The Soap Box
Vol. IV No. 8 August 1979
by Bryna Laub
(continued from Part 18)
Actually, Rachel was aware she had little chance of winning an alienation of affections suit without concrete proof but she hoped the prospect of a scandal replete with lurid publicity would drive Alice away again. But inasmuch as Steven had confiscated her copy of the tape recording of his reunion with Alice and Eliot had destroyed the original, the judge declared there was no case and refused to hear it.
Steven, however, realized his case against Rachel was equally shaky and decided to do something about it. He flew to San Francisco and paid Gerald to return to Bay City and testify against Rachel.
Expecting her father to appear in her behalf at the divorce hearing, Rachel was destroyed when he took the stand and proceeded to crucify her. According to Gerald, Rachel had decided to embark on a break-up-Steve-and-Alice campaign and had enlisted him to follow her instructions, including the set-up at Steven's apartment.
In the recess following Gerald's testimony Rachel tearfully accused her father of lying, asking why he would do this to her. The embarrassed spectators tried to pretend they weren't listening but many sensed that at least this one time in her life, Rachel was telling the truth.
Steven was granted invalidation of the marriage and the judge called a special meeting to determine custody. His own meeting with Jamie had shown him the boy blamed Steven for breaking up the family so he gave full custody to Rachel. However, he allowed Steven visiting privileges, warning him the boy might be hostile and not want to see him. And indeed, when Steven saw Jamie, the boy made it abundantly clear he blamed his father for his mother's unhappiness as well as his own, tearing his father apart.
Leaving the judge's chambers, Rachel loudly accused Steven of buying Gerald's testimony and bitingly charged John with knowing about it and covering it up.
John discounted Rachel's accusations until he realized Gerald, an obviously money-hungry man, had neglected to pick up the legally sanctioned expense and airline reimbursement check he was entitled to. Deciding that could only mean Gerald was otherwise compensated, John finally asked Steven straight out if he had bribed Gerald. When Steven angrily refused to answer John's questions, John flew to San Francisco.
Gerald didn't hesitate in telling John that Steven made it more than worth his while to perjure himself, adding he was surprised Steven hadn't taken his attorney into his confidence. John's answer was that if Steven had told him, he wouldn't have allowed Gerald to take the stand.
Back in Bay City, John firmly presented Steven with two choices--either he could go to the judge himself and throw himself on the mercy of the court, or he, John, would tell the court what happened. When Steven reminded John they had a confidential lawyer-client relationship which John would be violating, John explained he was an officer of the court and had to reveal the facts or risk certain disbarment.
Since Steven refused to act, John, in great emotional torment, went to the presiding judge and explained the facts as he now knew them. Steven was arrested and booked, affording Rachel great satisfaction until she discovered this had no effect upon the marriage invalidation. The judge decided Alice and Steven's testimony provided sufficient enough grounds by themselves.
Alice was furious with John for betraying his friend and client and accused him of having no feelings or family loyalty. Pat, incredibly, blamed John for making everyone miserable instead of blaming Steven for acting as if his wealth and power put him above the law. John was shocked that his own wife actually felt his actions were worse than Steven's.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Stay tuned for Part 20 of Another World - The Story of Steven, Rachel & Alice.
- FLASHBACK: George Reinholt, Soap Idol 1971
- INTERVIEW: Robin Strasser Reflects On Constance Ford