Frank Sinatra didn’t like to be the subject of jokes, rumors or any kind of negative speculation. In 1986, he proved it by opposing the publication of an unauthorized biography about him. Not only did the famous singer file a $2 million lawsuit against the biographer, but one of Sinatra’s friends claimed that the singer threatened the author’s life. Here’s how she responded to that claim.
Many believe Frank Sinatra had mob ties
Almost ever since he rose to fame, people have wondered if Sinatra had any ties to the mafia. Some attributed this to the appeal he had in the entertainment industry, but others pointed to specific instances of friendship with gangsters. In 1947, Sinatra would have welcomed Lucky Luciano warmly in a hotel. Some also claim that he met members of Al Capone’s gang.
Former Sinatra manager Tony Oppedisano has denied the allegations.
“Wiseguys wanted to be part of Frank’s inner circle and he tried his best to juggle that and not let it get too heavy, but you know some people would overdo it,” he told Page Six. . “Some of the guys became friends over the years and they would try to do things for him that he never asked them to do. He was like, ‘If these guys really want to do me a favor, I’d like that’ they stop doing me favors!’
He would have made a threat against one of his biographers
Despite Oppedisano’s claim, many say Sinatra used his mob connections to issue threats against those who crossed paths with him. He said it clearly in 1986, when journalist Kitty Kelley published the book In His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra.
Sinatra was unhappy with the book’s revealing nature and made disparaging remarks about authors like Kelley in an interview with Larry King. According to The Washington Post, Sinatra sued Kelley for $2 million before the book’s release, hoping to stop publication. The book delved into the finer details of Sinatra’s life, including details of his involvement in the mafia.
When Sinatra’s lawsuit fell through, his longtime friend Paul Anka claimed that Sinatra threatened to have Kelley “punched”.
“Fortunately, this was never realized, although he had the contacts to do so,” Anka wrote, according to the Daily Mail.
Years later, Kelley responded to those claims, saying they were shocked.
“I’ve always been told otherwise,” she said. “That Frank had said, ‘If anything happens to that blank cover, I’ll be the first to blame. “”
By then, Sinatra had been dead for 15 years. Still, Kelley joked, “I’ll just keep a low profile for next week.”
Frank Sinatra often lashed out at those who angered him
Although Sinatra’s close friends admired him, they could admit that his temper was unstable.
“Although there was a side to Frank that I adored, he could be a difficult man, rough to the point of rudeness,” Anka wrote. “He would get angry if your hair was unruly or your clothes were unkempt.”
When Sinatra believed Marlon Brando had stolen a starring role from him, he started a feud that some say ended in Brando’s kidnapping. After John Wayne made disparaging comments about John F. Kennedy and a screenwriter Sinatra had hired, the two men nearly came to blows.
“For all his faults, Frank Sinatra lived life more fully than anyone I’ve met before or since,” Anka wrote. “There was no one like him, and there never will be again.”
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