Is it rape if a guy says no to a woman, but his body says yes?
That is the million dollar question in a recent documentary I saw, Tabloid.
The documentary is based on an international scandal that rocked the world 30 years ago. It involves sex, religion, and chains. It was a dream-come-true for the tabloids in 1977.
The story revolves around Joyce McKinney, a beauty queen from Wyoming, who paints herself as a sugary sweet virgin. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed doll fell in love with Kirk Anderson, an all-American boy from Salt Lake City. He was Mormon.
Joyce claims that Kirk's family and friends despised her because she was not Mormon and because she was too pretty. So, after the couple became engaged, Joyce said his church made him disappear. She woke up one day and he was nowhere to be found! And nobody would tell her anything!
Joyce was devastated and hired a private investigator to hunt him down. The detective discovered Kirk had been sent to England by his church, on a missionary trip.
Joyce flew to England and said she coaxed a "brainwashed Kirk" into her car and the two shared a wonderful, romantic weekend in a rented cottage in Devon. She said it was the best three days of her life. But then Kirk left her, scared his church would find out, breaking her heart once more.
Well, Kirk had a different story.
After their three days together, Kirk immediately went to the police and told them an astonishing tale.
A frazzled Kirk told police that Joyce had abducted him at the church. He said she had taken him to the cottage, where she chained him to a bed, spread-eagle, and raped him for three days straight.
Evidence suggested the distraught Kirk was telling the truth, and the police arrested Joyce, even though she adamantly denied the charges. Frustrated by her treatment, Joyce jumped bail and fled the country with a friend.
Tabloids all over the world relished in the absurd sexual tale. They dubbed the incident the "The Case of the Manacled Mormon." The gossip rags competed vigorously to see who could come up with the most dirt about the apple pie blonde from America.
It was discovered that Joyce was not as sweet and virginal as she had claimed to be.
There were several nude photos of Joyce circulating all over Los Angeles and details of a shady sex life started to emerge. The public was delighted.
By the early 1980s, Joyce moved back home with her parents, exhausted by the media circus and paranoid by the attention. She became a recluse, never marrying or venturing out much.
In 2008, she made international headlines again for having her beloved pet dog cloned in Korea.
The revived interest in Joyce prompted documentary filmmakers to produce Tabloid.
Today, Joyce is a real-estate agent living in the North Carolina mountains.