The 82-year-old former Beatnik said the noted U.S. novelist took their hedonistic lifestyle too far, stabbing her with a dirty penknife at their New York home in 1960, the New York Post reported Sunday. Adele Mailer said the couple had been engaging in heavy drinking and throwing orgies when "The Naked and the Dead" author nearly killed her.
She ultimately was persuaded not to press charges. She told the Post Mailer got down on his knees to beg her but never said he was sorry.
"He's never apologized to me for the stabbing -- he won't even acknowledge it happened," she said of her ex-husband. "It would be a sign of weakness, and Norman Mailer won't admit to any weaknesses."
She described him as almost shy when they first met.
"He could charm the hell out of you," she said. "And he still had a sense of humor then. Later, he turned into a monster.
"This is a total narcissist. An original mind, yes, but somebody who hated women. But he needed them."