1974 #3 Desmond & Marina Guinness. John Huston. Ireland.

Miami Herald March 19, 1974. Paige Young would commit suicide 3 weeks later.

According to Melanie, Paige was afraid of a sex tape being seen by certain people or a certain person. (This was a non-consensual tape made of Paige and an unknown partner according to Melanie.)

I have to wonder if the person or persons in Paige’s mind was Desmond Guinness (and his crowd?)

It’s nothing I can confirm at this point.

But it is interesting that Desmond was in Los Angeles for an extended stay (accompanied by his 17-year-old daughter Marina this time ) close to the time of Paige’s death.

This Suzy column was published 9 days before Paige’s suicide. Desmond in bold.

Suzy column Daily News March 28, 1974.

The article below is 7 days before Paige’s suicide.

Jody Jacobs column LAT March 31st 1974

Desmond and Marina were also in Raleigh, NC on March 28th, 1974. The article is unusual in that it brings up the uncomfortable subject of his mother Diana Mitford and step-father Oswald Mosely.

Raleigh News and Observer March 29, 1974. Notice the comment and story about Stanley Kubrick.

Did John Huston and Desmond Guinness know each other?

Given how much Desmond traveled around Ireland meeting people, restoring castles and seeking funds for the Irish Georgian Society, almost certainly.

This also makes me think Desmond and Mariga knew Ricki Soma Huston, John Huston’s 4th wife and mother to Angelica and Tony.

Rikki lived in St. Clerans in the 50s and 60s and raised her children there until she moved to London sometime in the late 1960s.

Anjelica Huston wrote a memoir about growing up in the St. Clerans estate.

Did Paige meet Desmond Guinness when she stayed with John and Celeste Huston at St. Clerans in 72-73 ish?

A renowned socialite, party animal and generous host, Guinness entertained the international jet set at his home, Leixlip Castle. Those who visited included British royalty Princess Margaret, her husband Lord Snowdon, and Lord Mountbatten, A-listers such as Jacqueline Kennedy, film director John HustonMick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, and his stepfather the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, his mother Diana Mitford’s husband.

From a Guinesses obituary in The Irish Times August 29, 2020.

Los Angeles Times Dec. 1, 1974 Hugh Hefner speaks at the Sportmen’s Lodge, a stone’s throw from the house where Paige Young grew up as Diana Cotterell, 13055 Moorpark St.

1974 #2. The Shanes (Of Beverly Hills) Huston & Hefner.

Melanie from the Daily Mail article told me that the “brother of Cici Huston” had Paige’s “sex tape” in his possession and would not hand it over to Paige, despite her repeated requests.

She told me that Paige frequently expressed the serious mental anguish this was causing her.

The Daily Mail didn’t publish Shane’s name as he “wasn’t a big enough name” or close enough to a major celebrity.

…..fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her,” is how the Daily Mail phrased it.

CiCi Huston had three brothers.

One of the Shane brothers, David, is a major candidate as the one holding on to Paige’s sex tape; he was very active on the Sunset Strip social scene at the time: 1950s-1960-1970s, Shane owned businesses on the Strip. He was very attractive to women.

I asked Melanie and she does think the name David “sounds right”.

Description of David Shane from his online obituary in 2016:

He started a popular car rental agency, Hav -A -Kar, in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Hav-A-Kar was later sold to Thrifty, and David, as the property owner, saw the space become a Kenneth Cole store for many years before its current iteration, the Eveleigh restaurant. In the early 1960s David, who loved to cook, opened a burger joint called Alfie’s. It was a colorful fixture on the Strip and a veritable celebrity magnet. David decided to eventually lease the space in 1971 to the new owners who created Mirabelle, which remained steadfast on the Strip for over 40 years…… David was a jet setter and an avid outdoorsman. He attended USC for two years before transferring to the University of Mexico, in Mexico City, where he befriended painter Diego Rivera.

(More on David Shane below)

Bob Shane is the oldest brother, originally Myron Shane Jr. I know nothing about him.

