Vertigo star Kim Novak claims she woke up naked after drink spiked by Tony Curtis

·3-min read
Kim Novak in 1958
Kim Novak in 1958

One of Hollywood's brightest stars of the 1950s has accused Tony Curtis of spiking her drink at a party in his Beverly Hills home during the height of her fame, leaving her dazed and naked.

Actress Kim Novak, who played a leading role as Madeleine in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, described what may be one of the oldest #MeToo allegations as she recalled a 1958 soiree where she passed out.

"Tony Curtis had brought me a drink," Novak, now 89, told The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't know, I only had, I think, one drink there. But that's the last thing I knew. I do not know anything afterward, cross my heart, hope to die. Don't know what happened after that or how my car got back in front of my apartment."

Curtis was one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the Fifties, appearing alongside Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot and later Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant. He was married to actress Janet Leigh at the time, while Novak was linked to singer Sammy Davis Jr, whom she met on the set of Vertigo.

Curtis and Novak would go on to star together in The Third Girl from the Left in 1973.

"I think Tony Curtis did it, I don't want to think Sammy did that,” Novak goes on to say later in the interview.

Tony Curtis and his pregnant wife, Janet Leigh
Tony Curtis and his pregnant wife, Janet Leigh

Talking about the morning after, she said: "I'll just tell you the honest truth: I didn't have my clothes on.

“People didn’t talk about things like that, but I could never figure it out … I’ve never blacked out in my entire life,” Novak said.

She said she was encouraged by the recent #MeToo movement to speak out about the incident, despite the amount of time that has passed. Curtis, the actor father of Jamie Lee Curtis, died in 2010 of a cardiac arrest.

Following the exposure of the widespread sexual-abuse allegations against director Harvey Weinstein in early October 2017, the movement began to spread virally as a hashtag on social media.

Widespread media coverage and discussion of sexual harassment, particularly in Hollywood, led to high-profile firings, as well as criticism and backlash.

Curtis attends the Book Expo Celebrity Dinner in 2008
Curtis attends the Book Expo Celebrity Dinner in 2008

Novak, a multi-Golden Globe winner, ultimately stepped away from the limelight after filming the television drama The Third Girl.

She talked about her decision to leave Hollywood, claiming that Columbia Pictures production company "had no idea what to cast [her] in other than sexy glamour movies that [she] just didn't want to be a part of.

"I wasn't going to spend my time waiting around for something that may never happen when I felt I had so much more to give. And that was not the place to give it."

Novak is a keen painter and had been offered scholarships to the Art Institute of Chicago before signing with Columbia.

Considering how her life would have been different had she not been talent spotted on the set of The French Line, she told Hollywood Reporter: "I'd be painting and doing just what I'm doing now in art," Novak says. "I would've had a few more years up on it, too."

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