Marilyn Monroe adored fellow screen legend Clark Gable as a father figure, fretted over a relationship with then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and had a one-night stand with actress Joan Crawford that left her cold.
Monroe also thought sex with former spouse and playwright Arthur Miller was just "so-so" and maintained a deep affection for ex-husband Joe DiMaggio. But she credited her psychiatrist with teaching her how to achieve orgasm.
The Los Angeles Times revealed these and other glimpses into Monroe's mind Friday in excerpts of tape recordings the sex symbol and actress is said to have secretly made for her psychiatrist in the days before she died at the age of 36 in 1962.
The Times said it obtained a written record of the tapes from the only person still alive who claims to have heard them -- former prosecutor John Miner, 86, who says the recordings support his belief that Monroe was a victim of foul play.
Miner took "extensive" and "nearly verbatim" notes from the tapes when they were played for him by Monroe's psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson, now deceased, while Miner was investigating her death.
Monroe's nude body was found on Aug. 5, 1962, in her Los Angeles home. An autopsy concluded she died of barbiturate poisoning, and the death was ruled a probable suicide.
Conspiracy theories abounded for decades suggesting Monroe was murdered. Prosecutors reexamined the case in 1982 but decided there was insufficient evidence to warrant a new criminal investigation.
The Times story was published as dozens of fans gathered, as they have for decades, near Monroe's burial site to mark the anniversary of her death and the unanswered questions surrounding it.
"She was enormously desirable and enormously vulnerable," said Stanley Rubin, who produced the 1954 film "River of No Return," starring Monroe and Robert Mitchum.
Miner told the Times he examined the tapes in a bid to determine Monroe's state of mind and came away believing the recordings showed the actress was anything but suicidal.
According to excerpts, Monroe started off the recording -- a kind of self-analysis through free association -- by thanking her doctor for helping her regain "control of myself, control of my life."
"You are the only person who will ever know the most private, the most secret thoughts of Marilyn Monroe," she says.
She also credits Greenson for helping her unlock the secret to orgasm after years of unsatisfying sex, and goes on to dwell on the shape of her own body, her two famous former husbands and her feelings toward such fellow stars as Gable and Frank Sinatra, whom she called "a wonderful friend."
At one point, she describes standing naked in front of full-length mirrors to examine her own body -- "My breasts are beginning to sag. . . . My waist isn't bad. My ass is what it should be, the best there is. . . . OK, Marilyn, you have it all there."
Of her sexual liaison with Joan Crawford, Monroe said, "Next time I saw Crawford, she said she wanted another round. I told her straight-out I didn't much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful."
She recalled that Gable looked after her while shooting 1961's "The Misfits" and that she kissed him "with real affection" during their scenes together. "I didn't want to go to bed with him, but I wanted him to know how much I liked and appreciated him."
Although Monroe has long been rumored to have had an affair with President Kennedy, the tapes bear no evidence of that, the Times said. They do strongly suggest she and the president's brother, Robert, were involved romantically.
"There is no room in my life for him," she says. "I guess I don't have the courage to face up to it and hurt him. I want someone else to tell him it's over. I tried to get the president to do it, but I couldn't reach him."
Discussing her failed marriage to DiMaggio, Monroe said, "We didn't end our love for each other." She said the baseball great needed a "traditional" wife but there was "no way I could stop being Marilyn Monroe and become someone else."
By contrast, Monroe's marriage to Arthur Miller was "my mistake, not his," she said. "He couldn't give me the attention, warmth and affection I need. It's not in his nature. . . . As bed partners, we were so-so."
The Times said Miner was allowed to hear the tapes on condition he never reveal their contents and broke his promise years after Greenson's death only when some Monroe biographers suggested the doctor might be considered a suspect in her death.
Miner could not be immediately reached for comment.