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'Driving Miss Daisy' playwright Alfred Uhry sued for defamation

UPI News Service, 02/15/2005 

One of the foremost U.S. playwrights is being sued for defamation by a former son-in-law, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant said Tuesday.

Alfred F. Uhry, who gained fame with his hit play and film "Driving Miss Daisy," is being sued by Russell B. Rhea for allegedly waging a smear campaign.

Rhea, 43, was married to Uhry's daughter, Emily Ann Uhry, for 16 years before filing for divorce in June 2003.

Uhry, 69, allegedly told Rhea's friends and business associates that Rhea "engaged in various types of criminal conduct in both his personal life and in the conduct of his mortgage business," the suit says.

The federal suit, filed on Feb. 1, also claims Alfred Uhry was negligent in allowing daughter Katherine Fox-Uhry to make "defamatory statements" about Rhea.

Specifically, the suit says Fox-Uhry slandered Rhea by telling people he had sexually abused one of his daughters and beaten another and he sexually abused a friend of one of the girls.

Various Connecticut authorities investigated the claims and were unable to corroborate any of them and Rhea was never charged.

Rhea and Emily Ann Uhry have joint custody of their three children.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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