Bettie Page’s Mental Breakdown

bettie-page-with-crop[Continued from What Really Happened to Bettie Page]
Part of the explanation for how and why Bettie Page went from a pin up icon, bondage queen and playboy centerfold to disappearing completely was she found religion and went into a very religious surrounding. Beyond that, her life took a turn for the worse with mental illness that kept her out of the spotlight.

Bettie Page went to Peabody’s Teacher’s College in 1965. Then she got tired of it all and in 1966 went to Miami and started going out dancing again. One night she met Harry E. Lear, “She didn’t look like a model of any kind. But she was just a healthy looking young lady. She looked like a nice person. So I went up to her and asked her to dance. And we danced. And we danced. And we danced all night. She was the most unpretentious person I have ever met.”

One day they went outbettie-page-wholesome to a pier together and Harry spotted a postcard with Bettie on it. He showed it
to her and she explained that she had been a model and had even posed nude. That didn’t make any difference to Harry except he liked he more now. Harry had 2 boys and girl…exactly what Bettie had always dreamed of.  They got married on Valentines Day 1967.

Harry provided a good house for Bettie and the kids. “He was a hard worker and a good provider. And he was good lover too. He was very considerate of me and thinking of my pleasure before his own.” And he also put an addition on that had a concrete roof area that was closed off so she could sunbathe nude.

bettie-page-toplessBut things weren’t great. The kids didn’t really accept her at all once she moved in with Harry and his ex-wife kept calling at all times of the day and night harassing her.  Bettie sought refuge in the Lord and started going to church more and more. Finally, Bettie had had enough and after sticking it out for 5 years she got divorced on January 18th, 1972.

Then she went up to 70 miles North to Bible Town. There, she started hearing voices of both God and devil in her head.  She lost a lot of weight because she was not eating. The voices she heard got so extreme that she couldn’t sleep at all because they were talking to her all the time. Eventually, her mind snapped.

The police called Harry andbettie-page-with-cheetah asked if he could come pick her up and take care of her. He knew that Florida was not a good place to be mentally ill and took her into his come. The voices plagued Bettie and at one point, she got out a knife and threaten him that saying that if he looked away from the painting of Jesus she would cut his guts out. After a bit, he pleaded with Bettie saying that he needed to go to the bathroom really badly. When she granted him permission to go relieve himself, he called the police. When the police came, she went with them peacefully with a blank look on her face.

bettie-page-wrestlingAfter booking her, they took her to the psych ward of Jackson Memorial Hospital. There she received Florazine which made her feel like dying…but ‘they knocked the voices right out of her head. After a bit of treatment, she had just enough money to fly out to California and meet her brother Jimmy Page (not of Led Zeppelin). But Jimmy didn’t show up.

Went she got a place out in California she soon lost it again. When trying to get rent receipts from her landlord, she heard voices from the devil telling her all sorts of awful things. She took a knife and knocked the landlord to the ground and told her that she was going to cut her up. For some reason, the lady did not like that. She resisted and got cut severely on her hands. Then Bettie stabbed her 20 times before the landlord got away.


The worst photo every of Bettie — on probably the worst day
of her life. :'(

Not surprisingly, Bettie was charged with attempted murder. She pleaded insanity and was ordered committed for 10 years. She when to Patton Hospital for therapy and drugs. There she was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.  Haunted by demons of her past (which one assumes must include the abuse of her father, gang rape and her husband trying to kill her) she was finally released…completely broke.

One Response

  1. Anonymous November 8, 2014

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