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Gest Wants Minnelli Prenup Dismissed

The Associated Press
Sunday, September 10, 2006; 3:09 PM

NEW YORK -- David Gest, the estranged husband of Liza Minnelli, asked a judge to set aside his prenuptial agreement with the star, the latest development in their lengthy divorce battle.

Gest's lawyers told State Supreme Court Judge Harold B. Beeler on Friday that Minnelli hid the fact that she was infected with herpes, was an alcoholic and prone to violence. Had Gest known, the lawyers argued, he never would have entered into the prenuptial agreement.

Minnelli's lawyer, Israel Rubin, refused to comment on specific allegations. "This whole thing is ridiculous," he said.

Gest's lawyers asked Beeler to order a trial to determine the validity of the prenuptial agreement.

Minnelli and Gest married March 16, 2002, at a celebrity-studded ceremony with Michael Jackson as best man and Elizabeth Taylor as maid of honor. They separated in July 2003 and filed for divorce later that year.

The prenup request is the latest in a series of lawsuits and accusations traded between the former couple that have become tabloid fodder.

Most recently, Minnelli argued in court papers that Gest and her former bodyguard, who claims she forced him to have sex with her to keep his job, joined forces to attack and embarrass her publicly. She claimed the bodyguard, M'Hammed Soumayah, 56, breached a confidentiality agreement by giving Gest information about her.

Soumayah filed a $100 million lawsuit against Minnelli, claiming she assaulted him.

Gest, 52, has filed his own $10 million lawsuit against Minnelli, saying that during the 15 months they lived together after they were married she repeatedly beat him so badly that he suffered nerve damage in his head.

Minnelli has denied the claims.

© 2006 The Associated Press