A Manhattan federal judge made it official: Marilyn Monroe was a New Yorker. This effectively ends years of litigation between the golden girl’s estate and the heirs of the photographer who took some of the most memorable shots of the star.
The decision “is a major victory for the children of Sam Shaw, the deceased photographer who captured countless pics of MM, including the iconic shot of the sexpot in a billowing white dress over a New York City subway grate.”
If considered a Californian, Monroe’s estate would have had rights to a cut of the proceeds from merchandise sold featuring photos of Monroe. However, the recent ruling that she was officially a Big Apple resident benefits Sam Shaw, who has been selling T-shirts with her image, “from state laws that prevent anyone from licensing the rights to dead celebrities.”
The judge in this case justified the decision by taking into account that “her last income-tax filing was from New York, as well as the fact that she kept a fully furnished Manhattan pad.” Court papers also state that Monroe once told a friend that her time spent in California was merely for business purposes.
Legal sources close to the case, however, contend that the decision was really based on an obscure legal theory called the “Iconic Lover Domicile Doctrine,” which provides, in pertinent part, that if you have sex with enough legendary figures from a particular city, you are, ipso facto, a resident of that city. Since Miss Monroe allegedly slept with such prominent NY institutions as Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller and Frank Sinatra, the decision in this case was particularly easy. [New York Post]