The youngest Shane brother Stephan moved from Beverly Hills and lived further north in California. He married, divorced and died young, in the 1970s.

The Shanes were a prominent Beverly Hills family.

David and Celeste’s father was Myron Shane, already a wealthy business owner from Kansas City who moved his young family to Beverly Hills in the 1940s.

Myron Shane owned a yacht named the “Celeste.” He rented it out to wealthy celebrities including Frank Sinatra.

Independent Press Telegram Long Beach 1955 6/30/57

Myron Shane also used his yacht for charitable purposes.

LAT 11/24/1949

Myron started Hav-A-Kar per newspaper articles and apparently signed it over to his son David L. Shane.

Does anyone remember Hav-A-Kar on the Sunset Strip? It was run by David L Shane.
From the 1966 version of Ed Ruscha’s series “Every Building Sunset Blvd.”
Alfie’s on the Strip. Found on Pinterest. Originally from Alison Martino’s Vintage LA.

(Later became the popular restaurant Mirabelle.)

Melanie told the Daily Mail, and me personally, that Paige dated several men. Paige told Melanie that some of her boyfriends paid her living expenses including kitchen appliances and a dog run for her Akita.

( Don’t know what happened to Joshua the Wenreimer or Hamish the horse)

However much Paige expressed her distress over the Shane brother and his refusal to hand over the sex tape, ultimately she built a physical shrine of hatred and blame, towards Hugh Hefner.

From the Daily Mail:

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like ‘Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.”

According to Melanie, Hefner and John Huston were mentioned in the suicide note as well.

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

“Paige also vented against other Hollywood stars who had used her, says Myers.”

From a Gowland slide sold on e-bay

To be continued.

1974 #1. Death. Witness. Hefner & Huston. Cremation. Ocean burial. Documents.

March 16, 1974 is Paige’s 30th birthday.

April 7th 1974 is a Palm Sunday.

In her garage apartment in Westwood, Paige Young commits suicide with a gunshot to her head.

Below is the account neighbor Melanie gave to reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail.

During the weeks and months leading up to her suicide, Paige confided in Melanie that she was fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her.”

“She was terrified of it coming out, in that day you knew your career was going to be over once it got ‘round.”

“For weeks all she could think about was getting hold of that tape, she thought it was going to ruin her.”

Melanie

“Paige had the whole thing planned down to the last detail…  It was Palm Sunday and she came to tell me she was going to kill herself. She stayed in the back of the house where we (B.J.) lived and I was at the bathroom window. She comes up to the window and calls out to me “I want to show you something.” I couldn’t be bothered by any more of her drama. But she was like, “No, you’ve gotta come and see it.” So I go to her apartment and she gave me a guided tour …of her suicide scene in her bedroom….It was chilling..there was a large American flag draped across her bed and there was a pentagram laid out on the wooden floor…I remember her showing me around it because it was somehow important, but I didn’t know what it meant.”

But it was the bedroom was that shocked Myers the most.

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like “Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.

Myers said that Young then calmly explained that she planned to kill herself.

She produced a gun and put it into her mouth…lay back on her bed and said, ‘this is how I’m going to do it.’

“It was chilling. We were friends but not the best of friends, I was always bitching about her and her dog, so I was scared.  I thought maybe she could shoot me, you know, take me with her, it was all so weird.  I thought, I’ve got to get out of here.”

“Myers quickly retreated to her apartment and called the police. LAPD officers arrived soon afterwards and cordoned of the whole of Eastbourne Ave.”

Myers said, “The cops didn’t want to go in her apartment first, so they asked me to go check on her, so I did.”

“I walked into her apartment and they were behind me. I walked into her bedroom and she was lying dead on the bed. She had shot herself in the head as she told me she would. There was a huge mass of blood, her whole bed was soaked red, it was shocking. But she looked happy and very peaceful, she didn’t look in distress.” 

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

Paige expressed anger to other Hollywood stars who had used her.

“I believe Paige was making a huge statement in a bid to get at the elite of Hollywood…She thought the story of her death would spark a big scandal, but it didn’t. Sadly no one cared.”

