Anna Freud Centre Funded by Marilyn Monroe Suffers Financial Losses

I ran across this article recently and found it interesting that the Anna Freud Centre in England is unfortunately losing money due to court rulings two years ago that released MM image rights from the Estate of Marilyn Monroe to the estates of the photographers.

Blonde bombshell for the Anna Freud Centre funded by Marilyn Monroe

A CELEBRATED children’s counselling service in Hampstead is looking for new ways to raise funds after one of its main sources of income began to slide in value: an inheritance from legendary film star Marilyn Monroe.

The Anna Freud Centre in Maresfield Gardens said no services had been cancelled or disrupted but confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that it was now looking for fresh avenues to generate money.

Staff have long been aware that the centre has benefited from the legacy of Monroe. She left a quarter share of her estate to her New York psychiatrist Marianne Kris.

Most of the rest of her fortune went to her acting coach Lee Strasberg and is now controlled by his relatives.

But when Ms Kris died in 1980, her share was passed on to the Anna Freud Centre, which has since thrived on the generosity and the income generated by licensing deals connected with the Some Like It Hot star.

It provides support to children, working with youngsters who suffer from mental illness or are in emotional distress – for example, after the death of a parent. But the New Journal has learned that the Monroe money is no longer supplying the financial assistance it once did and the value of the inheritance has been hit by a complicated licensing case over the use of memorabilia and pictures of Monroe.

It was successfully contested in the American courts two years ago that Monroe’s so-called “Rights of Publicity” ended when she died and that her estate did not necessarily have a monopoly on her image and the photos taken of her. In turn, this has partly left the Anna Freud Centre – so valued by the families who use it – searching for new funding opportunities. Statements filed with Companies House show that two years ago the bequeathed money was being used in legal fees in an attempt to protect the Monroe estate’s interests.

“The centre owns 25 per cent of the Marilyn Monroe LLC and in previous years has received royalty income,” said the last publicly available annual report filed by directors. “Litigation costs in the US concerning Rights of Publicity have meant that the centre’s share of royalty income during the year was allocated to uphold and protect the LLC’s Rights of Publicity. This licensing income is in any case time limited and expected to reduce significantly in the next several years so the centre is committed to diversifying its sources of income to replace these revenue incomes.”

Monroe died from an overdose of sleeping pills in California in 1962, aged 36, three months after famously singing Happy Birthday to US President John F. Kennedy. Anna Freud was the daughter of Sigmund Freud and shared her father’s interest in psychology, although she specialised in the psychoanalysis of children. She lived in Maresfield Gardens up until her death in 1982.

A spokeswoman for the Anna Freud Centre said: “We haven’t cancelled any services. We do rely on donations and have been on a funding drive in the last three years to find new ways to raise money.”

She added that anybody interested in helping should contact fundraisers at the centre.

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