IN THE ALABAMA COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS
MAUREENE BASS DEES )
-vs- ) CASE NO. CIV. 2114
MORRIS S. DEES, )
ON APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, ALABAMA
BRIEF OF APPELLANT
JULIA S. WATERS
CHARLES M. CROOK
Attorneys for the Appellant
SMITH, BOWMAN, THAGARD,
CROOK & CULPEPPER
P.O. Box 78
Montgomery, Al 36101
Telephone: (205) 834-6500
ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STATEMENT OF THE CASE ........................................ 4
THE ISSUES ................................................... 4
STATEMENT OF THE FACTS ....................................... 5
A. Morris' Financial Condition ........................... 5
B. The Cause Of The Breakup; Vicki Booker McGaha ......... 6
C. The Reconciliation .................................... 6
D. Morris Can't Give Up His Mistress ..................... 7
E. Maureene Is Compelled To Seek Divorce ................. 8
F. Morris Sets A Trap .................................... 9
G. Morris' Trap Works: The Hotel Room Agreement .......... 11
H. Morris' Sexual Appetite ............................... 12
A. Dianne Hicks ...................................... 12
B. Cathy Bennett ..................................... 12
C. Judith Rogers ..................................... 13
D. Deborah Levy ...................................... 13
E. Pamela Horowitz ................................... 13
F. Charlie Springman ................................. 14
G. Morris' Step-Daughter ............................. 14
H. Morris' Future Daughter-in-law .................... 15
ARGUMENT ..................................................... 15
A. The Trial Judge Plainly And Palpably Abused
His Discretion ....................................... 15
1. The Conduct Of The Parties With Reference
To The Cause Of Divorce ........................... 18
(a) Even If The Parties Were Equally At
Fault, The Present Decree Is Indefensible ........ 20
2. The Source Of Their Property ...................... 20
3. The Parties' Standard Of Living During The
Marriage And Their Potential For Maintaining
Or Exceeding That Standard After Their
Divorce ........................................... 22
4. The Financial Circumstances Of The Parties ........ 23
5. The Parties' Future Prospect ...................... 23
6. The Length Of The Marriage ........................ 24
B. Morris Dees' Entire Estate Has Been Used Regularly
For The Common Benefit Of The Parties ................. 24
1. The Real Estate .................................... 26
2. Morris' Other Assets ............................... 27
1968 through 1975 ................................ 27
1975 ............................................. 29
1976 ............................................. 30
1977 ............................................. 30
1978 ............................................. 30
C. The Trial Court Erred In Prohibiting The Wife
From Calling The Husband As A Witness ................. 30
CONCLUSION ................................................... 31
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE ........................................
At the time of the divorce, Morris' net worth, based upon his own
calculations, was $3,876,029 (R. 1252, et. seq; Def. Ex. 86-87; Stipulation,
R. 231). His annual income exceeds $230,000 (Def. Ex. 76-79), of which more
than $160,000 annually is derived from municipal bonds upon which Morris pays
no income tax (Def. Ex. 28).
B. The Cause Of The Break-up: Vicki Booker McGaha
Although Maureene was subjected to a number of degrading sexual episodes
by Morris during the marriage which will be discussed hereafter, neither
Morris nor Maureene ever wanted or sought a divorce until Morris established
his permanent relationship with Vicki Booker McGaha in August of 1977. It
was Morris' absolute refusal to give up his mistress, whom he was supporting
and whom he had made pregnant, that directly caused termination of Maureene's
marriage and forced her to institute these divorce proceedings.
In August, 1977, Morris tried the "Weisenhunt case" in Birmingham, and
became acquainted with Vicki Booker McGaha, who was a member of that jury (R.
1459). Thereafter, Morris and Vicki began a sexual affair which has still
not ended, and which was the cause of termination of two marriages.
