The Day Book 7 August 1915
I’ve been looking up a few articles on Virginia Rappe that predate her death and the ensuing scandal to get an idea of how this woman was perceived prior to the tragedy that befell her. After that, it was no-holds-barred when it came to smearing her reputation at the Arbuckle trial, to absurd lengths. Rumours about everything from her supposedly infesting movie studios with public lice to abortions to lascivious behaviour - nothing was spared in making sure the victim was blamed. To this day, certain people in silent film circles seem to hold her responsible for the effect her agonizing death had on Arbuckle’s career…never mind it ended her life, and regardless of how you think Arbuckle was treated after her death, she hardly had anything to do with that.
Recently researcher Joan Myers has started researching the case and is looking at who Virginia was, tackling the mountain of falsehoods and victim blaming head on. I look forward to seeing her work published. In the meantime, here are some snippets I’ve come across featuring Virginia before those terrible events in 1921.
The prospective marriage referred to in this article never took place. In 1916 she moved to San Francisco where she met and became engaged to designer Robert Moscovitz - he died soon after in a streetcar accident before they could marry. At the time of her own death she was engaged to director/producer Henry Lehrman.