Rock Hudson's Lover Sues Estate for $11 Million, Says He Wasn't Told of AIDS
Jan. 07, 1989
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Rock Hudson's young homosexual lover never learned that the movie star had AIDS until Hudson collapsed in Paris and told his secretary: ''Take care of the kid. I may have killed him,'' a lawyer told jurors Friday.
In his opening statement in an $11 million lawsuit against Hudson's estate, attorney Harold Rhoden said that secretary Mark Miller hid Hudson's disease from Marc Christian until the whole world heard about it.
''Marc Christian got a call from Mark Miller in France,'' said Rhoden. ''He said, 'I'm sorry. The movie star told me not to tell you, I know it's not fair. But I was only following orders.'''
Then, Rhoden added, Miller said Hudson wanted Christian to fly to Paris and see a doctor. He quoted Miller as saying: ''Rock told me: 'Take care of the kid. I may have killed him.'''
Rhoden's version is disputed by attorneys for Miller and the Hudson estate.
They contend that the love affair between Hudson and Christian soured in early 1984 because Christian told Hudson he had sold sex for money. They allege that Hudson stopped having sex with Christian and allowed him to stay in his home for the next year and a half only because Christian threatened to expose the star's homosexuality.
Rhoden said Hudson hid his disease from his lover and was abetted in his lies by Miller, who told Christian that the actor had anorexia, not AIDS.
''Rock Hudson, who was 58 at the time he was dying, wanted to continue enjoying sex with then 29-year-old Marc Christian,'' Rhoden said.
''Mark Miller, to please his boss, conspired to put this young man's life at risk.''
Rhoden said the trial's key issue would be whether Hudson had a duty to warn his sexual partner that he had AIDS and whether Christian should be compensated for emotional distress and ''enhanced fear'' that he had been infected.
Attorneys for the estate argue that Christian's fear is unwarranted because he has tested negative for the AIDS virus and has no symptoms of the disease.
Rhoden described for jurors a tender 2 1/2 -year love affair which began when the actor and Christian met at a political fund-raiser in October 1982. Christian was 28 and Hudson was 56, he said. The actor called Christian, and soon they were meeting regularly for lunch.
In early 1983, he said, ''Hudson said he was falling in love with Christian and that he hadn't felt this way since he was in high school.'' In April, he said, the two men went away together for a weekend and the sexual affair began, and by November, Christian had moved into Hudson's home above Beverly Hills.
Rhoden said the two men engaged in sex three to five times a week with neither using a condom. In 1984, he said Hudson developed symptoms of AIDS - rashes and sores on his body, profuse sweating at night and rapid weight loss.
In June 1984, Hudson was diagnosed as having AIDS, Rhoden said, but decided not to tell Christian.
''Miller said to him: 'Are you going to tell the kid?''' Rhoden said. ''And Hudson said, 'No, and under no circumstances are you to tell Christian. It is my disease and I'll handle it my way.'''
Shortly before his death on October 5, 1985, Rhoden said Christian confronted the actor at UCLA Medical Center.
''In the hospital, Marc said to Hudson, 'I had a right to know.' Hudson's only response was, 'Yeah, you did.'''
''If Marc Chrstian had been told, he would not have left Rock Hudson because he loved him,'' Rhoden concluded. ''But he would not have committed suicide. He would not have engaged in any further intercourse with Hudson.''