Joan Collins Says She Almost Had Warren Beatty's Baby in New Book
She nearly backed out of the appointment to terminate the pregnancy.
So much has happened in the lives and careers of Joan Collins and Warren Beatty over the past several decades that the romantic relationship their shared is mostly left in the past. But, in her new memoir, Collins opens up about the period during which she was engaged to the actor, including becoming pregnant by him and deciding to have an abortion. According to the Dynasty star, she and Beatty both feared that having a child together, especially when they were unmarried, would ruin their careers.
Read on to see what Collins wrote about Beatty's reaction to the news of her pregnancy and to learn more about their romance.
Collins and Beatty got engaged in the early '60s.
Collins and Beatty began dating after they crossed paths at a restaurant when she was 26 and he was 22.
"Although I wasn't madly in love with Warren, he and I were actually very compatible, even if he needed to have sex several times a day, which often wore me out," Collins wrote in her 2013 book Passion for Life (via the Daily Mail). She added that they "continued playing happy families and not long afterwards, Warren actually proposed, presenting [her] with a large gold ring studded with pearls."
Also in Passion for Life, Collins wrote that their relationship became strained over rumors that Beatty was cheating on her with other women, including Natalie Wood and Vivien Leigh. She also said that they fought over rent money and her family coming to stay in their Los Angeles apartment.
They thought having a baby would end their careers.
In her new book, Behind the Shoulder Pads, Collins opens up about having an abortion during her relationship with Beatty.
"'Pregnant?' he asked in his puzzled little-boy voice. 'How did that happen?'" the 90-year-old writes of telling him the news (via the New York Post). "'The butler did it,' I said sarcastically, 'or maybe it's an immaculate conception.' 'This is terrible,' he said…. 'Terrible!'"
Collins writes that Beatty went with her to see an ex-surgeon in New Jersey for the abortion, because it was "dark days for women and girls" when it came to the legality of abortion. (Roe v. Wade was decided over a decade later, in 1973.)
She considered backing out on the day of the appointment, but writes that Beatty told her, "Butterfly, we can't. We can't do it…having a baby now will wreck both of our careers. You know it will."
Best Life has reached out to representatives for Beatty for comment on Collins' new book.
Collins is content with her decision.
Speaking to the New York Post, Collins said, "It would have been wrong for me to have had a child at the age of 25 or 26, at a time when to have a child out of wedlock was almost considered a crime. I mean, it really was. And it would've ruined my career. It would absolutely have ruined my career … a lot of women are made to feel guilty about it, which I think is quite shocking, and made to feel guilty about it by men, thank you very much." She added, "Not that I hate men. I don't. But I do find that it's none of their bloody business."
She said having a baby at the time would have "ruined her life."
In 2021, Collins opened up about having an abortion on Pier's Morgan's Life Stories, as reported by The Independent.
"I had an abortion," the author and actor said. "It would have been the death of my career, and I was by then 26. Of course I hesitated but I realized that if I was going to have a child I was going to be able to bring the child up properly and I believed very strongly that I'm in charge of my body."
She continued, "I was a feminist before the word was heard and I shall do what I felt was right for me. It would have been wrong to have done that. It would have ruined my life… it would have ruined my life."
Beatty and Collins moved on to new relationships.
In Passion for Life, Collins wrote that she realized Beatty was a "rebound" relationship. She had already been married once to actor Maxwell Reed from 1952 to 1956 and was coming out of an affair with a producer named George Englund.
"It was a sad ending, but I knew that our relationship of almost two years was doomed. Marriage to Warren would never have lasted because he simply loved the ladies too much," she wrote.
Beatty became infamous for his many relationships with women in Hollywood, but since 1992 he has been married to actor Annette Bening. They have four children.
Collins has been married five times. She has two children with her second husband, singer and actor Anthony Newley, and one child with her third husband, businessman Ron Kass. Since 2022, she has been married to producer Percy Gibson.
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