Following their meeting in Birmingham during the Weisenhunt trial in August,
1977, Morris had sexual relations with Vicki at Oak Mountain State Park in
Shelby County (R. 1461), the Prattville Holiday Inn, the Holiday Inn East,
the Governor's House Hotel, and the Howard Johnson Motel (R. 1462). The
first trip that he took with her was a four day trip to the "Cajun Country"
in Louisiana on a motorcycle in April, 1978 (R. 1464-1465). In August, 1978,
Vicki joined Morris in Columbus, Georgia, where she stayed with him at the
Holiday Inn (R. 1468).
Maureene first found out about Vicki when she was contacted by Vicki's
husband, who subsequently turned over to her letters that Morris had written
to Vicki and tape recordings of conversations that Morris had had with Vicki
(R. 361-362). Mr. McGaha divorced Vicki McGaha in May, 1978 (R. 1469).
Around this time, at Morris' request, Maureene met with Morris and Vicki at
the Sheraton Mountain Brook Inn to discuss the situation (R. 358). During
this conversation Morris told Maureene that he was in love with Vicki, that
they wanted to be together, and they didn't care if they had anything but a
shack with a dirt floor if they could be together (R. 358). Morris told
Maureene that he and Vicki were going to love together and they they hoped
she would understand. Maureene learned that the affair had been going on
since August of 1977 (R. 280-281, et seq). In later conversations Morris
cried and told Maureene that he loved them both, and that "Vicki has such
beautiful blue eyes and she can see right through you" (R. 360). Following
this meeting, Maureene separated from Morris for the first time and filed the
first suit for divorce (R. 361).
C. The Reconciliation
After Maureene and Morris had been separated for about four to six weeks,
Morris telephoned her and said that he had made a mistake, that he did love
Maureene and wanted her back, and he swore never to see Vicki McGaha again
(R. 282). To assure her of this Morris arranged another meeting among the
three of them as Joe Levin's lake cabin on July 3, 1978 (R. 367, et seq).
This meeting was bizarre. In a three-way conversation Morris could first ask
Vicki to state how much she loved him, and he would then turn to Maureene to
ask her to state how much she loved him (R. 367). It was as if he were
stagin a contest to see who loved him the most, or who would do the most for
him (R. 367). After a lengthy conversation, during which Morris had taken
his socks off, he announced, "Alright, I'll tell you girls my answer when I
get my socks on." After taking an inordinate amount of time putting his
socks on, he got up, walked around behind them, put an arm on each girl, and
ceremoniously stated, "I tell you this day, July 3, 1978, I, Morris Dees,
can't live without either one of you." (R. 368). At that point, Maureene
said, "I'll tell you what, Vicki, you can have him." (R. 368).
In response to these statements by Morris, Maureene made it clear once
again that Morris could not have them both, that he could not remain married
to her and live with Vicki, and that he must make up his mind one way or
another. At the conclusion of the meeting, Morris promised never to see
Vicki again (R. 282). He told Vicki that he and Maureene had reconciled, and
that he could not see her anymore (R. 1357). Morris himself testified that
in Maureene's presence he told Vicki that it was all over and that he
wouldn't see her anymore (R. 1357; 1522-1523).
D. Morris Can't Give Up His Mistress
Morris' promises did not last long. Although Maureene didn't know it at
the time, less than two weeks later he resumed his relationship with Vicki
(R. 1523). By his own admission, he found himself unable to terminate the
relationship with Vicki, in response to questions by his own attorney:
(At R. 366)
Q. (By Mr. Byrne) Now, give the Court some judgement about how many time
you attempted during 1978 and 1979 to break off your relationship withy
A. Oh, gosh, about every month I'd say. It was a continual off and on
(At R. 1367)
A. (By Morris, describing Defendant's Exhibit 103, a letter from Morris
to Vicki) Well, its an undated letter. I think it was in January of
1979, and it basically described the continuing problem of we ought to
end this relationship. I'm telling her that I don't really think I've
got the strength to and I wish she would do it herself."
(At R. 1434)
Q. (By Mr. Smith) Let me ask you if you said this or this in substance
in response to a question by Mr. Byrne. 'I attempted every month to
break off my relationship with Vicki'.
