Frank Sinatra’s Most Shocking Scandals!
Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 — and his voice is still alive on the radio, in people's homes, and in Italian restaurants all over the world. The star of stage, screen, television and radio left behind an amazing legacy and plenty of amazing stories. The National ENQUIRER had the scoop on most of them, too, with fabulous Frank always providing amazing stories of showbiz excess. He passed away on May 14, 1998, at the age of 82 — but The ENQUIRER's exclusives on Frank's wild tales live on...
Frank Sinatra may have loved Don Rickles — who famously cracked: "Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody!" — but he had powerful pals who didn't like other comics cracking wise. Jackie Mason learned that the hard way, as revealed in The ENQUIRER! Jackie, a former rabbi, was in his suite at Las Vegas' Aladdin Hotel when the telephone rang. A man with a threatening rasp said: "You wanta keep on breathin', you lay off the Sinatra cracks!" Jackie was mostly baffled, since his Sinatra jokes weren't any more insulting than his gags about celebrities like Bing Crosby and Alfred Hitchcock. A few nights later, though, Jackie got the message. The ENQUIRER revealed how Jackie had his evening room service interrupted by gunshots — as he returned to his bedroom to find three neat bullet holes in his window.
The ENQUIRER had the inside story on Frank's own Vegas success. The paper revealed in 1979 that Frank was still Vegas' biggest attraction — making $250,000 a week at Ceasars Palace. That was more than $35,000 an hour. The ENQUIRER also revealed how Sinatra used to do two shows a night until he found out his pal Dean Martin was getting almost as much money for doing only one show a night at the MGM Grand Hotel. "Frank refused to work at Caesars Palace for six months until they agreed to his new demands: one show a night, six nights a week, four weeks a year for a cool million dollars!" an insider told The ENQUIRER — and reporters later got the scoop on how Frank's stints at Harrah's at Lake Tahoe came with a stay in a lakeside villa staffed with servants, plus the use of a yacht and two private jets!
The ENQUIRER also kept tabs on Frank's bizarre relationship with his son Frank, Jr. The showbiz offspring came to The ENQUIRER in the '70s to talk about his bitterness over plans to shoot a big-screen bio about his dad's life. "He's never discussed this movie with me - and that's a shame, because I'd be a natural for it," lamented Frank Jr. Instead, he learned about the movie when producers announced a worldwide search for an actor to play Frank as a young man. "His father has very little respect for him," confided one of Frank's close friend. "He thinks his son is a dreamer and a fool. He won't pay any attention to him — and that's why Frank Jr. hates his father!"
The ENQUIRER got the inside story on guarding Frank from his bodyguard Andy "Banjo" Celentano — who exclusively told The ENQUIRER: "Nobody can tell what Frank's going to do next. We always had to watch his moods and try to figure out what would happen. Once he was walking along in a foul mood when a nice old guy with a smile on his face came by selling newspapers. Frank stopped him cold, and, just to challenge him, said: "What are you smiling at, old timer?" The old guy just laughed. We were all tied in knots — we didn't know how Frank would take the guy, whether he'd punch him or laugh it off. Finally, Frank dipped into his pocket and handed the guy $50!" But the bodyguard added that Frank didn't always react so kindly. "I remember seeing him at parties and restaurants, watching everybody who came and went," Celentano recalled. "If somebody seemed troublesome and Frank was in a bad mood, Frank would personally deal with him — none too gently!"
Sinatra also had a reputation as a great friend, though — and The ENQUIRER unearthed a lot of charitable acts that Sinatra wanted to keep secret! "This is the flip side of Sinatra," said a pal. "He's known as a bully with a short fuse, but he's really an extraordinarily generous man." When boxer Joe Louis was felled by a stroke, Sinatra got him the best treatment and picked up the enormous medical bills. He did the same for Lee J. Cobb when the actor suffered a crippling heart attack. Another time, said the friend, Frank heard at a showbiz party that Claudette Colbert's husband was critically ill in Barbados. Sinatra worked right through the night arranging for a plane to take a medical team to bring the couple back to America for treatment. "Frank loves kids," added another pal. "Many times, he's sent his own plane to fly a sick child hundreds of miles for special hospital treatment." The close source added, "In show business, Frank Sinatra's generosity is as legendary as his singing." The ENQUIRER's own Mike Walker reported that Frank's daughter Tina blew up when she learned how much money Frank was planning to leave to charity in his will!
