Vicki Morgan had a disadvantaged childhood, a lack of education tied into having become an unwed mother as a teenager after a years long relationship, and, it could be argued, had only beauty as an asset, so what hope did she have to escape her past, especially because she spoke with a lisp? She’d entered into a marriage with a much older man who wasn’t interested in having her child around, a man who was sexually adventurous despite his marriage to her. She bumped along, relying on a not-so-great mother to care for her son, not happy, not fulfilled, not focused or ambitious enough to give her all to modeling or acting, but too young to not believe that things would get better for her. If she was raised up in a world that called women who had sex and got pregnant as teenagers BAD, then she was no longer GOOD.
Alfred Bloomingdale, whose fortune began with inherited money, but whomade a fortune with, in particular, Diner’s Club, was a member of the department store family of the same name, and socially a friend of President Ronald Reagan and some of his political cronies. He saw Vicki, pursued her, and competed with her husband to get her. She was 18 and he was 53 when their relationship began in 1970. He saw her in a restaurant, pressed a check for $8000 in her hand, which she cashed despite her husband’s protests, started a telephone blitz, and broke her marriage.
Bloomingdale had wealth and used it, within a month of first setting eyes upon her, to make her a deal. He was forthright that he wanted her as his Mistress, but perhaps he was more manipulative about the Sadio-Masochistic sex that he groomed this barely legal woman, who was sometimes bisexual, to participate in.
Alfred, according to this book, which was interestingly based on interviews and conversations with Vicki Morgan while she was still alive, quickly inducted her into his S and M sex with prostitutes, and that went on for years, a few times a week, in a house he rented for that purpose, separate of where he lived or the houses he rented for Vicki. It was a feature of her Mistresshood, as was a considerable sum of money spent on clothing, rent, interior décor, travel, jewelry, and much else. But they did have a relationship, one in which they both said they loved each other.
He called her obsessively and she was on call, waiting around for him a lot. When she opted out of the sick sex, in a sense renegotiating their relationship, he continued to whip women without her there… Maybe the truth came at the very end when he was desperately ill and in the hospital for months while his wife mostly attended to their social life. Vicki Morgan, disguised as a nurse, snuck into the hospital day after day, and lovingly tended him, sponge bathing the man who had cancer and a whole lot else killing him. She did this even though Betsy, Alfred Bloomingdale’s wife, Betsy, a feature in Women’s Wear Daily for her conservative fashion sense, and who made the rounds of High Society, had cut Vicki off a couple months before her husband died of cancer.
The relationship between Alfred and Vicki lasted about twelve years.
Vicki Morgan needed money and was in pursuit of a memoir before she was murdered by Marvin Pancoast, a mentally ill room mate that she took in after Bloomingdale died, because she had been left with no house to call her own, no car to call her own, no inheritance, nothing, and her funds were dwindling rapidly. She had hired the famous inventor of the Palimony Concept, Marvin Mitchelson, to sue for FIVE MILLION, but Betsy fought, the sum was doubled to TEN MILLION, and then the case got thrown out of court. Why? Because Palimony was about people who actually lived together and the rest, the judge considered to be sexual services – near illegal.
Vicki Morgan had been taught to act and speak as a young wealthy woman, but she was just as happy to live in jeans as designer clothes. She moved from a great address to an apartment in the San Fernando Valley taking her maid, and then again into a smaller place with a room mate, the man who would soon confess to her murder.
Vicki Morgan didn’t deserve to be murdered, when she was 30, ever, by anyone. The murder, if it was really performed by room mate Pancoast, who confessed, but whose fingerprints were not found – and there were a lot of discrepancies – was not a murder of revenge or punishment because of her involvement with a rich, important, married man. It’s just that so many of Alfred’s business associates and friends had known about his relationship with Vicki, even if his wife was maybe late in catching on, and then only because of forensic accounting, and these were powerful men, as were his political associations. And most people associate violent sex with violent people, people who might go way over the line and actually kill, people who are psycho. So maybe it’s not easy to fully accept that Pancoast was the killer. But, as in the case of Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder, there was no other suspect.
Vicki had tried leaving the relationship, but she found herself being baited into another Mistress – Keeper relationship with another wealthy man, Bernie Cornfeld.
