In both the book and film, Natasha examines what happened that night, and how she came to believe that her mother, who had had too much to drink, slipped on the steps of their boat, the Splendour, and fell into the water after trying to tie up a dingy that was banging against the boat.
She writes in her memoir that she “had to make peace" with the fact that she will never know the full details of how her mother died, and she wishes "others could do the same.”
"I’m hoping that with the documentary we can focus on her life," Natasha added while speaking to GMA. "I think if she were alive today, she’d be on the forefront of equal pay for women, she’d be on the forefront fighting for equal right for the LGBT community. She was so ahead of her time in so many ways."
Part of the reason Natasha also chose to speak out now is to address the years of painful speculation that her father, Wagner, bore some kind of responsibility in her mother's death that night.
“For so many years we were advised to ignore or not talk about it,” says Natasha in the documentary. (Her biological father was Natalie’s second husband, Richard Gregson, and she calls both men her dad.) “But enough is enough. I know that if my mom had been in any kind of distress, he would have given his life for her.”
“It’s true,” Wagner, 90, says. “She said that because she knows me and she knows that I never would have done anything to hurt her mother.”
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind will premiere Tuesday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on HBO.
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