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Stevie Wonder Being Sued by Former Girlfriend

Courts: The pop singer is accused in a $30-million palimony suit of infecting her with a sexual disease.

October 05, 2001|CHUCK PHILIPS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Stevie Wonder's former girlfriend filed a $30-million palimony lawsuit Thursday against the pop music star, alleging that he infected her with a sexual disease.

The suit, filed by Angela McAfee in Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that Wonder, whose real name is Stevland Morris, pursued her for more than a decade and ultimately persuaded her in August 1996 to quit working as a wardrobe consultant and move into his Los Angeles estate.

According to the suit, Wonder and McAfee entered into a verbal agreement five years ago that he would be the sole income earner and she would be the homemaker. The couple lived together, the suit says, until February, when Wonder allegedly breached the agreement.

Laura Wasser, a Los Angeles attorney who is representing the Motown star with Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., said McAfee's claims are without merit.

"The only breach that has been made is one of Stevie's trust in someone he had heretofore called a friend," Wasser said.

According to McAfee's suit, Wonder vowed to share his wealth and property with her and asked her to assist him in resolving a barrage of medical, personal and family problems.

McAfee redesigned the blind musician's residence with a system of Braille inscriptions to allow him to move about more independently, the suit says. She also prepared a diet and exercise program to help reduce Wonder's high cholesterol and high blood pressure, according to the suit.

In addition, McAfee rendered a variety of personal services to help Wonder deal with bladder, hemorrhoid and fungus infection problems, the suit says. She also did the laundry and cleaning, the suit says.

McAfee's suit contends that Wonder promised to provide lifetime support for her in the event that their relationship should terminate. Wonder moved out earlier this year and stopped paying rent on the residence in June, the suit says.

The suit also contends that Wonder fraudulently concealed a contagious venereal disease from McAfee and transmitted it to her through sexual contact. According to the suit, McAfee discovered that she had contracted genital herpes from Wonder in October 2000.

Attempts to reach McAfee or her lawyer, Edi M.O. Faal, were unsuccessful.

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