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Legal File

June 20, 1989|ALEENE MacMINN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Actor William Hurt and the attorney for his former lover screamed at each other during cross-examination Monday on the opening day of a palimony trial in Manhattan Superior Court. Hurt took the stand without looking at ballerina Sandra Jennings, the mother of his 6-year-old son, Alexander. Jennings, 32, claims she and Hurt, 39, lived together as common-law husband and wife for about two years, mostly in New York, and she seeks half of his $10 million in earnings. As attorney Richard Golub asked about the relationship, Hurt said he told Jennings he wasn't going to be married again because "I had gotten burned." "What do you mean by burned?" Golub pressed. "Scorched," Hurt said as the courtroom erupted in laughter. "Scorched?" Golub asked. "Wounded. Hurt," Hurt said. "Body heat!" Golub screamed, invoking the title of one of Hurt's movies. Hurt's faced flushed with anger. "Get off it!" the actor shouted. Golub told the court he intends to prove that Jennings has a common-law marriage to Hurt. The actor's attorney, Martin Shelton, says the claim is concocted without the slightest basis in fact.

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