Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Natalie Wood's Sister Makes A Shocking Allegation About Kirk Douglas

After years of speculation, late actor Kirk Douglas has been publicly accused of committing sexual assault against "Rebel Without a Cause" star Natalie Wood when she was just a teenager. The allegation is being made in a memoir from Wood's younger sister Lana, which is due out on November 9.

"I remember that Natalie looked especially beautiful when Mom and I dropped her off that night at [Douglas' hotel]," claims Lana Wood in an excerpt from "Little Sister," which was obtained by the Associated Press. "It seemed like a long time passed before Natalie got back into the car and woke me up when she slammed the door shut."

According to the memoir, Natalie Wood was assaulted by Douglas during the summer of 1955 while she was filming "The Searchers" with John Wayne. Her mother, Maria Zakharenko, allegedly forced the meeting between her and the Hollywood icon — with Lana claiming that she thought "many doors might be thrown open for [Wood], with just a nod of [Douglas'] famous, handsome head on her behalf." 

A 2020 biography of Wood, who was killed in a tragic drowning incident in 1981, outlined rape allegations against "a powerful, married movie star more than twenty years older than she," but didn't reveal who that person was (via Variety). Author Suzanne Finstad wrote that Wood's abuser had even gone so far as to threaten her life. "If you tell anyone, it'll be the last thing you do," they allegedly told her. If what Wood's sister is saying is true, then it appears that Douglas was the alleged person responsible, with her memoir explaining what happened afterward.

Natalie Wood told to 'suck it up' after assault, sister says

The memoir "Little Sister" paints a sad and sickening portrait of what happened before and after Natalie Wood's alleged assault, as well as how cruel her mother was toward her in the aftermath.

"She looked awful," recalled Lana Wood (via AP). "She was very disheveled and very upset, and she and Mom started urgently whispering to each other. I couldn't really hear them or make out what they were saying. Something bad had apparently happened to my sister, but whatever it was, I was apparently too young to be told about it." Years later, Natalie allegedly shared her story. 

"He hurt me," Lana remembered her sister claiming. "It was like an out-of-body experience. I was terrified, I was confused." According to the "Little Sister" memoir, the girls' mother had a cruel message for Natalie. "Suck it up," she purportedly told her. Kirk Douglas was in his late 30s at the time and one of the biggest movie stars on Earth. He later died in February 2020 at age 103. His son, Michael Douglas, said in a statement that he hoped Wood and his father would "both rest in peace." However, he didn't offer a statement on Lana's book and accusations. 

Lana said in the memoir that she had promised Natalie she wouldn't reveal what happened to her, but eventually felt it was right to go back on her word. "With no one still around to protect, I'm sure she'll forgive me for finally breaking that promise," she wrote.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).