Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Desilu Production?

Cassandria Carlson is seeking DNA to prove that her mother was the child of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.

With help from Stamford private detective Vito Colucci Jr. and Greenwich lawyer Cynthia Hartwell, Carlson is out to prove that her late mother Madeline Jane Dee was the secret first child of Ball and Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz, who eloped at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich in 1940.

Carlson, 38, a married mother of three from Schaumburg, Ill., claims that her mother was put up for adoption shortly after she was born in 1947 because her very existence would have interfered with Ball's career, which took off with the 1951 debut of "I Love Lucy."

Now, she is asking the famous couple's family members, two of whom live in the area, to submit to a DNA test. [Link, via @familybuilder]


I don't see any physical similarities between Madeline Jane Dee and any of the Ball/Arnaz family. I have seen so many images of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. in their early childhood; their little faces are emblazoned in my mind. And those images do not look even remotely like the young Madeline to me. Beyond that, the inconsistencies in Ms. Carlson's story are disturbing. When this story first broke in 2008, the claim was being made that her mother was a "love child" between Lucy and Desi that would have caused a scandal. Seemingly, Ms. Carlson was not aware that Lucy and Desi had been married more than six years at that point, so there would have been no cause for scandal. More recently the story has changed to, Lucy and Desi were estranged at the time, and she wanted to conceal the pregnancy from him. Ms. Carlson's PR people just days ago put out a press release claiming that in the six months leading up to the June 1947 birth in California of Carlson's mother, Lucille Ball was vacationing. This couldn't be further from the truth. From late October to mid December 1946, she was filming LURED. And then retakes were filmed in late January 1947. From mid February to late March 1947, she was filming HER HUSBAND'S AFFAIRS, and retakes were filmed in May. Besides her film work, she was also working regularly in live radio broadcasts during these months: THE EDDIE CANTOR SHOW (Oct 10, 1946); THE BOB HOPE SHOW (Nov 12, 1946); SCREEN GUILD THEATER (Apr 21, 1947); THE SMITHS OF HOLLYWOOD (Apr 25, 1947); THE RADIO READER'S DIGEST (May 22, 1947); and THE BOB HOPE SHOW (May 27, 1947). Bob Hope's show was done in front of a live studio audience. By the time of that broadcast, she would have been nearly nine months pregnant according to Carlson's story. She couldn't have hidden that from 300 studio audience members unless she were wearing a cardboard box. In early June, she arrived in Princeton, NJ for an interview and to begin rehearsals and staging for the play DREAM GIRL, which started June 23 and went on tour for the next six months. So every single month during the prior six-month period that Carlson claims Ball was vacationing, she was actually working. And some sources indicate she was also seen in Phoenix in April 1947 with Desi Arnaz, and posed for a photographer in a bathing suit in May 1947. The frequently-changing "facts" of Ms. Carlson's case simply do not compute.


Well, you've convinced me.


Anyone who has read Lucille Ball's autobiography knows that she was dying for children. She was offered performances at the Palladium twice, which would have made her career in solid gold, but she refused both times because she was pregnant. Lucy would never give away her baby, something she had been trying to have with Desi after several miscarriages! It's disheartening how someone is trying to exploit her.

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