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In the Matter of Locke vs. Eastwood

May 08, 1989|CLAUDIA PUIG | Times Staff Writer

In his legal papers, Eastwood claims Locke told him on several occasions that she never wanted to have children. "I adamantly deny and deeply resent the accusation that either one of those abortions or the tubal ligation were done at my demand, request or even suggestion," Eastwood stated. "As to the abortions, I told Locke that whether to have children or terminate her pregnancies was a decision entirely hers. . . .

"Particularly with regard to the tubal ligation, I encouraged Locke to make her own decision after she had consulted with a physician about the appropriateness of and the necessity for that surgical procedure," he said.

Eastwood's only public comments on the palimony suit were issued April 27 through his publicist: "I am deeply disappointed and saddened that she's (Locke's) taken this kind of action. It will soon come to light that these accusations are unfounded and without merit, however, this matter will be dealt with in an appropriate legal arena."

That legal arena is the Superior courtroom of Judge Dana Senit Henry. Attorneys for Locke and Eastwood are scheduled to be in court May 31.

Locke and Eastwood met in 1975 while making the post-Civil War-era film "The Outlaw Josey Wales." He played a peaceful farmer who turns vigilante when Union soldiers kill his family. She played a young girl who survived an attack against her family.

Romance quickly developed between the two, whose screen personas seemed oddly matched--he the tough he-man made famous as the Man With No Name in the late Sergio Leone's spaghetti Westerns and she the petite, ethereal-looking actress who had been nominated for an Oscar in her first acting role, the naive young Mick Kelly in the 1968 adaptation of Carson McCullers' "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter."

By 1976, Locke and Eastwood were living together in San Francisco while Eastwood was filming "The Enforcer." At the time, Eastwood was still married to Maggie Eastwood, the mother of his two children, Kyle, now 20, and Alison, now 17. In 1977 Locke and Eastwood worked together again on "The Gauntlet." That year, after 25 years of marriage, Clint and Maggie Eastwood separated. The couple divorced a few years later.

Eastwood and Locke began sharing the Sherman Oaks house that Eastwood had lived in with Maggie, but, as Locke tells it, sometime in 1980 she had begun to grow uncomfortable living among the family pictures and memorabilia of Eastwood's former life. "I spoke to Clint about my feelings, and he told me that I should find a house that I wanted and he would buy it for me," Locke said in her declaration. The moment she saw it, Locke fell in love with the 5,000 square-foot tile-roofed Bel-Air house, although it was in need of renovation.

"Clint said that I should buy it, remodel it and furnish it however I wanted," she said. Property records show that he paid $1,125,000 for the two-story stucco house. Locke spent about three years redecorating it.

Throughout this time, the couple also shared living quarters on a Northern California ranch Eastwood bought in 1978, and at residences in Sun Valley, Idaho, and Carmel, according to legal documents.

"From the start of our relationship Clint told me that he wanted us always to be together and that he would take care of me forever," Locke said in the declaration. "Clint repeatedly assured me that regardless of whether we were married, everything he had was ours together. . . ."

It is not clear from the documents how their relationship soured.

"When Clint became mayor of Carmel several years ago he began spending more of his time in Carmel, and was frequently there for periods of time when I stayed in Los Angeles," she said. "During this same period I began to sense some increasing tension and estrangement in our relationship. I frequently tried to speak to Clint about these problems, but he never wanted to do so. He would often discourage me from accompanying him to Carmel, and over the past year or year-and-a-half he has stayed in Los Angeles only infrequently. The troubles between us came to a head just before New Year's in 1988."

The pair headed to Sun Valley for the Christmas holidays, which they had been doing for the last several years. An argument prompted Eastwood to insist that Locke return to Los Angeles. Locke began work on "Impulse" in January, and between January and April, Eastwood returned to the Bel-Air house only for a few nights to attend two awards shows, Locke said.

Then came the letter addressed to "Mrs. Gordon Anderson."

Anderson, a West Hollywood sculptor, and Locke were childhood friends in their native Shelbyville, Tenn., according to the legal documents. They married and moved to Los Angeles together in 1969.

They have not lived together since 1975 and never consummated the marriage, according to legal documents. The lawsuit describes their relationship as "tantamount to sister and brother."

Repeated attempts to reach Anderson were unsuccessful.

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