Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson entered a Van Nuys courtroom through separate doors Tuesday, but they left hand-in-hand.
After two days of excruciatingly detailed testimony about Reynolds’ foundering financial affairs, the couple hammered out an agreement about how much monthly child support he should pay for their adopted 6-year-old son, Quinton.
The agreement was reached in Superior Court Judge Robert M. Letteau’s chambers, and the transcript was sealed, so it could not be learned whether Reynolds will pay more or less than the $15,000-a-month he had been paying.
Reynolds and Anderson did not disclose terms of the settlement, giving only brief statements and refusing to answer questions.
“We’ve reached a decision amicably for our son’s sake, who we love very much,” Anderson told reporters during a brief news conference on the courthouse steps.
“Burt has been very generous to take care of his son, and we’re friends,” said Anderson, who wore a fitted red suit with a plunging neckline.
“We’re getting married,” quipped Reynolds, who wore jeans and blue-suede boots. “Pick on Kevin Costner or somebody else. This saga is over. Let’s put it to bed. We’re thrilled about the outcome because it’s all for Quinton.”
Earlier, relations between the two were much chillier.
Asked Tuesday morning why she and Reynolds did not acknowledge each other in court, Anderson said: “We’ve been separated for a year and a half. We don’t have anything to say to each other. This is all about taking care of someone who’s 6 years old.”
The former spouses brought His and Hers accountants to court to dissect the actor’s financial statements.
But settlement talks began in earnest after Reynolds’ accountant, under questioning by the judge Tuesday, estimated the actor’s net worth at $5 million. On Monday, Reynolds had testified that the accountant told him that his net worth was minus $2 million.
Anderson had sought up to $17,000 a month for Quinton, but Reynolds had said he could only afford $7,000 a month. Anderson’s lawyer contends that Reynolds makes $260,000 a month, while his lawyers maintain that the figure is $160,000.
Reynolds has suffered some financial setbacks during the past year. He no longer can count on having a hit television show; “Evening Shade” was canceled in April. And Reynolds said he lost out on $3 million in commercial endorsements since his divorce, particularly Quaker State motor oil and the Florida Citrus Commission.
“I don’t know why they think divorced people don’t drink orange juice,” he grumped in court.
In testimony Monday, Reynolds said he was having “cash flow problems,” was in arrears on several loans, was dogged by bad investments and was strapped by heavy alimony and child support obligations.
So far, Reynolds’ divorce from Anderson has cost him more than $2 million, and he pays about $47,000 a month in divorce-related expenses, accountant Gregory Young testified.
Reynolds bought Anderson a $1.9-million Los Angeles-area house as part of their divorce settlement, and makes the $9,000-plus monthly mortgage payments. He pays her $11,000 a month in alimony, but that ends this month.
So far, he has paid about $50,000 in alimony and $100,000 in child support, which does not include the additional $26,000 in miscellaneous expenses for Quinton--a private school, jujitsu lessons, computer classes and other activities.
As he left the courthouse, Reynolds told reporters: “I’m very happy that we were able to sell papers for a year and a half. Why that doesn’t translate into money, I don’t know. I’m glad you’re curious about us. I’m glad America is curious about us.”