Evelyn’s mother found nothing unusual about this, and went out of town, leaving Stanford White a key to their home and instructions to take care of Evelyn.
Standford White invited her over for one of his parties – nothing unusual, he’d done that a lot in the past – but when she arrived, she found no one else was there. Stanford said that the other couple had to cancel at the last minute, but it was fine, they would dine by themselves. He gave Evelyn champagne. Normally he limited her to one glass, so Evelyn was surprised when he let her drink as many as she wanted. She then tried on a yellow kimono, imitating one of her famous “kimono poses” (kimonos, and any kind of Asian artifact, were absurdly popular around the turn of the century. There was one in particular where she simply fell asleep on a bearskin rug which had become very well known, and which you can see above).
Then she found the room was spinning. Later, at the trial, Evelyn said that Stanford had drugged her. However, later still in life, she claimed that it was simply the effect of too much champagne.
She woke up “practically naked” in Stanford’s bed next to him and immediately rushed home. Evelyn claimed in her memoir only that she “entered that room a virgin.”
Stanford was deeply apologetic, and more horrified when he found her at home the next day staring forlornly out the window. He said she’d prefer it if she would scream. He then tried to mollify her, assuring that everyone did this, it was just that no one talked about it, in a speech that will always, always, always make me think that Standford White is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in Cruel Intentions. Specifically, Evelyn claimed he said that “everybody was bad … [and] evil was the basis of life.” He also promised Evelyn that he’d always take care of her, which, he seemed to try to do.
Later in life, Evelyn would say he was a “benevolent vampire” though she also remarked that he was the only true love of her life. She claimed she regarded him as “Father. Lover. Protector. Seducer.”
This always strikes me as sounding much like the conflicted series of emotions many women experience after sexual assault, but, again, the situation has been portrayed by many different people in many different ways.