A. I think that would be a pretty accurate statement before Maureene
Morris had bee supporting Vicki since her divorce from her husband in
May, 1979, and he continued to do so as they continued their affair even
after promising Maureene in July, 1978 that the affair was over for good.
Morris admits to having provided the following support to Vicki during the
eleven-month period from may, 1978 through March, 1979 (R. 1504, et seq):
May 30, 1978 $1,500
June 6, 1978 500
June 22, 1978 1,500
July 6, 1978 1,000 (after "reconciling" with
July 30, 1978 1,500 Maureene July 3rd)
Aug. 26, 1978 1,500
Aug. 27, 1978 1,625
Sept. 20, 1978 1,500
Nov. 27, 1978 5,000
Jan. 25, 1979 5,000
March, 1979 2,000
Morris stopped sending Vicki money only when the present divorce suit was
filed (R. 1506). In addition, Morris loaned Vicki $28,000, at 8% interest,
to enable her to purchase her former husband's interest in their home at the
time of her divorce (R. 1351).
E. Maureene Is Compelled To Seek Divorce
In November, 1978, Morris finally admitted to Maureene that,
notwithstanding the promises that he had made in July to abandon Vicki and
reconcile with Maureene, he had continued to see Vicki in Birmingham, that
she was then five months pregnant with his child, and that he would be going
to Birmingham in a few days to be with her while she had an abortion which
Morris was paying for (R. 364). Over the next sixty days, Maureene concluded
that he simply could not accept the situation any longer. It was apparent to
Maureene that Morris was not going to stop seeing Vicki, and Maureene was not
willing to live in a situation where she knew for a fact that her husband
really had, in effect, two wives (R. 412). Morris was supporting Vicki and
had been doing so for almost a year. He treated Vicki like a wife, supplying
all of her financial and emotional needs. He was there when she needed him.
He was spending almost half a week going back and forth to Birmingham two or
three times a week, attempting to divide his time between them (R. 412). In
January or February, 1979, Maureene told Morris that she could simply no
longer accept this situation, and that she was going to leave (R. 385).
Following this conversation, Morris started trying to induce Maureene to
execute certain agreements (which will be discussed in detail hereafter) that
would permit each of them to have sexual relations with other parties (R.
385). Maureene refused to sign any of these agreements (R. 387). While
trying to induce her to sign these agreements, Morris continued to tell
Maureene that he lover her and that he would stop seeing Vicki (R. 390).
However, he did not stop seeing her. During this period he took Vicki and
her children to the ballet in birmingham, and spent the night at Vicki's
house (R. 390). He met Vicki in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl in January,
1979, where they spent two days together (R. 1473).
In March, 1979, Maureene left Morris for the last time, and she has loved
separate and apart from him ever since (R. 370). Morris and Vicki moved into
the family home in Mathews (R. 370). Maureene commenced the present suit on
March 8, 1979.
Following the final separation, Morris openly continued his relationship
with Vicki. Taking his daughter, Ellie, with him, Morris met Vicki in Los
Angeles on March 10, 1979 (R. 1473). He introduced Vicki to Ellie as "Pat"
(R. 1475), and after leaving Los Angeles the three of them flew to Las Vegas
together (R. 1475). They had only one room for the three of them, but Morris
claimed that Vicki sat up all night in the hotel lobby (R. 1476). Morris
took Vicki to the White House signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty on
March 26, 1979 (R. 1518). On June 4, 1979, Morris took his daughter Ellie,
and Vicki and her family, to the Grand Hotel (R. 1479).
F. Morris Sets A Trap
In February, 1979, Morris Dees realized that he was in a precarious legal
position. He had been conducting an affair with Vicki McGaha for almost two
years; she had become pregnant by him and had received an abortion with he
had paid for; he was supporting her and spending most of his time with her
and planned to continue to do so; and Maureene, who was fully aware of all of
these facts, ahd stated that she could not tolerate the situation any more
and was leaving him to institute divorce proceedings. To protect himself in
the impending litigation, Morris had to find a way to neutralize Maureene.
