Published September 03, 2008
A woman has come forward saying she believes she's the granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz — and that her mother was adopted in 1947 for fear that a baby would derail Ball's plans for stardom, the New York Post reports.
Cassandria Lucianna Carlson, 38, of Illinois, nearly had a DNA sample to prove the claims, but the offer from an estranged Arnaz relative was suddenly rescinded, the Post reports.
Madeline "Linda" Jane Dee, Carlson's mother, was born four years before the 1951 debut of "I Love Lucy" and immediately given up for adoption to California nurse Ruth Smith.
Birth records indicate Helen Elizabeth Barnes as the mother. There is no listed father.
"I believe [Carlson]," said Vito Colucci, a Stamford, Conn., private detective who has called on Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. — the couple's only publicly known children — to "put this to rest" by providing DNA samples to test against Carlson.
Carlson said she has vivid, early childhood memories of a brash, red-headed woman called "Mrs. Morton" coming to visit her at her mother's house in the mid-1970s. Ball took the name Morton after divorcing Desi Sr. in 1960 and marrying Gary Morton.