Natalie Wood was sexually assaulted by Kirk Douglas in the summer of 1955, when Wood was a teenager, a forthcoming book by her sister has asserted. Douglas raped Natalie around the time both sisters were filming The Searchers, Lana Wood alleges in Little Sister: My Investigation Into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, excerpts of which were published Thursday.
Then 8-years-old, Lana remembers her sister “was very disheveled and very upset” upon her return from a business meeting arranged between Douglas and Wood by her mother. “She and Mom started urgently whispering to each other,” Lana writes. According to Lana, her mother, Maria Zakharenko, told her eldest daughter to “suck it up.” It was only when both sisters were adults that Natalie allegedly disclosed the rape to her younger sibling, saying, “And, uh ... he hurt me Lana.” In 2018, Lana claimed on a podcast that a “big star” had raped a 16-year-old Natalie. Two years later, when Douglas died at 103, Natalie’s name trended on Twitter alongside his. Douglas’ son, the actor Michael Douglas, issued a statement through his publicist: “May they both rest in peace.”