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Dress Monroe wore to announce DiMaggio split to be auctioned

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The black dress that a distraught Marilyn Monroe wore to a 1954 press conference announcing her separation from baseball legend Joe DiMaggio less than a year after she married him is going up for auction.

The simple wool dress with a zippered turtleneck front will be up for bidding starting on March 30, KruseGWS Auctions announced Wednesday. The auction house expects the dress will fetch between $100,000 and $150,000. The seller's name is not being made public.

Monroe was wearing it on Oct. 6, 1954, when she stepped out into the Beverly Hills sunlight to meet a mob of cameras and shouting reporters and announced the split in her marriage with the New York Yankees star that united sports and Hollywood and brought frenzied press coverage.

"You can certainly see the anguish and despair on Marilyn's face when she spoke, said Brigitte Kruse, founder of GWS Auctions. "That moment changed Hollywood history forever." Monroe barely spoke at the press conference, appearing to be on the verge of tears and nodding to answer one question while her attorney Jerry Giesler explained the two were splitting because of conflicting careers.

Monroe and DiMaggio married in January 1954. She cited mental cruelty as the reason for the divorce, which became final the following year. In 2014, a love letter DiMaggio wrote to Monroe after the news conference sold for $78,125 at auction.

Monroe had previously been married to James Dougherty and would also marry and divorce playwright Arthur Miller before her death in 1962 at age 36.

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