An Australian woman claims she is the secret daughter of Frank Sinatra after her actress mother had a whirlwind romance with the famous late singer.
Childcare worker, Deana Sinatra, 63, is the daughter of actress Eva Bartok who had a whirlwind three-month romance with Frank during the late 50s.
Ms Sinatra, who was born in London but now lives in Sydney with her two sons, uttered the word ‘Daddy’ at the age of three after seeing Frank’s face on an album cover her mother was holding.
Despite never being publicly acknowledged by the beloved performer or his family, Frank also never denied her – something Ms Sinatra has held onto.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Ms Sinatra opened up about the pain of never meeting her father and the torment of his abandonment.
‘I’m sick of having to persuade people who I am,’ she said.
She now plans to share her full story in a tell-all memoir.
Deana Sinatra, 63, who works in childcare, has opened up about being the secret daughter of Frank Sinatra and how this has impacted her life decades after his death
Ms Sinatra said her mother Eva Bartok met Frank (pictured in 1961) and ‘fell madly in love’ before she became pregnant with his child
Ms Sinatra is seen with her mother Eva Bartok who had a three-month romance with the sultry singer
The saga began when Ms Sinatra’s mother met ‘Old Blue Eyes’ at a party in Hollywood in 1956 when he was at the height of his fame.
‘Sparks flew’ instantly as Ms Bartok had recently ended her fourth marriage to actor Curt Jurgens – whose surname Deana took on for the first half of her life.
At the time, the world-renowned singer was still married to screen siren Ava Gardner, and had three children from his first marriage to Nancy Sinatra.
Ms Sinatra said her mother ‘fell madly in love’ with Frank but she returned to London soon after and found out she was pregnant.
At the time, Ms Bartok was the member of a group called Subud, which is a spiritual movement founded in Indonesia.
She was told by those in the group that it wasn’t necessary to tell Frank she was pregnant with his child so she kept it hidden from him.
At the time of her birth, Ms Bartok nearly lost her daughter when it was discovered she had cysts on her ovaries.
She was told by doctors there was no hope to save the baby and that she would only survive if she underwent surgery immediately.
Ms Bartok ignored the advice of medical experts and again listened to her fellow Subud believers and postponed the surgery.
Miraculously, the cysts disappeared and Ms Sinatra was born a healthy baby girl.
Her mother put Mr Jurgens on the birth certificate in an attempt to avoid a scandal but it wasn’t possible he was the father due to medical conditions.
The mother and daughter spent three years living in a Subud compound in Indonesia before moving to Los Angeles when Deanna was 10.
As she became a teenager, the yearning to meet her father quickly became too much to bear.
‘My heart was aching. I didn’t have a dad and everybody else did,’ she said.
Ms Sinatra said at the age of 15 her desire to meet her father became too much to bear
Ms Bartok had told her Frank was her dad when she was just a toddler, and that was something Ms Sinatra never questioned.
When she was 14, her mother was told that the famous singer was in town and her friend had passed on her number for him to call her.
Eventually Ms Bartok picked up the phone one day only to hear her former lover on the other end.
Ms Bartok motioned at her daughter to pick up the other extension so she could listen to the conversation.
‘It was amazing to hear his voice. I keep saying to people it was like liquid velvet,’ Ms Sinatra said.
‘The conversation was like (my mother and Frank) had just seen each other the other day, he said he would call in a few days but he never did.’
A year later with no more contact, her mother tracked down one of Frank’s lawyers and decided to send a letter with a photo of the then 15-year-old Ms Sinatra explaining that she was his.
‘It took about two months, it was a long time to wait and then we got a letter back from Frank thanking us for the note and picture but saying that he had enough problems with his own children at that time and he couldn’t get involved,’ Ms Sinatra said.
‘It broke my heart.’
The letter has since been lost.
Ms Sinatra said while she kept trying to get in touch with her father again and again, her mother knew that was the last time they would ever speak.
A few years later Ms Sinatra reached out to another one of Frank’s lawyers who invited her to come see him.
Ms Sinatra said she shares many of the same features of Frank including his blue eyes and crooked smile
Carrying another photo of herself, she bravely met with the lawyer but was told Frank was once again unable to meet her.
‘He did ask if Frank could keep the picture,’ she said.
Her father’s abandonment has left a lasting impact on Ms Sinatra who admits she struggles to form relationships with men.
‘There were times where his films would come on and I just refused to watch, and I’d just start crying,’ she said.
‘The most interesting part in watching him on screen is the mannerisms that I have that he has, I’ve got his hands, and his funny crooked smile, his eyes … I’m glad i didn’t get his nose.’
Deana Sinatra is seen with her mother Eva Bartok
Ms Sinatra has spent time in Hollywood and even featured in a film with Franks’ son Frank Sinatra Junior titled Code Name Zebra.
When Frank died in 1998 of a heart attack, Ms Sinatra said she heard the devastating news from a friend.
‘She said ”your father has died” and I couldn’t breathe. The tears started rolling down my eyes, luckily there was a chair by the phone I could slump into,’ she said.
‘I just became numb, because that was the end for me.’
Three months later, Ms Sinatra’s mother died.
‘The non-relationship with my father has coloured all my other relationships. It’s a very lonely life,’ she said.
Despite her heartache surrounding her father, the 63-year-old is now hoping her book will not only heal the pain in herself but help others who have been rejected by their own family.
‘I’m writing this book because it’s like therapy to me. Everybody needs to know where they’ve come from,’ she said.
‘It’s a very hard and damaging path but I think in the long run, forgiveness is very important.’
Despite never meeting her father, Ms Sinatra decided to change her last name to reclaim her history and forge a connection with the dad she never knew.
Ms Sinatra claimed Frank wrote her a letter which said he was unable to see her because he had problems with his own children at the time