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April 12, 1939




In Testimony in Los Angeles Court She Taxes Franchot Tone With Mental Cruelty


She Explains She Will 'Always Be Friendly' to Ex-Husband, Despite Their Quarrels


LOS  ANGELES,  April 11. Joan Crawford obtained a divorce today from Franchot Tone in Judge Benjamin Scheinman's court after she testified that they could not make a success of marriage, but "would always be friendly."

Miss Crawford made this assertion when Judge Scheinman questioned the actress about the evening she spent at New York night clubs with her estranged husband.

Earlier, Miss Crawford attempted to obtain the decree of divorce from Tone "by deposition" while in New York, where she danced with Tone.

Judge Scheinman refused to act on the petition, citing the attention focused on the case and saying that he did not want his court to get the reputation of issuing "mail order divorces." He demanded that the actress give her testimony in person.

Mental cruelty was the charge on which the screen star obtained her decree. She said that she and Mr. Tone frequently quarreled and that he told her on one occasion:

"I am sorry we married. Marriage was a mistake for me. I'm not the marrying kind and I want my freedom."

Miss Crawford said she had an agreement with Mr. Tone prior to their marriage that she was to go on with her career. Since he was in the theatrical profession, he knew that demands would be made upon her time, she added.

"But shortly after our marriage," she testified, "when he asked me to go out socially and I refused because I had been working so hard, and was tired, he became very angry and went out by himself. He wouldn't tell me where he had been and stayed out until all hours."

Her attorney told the court that a property settlement had been made, but he did not reveal the terms.

Miss Crawford and Mr. Tone were married in Englewood Cliffs, N. J., on Oct. 13, 1935. On July 19, 1938, they made a joint statement that they had come to a parting of the ways.

"We both regret that our marriage had to terminate, but we feel it is I better for us to part," they said.

[Thanks to Norman for this article.]

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