“In Like Flynn”
In January of 1943, Flynn was aquitted of statutorily raping 17-year-old Betty Hansen, a Nebraska farmgirl, and 15-year-old Peggy Satterlee, a night club dancer, aboard his yacht, the Sirocco. Several groups were formed in support of Flynn, one of which was named The American Boys’ Club for the Defense of Errol Flynn (ABCDEF). According to jurors, Hansen and Satterlee’s stories’ changed constantly and their details of Flynn’s yacht were wildly inaccurate.
Even though he was found not-guilty on all charges, Flynn never recovered from the ordeal. “Two and a half years after the humiliation of the trial, my principal emotion was that I was hoaxed by life,” He said in an interview in 1946. “Now my name was simply associated with sex. I was a male Mae West; as it were. Me, Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn, son of the respectable biologist, student of Darwin, lover of culture—and nothing that I wanted had happened. Instead I was in a swamp of Errol Flynn jokes, dirty stories and snide innuendoes.”
- — C. Brian Smith