In February, 1979, after Maureene informed Morris that was leaving him,
Morris wrote out an agreement, which he showed to her on a Sunday afternoon,
and asked her to stay and live by this agreement (R. 385). This agreement,
identified and introduced as Plaintiff's Exhibit 30, purported to permit the
parties to lead separate lives by stay married, and provided that they would
not hold anything against each other that had happened either before or after
the date of the agreement (R. 386). The first such purported agreement (Pl.
Ex. 30) provided in part as follows:
"Whereas they "Morris and Maureene) feel that they can better work
toward a more complete and satisfying relationship in their marriage
if they have an open marriage, i.e., where each party, while still
living together as man and wife, be free to have relationships with
the opposite sex, which said relationships may consist of sexual
intercourse. . ."
During the time that he was discussing this agreement and urging her to
sign it, Morris continued to tell Maureene that he loved her and that he had
stopped seeing Vicki (R. 390), which was another lie. Plaintiff's Exhibit 31
is another agreement which Morris drafted because he did not like the
language of the first agreement, and contains this provision:
A. Prior to even drawing up these agreements, I agreed to it orally.
I have already said that
[PAGE 11 MISSING]
A. Prior to even drawing up these agreements, I agreed to it orally.
I have already said that . . .
Q. When did you first orally agree that your wife, your lawful wife,
could have sexual intercourse with other people?
A. About a day before this agreement was drawn up.
Q. This was some time in February?
Q. And it was one day proceeding the first agreement?
(At page 253)
"Q. You knew she (Maureene) knew about you and Vicki?
A. About the abortion, and she said, I am going to use that and I
said, Maureene, look if you have somebody you want to have sex with,
go ahead and have sex with them. We said that that night at the bar.
Q. That was clear and unmistakable?
A. Clear and unmistakable.
Q. You encouraged her to and if there was anybody --
A. If you call that encouragement --
G. Morris' Trap Works: The Hotel Room Agreement
On March 4, 1979, Maureene walked naively into the trap which Morris had
set. On that date, she flew to Washington, D.C., where she met Brian
O'Daugharty (R. 576). Maureene knew Mr. O'Daugherty in connection with her
work on the National Endowment, and he was the Director of the Media Arts
Program (R. 341). Morris had told her that she could see anyone she wanted,
as long as she was discreet (R. 578), and her flight to Washington was booked
under the name of Better Foster (R. 576). Maureene and O'Daugherty had
dinner together on the night of March 4th, and returned to her hotel room (R.
578). When they were in bed together, Morris and a Montgomery private
detective, both of whom had been hiding in the bathroom, jumped out and
started taking photographs, Morris said word in substance as follows:
"Alright sister, you wanted a divorce. Now I want one, because I've
got you where I want you." (R. 586)
Morris was acting crazy, and Maureene thought he was going to kill
everybody in sight. He told her that he had five detectives with him (R.
592). He hit her and gave her a busted jaw. (R. 592). He then started
writing something on paper which he then gave her to sign (R. 422-423). This
document, entered unto evidence as Plaintiff's Exhibit 43, was a spearation
agreement (R. 423). The agreement provided that Morris was to have custody
of Ellie, the parties' nine-year old daughter. Maureene was to receive
"25,000 alimony-in-gross upon the "execution" (sic) of a divorce, and that in
addition she was to receive $1,500 per month as alimony for a period of three
years from the divorce. Under this agreement, Maureene relinquished all
claims to any real estate owned by Morris, and agreed to return to him the
diamond ring which he had given to her. The agreement recites that, although
it is execute on March 5th in Washington, D.C., it will be notarized by an
Alabama notary (the detective) and shall be governed by the laws of Alabama.
Maureene signed the agreement because she was afriad not to (R. 423).
After returning to Montgomery, Morris asked attorney Paul Lawrey to
handle the divorce based upon the hotel room agreement (R. 412). Although he
knew that Maureene was already represented by Maury Smith, Morris instructed
her to go to Paul Lowery's office for this purpose (R. 427). She declined to
do this, and later Paul Lowery came to the house where Maureene was staying,
with papers for her to sign, but she refused to do so (R. 428-429).
