When Jerry Lewis passed away, he most likely left behind a small fortune. He had an incredible career in stand-up comedy and acting, and also did great work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
After his death, stories about Lewis floated around about some secrets from his life. For example, an interview with GQ magazine confirmed that he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, even while he was married. Another story surfaced that Lewis fathered an illegitimate child who is now homeless.
Though Lewis had his problems in the public eye, there were rumors he also had issues at home. Married to Patti Palmer from 1944 to 1980, Lewis was a father to six sons. As years went by, stories came to light that Lewis may not have been a great dad. In 2009, his youngest son Joseph died of a drug overdose, and one of the other sons, Gary, blamed it on their father.
“He was never loving and caring toward me or my brothers,” Gary said. “I don’t know if Joe’s death is drug related, but I believe it could have been prevented if he and my father had been on better terms. I believe he partly died of a broken heart. [My father] doesn’t really care. He’s more worried about his career and his image than his own family.”
“To this day I don’t understand it because it’s unfair — not unfair to me, but unfair to him. That he went that way made the unfairness stupidity,” said Jerry of his son’s death. “But he was my son and he’s gone, and there’s not a lot I can do about that. I beat myself a thousand times.”
In 1983, Lewis married his second wife, SanDee Pitnick. The two never had biological children, but they did adopt a daughter in 1992, Danielle.
Now that Lewis has passed on, his estate is left to be dealt with. But when the will was opened, his estranged family was left with a shock.