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August 21, 1987| Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Comedienne Martha Raye filed a $10-million lawsuit against David Letterman Wednesday, claiming he defamed her by joking on the air that she used condoms. The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit cites a March 5 broadcast of NBC's "Late Night With David Letterman" and quotes Letterman saying that he "saw the most terrifying commercial on television last night featuring Martha Raye, actress, condom user. . . ." The comment apparently was a take-off on Raye's long-running denture adhesive commercials. Raye's suit alleges that the remark implied she was sexually promiscuous, had loose morals and had frequent sexual intercourse with people she believed to be infected with or exposed to the AIDS virus. A retraction was aired April 1, but Raye claims it was done in a sarcastic and arrogant manner. Peter Spivey, a spokesman for NBC in New York, said he was waiting to hear from the network's legal office regarding exactly what the suit charged before making any comment.

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