Apparently in a last effort to induce a settlement with Maureene, Morris
later told her that he was sorry he had the photograph taken in the hotel
room, that he should not have taken them, and that he wanted her to have them
(R. 426). He gave them to her with instructions to destroy them, telling her
that these were the only copies (R. 426). He also gave the original signed
copy of the hotel room agreement. She tore up both envelopes without looking
inside (R. 426). Morris' statement that these were the only copies of the
photographs was another lie, since he introduced the photographs into
evidence at the trial.
H Morris' Sexual Appetite
Maureene was literally force to file suit for divorce in
March, 1979, because of Morris' obstinate refusal to give up his
mistress who he was then supporting and who had become pregnant by
him. However, Maureene did not give up her marriage easily. Prior
to Morris' permanent involvement with the McGaha woman, Maureene had
endured a long series of degrading incidents which evidenced Morris'
voracious and eclectic sexual appetite. Since early in their
marriage, Morris repeatedly bragged to Maureene that with his looks
and his money he could have any woman he wanted, and he constantly
bragged about women propositioning him (R. 350, et seq). [Some
insight into the size of Morris' ego is provided by his letter of
January 22, 1979, to "Ham" Jordan (a copy of which he sent to
Vicki)m in which he makes application to be appointed Attorney
General of the United States to replace Griffin Bell, giving as one
of his principal qualifications the fact that "... all my life, I
have been a winner." (Pl. Ex. 91). Later in the marriage he
repeatedly told her of women that he had had sexual intercourse with
during the marriage (R. 354). He said further that he enjoyed
trying to turn on gay people and he expressed a desire to have an
experience with a gay (R. 354). Early in the larriage, Morris gave
her a book on "Open Marriage" and started encouraging her to have
sexual intercourse with other men (R. 419-420). During the year or
so after they were married, Maureene became aware that her husband
was having an affair with a woman name Becky Logan (R. 458). During
the same period, she began receiving anonymous telephone calls
concerning her husband and a black woman in town (R. 459).
A. Dianne Hicks. In his deposition, Morris admits that in
the spring of 1973 (Morris depo. p. 27), or during the summer of
1973 (Morris depo. p. 25), he had an affair with Dianne Hicks, a
Mobile lawyer who was working for the Southern Poverty Law Center
(Morris depo. p. 25). He had sex with her during a canoe trip down
the Tallapoosa River (Morris depo. p.25), and also in Brewton where
they were working together on a trial (Morris depo. p. 26-27).
B. Cathy Bennett. in the fall of 1974, Morris brought to
the family home in Mathews a girl named Cathy Bennett who was a
psychologist who had worked with Morris on several cases (R. 284).
She stayed in their home in Mathews for about a week, during which
time theu had Bobby Kennedy there as a guest (R. 285). Maureene was
suspicious of her husband's relationship with this girl (R. 286),
and later Morris admitted having an affair with her (R. 1325).
Morris told Mrs. Dees that his affair with her was over in December,
1974, But she later found that he and Cathy continued to conduct an
affair in Atlanta where Morris lived for a period during the Jimmy
Carter campaign (R. 287, 291).
C. Judith Rogers. in the fall of 1977 (R. 1344), Morris
and Maureene held a Little Theatre party at their home, attended by
Dr. Rogers, a Montgomery physician, and his wife Judith, who is a
criminal psychologist (R. 292, 1344, 1345). During the party Morris
admits that he took Judith into a back room of his house, while the
party was going on, and had intercourse with her (R. 1344, 293).
