Mulligan's Stew

updated 03/08/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/08/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

THEY SAID IT WOULD NEVER LAST, AND for once they were right. After 10 months of marriage, Richard Mulligan, 60, the putty-faced star of NBC's Empty Nest, has flown his own Los Angeles coop following a blowup with his fourth wife, former adult-video star Serina Robinson, 32.

On Feb. 19, Mulligan, 60, filed suit against Robinson, charging that she slandered him in her account of the bust-up, which she offered last week to a supermarket tabloid. Posing with a black eye, Robinson alleged that on Feb. 11 Mulligan tore up the house that they shared with her 9-year-old daughter by a previous marriage and gave Robinson the shiner. On Feb. 17, both parties filed for divorce, and Robinson is seeking spousal support.

Neither of them is talking now, but Mulligan's press agent released a statement denouncing Robinson's account as "malicious, false, fabricated and defamatory." In his suit, Mulligan charges slander, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to defame. At least one of Mulligan's Empty Nest colleagues is doubtful of Robinson's story. "The behavior she describes doesn't sound like him," says the show's co-producer, Paul Junger Witt.

This is not the first round of high-profile he-said she-said for Robinson, who had acted in such sex films as Deep Obsession and Honey Buns before giving up the business five years ago. (Her last video, Full Nest, released after her marriage, was a compilation of her past work.) In 1989 she claimed to have had a two-year relationship with then married actor Michael Keaton. Keaton denied the allegation, but later Robinson was at least partly vindicated when the Batman star admitted to having dated her a few times.

Mulligan is "very upset," says Witt, but remains "rock solid" on the set, where his fellow Nesters are showing their support. Says Witt: "We're all in a lot of pain for him."

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