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Anti-smoking star pleads guilty to bigamy

UPI News Service, 11/22/2006 

An anti-smoking crusader who appeared as the "Dude Cigarette" costumed character in 12 states has pleaded guilty to bigamy in Lynchburg, Va.

Prosecutor Chuck Felmlee said Phillip Williams, 37, could have had as many as four wives at one time, the Lynchburg News & Advance reported Wednesday.

Police have not been able to contact the first two women Williams admitted to marrying. He pleaded guilty to a single count of bigamy, the report said.

His latest wife, whom he married in 2003, became suspicious when child support notices from California started showing up.

"He told her that he's not the father of any of these children. He said, 'I'm just a father figure,'" Felmlee said at Tuesday's hearing.

Williams told police he had divorced his first wife but not the second or third.

In 1996, he created the giant cigarette character that uses hip-hop music to discourage children from taking up smoking.

Williams will be sentenced March 9, and could face a 10-year prison sentence, the newspaper said.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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