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“You got married to a guy where there were rumors he had killed his former wife?! When that ended, she married Wyatt Cooper, an author and screenwriter, in 1963.
(This fact particularly fascinates Cooper, who was in his early 20s when he told his mother he’s gay but did not come out publicly until 2012.) Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, eventually won custody and raised Gloria through most of her adolescence.
In her marriage to Wyatt, Gloria seemed determined to start fresh.
She began a fabric-design business, which led to her famous foray into jeans, which led to trendy appearances on talk shows — she even did an episode of “The Love Boat.” She was everywhere on the tube, while at home she had finally achieved an upper-class version of the white-picket fence and simple family life she’d always craved.
But what they had not done, Cooper began to realize, was talk to each other at length about the past, without restriction.
What started as a series of emails between mother and son evolved into the documentary, directed by Liz Garbus, whose recent film about Nina Simone was up for an Oscar.