 Source: Daily Mail online dated December 2014. Reporter Ryan Parry.

Below is the copy of the death certificate I obtained. A partial autopsy/police report copy is included in the Daily Mail story, but not the death certificate.

Reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail discovered that Paige did not die of a drug overdose as is stated in “The Playmate Book” and several websites, but actually committed suicide from a gunshot wound to the head, per an autopsy report and death certificate.

It is unknown how the false story of Paige overdosing on drugs started to be written and repeated on the internet so much that it became the “official” means of suicide.

Is the Playmate Book the original source?

Paige’s suicide appears to have never been reported in the Los Angeles media, in 1974 or since.

I haven’t found any death, obituary or memorial announcement.

 In the time since Parry’s article was published no one else has (so far) spoken publicly about knowing or having met Paige Young. No one has come forward publicly to shed any more light on what could have driven or influenced her to take her own life, or even anyone that says they knew her at one time.

And what about the alleged sex tape? Was Hugh Hefner or those close to him involved somehow?

Possibly.

It is well known that Hugh Hefner was fascinated by audio and video technology. He collected home video and film cameras and cutting edge stereo equipment before they were available to the mass consumer.

In the early decades of the magazine, Playboy often featured a”bachelor pad” decked out with the finest stereo equipment, sure to impress the ladies, like a new T-bird or Cadillac might.

There are accounts by ex-employees of Hugh Hefner’s Holmby Hills mansion who have said the Holmby Hills mansion was equipped with video/film cameras. There are reports of video tapes of sexual encounters over the decades. Supposedly plenty of the tapes feature celebrities. Hefner ordered the sex tapes destroyed a few years before his death, to avoid them getting into the wrong hands.

There are stories of sex tapes that go back to the Chicago Playboy mansion days : one of them was clandestinely retrieved by an ex- girlfriend of Hefner. (Found in the book “Bunny” by Russell Miller.)

April 9, 1974 Price-Daniel Mortuary handles Paige’s death services. Her cremation takes place at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Gardena. Burial of her ashes to take place at sea near Santa Monica shoreline. See documents below.

Mother Donna Holroyd gives permission with a shaky signature as “Donna Cotterell.”

April 9, 1974.
Response from Roosevelt Memorial Park to my information request about Paige Young.
Mother Mrs. Donna Holroyd signature.
Math figures determine Paige’s age.

Santa Monica Beach taken in 2018
Paige’s 1938 built garage apartment behind duplex in Westwood. She shared a backyard with residents Melanie and BJ. Behind Paige’s apartment is an alley.

1972 Gowland Book and Calendar 1973: # 1. John Huston. Celeste Shane. Ireland. St. Clerans. Jack Smith Sees Huston and Hefner at Trendy Backgammon Club.

Paige appears in some Electrochemical Company photographs, credited to Peter Gowland, probably taken 72/73.

There is an association between Electrochemical Company and the Ridgid Tool Company, Gowland’s long time clients.

This was one of a few photos from the same series for sale on e-bay a few years back.

Paige had appeared in the 69/70 edition of the Rigdig tool Company’s famous calendar.

Paige was one model of a few featured in the series which looks like it was for special clients, like a gratuity or gift. Ann Cushing and Brook Mills, two Gowland favorites are the others. Plus one unidentified. Due to the discreet yet not hidden pubic hair in some of the photos, Gowland knew which models would or wouldn’t be interested in this job.

The models all go uncredited including Paige, her “Playmate” status is not indicated.

From a series of photos for Electrochemicals clients.

1972/73) cont…

Paige complains to neighbor Melanie about her relationship with famed film director John Huston.

“She (Paige) said she had an affair with John Huston, and that he had done things to her, abused her.  I remember one incident in which John hid her shoes to make her think she had gone crazy. It was a small thing, but she was really bothered by it.”

