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Bettie Page smiling
Details About Bettie Page’s Tragic Real-Life Story
Content Warning
This story contains discussions of child abuse, domestic abuse, and sexual assault.
Sad Childhood
Bettie Page had a bad relationship with her mother, Edna, who neglected her, failed to prepare her for puberty and adulthood, and missed important school events.
When Page was 11, her mother put her in an orphanage. She spent a year in a Protestant-run facility where children were treated poorly and did hard chores such as scrubbing floors.
Sexual Assaults
Page's father, Walter Page, was a sex addict who molested her as a child. At 13, Page began negotiating sex acts with him in an attempt to control the assaults.
Years later, Page was lured by a handsome man, struck in the head, and taken behind a building where five men tried to rape her. She was afraid she’d be killed or left for dead.
Quarter Of A Point
Page wanted to be valedictorian to get a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University. Before her finals, her mother sent her away, forcing her to leave exam notes.
In the documentary "Bettie Page Reveals All," Page said, "I was beat out of valedictorian by one-quarter of a point." She added it was "the worst disappointment of my life."
Death Threats
Page’s husband Billy Neal once held a knife to Page’s neck in their kitchen and promised to use it if she divorced him. Page said, "I divorced him anyhow."
Neal later showed up at Page's apartment. He demanded to be let in, and when Page's neighbor came to help, Neal slashed him with the knife he planned to use on Page.
Pin-Up Fame
Fearing Page’s Pin-up photos corrupted kids, a committee convened to address juvenile delinquency, and Page was subpoenaed by Congress to testify against her publisher.
A boy scout was found hanging from a tree and his death was blamed on his supposed viewing of Page’s bondage modeling. As a result of the hearing, her photographs were destroyed.