(You may have heard of his name before, as associated with Heidi Fleiss, the young woman who was once the Hollywood Madam to the stars.) Incase you think that during her mistresshood Vicki was completely tied up with Alfred, think again. She had two more marriages (three total), and several affairs including with the unmarried actor Cary Grant, and a year with the very married King Hassan II of Morocco. She seems to have been an expert at playing two competing men against each other, and one of those men was always Alfred, who also usually won.
Leaving Alfred, who was addicted to her, proved to be more difficult than she thought, especially when she considered her son and his education, and the man pursued her again, full of promises, even as he became sickly. She just didn’t have what it took to make the break. Vicki over used valium, and illegal drugs, and she started drinking too. She ended up in a mental clinic for several months, trying to stave off a mental breakdown. And guess who came there to be with her and help her through, Alfred and another man who wanted to marry her.
Alfred died and she learned that his promises to take care of her for her life, even if he was no longer in it, were untrue. She was able to supply documentation, letters in which he directed one of his financial people, to take certain percentages and pay her with them. She told the author, she had taken care of others, but not herself.
Was it all about sex? Was it all about greed?
Vicki Morgan, as a young woman, had moved to Hollywood, where she took a humble job at a tourist spot, the theatre called Grauman’s Chinese, where stars had left handprints and shoe prints out front in the concrete.
Meanwhile Betsy Bloomingdale, who grew up in wealthy Southern California, had a husband who was often busy elsewhere, and when her women friends, including the First Lady, warned her that they had witnessed Alfred with a Mistress, when she and their daughter even saw Alfred and Vicki together, openly shopping and smootching in Beverly Hills, she continued to act as if it were not true. She wanted for nothing, and she soldiered on, her head held high, concerned about her personal reputation and upholding the Bloomingdales.
A bit of compare and contrast here:
ISADORA DUNCAN, a Mother of Modern Dance, who was the Mistress of Singer Sewing Machine heir Paris Singer, was our Mistress of the Month last month. (Check out the posts for last month to learn more about her.)
Unlike Isadora Duncan, who it could be said was so uninterested or incompetent about money, who spent much of it on whims, pleasure, or gave it away or gifted others, because she was so not materialistic, Vicki Morgan, sometimes called “Vicki Bloomingdale,” had a reputation for loving money and spending whatever Alfred Bloomindale gave her, rapidly, but without championing a vocation or avocation, as Duncan did with her ambition to have a dancing school for disadvantaged children.
Isadora Duncan decreed that marriage was a ridiculous proposal for any woman who read the contract. When life had torn her to shreds and she was just barely continuing on, and as age and alcoholism claimed her, she married stupidly. But though she experienced abandonment and heartbreak by the men who fathered her children and who she seems to have dedicated herself to, perhaps obsessively in her younger years, at some point, possibly as she increased her drinking, she started sleeping around. She offered no apologies. The word Prostitute wasn’t hung on her.
Isadora, thought of sex as natural enough and over a life time she took many lovers, especially after the tragic death of her children and after her days of being a mistress of Paris Singer were over, but her promiscuity was a feminist refusal to accept the terms and conditions of being married and a protest against the double standard in which men got to sleep around but women didn’t. Isadora, when she finally witnessed prostitution and sex theatre in her travels of Argentina, was made deeply upset. She associated sex with romance and love and feeling good and pleasure.
Vicki Morgan also had a few affairs, but also early abandonment, the marriage of someone who wanted to escape home, and clearly willingly indulged in sexuality not usually associated by most people with love, feeling good, and pleasure. The word Prostitute was hung on her. It is probably true that she was naturally bi-sexual.
Vicki, and some of her friends, seemed to be engaged in sex for, shall we say, purposes a lot closer to prostitution, when other men, Alfred and his friends, some of Ronald Reagan’s Republican friends, were involved in orgies.
Between Black and White, in these matters there is a lot of Gray in defining who is a Mistress, and who is a Prostitute. If a man has a woman on call for sex with him, and not much more, but he provides her a nice place to live and thousands of dollars, is that the ONLY reason he has her in his life? Not for twelve years. And if a man needs to whip women to find sexual fulfillment, it’s my guess that man is unlikely to have a wife who “understands” him. Then again, there’s the stereotype that many men love, the Hooker with the Heart of Gold.
However difficult it is to understand Vicki Morgan for people outside her lifestyle, there are those who think Alfred Bloomingdale took a young woman just out of her teens, ruined her for other men, used her young life, and who owned her much more than she got.