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Man Files $24 Million in Claims Citing Hudson Secrecy on AIDS

Times Staff Writer

A 31-year-old man who says he was Rock Hudson’s homosexual lover filed a $10-million claim against the actor’s estate and a separate $14-million lawsuit Tuesday, both alleging that Hudson and others conspired to keep him from learning that he was being exposed to AIDS.

In the legal actions, Marc Christian alleges that his sexual liaison with Hudson was allowed to continue for 13 months after Hudson was diagnosed in June, 1984, as having contracted the deadly acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Christian “learned about it the same way the rest of the world did, on the radio,” attorney Marvin M. Mitchelson said after filing the claim and lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. He said the legal actions were the first he knows of in which a person claims to have been exposed to AIDS by a sexual partner.

In the actions, Christian alleges that Hudson and others not only conspired to keep him from learning about the actor’s condition but also lied to him, telling him that Hudson’s extreme weight loss was the result of dieting and exercise and that his other symptoms were psychological and caused by anorexia.

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As a consequence, Christian’s “life was placed in jeopardy and (after learning the truth), he suffered extreme and constant fear that any moment he would receive a death sentence.”

Mitchelson acknowledged, however, that a test of Christian’s blood found no antibodies to the AIDS virus. Medical experts say lack of antibodies indicates that a person has not been exposed to the virus, although the test is not considered infallible. The antibodies usually appear within a few months after exposure to the virus, the experts say.

“He did not have the antibodies, but the doctors have said he is a likely candidate,” Mitchelson said. “Many experts say (that) the absence of the antibodies does not necessarily exclude it and that it could show up at any time.”

Mitchelson said the lack of antibodies does prove, however, that Christian “didn’t give (AIDS) to Rock.”

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Conspiracy Claimed

According to Mitchelson, Christian was living at Hudson’s Beverly Hills home when the actor, who had gone to Paris for treatment, publicly disclosed last July that he had AIDS. Hudson died at his home Oct. 2 at age 59.

Christian’s lawsuit names as defendants Wallace Sheft, Hudson’s business manager and executor of his estate; Mark Miller, Hudson’s secretary, and two unnamed doctors. It claims that they and Hudson conspired to keep Christian in the dark about the risks involved in his relationship with the actor.

Neither Sheft nor Miller could be reached for comment.

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Hudson and Christian met in the fall of 1982 and, according to the suit, became lovers in March, 1983. “Hudson professed to plaintiff genuine love for him,” which in turn inspired confidence on Christian’s part, the suit said. The suit asks for $10 million in general damages for breach of that alleged fiduciary relationship, bodily injury, mental suffering, fraud and deceit. It also seeks $1 million from each of the individual defendants as punitive damages.

The separate claim against Hudson’s estate is also for $10 million for infliction of emotional distress, bodily injury, fraud and deceit. Mitchelson said that if the claim is rejected or if there is no response in 10 days, he will file a second lawsuit against the estate on behalf of Christian.


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