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Shirley MacLaine Slugs Columnist

June 10, 1963 - Actress Shirley MacLaine walked into the office of a move trade paper today and slugged columnist Mike Connolly. Connolly said there were no words, just punches. But Loretta Lee, the actress’s secretary who was present, said there were words as well. “Why do you print untrue things about me?” Miss Lee quoted her boss as saying. “As a woman, this is my only defense.” Then she slugged him. Connolly said he did what any red-blooded gossip columnist would do: “I ducked. She aimed for my head but hit my shoulder. I will never wash that shoulder again.” Miss Lee said it’s true the first punch landed on Connolly’s shoulder, but the second “was a real good belt. She throws a mean punch.” Miss MacLaine was apparently angry about Connolly’s column in the Hollywood Reporter today. The lead item read: “Shirley MacLaine told Hall Wallis, ‘Okay, you win.’” Miss MacLaine has refused to appear in Wallis’s movie, “Wives and Lovers,” and as a result has been in a bitter contract dispute with the filmmaker. When she declined the role, Connolly criticized her in print, saying she had thrown “400 people out of work at Christmas time.” Following today’s events, Miss MacLaine issued a statement describing the columnist as “irresponsible and inaccurate” in reporting about her “life and career.” “As a result,” she said, “I have seen fit to express myself.”


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