- Category : Food-and-Beverage-Restaurateur
- Type : PSE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Distraction 1
American noted family, the daughter of Lana Turner from her brief second marriage to restaurateur Stephen Crane. By 13, she was a rebellious teen running away from boarding school. Home on Easter morning, 4/04/1958, she stabbed Johnny Stomponato, her mom's lover, to death with a butcher knife. When she heard the two arguing and the small-time hood threatening to kill Lana, she got the knife from the kitchen and waited outside the bedroom door. When the door opened, she plunged the knife into his abdomen, kidney and aorta. She later did not remember getting the knife and the whole drama was like a dream. Though the death was ruled a justifiable homicide, the ordeal launched the girl into a ruinous slide from defiant behavior to reform school and a mental institution.
After three weeks in Juvenile Hall, she was released to her grandmother's custody as a ward of the court. She began a serious rebellion with hanging out in nightclubs and running up speeding tickets. After spending 11 months in reform school, she returned home to her grandmom only to run away twice. By 6/23/1961, she was back in court on charges of lewd and dissolute conduct and sentenced to psychiatric treatment in June 1961.
While in the elite sanitarium in Hartford, Connecticut, she attempted suicide by slamming her fists through a window. Sedated for weeks, she credits the humor and encouragement of a fellow patient, comic Jonathan Winters, with helping her regain her will to live. Cheryl was released in April 1962, eight months past her 18th birthday. Back in Los Angeles, she began to mix heavy drinking and sleeping pills, with another suicide attempt along the way.
For years, Cheryl refused to comment on the grisly past that nearly destroyed her. Her story came out in an autobiography, "Detour, A Hollywood Story," written with Cliff Jahr, 1987. The daughter of a glamorous movie star, when she tried as a kid to snuggle up to her famous mom, she would be pushed away. "Sweetheart, careful of the hair, the lipstick," Lana would say. Cheryl revealed that Lex Barker, one of her mom's eight husbands, had raped her repeatedly between the ages of 10 ½ and 13. The assaults were so violent that a doctor said later that she should have had stitches. Though Barker's assaults helped shape her sexuality, she says that she was aware from childhood of her preference for women, saying, "It is something that you are born with, like blue eyes or brown hair." As a teen, finding her identify as a lesbian kid was another lonely struggle.
Cheryl began to work for her dad as manager of one of his restaurants, The Luau. After a few years, including one spent studying at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, she worked her way up to being her dad's second-in-command. Along the way, she matured as an attractive, self-assured businesswoman
In 1968, when she met her life partner, model Joyce "Josh" LeRoy, her love story blossomed. Two years later the pair began living together. In 1979 they moved to Hawaii where they began fixing up houses and making prosperous real estate investments.
They returned to California in 1985 and Cheryl decided to tell her story. When Lana expressed her fear that the book would be another "Mommie Dearest," Cheryl said that "Mom was not around that much; she qualifies for a lonnnng cameo role." Talking through the book and their memories, Cheryl and her mother gained a new insight into each other and became closer friends than either had ever anticipated.