Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ava Gardner's Daughter? No.

3 May 2014

Letters Department
Wallkill Valley Times
300 Stony Brook Court
Newburgh, NY 12550

Ava Gardner’s Daughter?

The Wallkill Valley Times [November 7, 2012] covered the story of my co-author’s belief that she is movie queen Ava Gardner’s unacknowledged daughter. One goal of our book was to obtain cooperation from a member of the Gardner family in having DNA testing done to substantiate this belief.

In connection with a symposium held this April by the Ava Gardner Museum and Trust, DNA comparison was made between a sample provided by my co-author and one provided by an Ava Gardner nephew. To our utter surprise, the testing showed no match. We had agreed to withdraw our book [Ava Gardner’s Daughter?] if there were no match, and we have.

My co-author is seeking help in determining why her birth record was sealed when she was fifteen and why attempts to unseal it have been rebuffed by the courts. These two facts are not in doubt.

From this experience, I learned that the combination of “eyewitness testimony” and circumstantial evidence, while persuasive, can lead to erroneous conclusions, something already well understood by police, detectives, lawyers, and others involved in the criminal justice system.

Ava Gardner, who lived a glamorous, successful, adventurous, and often-admirable life, deserves to have this cleared up. We apologize.     


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.

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