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The Duke Takes The Stand!—John Wayne

Coming up in October is the third act in the divorce proceedings of he-man John Wayne and his about-to-be-ex-wife Esperanza.

But like all good second acts, the preliminary hearing was filled with punch lines to suit an avid audience. The main point in the dispute was Mrs. Wayne’s request for monthly alimony of nine thousand dollars. Among the sidelights, however, was a request that the court restrain Wayne from “molesting” her. In reply to court questioning as to whether he could remember striking Mrs. Wayne, John said, “I never at any time during our marriage struck my wife. I will add that many times I had to protect myself from her temper—I would call it man-handling.

“Many times I had to hold her arms and grab her foot when she was trying to strike or kick me,” John added, his. face flushing.

At this point the petite’ Mrs. Wayne cried out from the spectators’ section, “Oh, no—that’s not true.”

John further testified that his wife “broke up” their marriage while they were on a Honolulu trip May 7, 1952. “She returned home alone and then went to Mexico and refused to come back. I did everything in my power and pleaded with her to come back and resume her duties as a wife.”

Until October, matters with the Waynes stand as they were—the court found alimony of $1,100 sufficient until a final hearing.



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