Pacino Child-Custody Battle Heats Up

05/23/2003 at 11:00 AM EDT

It was a dog day afternoon for actor Al Pacino and his ex-flame, actress Beverly D'Angelo, in a Manhattan courtroom Thursday.

Appearing in court for a routine hearing regarding the former couple's 2-year-old twins -- son Anton and daughter Olivia -- neither Pacino nor D'Angelo had much to say in front of the judge, the New York Post reports.

But when the hearing wrapped, the war of words from both parties began.

A spokesperson for D'Angelo, 51 -- best known for her role in "National Lampoon's Vacation" and its sequels -- charged that Pacino is "a controlling, harassing man who has never changed a single diaper." The spokesperson added that Pacino refuses to meet the court's appointed visitation schedule.

Meanwhile, Pacino's camp had its own complaints. "Beverly continues to use the kids in a way that almost makes them hostages," said Martin Wasser, a lawyer for the actor, 63.

"We sometimes joke that we are dealing with a baby rental company," Wasser continued. "For every extra hour Al wants to spend with the children, she wants to be paid more money."

For the celeb couple, it's been a tough battle in an otherwise unconventional relationship. The never-wed Pacino -- who has a daughter, Julie, 13, with former flame Jan Tarrant -- began dating D'Angelo six years ago, and she conceived the twins through in-vitro fertilization.

Their relationship fell apart after that, and Pacino filed for joint custody. He continues to pay $35,000 a month in childcare, the Post reports.

"He doesn't want to fight with her," Pacino's friend, writer Lawrence Grobel, told PEOPLE in February. "Unfortunately he has an issue with (D'Angelo) where he can't have as much individual time with the kids as he would like."

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