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No takers for 'Marilyn sex film'

A Spanish concert promoter has found no buyers at an auction in Argentina for a 1940s stag film that he claims shows an underage Marilyn Monroe having sex before she became a star.

The auction was a flop - nobody came forward willing to pay Mikel Barsa's starting price of £294,000. Mr Barsa said it did not help matters that a spokeswoman for Monroe's estate called the whole thing a fraud in an interview.

He said he was still negotiating with an unidentified buyer at about half the price he was hoping for. However he also says his lawyer is reviewing the warning of Monroe's protectors that they are ready to sue him for fraud and intellectual property violation if a sale goes through.

Mr Barsa claimed before the auction that the scratchy, black-and-white, six-minute 8mm film shows the young actress, known then as Norma Jeane Baker, around 1946 or 1947 when she was poor and desperate to break into showbusiness.

Experts on Monroe's life, however, said it was highly unlikely that the smiling young blonde in the film was her.

Comparing the film with known Monroe images leaves ample room for doubt. And several documents Mr Barsa said proved his argument - a letter from the American Film Institute and what looks like a declassified FBI file that mentions a 1965 attempt to sell an alleged Marilyn Monroe sex film - are inconclusive.

Monroe's image and estate is protected by the brand development and licensing company Authentic Brands Group.

Its spokeswoman Nancy Carlson said a sale of the film would invite legal action for "perpetrating a fraud on the public, violating the Monroe estate's exclusive rights to her image and other claims of intellectual property infringement".

"To me personally, it doesn't even resemble her," Ms Carlson said.

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