UNITED STATES—During the filming of “Mary Poppins,” Mickey Mouse molested me. I must confess for many years, out of shame and admiration for Mr. Mouse’s artistry, I suppressed the memory, revealed now only under hypnosis and at the request of Judith Regan. To this day, I am haunted by the ghastly image of that white four-fingered hand pawing my knee. Dear me, it makes my skin crawl.
After a great deal of soul searching and trepidation, I decided to go directly to Mr. Disney with the news of his star player’s transgression. (He shall ever be Mr. Disney in my mind, and should I reach the age of Methuselah, I shall never refer to him casually as Walt.) The door to his office was always open. It didn’t matter who you were, whether you were a janitor or plumber, the door was always open. So I came in disguised as a plumber.
We shook hands with reserve. I recall he was looking over some blueprints in a corner, he looked up and offered me a seat. After an exchange of niceties, he told me that the dailies on Mary Poppins looked terrific. I then went straight to beating around the bush and told him that “something untoward had happened.”
“Something untoward, Miss Andrews. You can be honest with me. I can tell when somebody is holding something that they want to say and are afraid to let out.”
“I’m afraid you may not be happy with what I have to say.”
“Mickey Mouse had molested me.
He pressed a button on an intercom and instructed the secretary to hold his calls.
“I’m sure this must come as a terrible shock to you, Mr. Disney.”
“This kind of thing makes life hell for s studio head,” he said, taking a cigarette out of a silver case on his teak desk, and rolling it in his nicotine encrusted fingers. “Mickey has been going through a lot of turmoil. He and Minnie are on the rocks. He’s been drinking heavily, and also taking a new psychoactive drug. Under a psychiatrist’s strict supervision,” he added as an afterthought. “Put all these factors together and you have one libidinous mouse.”
“Oh my, good heavens,” I demurred. Mr. Disney was going to light the cigarette and then though better of it and replaced it in the case.
“Miss Andrews, tell me exactly what Mickey did?”
“It was really ghastly that little rodent. I can’t bring myself to . . .”
“I really deserve to know the truth,” said Mr. Disney. “Arguably, I am the little dickens’ father. Wouldn’t you say I have a right to know?”
“He came into my dressing room between scenes on Mary Poppins. Didn’t even knock. And put those four-fingered paws over my eyes, and there I was with cold cream on my face. ‘Guess who!’ said Mickey with that obnoxious high-pitched voice.”
To Be Continued…
Graydon Miller is the author of “Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood” https://amzn.to/2HJKNPf.