Marriage didn't stop dates, widow says


LOS ANGELES -- Henry Mudd's widow has testified that the late millionaire had regular "dates" with his six mistresses despite wedlock and even took one of the women on their honeymoon.

Vanessa Mudd told a Los Angeles Superior Court jury yesterday that she and Mr. Mudd had a lengthy discussion before the wedding ceremony in Reno on Jan. 21, 1990.

"He said that he was going to continue to see them," Vanessa Mudd testified.

She said that three of Henry Mudd's mistresses attended their wedding and a fourth, Eleanor Lorraine Oliver -- the woman now suing the Mudd estate for $5 million in palimony -- accompanied them on their honeymoon in Key West, Fla.

Later, once Vanessa Mudd had moved into Henry Mudd's home, he continued to have the other women over for regularly scheduled dates, the widow testified.

"When he had these dates with other women, did you remain at the house or did you leave?" asked Jamie Broder, attorney for Mr. Mudd's estate.

"I was there generally," said Mrs. Mudd.

But she burst into tears when she was asked by Ms. Broder to describe the character of her former husband, who died from leukemia in September 1990 at age 77.

"[He was] wonderful, kind, generous, loving, helpful, thoughtful," Vanessa Mudd said, turning her back from the jury and audience to weep into a tissue.

According to trial testimony, Henry Mudd, a wealthy industrialist who co-founded Harvey Mudd College in Claremont in the name of his father, kept seven mistresses at once and saw each of them about twice a week on scheduled days.

The women -- several of whom have testified during the trial -- were given life trusts providing them with monthly support and homes.

Ms. Oliver, a 41-year-old former stripper who had a 13-year relationship with Mudd, filed a lawsuit in May 1990 to recover $8,000 in monthly support and a $600,000 home that were lost when he revoked her trusts following an argument.

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