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Merv: Gay and Closeted to the End

Columnist wonders why talk show host kept 'open secret'
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 17, 2007 10:03 AM CDT
Merv: Gay and Closeted to the End
Talk show host Merv Griffin appears beside his television logo in this undated handout photo. A spokesperson for Merv Griffin reports Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007 the entertainer and entrepreneur has died at age 82. (AP Photo)   (Associated Press)

Merv Griffin, the television producer who died last week of prostate cancer, has been outed as a closeted gay man by a Hollywood Reporter columnist who was a former colleague. Griffin was married for 18 years and had a son, but his homosexuality was widely known in Los Angeles circles, and in 1991 a former lover filed a $200 million palimony suit.

Ray Richmond muses on the effect it might had on gays in show business if the talk-show host, hotelier and creator of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy hadn't steadfastly refused to come out, despite the obvious implications of the palimony suit. Griffin's high-profile platonic relationship with Eva Gabor helped him to deflect unwanted attention to his sexuality. (More gays stories.)

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