Deanna Phillips, whose wealthy husband is the son of...


MINNEAPOLIS -- Deanna Phillips, whose wealthy husband is the son of newspaper advice columnist Dear Abby, asked Friday for $19,000 a month in temporary support for their two sons until their divorce is final.

Family Law Court Referee Mary D. Winter declined to immediately rule and continued the case to Dec. 7.


Celebrity divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson of Beverly Hills, Calif., asked that the money be provided for Mrs. Phillips, 37. She has been Edward J. Phillips' wife for nearly a dozen years.

Mitchelson, who represented Michelle Triola Marvin in her landmark palimony suit against actor Lee Marvin, said Mrs. Phillips was seeking custody of the couple's two sons and one-half of their joint estate valued at $5 million.

The Phillips have a 10-year-old son of their own and he adopted her 13-year-old son from a previous marriage. She said her first husband died in action in Vietnam.

'It's a stressful situation,' said Mrs. Phillips. 'I'm concerned about my sons.'

The public court hearing was closed for more than an hour by referee Winter. She allowed one reporter to listen to the proceedings after a protest by three news organizations. Mitchelson said he did not ask that the hearing be closed.


'I want you to know I regret that,' he said. 'We did not request that.'

Phillips, 37, is the son of Morton and Pauline Phillips. His mother uses the pen name Abigail VanBuren in her Dear Abby newspaper advice columns.

'Maybe he'll seek her advice,' Mitchelson said. 'But I don't know if he has or not.'

Phillips declined to discuss the case or respond to questions if he had asked the proceeding to be closed. 'This is highly personal,' he said.

'We're seeking half of the estate,' Mitchelson said. 'Until the estate is resolved, we're seeking $19,000 a month temporary support.'

Mitchelson said there was no apparent fight over the custody of the two Phillips children but just to make sure, 'We're asking for custody as well. The custody is contested. The amount of money is contested, highly contested,' he said.

'We have some information on his wealth. I think it's at least $5 million. He is the benificiary of numerous trusts. His family are big philanthropists. That's all part of his wealth.'

Phillips Liquor Inc. is a part of Alco Standard, a national firm, and Phillips is a director of the company, Michelson said.

Phillips' attorney, Solly Robbins, could not be reached for comment.


Mitchelson has represented many celebrities and wealthy jetsetters, and is currently involved in a divorce suit filed against splashy Saudi Sheik Mohammed al-Fassi by his wife, Sheika Dena al-Fassi, seeking half his estimated $6 billion fortune.

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