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Peaches: Who’s Your Daddy?


In the end, though Peaches had comported herself well on the witness stand in White Plains—exercising her affectation for answering questions with not “yes” but “pos-i-tive-ly”—it was her diary, which revealed her experience “making love” with several others before Daddy, that did her in. In his ruling, the judge lauded Daddy’s generosity—his introducing Peaches “into good society”—and concluded that her charges of “abnormal and unnatural acts and practices” were “false and vicious.” (Despite a police investigation, the perpetrator of the acid attack went unidentified; like Daddy Browning, many would blame Peaches herself.) Though the separation was granted, the marriage would stand, and Peaches was entitled to no alimony.

His credibility restored, Daddy Browning did not leave the tabloid spotlight. A series of smart business moves before the market crashed kept him in good financial stead, until a cerebral hemorrhage rendered him, essentially, a paranoid schizophrenic roaming his Scarsdale mansion, where he died alone at 59. Peaches pursued a successful career in vaudeville. She had an affair with Milton Berle. After Daddy died, she married and divorced three times more. She also became an alcoholic. On August 23, 1956, her mother heard a crashing sound in the bathroom of their New York City apartment and found Peaches unconscious on the floor with a large contusion above her ear. She was 46.


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