“I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.” Daily Mail, Dec. 2014:

Some essential context:

John Huston owned and lived part-time in an Irish estate, St. Clerans, located in Galway, Ireland, from 1953 to 1973.  His daughter the actress and director Anjelica Huston spent many years there as a child, which she discusses in detail in her memoirs.

Given what Melanie said about Paige having “just returned from Ireland” to visit Huston, Paige would necessarily have been one of Huston’s last guests, as the St. Clerans estate was sold sometime in 1973.

These are the years of John Huston’s 5th and last marriage to Celeste Shane Green.

Celeste Shane Green, known as Cici, was married to John Huston from 72-75. She spent time living (visiting really) St. Clerans during her brief marriage to Huston.

Celeste was (and is) involved with horses and boarded at least one at Sepulveda Stables in the early 60s. It’s another factor which places Celeste in the same world as Paige.

 Cici grew up in a wealthy Beverly Hills family with three brothers.  Her father owned a successful car leasing company and rented out his yacht to celebrities like Frank Sinatra. (See chapter: The Shanes of Beverly Hills)

Cici’s first husband is screenwriter Wally Green.  They have a son named Collin.

Cici visited Huston’s St. Clerans Ireland estate as a newlywed, it was August/September of 1972. She brought along her son Collin and his caregiver Maricella, who also acted as Cici’s “maid.” Wally Green also came to visit his son there at one point.

John Huston later said “Cici was as out of place at St. Clerans as anyone could possibly be.” 

Cici said “I wasn’t prepared for the eleven servants, the mistresses, Betty O’Kelly, Gladys.”

Celeste took an instant dislike to John Huston’s assistants, Betty O’Kelly and Gladys.   One of the women co-wrote scripts with Huston.

Cici felt the women, and several employees of the large staff, were taking advantage of Huston by overcharging him and using his money for their own personal shopping. Huston was frequently absent due to directing films all over the globe plus he was never a good manager of money.

This created a lot of tension at St. Clerans.

 Cici wanted most of the staff fired but Huston refused.

About St. Clerans’ horse caretaker Cici said “I caught him with quadruple charges for horseshoeing. I know about horses. He couldn’t screw me around.”

Cici was especially outraged by the visit of her husband’s  young mistress, Zoe Sallis, who of course brought along her out-of-wedlock son by John Huston: Danny Huston.  Cici resented the monthly allowance (and breakfast in bed) afforded to Zoe.

Horsemanship was one thing Celeste, Huston and Paige all had in common. John Huston and Paige were both painters, these factors may have played a role in their connection.

I read that he wasn’t one to indulge in “one-night-stands.”

I have read several biographies on John Huston that indicate he was a womanizer and had many marriages, flings, short-lived and long-term romances with numerous women over the decades and apparently of all ages.

Also, from what I’ve read, Huston had a meanstreak in his personality that he would sometimes unleash on the ones most likely to be hurt by it. (See Melanie’s recounting what Paige told her about John Huston hiding her shoes.)

Information and quotes from Lawrence Grobel’s book: “The Hustons” published by Scribner’s. Check this book out for a much more in-depth look at John Huston. I also found information from Huston biography Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers.

Huston was also displayed great generosity.

Given what Melanie said in the Daily Mail and the sale of St. Clerans, Paige’s visit likely was in 72-73. If so, she may have witnessed or even been involved in the drama between Cici, Betty, Gladys, and Zoe Sallis.

I had an email exchange with Celeste Shane Huston and she confirmed knowing Paige and Huston knowing her as well. She denies that Huston and Paige had affair. She wrote that 2 well connected lawyers purchased her ticket to Ireland.

NEW. From the great LA writer Jack Smith, He sees Huston and Hefner with others including an “unidentified sex object,” at a backgammon tournament, sometime in 1972. The observation by Smith happened around the time Cici and Huston were married.

More about John Huston ahead.

1972 Paige appears in the ’72 edition of “Gowland’s Guide to Glamour Photography.”

It’s her only appearance in any of the Gowland instructional books that I have seen, which is nearly all of them.

(These shots look like ones from 68 the Ridgid calendar photograph)