Historians have for years speculated about the sexuality of the first FBI chief, J. Edgar Hoover, with some suggesting he was gay and enjoyed cross-dressing.
And with an upcoming movie about his life in the pipeline, it seems current bosses at the bureau were more than a little concerned about the whispers spreading.
When Clint Eastwood, who is directing the biopic, and Lionardo Dicaprio, who plays Hoover, met with bureau representatives to research the part, they were reportedly warned not to camp up the role.
The FBI’s assistant director Mike Kortan told them: ‘Vague rumours and fabrications have cropped up from time to time, but there is no evidence in the historical record on this issue.’
He added that he merely passed on his expertise and that ‘what they did with [the information], as with any production, has been entirely in their hands’.
The upcoming biopic about the first FBI director was written by Dustin Lance Black, who also wrote Milk, the Oscar-winning movie about the fight for gay rights in America.
As part of the film, Hoover’s intimate relationship with his deputy and best friend Clyde Tolson has been examined.
There has been much speculation that the two may have been lovers as well as colleagues.
Faced with the wrath of the FBI, others may have wilted and given in.
But it appears Eastwood and his producer, Robert Lorenz, are made of sterner stuff – assuring bosses at the bureau simply that they would ‘not give any credence to cross-dressing allegations’ and would not portray Hoover’s relationship with his friend as ‘openly’ homosexual.
‘Though no one can know his private side with certainty, we hope that a thoughtful, intelligent portrayal of the man will put his life story in proper historical context,’ they added, according to USA Today.
Lionardo Dicaprio, meanwhile, is said to have been warned by one of Hoover’s aides, Cartha DeLoach, that there was ‘never any evidence of it whatsoever’.
DeLoach, who is now 91, added: ‘I travelled with him, I ate in his home and he in mine.