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Bing Crosby’s Secret Love’s No Secret Anymore!

For eight months, Hollywood’s Monday-morning quarterbacks believed that little Mona Freeman had the inside track in the Crosby Marriage Sweepstakes. Supposedly, she and der Bingle saw each other privately and occasionally went out to some quiet, unobtrusive restaurant.

At least, they were seen together in such places. But now it turns out that there has been a mistaken identity.

Bing Crosby hasn’t been dating Mona Freeman often. He has been dating his brother Everett’s former secretary, a charming girl named Margot James who happens to be a dead ringer for Mona Freeman.

Mona is five feet, four inches tall, weighs 110 Ibs., has a thirty-four-inch bust, twenty-three-inch waist and thirty-three-inch hips. Margot James has exactly the same measurements. The only very noticeable dissimilarity is that her hair is darker than Mona’s. Like Mona, she is a one-time loser in marriage. She was born in New York, brought up in Los Angeles, and she went to work at the Crosby office some six years ago when she was nineteen.

A few months ago when she began to date Crosby, she resigned from his office and took a job with a theatrical producer.

Asked about her association with Bing, she said “Why, it’s ridiculous! It really is. He took me out to dinner and right away the newspapers were playing it up as a big romance. It’s no such thing. It’s just that Bing has known me a long time and we went out to eat. And really! I don’t know how this whole thing got started. I’m not a movie star. Nobody ever heard of me. How did they find out who I was?

“We went to a restaurant and the next day a reporter was sitting in my office waiting for me to get back from lunch. And when I did, right away, ‘Are you Bing Crosby’s new girl friend?’

“As I said before, I’m nobody and I’m not used to that sort of questioning. Bing is just an acquaintance.

“Can’t a girl go out? Does it have to be a big romance? This whole thing is ruining my social life. Other men don’t call me up. They think I’m Bing Crosby’s girl. I’m no such thing. I guess Mona Freeman is his real girl friend.”

Mona, however, denies this. “I’ve seen Bing maybe two or three times since he got back from Europe last summer,” she asserts. “People keep calling me up and saying, ‘I saw you with Crosby the other night.’ I must have a double. I wasn’t with him. All of these stories about my marrying Bing are just bunk. Bing and I are—well, I guess you’d call us pals. But there isn’t the slightest chance of our getting married.

“He sent the cutest little puppy over to our house for a Christmas present. It’s a little white Maltese dog. We’ve named him Smog. I did date Bing New Year’s Eve but not since then.”

Crosby left Hollywood after the various New Year’s celebrations to take care of his golf tournament up at Pebble Beach. Mona Freeman was his guest there, in spite of having denied any close friendship with him. One amateur photographer got a picture of them together, although they tried to avoid photographers. Before Miss Freeman was recognized, Bing was his usual nonchalant self.

“Of course I know Margot,” he admitted. “And of course I’ve taken her out. She’s a fine girl—wonderful secretary, too.”

“Are your intentions serious?” Bing was asked.

“I’d like to take her out to dinner again.” He chuckled.

“Would you like to marry her?”

“I’m not marrying anyone right now,” he answered.

“How long have you known Margot James? Is she your girl?”

“We’ve had wonderful weather up here,” Bing said. “Just perfect for golf.”

A few minutes after that conversation Bing called Margot James in Hollywood.

“Reporters bothering you?” he asked.

“They sure are,” Margot said good-naturedly.

“See what you’re up against,” Bing offered, “when you go out with me.”

“I’ve got the answer,” Margot said. “Don’t go out. Just die.”

Bing chuckled.

“How did they find out?” Margot asked.

“They find out everything,’ Bing said. “Next time we’ll have dinner under my car.”

Just how serious they are about each other no one knows, perhaps not even Margot and Bing. All Hollywood knows is that Crosby apparently prefers young, beautiful, refined women.

As he approaches fifty, a young bride might help him to feel that he is younger. Conceivably, that young bride could be Margot James, Mona Freeman, or any girl of their type. Bing may not have stated his intentions, but certainly he has shown his taste—at least in dinner dates.

Certainty Crosby needs a wife. Although he has thousands of acquaintances there is something about his nature that forbids very close friendship.

He keeps people at arm’s length. Basically, perhaps, he is a sentimental Irishman embarrassed by sentiment. That might be why he has adopted a nonchalant facade.

