Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio Get Divorced
DiMaggio eventually joined his wife in New York, but their relationship moved from disharmony to disaster after the shooting of one of Marilyn's most legendary scenes, the moment in which she stands above a subway grate to feel the rush of air that passes whenever a train rushes beneath her.
The shot of Marilyn's white dress billowing up to reveal her shapely legs is so identified with her image that it has become a virtual icon, at once celebrating her sexuality and encapsulating her legend.
The scene was shot at 52nd Street and Lexington in New York City in the middle of the night. Despite the late hour, thousands of fans showed up to catch a glimpse of Marilyn Monroe.
So many flashbulbs went off each time director Billy Wilder tried to shoot a take that he made a deal with the amateur photographers and the press: If they would allow him to shoot the scene, he would ask Marilyn to pose for them.
During the proceedings, DiMaggio walked onto the set, dismayed at the sight of his wife on exhibit for more than 2,000 strangers. His oft-quoted remark, "What the hell's going on here?" reflects his disdain not only for the public display of Marilyn's physical charms but also for her profession, which required it. Shortly after this highly publicized event, Marilyn and Joe filed for divorce.
In September 1954, Monroe filmed one of the key scenes for The Seven Year Itch in New York City. In it, she stands with her co-star, Tom Ewell, while the air from a subway grating blows her skirt up. A large crowd watched as director Billy Wilder ordered the scene to be refilmed many times. Among the crowd was Joe DiMaggio, who was reported to have been infuriated by the spectacle. After a quarrel, witnessed by journalist Walter Winchell, the couple returned to California where they avoided the press for two weeks, until Monroe announced that they had separated. Their divorce was granted in November 1954.
During their honeymoon in Japan, she was asked to visit Korea as part of the USO. She performed ten shows in four days for over 100,000 servicemen. Maury Allen quoted New York Yankees PR man Arthur Richman that Joe told him that the marriage went wrong from then. On September 14, 1954, Monroe filmed the skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch in front of New York's Trans-Lux Theater. Bill Kobrin, then Fox's east coast correspondent, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun in 1956 that it was Billy Wilder's idea to turn the shoot into a media circus, and that the couple had a "yelling battle" in the theater lobby.She filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty 274 days after the wedding.