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Robin Williams herpes lawsuit settled

SAN FRANCISCO -- A confidential out-of-court settlement has been reached in a $6.2 million lawsuit filed by a former lover of actor- comedian Robin Williams, claiming he knowingly infected her with the herpes virus, attorneys said Wednesday.

Williams' Beverly Hills attorney, Gerald Margolis, said the suit filed by Michelle Tish Carter and Williams' cross-complaint were resolved in San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday.

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Neither he nor a spokeswoman for Canelo, Hansen & Wilson, the Merced, Calif., law firm representing Carter, would disclose details of the settlement, saying its terms forbid them from discussing it.

The settlement came just one week before the highly publicized trial was to begin.

In the initial complaint, Carter -- a 29-year-old former cocktail waitress the Improv comedy club in Los Angeles -- claimed that Williams should have told her he had a sexually transmitted disease before having sex. She said by not informing her, the actor subjected her to both physical and mental anguish.

However, Williams, 41, never admitted to having herpes and contended that Carter could not prove her charges.

One of his attorneys went as far as to claim Carter's suit was an attempt to extort money. In his cross-complaint, Williams claimed Carter had asked for $20,000 and a new car to keep quiet about her allegations.

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Williams' attorneys had asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing unsuccessfully that even if the actor had infected Carter, it was assumed risk once she decided to have sex with him.

Carter acknowledged in court papers that she never asked Williams whether he had a sexually transmitted disease and that the actor never denied he had herpes. She also said she had unprotected sex with at least eight other lovers before and after Williams and had never asked any of them whether they were infected.

The Carter-Williams case was just one of many filed in the 1980s after a herpes epidemic swept through the nation. One of the largest reported judgments in aherpes case was a California case titled Doe vs. Roe, in which the jury awarded the plaintiff $150,000.

There is no know cure for herpes, although painful sores and other symptoms can be treated with medication.

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