Despite being one of the most beloved icons of the silver screen, Audrey Hepburn was a *very* private person—which is why the upcoming auction of her personal letters is stirring up all kinds of Old Hollywood thirst across the internet.
The star's handwritten notes to friend Sir Felix Alymer chronicle what Bonhams Auction House calls the most "dramatic decade of her life" (1951-1960), and address her separation from James Hanson, her marriage to Mel Ferrer, and the birth of her first child. Kinda a posthumous invasion of privacy, but whatever.
The letters are gorgeous and heartbreaking—especially when it comes to Audrey's description of her called-off engagement. "It is with a heavy heart I am writing to tell you James Hanson and I are no longer engaged," the Hollywood icon wrote to her friend. "I know there is little I need explain to you, a gentleman of this profession. For a year I thought it possible to make our combined lives and careers work out...It is all very unhappy-making but I am sure it is the only sensible decision."
Hepburn also wrote Alymer to chat about wedding planning with Mel Ferrer, saying, "How dearly we would love you to be with us on our wedding day...We will have the car take you up to our mountain peak, Friday, for a gathering in our chalet of our nearest and dearest!...Saturday will be the wedding...We want to keep it a dark secret in order to have it without the 'press.'"
The star went on to have two miscarriages before giving birth to a baby boy, and wrote Alymer again with the joyous news of her son's birth: "Sean is truly a dream. I find it hard to believe he is really ours to keep. I long to show him to you. We all three send our love and kisses, Audrey."
The letters go on sale at Bonhams on June 29, and are expected to fetch somewhere between $4,200 and $5,600. Oh, and there's also a note from Audrey's mom complaining bitterly about Mel: "That frog faced delinquent with the spindly legs has caused sufficient havoc to last a long time and I believe that Audrey is getting rather sick of the neurotic side to him!"
File under "Old Hollywood Shade."
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Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.
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