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Webb Meets Dotson, Vows Crusade to Clear His Name

May 16, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Gary Dotson, face to face with the woman whose rape accusations sent him to prison six years ago, told a national television audience that he accepts her apology. Dotson, 28, whose prison sentence was commuted Sunday, met Cathleen Crowell Webb, 23, in a Manhattan hotel Tuesday night and then appeared on morning news shows at NBC, ABC and CBS. "It was a meeting by mutual agreement," Webb said on NBC's "Today." "I apologized, of course. And I don't think I can apologize enough. It came from the heart." Asked if he had accepted her apology, Dotson replied: "Oh, yeah. We shook hands." Webb, now the mother of two children, had lobbied for Dotson's freedom. However, Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson refused to clear Dotson's rape conviction or to pardon him because he does not believe Webb's recantation. Dotson is seeking a new trial to clear his name. As a convicted felon, he cannot vote or hold public office, and an Illinois state law could prevent him from profiting from the scores of offers to sell his story. "We all know that Gary is innocent and we just aren't going to stop," Webb said. "We have a common goal to declare him innocent and clear his name."

--Princess Yasmin Aly Khan was married to an heir to a Greek shipping fortune in a ceremony held privately because of the declining health of the bride's mother, actress Rita Hayworth. The wedding of the Muslim princess, 35, and Basil Embiricos, 36, was held at Yasmin's New York apartment, said her spokeswoman, Joan Kaplan. Hayworth, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, was not present, Kaplan said. She was in her apartment next door, where she has lived under the care of her daughter for several years. Princess Yasmin is the daughter of Hayworth and the late Aly Khan. The princess is a half-sister of the Aga Khan IV, spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismailian Muslims, a sect of the Shiites. Muslim and Greek Orthodox weddings for the couple will be held in Paris in June.

--Benny Goodman, the "King of Swing," surprised guests at a dinner in his honor by picking up a clarinet to join in a rendition of "Body and Soul." Goodman, 75, returned home to Chicago and was presented with a Hull House Assn. Distinguished Service Award for his long association with the social service organization. Goodman, who grew up on the city's West Side, received his first clarinet lessons at the original Hull House. "I didn't go around telling people I was a young artist," Goodman said while reflecting on his childhood. "If I had done that in my tough neighborhood, I would have never been assured of becoming an older artist."

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