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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Oh, sure. She was married, and her husband found the diaries.


This was several years later than this first meeting?


No, within a year--about a year later I would say. Mary's husband threatened to go to court, but if he had sued all the men in that diary, it would have taken him ten years. But particularly Mr. Kaufman was featured because theirs was such a great, great love affair. And of course I was in it because she'd told the story of meeting me and how I had introduced her to George Kaufman. Well, when the story broke on the Coast it became front page news in all the tabloids. It was a very sensational case.

Mrs. Kaufman, Beatrice, was wonderful about it. As I said, they had their own understanding anyway; but all this publicity was shocking. But Beatrice gave a big dinner party and told me to bring Mary Astor to her house, which I did. That was quite a gesture, showing the world that she was sticking with her husband by inviting Miss Astor to be a guest in her house. That was rather a strange situation; but, nevertheless, Mary didn't want to come and I dragged her and I said, “You've got to. Mrs. Kaufman's making this gesture.”

An amusing epilogue:...after I broke up with Sylvia and Mary Astor broke up with George, we decided that maybe we could console each other by going away for a weekend

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