Sunday, June 26, 2016

Woman’s “right to fleece a husband” – The Alimony Racket in 1951

FULL TEXT: Justice Kenneth O’Brien, of New York City, has ordered Billy Rose to pay Mrs. Rose temporary alimony of $700 a week.

She is the former swimming star, Eleanor Holm. She asked for $1250. Mr. Rose also has to move out of their lavish home.

Since I know nothing about the details of this matrimonial break-up, perhaps no comments are in order. But may we not use it to point out the coexistence of an alimony racket in this country?

It’s time women spoke out against it. For, as it is practiced now, it is a serious reflection upon feminine character.

What is modern woman after – equality or the works?

I remember that Billy Rose helped Eleanor Holm to fame. At the time of their marriage 12 years ago, the Broadway columnists were lyrical over another Cinderella story, another working girl who married the rich boss.

The issue here is not the Roses and their troubles. It is the build up in this country of a conviction that a woman has the right to fleece a husband after she gets tired of him.

From this point of view, the wife is supposed to be paid for the time spent in marriage bondage, no matter how little she has contributed to the union in the matter of children, happiness or the homemaking arts.

The fact that our judges so often rule against their sex and give the women all they demand is a disquieting sign of our lov ethical ideals. As it is now, patient, hardworking mothers sometimes get very little after divorce, while the glamor girls walk off with papa’s entire bank roll.

So long as women have equal job and career opportunities with men, no wife has a right to alimony.

If there is a family, a fair division of the common property is necessary. But the man who is forced by law to support a woman who won’t live with him suffers a vast injustice.

[Mrs. Walter Ferguson, “A Woman’s View” (column, “The Alimony Racket,” The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), Dec. 11, 1951, sec. 2, p. 1]





ALSO: Mrs. Walter Ferguson


For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts


Monday, June 20, 2016

“She beats me up too often.” (broke but happy) – 1930 USA

FULL TEXT: Atlantic City, N. J., Oct. 11 – Alimony is just another big racket, in the opinion of Justice William Smathers of the domestic relations court here who said today, in denying the application of Mrs. Alfred [sic] Bischoff, 32, for alimony from her estranged husband, Charles [sic] Bischoff, 56, a candy maker.

“There are too many women living a free and easy life off such money. Just because a woman is a man’s wife and leaves him is no reason for an alimony award.”

Mrs. Bischoff admitted she left her husband more than two years ago, but she said she was willing to return to him.

Bischoff, however, had different ideas.

“Nothing doing,” he said. “She beats me up too often. I am broke now but happy.”

[“Alimony Racket Is Assailed By Eastern Judge,” The Lincoln Sunday Star (Ne.), Oct. 12, 1930, p. 11]


So far, no lengthier version of this story, or version without misstated names, has surfaced.




For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts


Sunday, June 19, 2016

“Men Pay Till It Hurts In Alimony Racket” – 1930 USA

FULL TEXT: New York, Aug 15 — All hail America, the land of alimony, and the home of the gold-digger!

The spectacle of our harassed millionaires paying out staggering ransoms to free themselves of the chains of matrimony is becoming almost commonplace.

“What price freedom?” is the battle cry in today’s divorce courts, and justice’s answer is a thundering “Plenty! Give until you wince!”

There is the current sensation of Mrs. Marshall Field III. Mrs. Field, wife of the scion of one of America’s wealthiest families, was recently awarded exactly $1,000,000 a year in alimony.

Field can well afford to pay this enormous annuity. He is reputed to be worth $150,000,000. Shortly after the Reno decree was signed young Field planned to sail for London to marry Mrs. Dudley Coats, pretty friend of the Prince of Wales.

And Mrs. Field may become the bride of George K. Cherrie, the middle-aged explorer who accompanied the late ex-President Roosevelt on his famous River of Doubt expedition in South America.

Some months ago Mrs Linda W. Woodworth secured a divorce from her husband Chauncey V. Woodworth the perfumer of New York and Palm Beach. Although the allowance granted her cannot be compared with the kingly sum given Mrs. Field — it is no pittance. Under the terms of the divorce, Mrs. Woodward receives $21,000 a year or $1,750 per month. Many bank presidents are paid less.

Before Mrs. Rev H. Arnold married her millionaire investment broker-husband, she was a candy store clerk After over twenty years of matrimony, they separated Mrs. Arnold was given $40,000 annual allowance. Later she brought suit for divorce. After one of the most bitterly-fought legal battles in the annals of New York State courts, it was announced that Mr. Arnold would make a "just financial settlement” upon his wife.

Does a woman already receiving $40,000 a year alimony need a “just financial settlement?” It sounds a bit excessive.

Another Reno divorcee, whose future was rather well provided for by the judge who split the nuptial bonds is Mrs. Walter P. Inman who was granted an allowance of $15,000 a year.

Theatrical stars were formerly branded as alimony-diggers, but from the number of tranquil marriages between stage folk and millionaires it might be said that conditions are changing as far as they are concerned.

Constance Bennett is an outstanding exception. A year or so ago this beautiful screen actress obtained a divorce from Phil Plant, Broadway playboy, in Paris.

Young Plant is said to have turned over a cool million dollars to his wife when their matrimonial bark was wrecked on the rocks of temperament.

[By International Illustrated News, “Men Pay Till It Hurts In Alimony Racket,” The Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Aug. 13, 1930, p. 16]


For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts