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Principal Reaches Out, Sues Rivers

January 06, 1987|KIM MURPHY | Times Staff Writer

Actress Victoria Principal filed a $3-million lawsuit Monday against Joan Rivers, claiming that the late-night television comedienne broadcast her unlisted phone number to millions.

Principal, who plays the long-suffering Pamela Ewing on the nighttime soap opera "Dallas," said she suffered "humiliation and anguish" as a result of the telephone tattling, which sparked a frenzy of phone calls from fans.

Rivers, who could not be reached for comment, was interviewing "Dallas" co-star Ken Kercheval on her syndicated late-night talk show when she decided to telephone Principal "with the express intention of asking Principal embarrassing questions about her personal and private life," according to the Los Angeles Superior Court suit.

Principal was not home.

But shortly after the phone number was mentioned over the air, "the switchboard lit up," her attorney, Gerald Edelstein, said.

The actress quickly changed her phone number, but not before receiving "numerous telephone calls from individuals whom she did not know," the lawyer said.

The tenor of the calls, Edelstein added, was "all over the lot."

"We really feel that Ms. Rivers' conduct was malicious, provocative, way beyond the bounds of decency and violated our client's right of privacy," Edelstein said. "I guess we'll see how funny she is in a court of law."

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