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Martha Mitchell reveals John has left her

By Helen Thomas

WASHINGTON -- Martha Mitchell, describing in detail the erosion of her marriage, said Sunday night her husband, John, left her four days ago on advice of his lawyers. She said she will see her lawyer today.

But in early evening phone calls to United Press International, Mrs. Mitchell called the possibility of separation "horrible."

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She denied reports in Newsweek magazine that she and her husband, President Nixon's former attorney general and campaign manager, engaged in "violent outbursts" after previous telephone calls to the news media and that he had tried to hospitalize her for psychiatric care.

Mrs. Mitchell said, "I never had a fight with him." Speaking to UPI's Helen Thomas, she called the Newsweek report "a goddamned lie."

Newsweek quoted an "intimate friend" of he family as reporting John saying, "You'd think the media would understand and leave Martha alone. It's obvious to anyone who knows her that she's a sick woman."

"Friends say Mitchell feels his wife needs medical help," Newsweek said, "but added that he cannot bring himself to the necessary legal steps to have her committed."

Mrs. Mitchell said, "He walked out, yes. But I've been trying to get him out," she said. "If you've got a man 24 hours a day, I couldn't stand it. He was watching the football games."

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She said the marriage was strained because of Mitchell's indictment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly influencing the Securities and Exchange Commission to drop an investigation of Nixon campaign contributor Robert L. Vesco.

He is also under investigation by the Senate Watergate Committee and various for his role in of campaign.

Mrs. Mitchell said it was her husband, not her, who was distraught. "Whenever anyone came into our apartment, he was so kind to them. When they left, he got mean with me and Marty," her 12-year-old daughter.

"My God, I've done everything for him that I could," she said. "I've been through hell. I've been the best wife you've seen in your life, but I can't forget what I went through in California."

She was referring to an incident in June of 1972 when she claimed she was being held a "political prisoner" at Newport Beach, Calif., and was manhandled by body guards.

For the first time, Sunday, she blamed her husband for that incident.

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