes role in the political machinations of early-60s America. At the time Monroe was rumoured to have been having an affair with President John F Kennedy. Morgan alleges that J Edgar Hoover, the then FBI director, attempted to prove that Kennedy was the man in the frame....
"A team of nine individuals were analysing the tape inside a lab," Morgan enthused. "J Edgar Hoover brought in a few prostitutes who allegedly had been with President Kennedy and they tried to ... see if that was really President Kennedy."
It seems likely that we will never know for sure. According to reports, the man's face remains out of shot throughout the 15-minute film. To further muddy the waters, there appears no way of telling exactly when the footage was shot. ...
Declassified FBI files - released to the newspaper by Morgan - suggest that Monroe's ex-husband, baseball star Joe DiMaggio, once tried to buy the offending film for $25,000 (£12,500) but was rebuffed. A copy of the footage reportedly remains classified in FBI files.
Monroe married three times and was reported to have had affairs with both JFK and his brother, the attorney general Robert Kennedy. She died at her Los Angeles home in August 1962 at the age of 36. At the time, the official cause was ruled as "acute barbiturate poisoning", with her death classified as "probable suicide". Joe DiMaggio took a different view. "The Kennedys killed her," he allegedly said at the time.