D. Deborah Levy. In the spring of 1976, Morris invited to
the house Deborah Levy who worked for the American Civil Liberties
Union in New York, and the man with whom she lived in New York,
Michael Gaas (R. 299, 303). The Southern Poverty Law Center was
considering starting a magazine in opposition to the death penalty, and Morris was interviewing Deborah Levy for the job of running the
magazine (R. 301). She was not hired for the job, but she nad her
boyfriend did visit the Dees home in Mathews for several days on two
different occasions (R. 301). in August, 1976, Morris and Maureene
took them on a canoe trip down the river (R. 202-203). After
supper, they had all gone to bed in sleeping bags, when Maureene
woke up and found Morris and Deborah naked, having sex on the
sandbar (R. 306). Morris turned to Maureene and insisted that she
have sex with the other man. (R. 306). Later Maureene went back to
sleep and woke up shortly before dawn, and found Morris and Deborah
having intercourse again right next to her (R. 307). While having
intercourse with Deborah, Morris leaned over and kissed Maureene (R.
308). The next morning Maureene objected strongly to the night's
events and stated emphatically that she did not want anything of
that nature to happen again (R. 309). The following month, in
September, 1976, she and Morris went to New York for a tennis
tournament and to take one of the children to a special school in
Boston (R. 310). Over Maureene's objections, Morris insisted upon
visiting Deborah Levy and Michael Gaas (R. 310). While the group
was having dinner together in a restaurant Maureene, returning from
the restroom, overheard Morris and Deborah making plans to together
the following afternoon (R. 315). Later when confronted with this
Morris admitted having such plans (R. 320). Later in a conversation
among the four of them, Morris stopped the conversation in the
middle and said to Michael Gaas "I've just got to tell you this
because I feel bad about it. I want to tell you that Deborah and I
were planning to go off this afternoon and make love and I just want
to tell you that." (R. 322). This embarrassed Maureene and made her
furious (R. 324). Gas responded that if that's what Morris as here
to do he should just get up and go do it, following which Morris and
Deborah got up and went into the nedroom where they remained for
about forty-five minutes (R. 325, et seq). While they were gone
Maureene had sexual intercourse with Michael (R. 326). Afterward
Morris left the apartment, returned in about thirty minutes and hit
Michael in the face (R. 327).
E. Pamela Horowitz. In the spring of 1977 Morris planned a
trip to Kentucky and invited Maureene to go with him, knowing that
she could not go becuase she was in rehearsal for a play (R. 330).
Over Maureene's objection, he took with him, on his motorcycle
Pamela Horowitz, a lawyer working for the Southern Poverty Law
Center at that time (R. 331). He drove the motorcycle and she rode
behind him from Montgomery to Kentucky, and they were gone for four
or five days, during which they shared the same hotel accomodations
F. Charlie Springman (homosexual). On August 11, 1978,
Maureene and Morris' tenth anniversary, they were having dinner at
the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., and afterward had drinks in
the bar (R. 333, et seq). In the bar, they saw Charlie Springman,
who Maureene knew as a Regional Coordinator for the National
Endownment of the Arts (R. 335). She had told Morris that Springman
was gay, but Morris had never met him. When they saw him in the
bar, Morris suggested inviting him over for a drink (R. 335). After
a while, to Maureene's surprise, Morris suggested that Charlie come
up to the room with them (R. 336). In the room, they drank wine and
talked, and Morris unbuttoned his shirt to the waist (R. 336).
Charlie tried to leave several times but Morris wouldn't let him (R.
337). Finally Morris proposed that Charlie spend the night with
them (R. 337). Mrs. Dees protested, and put on her robe and
nightgown to go to bed (R. 337-338). Soon Charlie and Morris were
in the bed naked, with Maureene in the middle with her gown on (R.
338-339). Springman and Morris hugged and kissed, and Morris tried
to get Charlie to have relations with Maureene, but Springman was
physically unable to because he was not interested (R. 340). in
fact, no one make any effort to have sex with Mrs. Dees during this
incident (R. 341). Springman kissed Morris' penis, and in fact,
Morris complained that he bit him and that it hurt (R. 340). Morris
kissed Springman on Springman's penis (R. 341). After about thirty
minutes they all went to sleep (R. 342). When Maureene woke up the
next morning, Morris was gone (R. 342), but Springman was still
asleep in the bed. After five or ten minutes Morris returned and
found Maureene crying. He apologized for the incident and said that
he would not let anything like that happen again (R. 343). Morris
denies parts of this episode, he admits its essential features:
Morris admits that he invited Springman to the room (R. 1571); that
Maureene put on a nightgown and robe and got into bed (R. 1537);
that Morris got into bed with nothing but his underclothes on (R.
