Jack Webb Absent as

His Wife Wins Divorce

Jack Webb, radio-TV producer, was absent in a short courtroom drama titled “Divorce,” starring his wife, Actress Julie London.

Her attorney, S.S. Hahn, an obvious fan of Webb’s “Dragnet” show, staring “your police force in action,” patterned his divorce questions after those of Joe Friday, the police sergeant, with, “Give us the facts, ma’am.”

Superior Judge James G. Whyte listened while Hahn elicited from Miss London the facts that Webb had discarded marriage in favor of his career, and that she found satisfactory the property settlement which gives her approximately $500,000 in cash and other assets.

‘Gives Them the Facts’

Then to Hahn’s urging to “give us the facts,” she testified: “Last April my husband left for work in the normal manner and said he’d be home for dinner.”

She adjusted the soft mink stole on her shoulders. “Then he called later in the day and said he would not,” she continued. “I said fine, I’d see him later, and then I did not see him for six weeks.”

    Hahn asked whether Webb finally returned and asked for forgiveness. “He said he wasn’t sure about continuing our marriage, and he wanted to think it over,” Miss London parried.

Granted Forgiveness

“But you forgave him.” Hahn insisted.

“Yes, and he assured me this time he came home. It was to stay.”

“Did he stay,” Hahn prodded.

“He stayed two months then asked me for a divorce,” the actress said, touching the pink chiffon scarf at her throat. “He said his career gave him no time for marriage.”

“He had a habit of talking down to me as if I were 3 years old,” she told the court. “He’d tell me something 10 times when I already understood the first time.”

Calls Mate Arrogant

Webb was arrogant, belittled her attempts to discuss  music, and would turn on the television and watch, not speaking to her or to guests until it was turned off, she testified.

This all caused her to lose 15 pounds, she said, and she was highly nervous and under the care of a doctor.

Mrs. Caroline Woods, her long-time friend, who attended grammar and high school with her, corroborated.

Judge Whyte granted the divorce, and approved the property settlement agreement, under which Webb will pay his wife $150,000 in cash, give her $150,000 in securities of Dragnet Productions, $21,000 a year for herself and for the couple’s two children, Stacy, 4, and Lisa, 1 year old.

Also, the Dragnet star agreed to take out a $150,000 insurance policy to guarantee alimony payments in case of his death. In addition, Miss London gets a new Cadillac, jewelry and furnishings.

The actress now is living in Palm Springs with the children. Her husband may visit the children at any time he desires, she said.


Los Angeles Times

Thursday - Nov 26, 1953

Caption: WINS DIVORCE - Actress Julie London told court the facts were that husband, Jack. Webb, of Dragnet fame, chose career instead of home, wanted divorce, Settlement gives her $500,000 and other assets.