The divorce filing is a bit out-of-the-ordinary and was picked up by a wire service and appears in a few newspapers across the country.
Some examples below:
We might call these headlines “click-bait” today.
There is a high probability that Marvin Mitchelson was behind the above stories.
Apparently, early in his career, he looked for ways to garner publicity for himself:
“..In the early days, when his client list was still thin, he could gin up publicity by filing an oddball lawsuit himself…this was 1964 and he had to work with what material was sent him.” From the book “Ladies Man, The Life and Trials of Marvin Mitchelson” by John A. Jenkins.
This is likely the reason Mitchelson took Paige’s case despite, her lack of ability to pay him any money upfront. The case was unusual or “oddball” enough.
Hollywood History/Celebrity Connections: Only a few days after Paige files for divorce, news breaks that Beverly Hills society matron and LA talk show host, Pamela Mason, has won the unprecedented amount of 1 million dollars, for her divorce settlement from husband of 20 years: actor James Mason.
Her lawyer is Marvin Mitchelson.
dated Sept.1, 1964 Pasadena Independent, Pasadena, California.
Jenkins details the Mason case:
“Afterward in the courthouse corridor, “James (Mason) called the settlement ‘a flea bite.’ After all, he was getting off the hook without giving her any alimony at all. But Pamela was ecstatic. Her settlement was one of the first to break the magic million-dollar mark, and Mitchelson had gotten her, and himself, a ton of publicity about it.” “Pamela was so grateful she did everything she could to make Marvin Mitchelson a household name. Pamela introduced Mitchelson to her divorcing friends…she became his entrée to those rarefied upper brackets of Beverly Hills and Hollywood.”
The Mason case was a first as far as Hollywood divorces go, and a breakthrough for Marvin Mitchelson’s career.
Mark’s attorney is Bernard Echt from Sherman Oaks. Echt, A few years down the road, Echt would represent the milkman who was being sued by Vincent Bugliosi for suspected impregnation of his wife. Strange yet true.
An initial agreement is reached pretty quickly: Sept. 18,1964 . Mark is required to pay Paige alimony, but only for six months.
This would be about $1000 in 2017, so the equivalent of $6000 total in today’s money.
1964 November 24: Paige and her grandmother Virginia LaRocca are sworn-in for testimony in a Los Angeles courthouse, probably 111 Hill Street, for the divorce trial; Mark is a no-show. Virginia LaRocca testifies for the plaintiff, her granddaughter Paige. An interlocutory decree of divorce is granted to Paige on grounds of extreme cruelty.
Paige waives her right to any further alimony payments beyond the six months. Mark is also ordered to pay Marvin Mitchelson $300 (about $2072 in 2017 dollars) and $15.00 in court costs around $100 today. Paige is awarded a 1953 MG Roadster; Mark is ordered to sign the title over to her. Paige gets to keep certain antiques and wedding gifts. Mark gets to keep his home at 4133 Crisp Canyon in Sherman Oaks.
Both parties are ordered to not annoy, molest or harass the other.
This year shows Mark has not been making his required alimony and lawyer’s fees since 1964.