'My lover Monroe was murdered'

NEW YORK (Reuter) - Marlon Brando alleges in his new autobiography that Marilyn Monroe, with whom he had a long affair, was murdered.

Liz Smith, a Newsday columnist who received an advance copy of the book, says Brando thought that Charlie Chaplin, who directed him in a film, was the most cruel man he ever met and that Richard Burton was 'a mean drunk'.

The book, Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me, goes on sale next week in a first edition of 500,000. The actor was paid dollars 5m ( pounds 3.2m) to write his memoirs but the book makes no mention of his stormy relationships with his wives and children. 'His memoir contains what Brando chooses to tell and not tell. It's as if this is the actor's final joke on the press he despises,' Ms Smith says. In an excerpt of the book published last Sunday in Parade magazine, Brando revealed that he had an affair with Monroe among hundreds of other women. But, Ms Smith said, some of the more interesting comments he had to make about Monroe were left out of the excerpt.

Brando said that he had spoken to Monroe just before her death by a drug overdose in 1962 and felt that she was definitely not suicidal. He also felt that she was not having a big romance with Robert Kennedy as some have alleged. Ms Smith then quoted Brando as saying that he 'always believed' that Monroe was murdered.