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Newman: Deli Owner Made No Significant Contribution to Food Companies

March 31, 1990

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ Paul Newman testified Friday he never considered giving stock in his food companies to Julius Gold because the delicatessen owner did not make any meaningful contributions to help launch the companies.

″Mr. Gold had not made a significant contribution in the past, and there was no indication he would make a significant contribution in the future,″ Newman said at his trial in Bridgeport Superior Court.

Gold is suing Newman and his charity food companies, claiming he was promised 8 percent of the stock for his assistance in launching the firms eight years ago. Gold says he made introductions, attended meetings and performed other services to help form Salad King Inc. and Newman’s Own Inc.

Newman says Gold’s only contribution was selling some of the dressing in his deli when Salad King was launched in 1982. And while the actor once considered giving some stock to four friends who helped the companies, Newman said he held on to the stock to assure the profits go to charity.

″I was always concerned that somebody else could gain control of the enterprise and exploit it,″ the Academy Award-winning actor said.

Newman’s Westport-based food companies make salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, popcorn and lemonade. Newman launched the venture in 1982 with friend and novelist A.E. Hotchner as a lark to sell the dressing they had been making in Newman’s Westport home.

Since then, the companies have made $28 million in profits, all of which have gone to charity. Newman has also used the funds to found The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, a camp in Ashford, Conn., for children with life-threatening diseases.

Newman’s testimony continued Friday under cross-examination by Gold’s attorney, Richard Albrecht, who has tried to show his client is the only person who contributed to the companies but never got anything for his efforts.

Albrecht asked Newman if he got power from donating company profits to charity.

″I don’t know if I get power. I get satisfaction out of that,″ Newman said. ″If you’re talking about getting Red China into the United Nations, I don’t have that power.″

″There are different uses of power,″ he said later under direct examination by his lawyer, W. Patrick Ryan. ″If you are fortunate enough to have a company like this, you can either take that money and stick it in your pocket, or you can go out and give it to people who are less fortunate - or with the camp, to children with life-threatening diseases who may not live past the age of 11 or 12.″

Newman’s testimony over Thursday and Friday lasted more than three hours. The trial itself should wrap up sometime next week.

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