My Day in Court With Lee Marvin

This drawing was done in the courtroom while working on the Marvin vs Marvin “Palimony” case for NBC News.  Michelle Triola Marvin, his girlfriend for 6 years, described earning her keep; at one point she told us of her heroic efforts holding the 6’2″ Lee Marvin by his ankles as he drunkenly flailed upside down from a 20th story window in Beverly Hills.  At the proceedings, when Lee Marvin finally noticed us drawing him, he gave the old-finger-scratching-the-forehead salute.  Then a cross-eyed stare.

Drawing courtesy NBC News, Los Angeles, California

Lee Marvin looked like a guy you did not want to be on the wrong side of. A marine war hero turned actor.  Probably the only guy who could kick Chuck Norris’s butt with one hand while lighting up a Marlborough with the other.  Let’s all hoist one for Lee Marvin. Coolest of the cool.
Some quick courtroom facts.
In 1979,Lee Marvin was sued by Michelle Triola Marvin, his live-in girlfriend, who legally changed her surname to “Marvin”.  They never married but she went after the money like all real spouses do under California law. She said she suffered a lot. This was dubbed the first  “palimony” case, Marvin v. Marvin, 18 Cal. 3d 660 (1976). In 1979, Lee Marvin was ordered to pay $104,000 to Triola for “rehabilitation purposes” but the court denied her community property claim for one-half of the $3.6 million which Lee Marvin had earned during their six years of cohabitation.  So, in the end, he kind of won. Lee Marvin said that the trial was a “circus” and that “everyone was lying, even I lied.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *