July 30, 1957
The state prosecutor and the defense had reached an agreement on most points in the conspiracy trial involving Confidential and Whisper magazines.
According to the proposed accord, Confidential and Whisper would:
1.Abandon their present format, would stop printing smear stories and publicize the change in newspaper ads.
2. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Herbert V. Walker would decide the case based on grand jury transcripts.
3. Charges against Fred and Marjorie Meade (the alleged sources of
the magazines’ stories) would be dropped because “they are out of
business the minute the format of the magazine is changed,” according
to Chief Assistant Atty. Gen. Clarence Linn.
Defense attorney Arthur J. Crowley agreed to everything except Linn’s
insistence that guilty verdicts against the corporations–Whisper Inc.,
Confidential Inc., Hollywood Research Inc. and Publishers Distributing
Corp–could not be appealed.
Linn told the judge that the agreement would suppress the magazines and
Crowley noted that the deal would avoid a long trial that would
threaten the reputations of Hollywood celebrities.
To which Walker said: No. “I don’t think a good reason has been given
here for the dismissal of the indictments against the individuals.”
The Mirror said there was little scandal in the 143-page grand jury
transcript, noting that it mostly dealt with testimony by 20 witnesses
that publisher Robert Harrison’s objective was to print “as much
shocking material as he could obtain by wiretaps, by using prostitutes
as witnesses or by any other means.”
Ronnie Quillan testified:
“Harrison stressed the point that he primarily was just interested in the sexual activities of the stars and celebrities and whether they were homosexuals or weren’t,
in other words, the most lurid phases of their lives that he could
To be continued.