In his days, Howard Hughes was one of the richest men in the USA.
His wealth had come to him from his father who had redesigned an oil drill head that could go through rocks like a knife through butter.
Before Howard Hughes became reclusive he was interested to meet girls.
For this he had Johnny Meyer.
Johnny’s job was to scout Los Angeles for girls Howard Hughes might like and bring them to him.
This is how Ava Gardner got in touch with Howard Hughes.
At the time, the mid-40’s, while a barbaric world wide war was going on, Ava Gardner was the daughter of a poor landless farmer from North Carolina.
Having good looks, on the initiative of a photographer, she had come to Los Angeles hoping to find work in the movie business .
However, she was a nobody and only one of the many starlets around.
But Johnny Meyer spotted her and established contact between her and Howard Hughes.
Howard Hughes liked her.
Probably was even in love with her later.
After having dated her for some time one day he proposed her to go with him to San Francisco.
Ava Gardner said yes.
Howard Hughes booked first class tickets on the Santa Fe train with two sleeping cabins and the best service available.
Ava Gardner had decided to be at her chicest and brought the best and most expensive clothes she had.
When she went to the bar car for dinner, Howard Hughes had arranged that a magnificent black waiter in an impeccable smart uniform brought her a large box in which was a bottle of the finest vintage champagne.
In San Francisco they stayed in the famous Fairmont Hotel on top of the Nob Hill.
Ava Gardner was in a suit with a magnificent drawing room, a bedroom and a bathroom while Howard Hughes stayed in a small room nearby.
Howard Hughes proposed Ava Gardner to go shopping and they went to the best department store in town holding all the goodies in the universe.
Howard Hughes told Ava Gardner: “Now, I want you to go in there and buy whatever you want. I’ll come back and pay for it. Whatever you want. Remember that !”
Back at the hotel Ava Gardner dressed in her chic cocktail dress ready for dinner.
But before to go Howard Hughes offered her an exquisitely made gold ring set with sapphires, which she accepted.
They went to a wonderful restaurant and later were closely dancing in a club with a marvellous band.
Finally returned to the hotel, Ava Gardner picked up in the lobby the Sunday newspaper and took out the page with the funnies.
She started to read them already in the elevator going up to the suite.
Where more chilled champagne was waiting for what obviously Howard Hughes had in mind as the grand finale.
But Ava Gardner just sat on the bed reading the funnies.
She had never felt romantically involved nor physically attracted to Howard Hughes.
Howard Hughes got upset and tore the page with the funnies out of her hands and threw it on the floor.
Ava Gardner was outraged.
For in her opinion, it had been a marvellous night and now Howard Hughes was spoiling it with one rude, dramatic gesture.
She stood up, ran to her bedroom, banged the door and locked it.
In other words, Ava Gardner was a bitch.