The ENQUIRER found one child that Frank didn't care for, though. The paper spoke to bitter Deana Bartok — a 57-year-old mother of two who claims to be one of Frank's forgotten children. Her mother Eva
met Ol’ Blue Eyes at a party in 1957. Frank’s marriage to second wife Ava Gardner was ending at the time, and Eva was divorced from her fourth husband, German film star Curt Jürgens. Eva then fled to London after discovering she was pregnant, and used her ex-husband’s name on the birth certificate. But that couldn’t stop the Hollywood rumor mill — as Eva learned when Cary Grant first met her blue-eyed daughter. The actress later admitted: “She came toddling in the room, and he said, ‘You can’t kid me. Frank is one of my best friends!’” Deana grew up knowing Frank was her father, but claimed the crooner shunned her requests to meet. “I don’t think he was a man of high morals and values,” Deana told The ENQUIRER.
The ENQUIRER also recently revealed Frank's extraordinary double life as a crooner and drug kingpin! His association with the Mafia was always part of showbiz legend, but very few people knew that Frank was a member of the Colombian cocaine cartel. That was the shocking claim by the son of late cocaine baron Pablo Escobar. “He was a partner of my father,” Sebastián Marroquín confirmed. Pablo’s brother, Roberto Escobar, even de-tailed a story about Frank dining with the violent drug lord in Las Vegas in 1983. “There were more singers than you can imagine who began their careers due to the sponsorship of narcotics traffickers,” Sebastián said.
Sadly, The ENQUIRER also had the scoop on how Frank's pal Dean Martin died while estranged from his old friend. Reporters revealed that a heartbroken Dean was pleading with Frank Sinatra to end their bitter seven-year feud shortly before he died on Christmas Day 1995. The frail 78-year-old Dino — who wasn't invited to Frank's 80th birthday gala — had sent a desperate message through friends: "Please forgive me before we die!" Sinatra had frozen his onetime best buddy out of his life since Martin suddenly quit their 1988 Rat Pack Reunion tour. "Sinatra screamed that Dino made a fool of him and he yelled 'Hell will freeze over before I speak to that drunken bum again!'" disclosed a source close to Ol' Blue Eyes. Frank stubbornly kept his vow, even though the two singers had homes just two blocks apart in Beverly Hills. Dean lived long enough to see himself snubbed in a televised tribute with appearances from several longtime friends. The insider revealed: "Sinatra turned them down flat. He told producers: 'Hey, I'm no hypocrite. Dean Martin is no friend of mine!'"
The ENQUIRER's Mike Walker had the scoop when Frank Sinatra finally retired for good — adding that "half his family is thrilled while the other half is singing the blues!" Mike had already reported that Sinatra had told his agent not to book any appearances in 1995. "Sinatra has confided to pals he's quitting," revealed Mike, "and this time he WON'T be back!" The ENQUIRER also gave fans the inside story on how Frank's family handled the news. "The legend's decision is bad news for wife Barbara," revealed Mike, "who feels applause keeps him going. It's also upsetting to son Frank Jr., Sinatra's bandleader, who'll be out of a job. But it's great news for daughters Nancy and Tina, who felt their 79-year-old dad was embarrassing himself by forgetting his lines, mumbling and collapsing onstage!"
As Frank began to enter his sad final days, The ENQUIRER had the inside story on how his devoted fourth wife Barbara was watching out for her superstar husband. As he turned 80 years old in 1995, the paper quoted an old friend who said: "Barbara's the driving force behind his survival." The pal added: "Frank's finding it very hard to accept that his illustrious career is over. The adulation and the applause were as important to him as the blood coursing through his veins." But loyal Barbara, then 65, was always at by his side. "She looks after him like a mother cares for a child," says a friend. "She's at his elbow constantly, guiding and steering him. Without her, Frank would be completely lost!" — and she was still at his side two years later, when Frank passed away on May 14, 1998, at the age of 82.