Picking up the pieces

Louis Leplée, Edith's mentor, was dead. Gerny's had closed, many of her friends had deserted her as had the radio contracts and other promises of work offered in abundance prior to the scandal. She found herself working a series of 'fill-in' slots at local cinemas, provincial tours and engagements in Belgium. She sought the protection of a song writer named Raymond Asso; their relationship developed into a very tempestuous affair. He was living with a woman by the name of Madeleine at the Hôtel Piccadilly, Pigalle; Mômone still Edith's constant companion. Somehow Mômone ended up living back with her mother - Raymond left Madeleine, he and Edith moved to the Hôtel Alsina on Avenue Junot where he set about trying to mould Edith to his ideas.

Avenue Junot

Avenue Junot (Hôtel Alsina no longer there)

Raymond and Edith's relationship lasted for three years during which time her fortunes began to improve. By the middle of 1939 she was commanding sell out performances and sharing star billing with established stars such as Marie Dubas. Raymond received his call-up papers in the August of that year - Edith met and moved in with a young singer, Paul Meurisse very shortly afterwards. They rented an apartment on Rue Anatole-de-la-Forge, a far more salubrious area than Edith's usual haunts, however, despite Meurisse's apparent classiness their relationship was decidedly tempestuous and violent arguments were commonplace.

During this time she also met a new friend who was to have a special place in her life: Jean Cocteau. As a result, she regularly began visiting a private club in the cellar of the Palais Royal, Rue de Beaujolais, where he lived. There she met many artists and intellectuals of the day and Cocteau himself wrote the play "Le Bel Indifferent" especially for her from her tales of her relationship with Meurisse. With great difficulty she was persuaded to accept the lead role - the play was a huge success.

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