How Grace Kelly's Boyfriend Found Out She Was Cheating With a Rich Playboy
A recognizable emerald bracelet gave it away.
Grace Kelly's most famous relationship was undoubtedly the one she shared with husband Prince Rainier III. After all, the marriage transformed her from Grace Kelly, the actor, to Princess Grace of Monaco. But, a new book delves much further back into the Rear Window star's romantic life, which was dramatic and varied, even before she became a movie star. In Hitchcock's Blondes, Laurence Leamer writes about the time when Kelly's acting professor boyfriend found out via a tell-tale piece of jewelry that he wasn't the only man she was seeing at the time. Read on to find out why a bracelet gave her away and who had given it to Kelly.
Kelly began dating one of her teachers when she was still a student.
Hitchcock's Blondes explores the lives of eight actors who famously worked with director Alfred Hitchcock. In the excerpt from the section about Kelly published by People, author Leamer explains that she dated a teacher named Don Richardson after she moved from from her hometown of Philadelphia to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Richardson is said to have been 30 years old at the time; while Kelly attended the school in her late teens. The professor later found success as a TV director, helming episodes of hit shows including Get Smart and Lost in Space.
According to Leamer, Richardson met Kelly's parents during their relationship, but they did not approve because he was Jewish and still legally married to his wife. Still, Kelly continued seeing him.
Richardson figured out that Kelly was seeing other men.
Leamer's book claims that Kelly was seeing other men in addition to Richardson, including Claudius Charles Phillippe, who was the banquet manager of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and "millionaire playboy," diplomat, and third husband of Rita Hayworth, Aly Khan.
"One evening, Grace invited Richardson over to the apartment the Kellys rented for their daughter. As always, they made love," Leamer writes. "Afterward, she pirouetted before him in one gorgeous gown after another. He had no idea where she'd acquired such outfits. Then she paraded before him nude, except for a gold bracelet laden with emeralds."
The bracelet stood out to Richardson. "He remembered he had seen it before on a woman who had slept with Aly Khan," Leamer writes, adding that Khan "was famed for his generosity as much as for his sexual prowess" and gave jewelry as "tokens of appreciation."
"With so many lovers, it made sense that, as often as not, he passed out the same gift," Hitchcock's Blondes reads.
Kelly wasn't bothered by the breakup.
Leamer says that Richardson snatched the bracelet from Kelly, tossed it into a fish tank, and stormed off.
"Does the bracelet have anything to do with it?" Kelly asked, according to the book. "It has everything to do with it," Richardson supposedly said. The author writes that Richardson looked back at Kelly as he left. "Maybe Grace would be crying or wringing her hands in despair. But it was nothing like that. Still nude, she was reaching down into the water to fish out the bracelet," he says.
But while Richardson was upset, Leamer notes that this wasn't really fair, because he also was seeing other people when they were together.
Richardson slammed Kelly later.
In 2012, the Daily Express reported that Richardson, who died in 1996, once said of Kelly, "She screwed everybody she came into contact with who was able to do anything good for her." (This article notes that at the time they started their relationship, Richardson was 27 and Kelly was 18.) Richardson reportedly added, "I'd known several other girls who had the same bracelet. When Aly Khan had a date with a girl he used to give her a cigarette case with one emerald in it. When he [slept with] her he gave her the bracelet."
Kelly's life took some major turns from there.
When she split from Richardson, Kelly was not yet the famous actor she would become and was even further away from becoming Monégasque royalty. In 1949, she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Soon, she began appearing on TV shows and in plays, and in 1951, she was in her first movie, Fourteen Hours. From there, her career took off. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1955 for The Country Girl, and made three acclaimed films with Hitchcock: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955).
The star retired from acting in 1956 when she married Prince Rainier III and became Princess of Monaco. Kelly's last movie was 1956's High Society. The royals welcomed three children together and remained married until her death in 1982.
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