Hollywood was in an uproar. The stunned 21-year-old bride wept real tears. To police and reporters she insisted she did not know what the note to her meant, nor the reason for her 42-year-old groom’s suicide.
There was no doubt Bern had shot himself, but the strange note led the police to press an investigation.
Even Hollywood insiders puzzled over the cryptic note. What did he mean by “last night was only a comedy” ? What had happened that Jean Harlow would not even hint at?
The Bern gardener said there was a second note from Bern, even offered to sell its contents to a movie magazine.
But when police investigated the gardener, Clifton Davis, said he was “mistaken.” He knew “nothing.”
The Coroner summoned Jean Harlow to the inquest, but her doctor said she could not attend. The distraught Venus, hollow-eyed, leaden-voiced and listless, as though caught in a nightmare, was hiding out at her mother’s Beverly Hills home.
One afternoon a high MGM executive, who was visiting Jean’s mother, looked up to see Jean climbing the rail of an upstairs balcony that overhung a deep canyon.
With a yell of warning he and two other friends leaped forward to stop the suicide attempt of the million-dollar beauty.