In the two weeks since "Shattered Dreams," Charlotte Fedders' story of wife abuse, was published in The Washingtonian, telephone calls from other abused wives have been coming into the magazine daily. The issue appeared on the stands March 24, and Laura Elliott, the author, said she has talked to at least four abused women every day. She said they included the wives of a well-known journalist, a noted doctor and a highly placed government official. "There are at least five names among the callers anyone would recognize," she said.
In the "Shattered Dreams" article, Fedders relates her years of abuse during her "ideal" marriage to John Fedders, the chief of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission who had previously been a partner in the prestigious Arnold & Porter law firm. The Fedders' story became public during their divorce case.
Elliott said it is assumed that wife abuse is a problem of couples of lower economic status, but her callers have been socially secure, well-educated women. One caller, she said, who has a PhD in the humanities, said it is difficult to tell your friends over cocktails at the country club about your problems. Washingtonian Publisher Eleanor Merrill described the response to the article as unusual but sad. "All these people living in fairy-tale houses; and God knows what's going on behind the pillars." End Notes
First Lady Nancy Reagan was the guest of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at a luncheon at the court yesterday for the wives of the Supreme Court justices . . .
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is no Tolstoy but he has two books published in English translations in the United States and is apparently considering a third. Stewart Richardson, president of Richardson & Steirman, which published Gorbachev's collections of speeches, letters and interviews titled "A Time for Peace" and "The Coming Century of Peace," said the Soviet leader is considering a book on U.S.-Soviet relations from 1918 to the present. Richardson has just returned from Moscow, where he met for 50 minutes with Gorbachev. "He was concerned that he might not have time, but I told him he would be the conductor and his historians would be the orchestra for the first part of the book, that he would be the conductor and director in the part about the Geneva summit and the early Reagan years, and that he would be the soloist in the part about the future," Richardson said. "He seemed to like that." What a clever way to describe the use of ghostwriters . . .
Washington artist Frederick Hart, who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial statue and sculpted the creation figures on the west facade of the Washington Cathedral, is going in a very different direction. He said he "is going to collaborate with" Brooke Shields on a Lucite piece, not a portrait, of the young model and sometime actress. Hart said Shields' mother Teri saw examples of Hart's Lucite work in Chicago and asked Hart if he would do one of her daughter. The work on the two-foot-high creation will take place both at Princeton University, where Shields is a student, and at Hart's workshop here . . .
Former senator Jacob K. Javits, who died March 7 of Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has left the bulk of his $250,000 to $500,000 estate to his widow Marion and most of his papers to a foundation to be established at the State University of New York's Stony Brook campus. His will was admitted for probate Tuesday in Manhattan Surrogate Court. Bequests to his son and two daughters include artworks and furniture . . .
Five black members of the South African dance troupe Uzulu Dance Theater have requested political asylum here. The dancers, who have criticized their government's racial policies during the six years they have been in the United States, told a San Francisco immigration judge Tuesday they will face persecution if sent home. The judge gave them four months to prepare the case with a hearing set for sometime in June, a short time considering the usual delay in immigration cases . . .
Several uniformed police officials prowled the halls of Capitol Hill yesterday lobbying against the McClure-Volkmer gun decontrol bill. The officers were there to show their support for gun control, and because of the strict gun control rules on the Hill were walking around with empty holsters. They had to check their guns at the door. There must be a message of some kind there . . .