Having spent ten years as Jayne Mansfield’s press secretary, Raymond Strait knows intimately both the public image and the private person that were Jayne Mansfield. Sitting through hundreds of hours of interviews and private conversations—not only with Jayne but also with her husbands, her lovers, and her children—gave Ray the opportunity to present a revealing portrait of the woman. He records her drive for fame and success and her overpowering need to be loved and to love, needs that led her into numerous affairs with rich and powerful men—including President John F. Kennedy—and with younger men from all walks of life. And he discusses frankly Jayne’s ultimately successful plan to become pregnant by Nelson Sardelli because she wanted to have an Italian child.
Known to millions as the consummate sex symbol who rivaled Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield received more press coverage than anyone else in Hollywood. The headlines were often sensational, causing society matrons and Baptist ministers to shake their heads and point their fingers. But under those sensational headlines there was a woman of greater complexity than any reporter could hope to understand. Strait goes below the surface to examine Jayne’s emotions and motivations, revealing the truth about her many lovers, her three unsuccessful marriages, her love affair with Mickey Hargitay that lasted to the end and her battle against and her surrender to alcohol and drugs.