Edith Piaf's affair with married boxer Marcel Cerdan, who died in a plane crash en route to see her, is widely known. What you may not know is that she followed up that affair with another, with world championship cyclist Louis Gérardin. The extent of their passion has been revealed in previously unseen love letters to him, written in 1951 and 1952, two years after Cerdan's death. In one, she writes, "My blue love, our first separation ... darling, I think I can say that never has a man taken me as much, and I believe I'm making love for the first time."
"I was running towards catastrophe; you fished me out just in time," she continues. She vows to stop drinking if he'll leave his wife and come to her, promising she'll become a "docile woman" and keep a clean house. The Telegraph reports that, apparently concerned by the onslaught of letters, he didn't address her requests that he leave his wife. "I am discouraged and nauseated," Piaf wrote. A year later, she married singer Jacques Pills, telling Gérardin, "I warned you thousands of times you were going to lose me but you never reacted." Excerpts of the 54 letters were released after their sale at Christie's Paris in 2009; they're set to be published in full in a book entitled My Blue Love.