1 Jun 1922 – Girl Drops Knitting

Rudolph Valentino “lover of the .screen,’’ shortly after 10 o’clock today pushed his way through crowds of women into the court of Justice J. Walter Hanby for his preliminary hearing on a charge of bigamy. Long before the handteome young Italian, actor, his dark eyes glowing his black hair slicked tightly to his head made his appearance, the courtroom was crowded wi ii a chattering throng, largely composed of women from young high school girls to elderly matrons. Valentino, dressed in immaculate black, with a few vigorous strides as though crossing the camera’s lens, entered the courtroom and

slipped *into a chair. He appeared excited and ill at ease, looking at no one, and saying nothing as he did at his arraignment. He sat without smiling, chewing one finger of his right hand as he waited, attorneys, and film friends grouped about him, for the call of the bailiff. The courtroom hushed as Valentino entered and one girl dropped her knitting. Several consulted motion picture magazines, comparing the screen star with his pictures. Without moving from his place Valentino allowed several pictures to be taken by newspaper photographers. Deputy District Attorney J. D. Costello, briefly outlined the case and called the first witness, Jean Acker, first wife of the defendant, to the stand. Valentino did not look at her, a vision in creamy silk, but the expression of his eyes seemed to say that his thoughts were a continent away with Winifred Hudnut, his exiled bride who has sought refuge with her stepfather, Richard Hudnut, in New York. Costello at once began the examination, and Miss Acker, answering in soft tones, told him. she had been married to Valentino June 5, 1919, how they quarreled and separated, became reconcile 1 and quarreled again, and how sh? sued for divorce. Papers to show an interlocutory decree of divorce had been granted March 4, 1922, were introduced. Spectators leaned forward to see when photographed copies of the marniage license of “Rudolph Valentino and Winifred De Wolfe” was introduced as the first peiise premise in the state’s effort to prove its bigamy charge. The record showed that the wedding was performed in Mexicali, Mex., May 13, 1922, by Civil Judge Tolentini Santoval. At this point, the justice abruptly called the morning recess and the crowd surged round Valentino as he rose and shook hands with Miss Acker, conversing with animation for the first time. Miss Acker smiled, addressing him as “Rudolph.”

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