Lee Marvin was ordered to pay $104,000 “for rehabilitation purposes” to Michelle Triola Marvin


LOS ANGELES, Calif., April 18 — Lee Marvin, the actor, was ordered to pay $104,000 “for rehabilitation purposes” to Michelle Triola Marvin, the singer with whom he lived out of wedlock for six years.

But Judge Arthur K. Marshall of Superior Court rejected her claim that she was entitled to half the S3.6 million the actor earned while they lived together and her contention that she deserved a property settlement comparable to that due a wife at the dissolution of a marriage. Miss Marvin had legally changed her name to Marvin shortly before the couple ended their relationship in 1970.

Both sides claimed victory in the case, which has attracted international attention because of the film actor’s prominence and its plowing of new legal ground regarding reciprocal property rights of unwed couples. Twenty‐seven months ago, the California Supreme Court upheld the right of Miss Marvin and other unmarried persons to sue for a property division. Judge Marshall found no legal basis for Miss Marvin’s contention that she had either an expressed or an implicit contract with the actor calling for them to share his assets. But he held that under the legal principle of “equitable remedy,” she was entitled to a payment equivalent to $1,000 a week for two years, the highest salary she had earned as a singer, “so that she may have the economic means to re‐educate herself and to learn new employable skills” or polish former skills.

“I am proud to have paved the way for other unmarried women,” Miss Marvin said.

“I’m happy about it,” she added, “but no amount of money can give me back those years.” She told a repartee for The Associated Press that she was disillusioned with love affairs.

“I think if a man wants to leave a toothbrush at my house, he can bloody wel?? marry me,” she said.

Her lawyer, Marvin Mitchelson, said he believed the ruling would encourage more women to seek property settlements following similar relationships.

“There are over 1,000 ‘Marvin cases’ out there,” he said, “so fellows, beware.”

A. David Kagon, one of Mr. Marvin’s lawyers asserted that the decision was a vindication of his client because it upheld his contention there had been no contract between the Marvin.

However, he conceded the decision would probably not deter other women from filing similar suits. “We will see more cases like this,” he said. “Each case will have to be decided on its own merits.”

In Tucson, shortly before flying to New York with his wife, Pamela, Mr. Marvin, whose career appears to have substantially benefitted as a result of the publicity given the trial, characterized the decision as a “total victory.”

“I’m absolutely excited about the decision,” Mr. Marvin said. “I could not have hoped for more. They lost on every charge, on every one. It’ll probably make a leading man out of me when in reality I just want to do some of those good westerns.”

He said that the impact of the decision would be to discourage large settlements to women under similar circumstances, and to those women, he said: “All you can hope for is a weekly sum to help you get on your feet again. The courts won’t buy huge sums.”

In a similar case, Justice Joseph Gagliardi of the New York Supreme Court ruled this week that Penelope McCall, who had lived with the rock singer Peter Frampton for six years, had no claim on half of his fortune, said to be more than $50 million. lie ruled that no contract had existed between the couple.

Mr. Mitchelson said he believed the court award was the first in the country in which the principle of equitable remedy had been used to order a judgment in favor of a woman not bound by a marriage contract or expressed agreement and he likened the judgment to ali mony. Because it was a court judgment, the lawyer said he did not believe the $104,000 would be taxable.

Miss Marvin, who is now 46 years old, and Mr. Marvin, who is 55, lived together from December 1964 to June 1970. In an 11‐week trial, she testified that she had virtually abandoned her own career as a singer to act as a wife in all but name to Mr. Marvin, who she described as having a serious addiction to alcohol.

Her claim to half of his income during the six years rested principally on a statement he was alleged to have made shortly after they began living together: “What I have is yours and what you have is mine.”

The judge, in a 33‐page decision that appeared for the most part to give more weight to the contentions of Mr. Marvin than Miss Marvin, rejected her characterization of the statement, referring to it as “hyperbole” typical of persons who live and work in the entertainment field.

Without a contract, the judge emphasized, there was no legal basis to approve a property settlement .


Previous articleLike Marlon Brando, Dean grew up engaged in a classic conflict: the artistic son of an artistic mother and conventionally tight-lipped father
Next articleSchneider was only 20 years old when she catapulted to fame after starring opposite Marlon Brando


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here