how to spend a million a week

Actress Peggy Hopkins made a lucrative sideline career out of marrying very rich men

image found here

The most notable, because most unfortunate, was Stanley Joyce, Peggy Hopkins’ third husband whose one-year marriage with the decade’s most celebrated “gold digger” cost him at least two million dollars. Indeed she entitled one chapter of her autobiography, Men, Marriage, and Me (1930) which described one week in her marriage to Joyce, “How to Spend a Million a Week.”

image found here

New York City after dark in the 1920s was the perfect spot for a newlywed on a honeymoon shopping spree. In the spring of 1920, the new Mrs. Stanley Joyce spent $1 million in a single week, buying $300,000 worth of pearls, a $65,000 Russian sable coat and a $30,000 chinchilla.

Liberace’s llama fur coat found here

Stanley wised up to his profligate wife and promptly sued her for divorce.

They went to Europe on their honeymoon but the bridegroom returned alone and inserted notices in New York papers that he would not be responsible for his wife’s debts. The honeymoon tour had covered most of Europe, and diverse places are mentioned in the bill. Among the co-respondents names are one Barton French, Henri Letellier, former owner of the Journal of Paris; “one Maurice, whose first name is to your orators unknown“, one “E. James,” Evans-Spaulding, and “diverse other persons.”

Not this Maurice

The romance with Barton French is said to have occurred at Torquay, England, and various other places during June and July 1920. A Pullman car episode with Letellier on the train entering and leaving Venice, Italy, is recorded in the bill as are incidents at “various other places on the continent of Europe, in or about the months of July, August, September and October, 1920.” On October 10, 1920, in London, England – and also on other dates, it is charged – Maurice was the defendent’s partner. “At various times and places in London, during October and November,” Peggy was intimate with James, the bill declares. The alleged affair with Spaulding occurred at 423 Park avenue, New York City, during November, December and January, and at Palm Beach during February and March. “

image found here

And said defendent has at diverse other times and places since the performance of the said alleged marriage ceremony,” the bill goes on, “had improper relations with diverse other persons whose names are to your orator unknown.” Peggy is 27 years old, but she has been getting married since she was 17. She is slight, decidedly blonde, has blue-grey eyes, and is bewitchingly pretty.

bewitchingly pretty blonde found here

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 7:04 am  Comments (31)  
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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. 30,000 for a rodent???!!! I would have sued her for divorce and utter stupidity!

  2. How good was she in bed? At that price, she’d have to be very good.

  3. Excellent insight here, Nursey. I now realise where ex-Mrs Affer 2 got her ideas from…..

  4. Is it wrong to admire her? If you can separate a fool from his money….go for it.

  5. The TG once bought a hamster – I think it was 5 shillings. I shall start to reconsider my whole relationship with her now ……

    • No comment about Torquay from you daddyp?

  6. Wow. It definitely takes talent to spend money like that. I’d have probably run completely out of ideas around the $738,000.00 mark.

    • Hi TT, welcome to the gimcrack

  7. If only she’d have Robin Hoodwinked the man and spent those many thousands on the foundation for the free education and vaccination of chinchillas, her profligacy might be forgiven.

  8. A million dollars a day. My mind boggles.

  9. Sounds like my mom, but on a tighter budget.

    • haha, FJ, you always crack me up

  10. Serial marriage to wealthy men – excellent pay but it’s still a job. Don’t think I could handle the benefit package. 😉

    (btw – separated/single = fair game to more than one bloated arse. bloody hell.)

  11. Looking at Peggy’s pic she doesn’t seem a happy lady – or maybe she just had wind that day.

    • Perhaps it’s that supercilious air that attracts? That’s how Posh Spice operates isn’t it?

  12. I know a few blonde witches. And although I’d like to pretend otherwise, I’d probably have no problemo disposing of $1 mill in a week…although it might be to free those poor chinchillas from the fur farm! Where do you find all of this interesting stuff? Always learn something new when I visit.

  13. she was quite the vamp. but what i want to know: why is stephen spielberg playing paintball?

  14. But remember one thing don’t lose your head
    To a woman that’ll spend your bread

    Every Picture Tells a Story
    Rod Stewart/Ron Wood

  15. How many llamas had to take it for Liberace’s coat?

    • Far far too many bearman

  16. Damn I wish I’d thought of that career. But… too old, too male.

  17. When a young woman marries a very rich old man there is always the cry of gold digger I tend to think both parties know pretty well what they’re getting in to. He didn’t marry her in the expectation that he would have his dinner on the table when he got home every night any more that she married him in the expectation that she would spend her time cooking it. The marriage is a transaction – nothing more, nothing less. She gets the lifestyle she craves, he gets a pretty young wife whom he can indulge and parade amongst his friends through his dotage and whom he hopes will be reasonably discreet with the pool boy and the gardener.

    Have I read his obit. correctly and that they still managed to produce a child from this relationship?

    Sorry….overlong comment. I’ll shut up.

    • I noticed that too but I think the line about a daughter is incorrect Nick. When Stanley Joyce died, he left the bulk of his estate to a 21 year old niece who was deemed his sole heir at that time.

      Several years later a man by the name of “Clever Arnold Joyce” claimed he was Stanley’s son by another woman, but that was nothing to do with our Peggy 😉

  18. I like to think that when Liberace sued that newspaper for calling him a homosexual, he was wearing that coat at the time. That’s how big Liberace’s balls were.

  19. A million dollars in a week in 1920? Jesus THat must have taken some doing then!

  20. Looking for a 21st C Stanley Joyce!!

  21. Sigh – there’s so many of those blondes out there now she’d have to take a number (after me of course!) Love the Liberace comment 😉

  22. I need to marry a rich guy

    • Can I come to the wedding?

  23. The poor Russian sable.

  24. Sigh….gold diggers were always around and aren’t leaving it seems.


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