1575); and that Springman got into the bed naked (R. 1590).
G. Morris' Step-Daughter. Holly Buck, Maureene's daughter
by a previous marriage, is eighteen years old (R. 728). She was
seven years old when her mother and Morris married, and she has
lived with them in the house at Mathews from then until the
separation (R. 728). Holly testified that, in the summer of 1977,
Morris attempted to molest her in the following incident (R. 729):
One night Maureene and Morris were sitting drinking wine and
discussing a case Morris was trying. She was with them. Around
eleven or twelve o'clock Maureene went to bed and Holly stayed up
with Morris discussing the case. Morris kept offering Holly wine,
some of which she accepted. At Morris' suggestion, they went
outside to the pool, and he suggested that they go for a swim, but
Holly was tired and declined (R. 731). She went to her room and
then went into the bathroom. Looking out the window, she saw Morris
in the bushes beside the bathroom window looking in (R. 731). She
said "Morris, is that you", but he said nothing and ran away (R.
732). Two months later, she was asleep one night and Morris entered
her room from Ellie's room, through the bathroom. he was in his
underwear and he sat on the bed where Holly was lying on her stomach
facing away from the door. He touched her on the back and woke her
up. He told her that he had brough her a present, and he presented
her with a vibrator. He plugged it in and said he had brought it to
her. He proceeded to rub it on her back and said, "Let me show you
how to use it" (R. 733). She said that's not necessary, but he
started to place it between her legs when she raised he voice and
said no loudly. He then took the vibrator and left (R. 734). All
he had on was a pair of bikini underwear shorts (R. 734). About two
hours later, she had fallen back asleep and he came back in (R.
735). He brought the vibrator with him, plugged it in and said
again, "Let me show you how to use it." He tried to show her again
by putting it between her legs, but she raised her voice again and
he stopped. He took it and left (R. 635). She did not tell her
mother about this incident until the separation when they moved out
of the Mathews house in the spring of 1979 (R. 736).
H. Morris' Future Daughter-in-law. Karen Sherman Dees is
Morris' daughter-in-law, who is married to Morris' son Scooter
(Morris, III) (R. 345). Before Karen and Scooter were married, when
they were eighteen or nineteen, which was three or four years ago,
an incident occurred on Mother's Day at the family home in Mathews
(R. 345). The Dees had Karen and Scooter to dinner at the house,
and they cooked out (R. 346). While Scooter and Maureene were
cleaning up and washing dishes, Karen and Morris went out to go
swimming (R. 345). Five or ten minutes later, Maureene and Scooter
started down the path toward the pool, with Maureene in front. As
she approached the gate, she could see Morris and Karen standing
with their arms around each other with no clothes on, and Morris had
an erection. Maureene immediately turned and told Scooter that she
did not want to go swimming and the two of them headed back to the
house without Scooter having seen anything (R. 347). Later, Karen
and Morris returned from the pool, fully dressed, and the group
stayed in the den for a little while (R. 349). Morris got up and
went to bed, and Maureene joined him a few minutes later. While
lying in the bed, Maureene looked up and saw that Karen had entered
the room (R. 349). She didn't have any clothes on but had a towel
or sheet wrapped around her (R. 350). She came over and got in the
bed on Morris' side (R. 350). Nothing happened, but she remained
there for about ten minutes, and eventually got up and left
(R.350-351). Morris told Maureene that he just couldn't understand
why she came in the room (R. 351).
In 1974 and 1976, after Maureene had become aware of some of
Morris' infidelities, she had two brief sexual liasons; one with
Charles Morgan, with whom she was co-starring in a Little Theatre
production, and the other with Steve Denton, who was visiting in
Montgomery for a tennis tournament..
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