Ronald Reagan’s time in Hollywood also included a stint as the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and if you believe the story of actress Selene Walters, the future POTUS used his power in the entertainment industry against at least one woman.
In the 1991 book Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography, author Kitty Kelley revealed Selene Walters’ claims that Ronald Reagan had sex with her against her will one night. Walters said that he came to her home unexpectedly in the middle of the night and then assaulted her.
When the book was released in 1991, the story was treated more or less as a joke, but Walters later replicated her story in its entirety to People, changing only one detail: She admitted to letting the future POTUS into her apartment that night.
Slate writes that Walters told People, “I opened the door. Then it was the battle of the couch. I was fighting him. I didn’t want him to make love to me. He’s a very big man, and he just had his way. Date rape? No, God, no, that’s [Kelley’s] phrase. I didn’t have a chance to have a date with him.”
Walters didn’t file charges, but she reportedly told multiple friends about the assault.
Ronald Reagan was able to suppress the story nearly completely when the book was published in 1991. When a reporter stopped Ronald Reagan on his way to church to ask about the story, he replied, “I don’t think a church would be the proper place to use the word I would have to use in discussing that.”
Author Kitty Kelley defended her book to People at the time, explaining, “You can see that something is right about this book. It is disturbing too many powerful people not to be taken seriously.”
The book also claims that Nancy Reagan had an affair with Frank Sinatra that lasted for several years. The author claims that a member of Nancy Reagan’s staff told her that when Frank was visiting the White House, “She was not to be disturbed. For anything. And that included a call from the President himself.”