History's Juiciest and Intriguing Scandals

Lana Turner. CR Fashion Stock

29. Scandal Ensued When America’s Famous ‘Good Girl’ Developed a Taste For Bad Boys

By the late 1950s, with her best acting years behind her, Lana Turner had no more… fudges to give about whom she associated or was seen with. In 1958, she hooked up with a new boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, a mobster with close ties to LA’s leading organized crime figure, Mickey Cohen. On the one hand, Stompanato, a WWII Marine veteran, was a good looking and charming hunk. On the other hand, he was a violent psychopath who was not above beating the daylight out of Turner, starting with when she first tried to break up with him. It ended with a scandal that shocked even a jaded Hollywood seemingly impervious to scandals.

Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato at a Hollywood nightclub. Daily Beast

During the course of a year, Turner and Stompanato carried on a stormy affair filled with violent arguments, physical abuse, frequent breakups, and just-as-frequent reconciliations. On at least one occasion, Turner claimed, her mobster boyfriend drugged and photographed her in the nude when she was passed out, in order to have something to blackmail her with. The relationship finally ended when Stompanato was stabbed to death in Turner’s home – not by her, but by her fourteen-year-old daughter.