Dennis Hopper's divorce battle getting uglier

Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:35pm EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Civil war is raging at the house of cancer-stricken actor Dennis Hopper, who is seeking a divorce from his fifth wife so that he can spend more time with their 6-year-old daughter in what could be his dying days.

Hopper, 73, who is undergoing chemotherapy for advanced, metastasized prostate cancer, filed declarations along with his children, doctors and assistant in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday to support his divorce petition.

The director and co-star of "Easy Rider" filed for divorce from Victoria Duffy, 42, on January 14, and said in a subsequent statement that he wanted to spend "these difficult days surrounded by my children and close friends."

The divorce battle is largely a tug-of-war over the couple's daughter, Galen. A Los Angeles judge on Thursday awarded Hopper daily visitation rights to Galen after the actor claimed Duffy had taken her away from him for extended periods.

The judge also issued a restraining order against Duffy, saying she must stay 10 feet away from Hopper and his adult children, and barred her from entering Hopper's main residence.

The latest batch of court documents details a lot of screaming and shouting among the inhabitants of the counter-culture icon's five-home compound in the coastal Los Angeles suburb of Venice, with Duffy cast as the villain.

She is variously described as "extremely volatile" "insane and out of her mind," and "inhuman." Her husband of 13 years, meanwhile, has shrunk to 120 pounds (54 kg) and vomits after taking his medication, according to the papers.

"A LIVING HELL"   Continued...