Skip to content

Desi Arnaz Cheated on Lucille Ball With 2 or 3 Women a Week, Old Hollywood Escort Claimed

Scotty Bowers was notorious for setting up secret hookups for the biggest stars in Hollywood.

For six years, married stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz played a loving couple on their smash hit TV show, I Love Lucy. But, while some aspects of their real life made it into the show—for instance, the episode in which Lucy gives birth was timed to air when Ball delivered her own son—not all parts of their fact became fiction.

It is well-documented that Arnaz cheated on Ball, and the bandleader and actor admitted it himself. But, one Hollywood insider made quite the bold claim about Arnaz's cheating: Escort-to-the-stars Scott Bowers claimed that he procured women for the I Love Lucy star at the rate of two or three a week. Read on to find out more about Bowers' link to the stars and Arnaz and Ball's relationship.

READ THIS NEXT: Sophia Loren Admitted to an Affair With This Co-Star 26 Years After His Death.

Ball and Arnaz were together long before I Love Lucy.

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball circa 1944
William Grimes/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Ball and Arnaz got married in 1940 after meeting on the film Too Many Girls. Four years later, Ball filed for divorce, but the couple reconciled and their marriage continued. They welcomed two children: Lucie Arnaz in 1951 and Desi Arnaz Jr. in 1953.

I Love Lucy premiered in 1951 and was produced by the pair's own company, Desilu Productions. According to Lucie, her parents thought starring on the sitcom would salvage their relationship.

"They did the show so they could be together because my dad was always on the road and they never saw each other," she told People. "So my parents thought, 'Well, this is going to save our marriage, and we can have a family.'"

Bowers claimed Arnaz cheated with countless women.

Scotty Bowers at a Dsquared2 event in 2014
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for DSquared2

Bowers was a gas station attendant who became an escort and pimp servicing Hollywood stars. According to The Daily Beast, Bowers set up secret sexual relationships for many Hollywood celebrities, including some who were closeted and wanted to meet people discreetly.

Bowers, who died in 2019 at age 96, claimed to have made sexual arrangements for some huge-name celebrities, including Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, and, of course, Arnaz. He recounted his sometimes-outrageous stories in the 2012 book Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, which was also the inspiration for the 2017 documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.

Bowers said Ball confronted him.

In his interview with The Daily Beast, Bowers said that during the height of I Love Lucy's popularity, he was setting Arnaz up with two or three women per week.

"His type was any nice-looking girl who was a quick lay," he claimed of the star.

He also said that Ball once confronted him about his dealings with her husband. Per Bowers, she came up to him at a party and yelled, "How dare you pimp for Desi!"

A tabloid reported on Arnaz's infidelity.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at a CBS party in 1955
Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

As reported by Vanity Fair, in 1955, a tabloid called Confidential published a story about Arnaz cheating on Ball.

"Desi has, in fact, proved himself an artist at philandering," the article titled "Does Desi Really Love Lucy?" read. The report claimed that in one instance at the Beverly Hills Hotel, a friend of Arnaz's "got on the phone, calling one of Hollywood's best door-to-door dame services" and "ordered two cuties, medium rare."

"What's she upset about? I don't take out other broads," Arnaz reportedly told a friend, referring to his wife. "I just take out hookers."

Ball confronted Arnaz with the article in front of other people on the I Love Lucy set. Her publicist, Charles Pomerantz, later recalled to People the day she saw it. "It was during a rehearsal day, and she went into her dressing room," he said (via Vanity Fair). "Everybody was frozen on the set. She finally came out, tossed the magazine to Desi and said, 'Oh, hell, I could tell them worse than that.'"

Arnaz said they were both unfaithful in the marriage.

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball at the Racquet Club in Palm Springs circa 1953
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Arnaz's memoir, A Book, was published in 1977. In it, in admitted to cheating on Ball and claimed that she was unfaithful, too.

"The more our love life deteriorated, the more we fought, the less sex we had," he wrote (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). "The more unhappy we were, the more I worked, and the more I drank … At this point I hadn't slept in the master bedroom for almost a year … So I began to fill my needs elsewhere. And so did she."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

They got along much better after splitting.

Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, and their children at London Airport in 1959
J. Wilds/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Arnaz and Ball divorced in 1960 after 20 years of marriage. Their daughter said that they had a better relationship as exes than they did as spouses.

"The best thing that ever happened to them was getting divorced," Lucie told Closer in 2020. "They had a great divorce. They had a very successful divorce. It was fantastic. If their parents can't get along and that happens, then kids should be so lucky to have a divorce like my mom and my dad did, because they were kind, they never said bad words about each other in front of their children and they stayed friends til the day they died."

Both Ball and Arnaz remarried. Arnaz was married to Edith Mack Hirsch from 1963 until her death in 1985. He died one year later, in 1986. Ball was married to Gary Morton from 1961 until her death in 1989.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more