In the presence of women he does not exude warmth. He is a fast man with a bon mot, but he gives the impression that he will bare his soul to no one.

Young women like Rosemary Clooney and Audrey Hepburn are attracted to Bing immediately, perhaps more because of their veneration for him than because of his personal magnetism.

Besides his wife Dixie, Bing has never had any really close women friends, never any confidante to share his problems.

Bing’s close friends have always been men, fellows like his gag-writer Bill Morrow and his attorney John O’Melveny.

O’Melveny says quite frankly, “From here on in, Bing plans to taper off. He and I are working out his gradual retirement. We’ve set up trust funds for the boys. We’ve taken care of the other business angles. And one of these days, Bing will just slip out of the limelight. His career is fulfilled and he has plenty of money, and my own opinion is that he wants to play a little and work a little. Eventually, he’ll probably abandon his radio show. Every now and then, if he particularly likes a script, I think he’ll make a movie.”

No one in the entire Crosby organization will dare to comment on Crosby’s marital intentions, his dates with Margot James and Mona Freeman and Ghislaine de Boysson in Paris last summer.

One brave girl who has worked intermittently for Bing, says, “I feel very sorry for him. Every time he goes out with a girl the eyes of the world are upon him.

“I guess he likes young girls. He’s rarely seen with anyone over thirty. But how would it seem if he married a girl who was only a couple of years older than his oldest son, Gary?

“I guess you know that he takes a dictaphone wherever he goes. When he has a spare minute he answers his personal mail. Maybe if he married a secretary he’d have more time for golf!

“Choosing a wife is a private decision, and most men can marry any girl they choose. But Bing has such tremendous fame that it impinges on his private life, and that’s what he hates the most. For twenty years, he has been hounded and followed and tracked down by the press. I think that’s why he goes to Europe so much. Nobody bothers him over there.”

The girl who marries Crosby will have her hands full. Aside from the many Crosby business enterprises, there are the four Crosby boys.

“Now that Dixie’s gone,” he has said, “they really need a lot of attention. They’re normal, healthy youngsters. If they’re not taken care of, they’ll run wild.”

Bing’s wife would necessarily share in raising the Crosby clan. This would call for tact and diplomacy, since all four boys remember their mother with overwhelming love. Certainly, no one could substitute for Dixie.

Bing also owns a few homes. There’s the mansion in Holmby Hills, the big house in Pebble Beach (known to real estate men as “Everett’s Folly”—brother Everett took bids for its construction and the house has been up for sale for more than a year with no buyers). There’s the summer lodge at Hayden Lake, Idaho, the tremendous ranch at Elko, Nevada, and. the newest Crosby house in Palm Springs.

That makes five residences. To move in and become mistress of these properties takes courage, knowledge, experience and background. A wife who could do it would be extremely difficult to find. Bing’s friends are mostly athletes, show people and plain, unsophisticated people. Where is he likely to meet a girl able to help him to oversee his vast holdings?

A girl who wants to continue a career would hardly be suitable. When he took out Audrey Hepburn one time, there was speculation that Audrey was one of the few young women in the movies with the proper background for a Mrs. Crosby.

As far as it went it was true, but probably Audrey Hepburn would not give up her career at this point for anyone. Bing has always insisted that two careers in one family are one too many. Dixie abandoned hers although she was much more famous than Bing when they married.

Bing knows that he must be extremely careful in choosing his dates. That is why there have been so few. Bing likes to hunt, fish, ride and golf. Few girls are able to keep up with him in these. Presumably, they wouldn’t be expected to.

A girl who has sung on Crosby’s radio show many times says, “I’d be scared silly to marry Bing. To begin with, he’s settled in his ways. That means the wife would have to do all of the adapting.

“Then, too, I’d always know that people were staring at me to see if I measured up—to see if I were good enough for him. Everyone would compare me to Dixie.

“Bing is almost fifty years old. In another ten years he’ll be an old man, probably a grandfather. He should marry a woman who is forty, at least, maybe a little older. He needs a woman of experience who can cope with things.

“I can see his going out with young girls for kicks, but I’m sure he’s not thinking of marrying them. He’s too sensible.”

What does Bing think of a future marriage? What does he have to say?

“I might get married again,” he admits, “if I could find the right girl, and if the right girl would have me. It’s all up to God.”





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