A Separation – Maybe For Keeps

San Francisco Chronicle – October 27, 1938

The royal romance of Princess Baba and wrestler Bob Gregory has gone adrift.

The Chronicle learned exclusively yesterday that the outcast daughter of the White Rajah of Sarawak will leave for England Saturday.

Confirmation of the rift came last night from the handsome Gable of Grapple himself.

“Yes, we’re going to separate – temporarily, we hope,” Gregory said just before he entered the ring at Olympic Auditorium at Los Angeles for a match with Shuniki Shikuma,” according to Associated Press dispatches.

“Princess Baba thinks she can gain more success in motion pictures in London. We hope there will be a reconciliation soon. There are no hard feelings, but the princess is disappointed at not getting a contract here in Hollywood. She’s very independent. She sails on the Manhattan from New York November 2.”

The marriage of the wrestler and Valerie Brooke (that’s her English name) occurred in London, November 22, 1937. Her father, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, is the ruler of Sarawak, a British protectorate in North Borneo. He and the princess’ mother, the wrestler said, are en route back to Sarawak from a visit in London with two other daughters, the Countess of Inchape and Mrs. Harry Hope.

Whether incessant prodding from her family had changed Princess Baba’s idea of marital bliss, she hasn’t said.

She wouldn’t come to the phone yesterday at the Gregory Santa Monica home. Gregory, doing the talking, admitted over the phone she was leaving for London, but withheld explanation until later.

While the couple were making their home on the Peninsula several months ago, they announced the expected birth of an heir.

“Sorry, old chap,” said Gregory when prodded about the expected baby, “we have nothing to say.”

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