Audrey Hepburn caused a car wreck? Who knew?

>> 03 August 2013

audrey hepburn
The image above is from the Los Angeles Herald Examiner collection that features Audrey Hepburn in 1960.  The caption dated October 25, 1960 partially reads, "Defendant in $50,000 Suit, Tells How Accident Occurred as She Tried to Avoid Another Car - English star Audrey Hepburn, wearing a dark blue jersey suit from Switzerland, and a "French twist" hairdo, today testified in court as defendant in the $50,000 suit brought against her by Actress Joan Lora, who is of Italian descent but played the part of a Spanish dancer in a TV film shown to the jury. This international potpourri was part of a proceedings [sic] which had its origin on July 14, 1958, when Miss Hepburn admittedly rammed her car into one driven by Miss Lora at Santa Monica blvd. and Beverly dr., in Beverly Hils."

In the Audrey Hepburn biography entitled "Enchantment" author Donald Spoto made mention on page 192 that Audrey Hepburn was involved in a car accident right before principle photography began on Green Mansions.

He wrote: "Audrey drove as usual from [her] rented house to the studio. As she approached the corner of Beverly Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard, a car raced toward her from the left. To avoid collision, Audrey had to speed across the intersection where she crashed into the rear of a car driven by a woman named Joan Paladini, a young actress known as Joan Lora. Neither woman was obviously injured but a few days later, Mrs. Paladini's lawyer brought suit against Audrey, contending that his client had suffered neck and back injuries. The matter came to trial over two years later, but on October 25, Audrey appeared in court to give her account; the case was soon dismissed."

Mr. Spoto's recounting is not entirely accurate. Joan Paladini was in fact awarded a settlement on October 27, 1960, in the amount $6,250, which is about 88.5% less than what she was suing for.

It's worth noting that after the case was settled, Audrey Hepburn never again sat behind the wheel of a car except on screen.

Still, I wonder who designed Audrey's outfit that she wore to court?

audrey hepburn joan lora
This image, also from the Herald Examiner, is dated October 26, 1960 and the caption reads: "Audrey Hepburn Uses Diagram To Show Auto Accident - Actress, Defendant in $50,000 Auto Injury Suit, Tells of Crash Which Occurred as She Tried to Avoid Another Car."

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