Rock Hudson's wife Phyllis Gates
secretly recorded confronting him about whether he was gay.
In 1958, when Hudson was 32, Gates
confronted the actor about his sexuality.
“You told me you saw thousands of
butterflies and also snakes,” she told him, referring to a
Rorschach test he had taken. “[A therapist] told me in my analysis
that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent the male penis.
I'm not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize
your problem, you would want to do something about it.”
Gates added that Hudson took “great
speed with me,” then asked, “Are you that fast with boys?”
“Well, it's a physical conjunction
[sic],” he replied. “Boys don't fit. So, this is why it lasts
The conversation is part of a secret
file released by the family of Detective Fred Otash, according to The
When Otash, a private detective who was
hired to spy on many celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and John
F. Kennedy, suddenly died of a heart attack, his executor locked the
Hudson died in 1985 at the age of 59
and never publicly acknowledged that he was gay.