"I can't stand those women—they're absolutely awful," says British songstress Lynsey De Paul of the phalanx of former mistresses who have sued the likes of Lee Marvin, Peter Frampton and Alice Cooper for "palimony." "You can't have your independence and then turn around and say, 'Support me.' It's hypocritical and dishonest. I was taught to take care of myself and I made myself a promise never to be financially dependent on anybody. If anything goes wrong with my relationship, I'll just pick up my bags and go. No money. No rows. Nothing." All of which probably makes the other half of her current relationship breathe a little easier. He's actor James (Circle of Iron) Coburn.
British-born Hollywood veteran Angela Lansbury—currently the critics' darling of Stephen Sondheim's macabre new Broadway musical Sweeney Todd—considers herself a child of the sea—to an unusual end. "I always say, 'Well, where do you want to die?' " muses Angela, 53. "Which country do you want to see last? I haven't really got any more roots in England, and I don't think I want to die an American. So I guess I'll have to die in the ocean."
"It's kind of exhausting doing a lot of things in a row, but if you don't have a job ahead, you can't enjoy time off." That's the reasoning of actor Beau Bridges, who's exhausted from doing the two ambitious films Norma Rae and The Runner Stumbles, and a TV movie, The Child Stealers, but isn't enjoying the time off because he doesn't have an immediate commitment. "Every time it happens," frets the baby-faced Beau, 36, "it's like maybe somebody knows I have a receding chin and they won't hire me anymore."
Shortly after his wedding last spring to When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder co-star Candy Clark, Marjoe Gortner joked, "This marriage will last six months." He was pessimistic, of course—but only by about five months. Though as recently as February both partners denied rumors of a rift, the onetime child evangelist, 35, now says flatly, "I just realized when we got back from the Ryder location in Texas that it wouldn't work out, that we had nothing in common. While we were there making the movie, it was an artificial world—everyone was enthused about everything. And it just became one of those things where you have too much to drink one night and run off to Juarez and get married. And that's what we did." Although he's now reportedly seeing singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, Marjoe, who was married once before (at 16), says he is cautious about the altar again "because I've been scarred by my experiences."
•Beverly Hills boutiques may be booming—but at least one star bucked the Rodeo Drive trend. After spotting a magazine ad, Paul Newman mail-ordered his wife, Joanne Woodward, a 49th birthday present dress—an Adele Simpson Qiana nylon evening gown in Persian beige with lilac (about $225, including postage)—from Jacobson's department store in Toledo, Ohio.
•When his mother told Jerry Rafshoon she was writing a family biography, the Carter image-builder thought it a fine idea. Then it was reported that, according to the manuscript, one reason Jerry was born was that his mother couldn't find an abortionist. At that point Rafshoon told Mom not to talk to the press, and she hastily collected back all the copies.
•One reason that Superman Christopher Reeve and his live-in lady of a year, London model agent Gae Exton, won't soon wed is that she, as it turns out, is still married. "There are no plans for a divorce yet," says her amicably estranged husband, David Iveson, 40, a British tool manufacturer. "But I expect we'll get around to it. I saw Gae only a few weeks ago and she told me she was off to L.A. with Chris—and so I wished her luck."
•Muhammad Ali has finally acknowledged a man greater than himself. In New Zealand for exhibition bouts, he was asked if he'd like to be anybody else. "Yes," replied the devout Muslim champ. "The Ayatollah Khomeini. He's God's man and he's going to run Iran religiously—by God's law. He'll throw the drug pushers, the troublemakers and the crooks out."