Elizabeth Taylor and her ex-boyfriend, Henry Wynberg, have called off what promised to be a bloody Hollywood court battle, thus avoiding the need to air their dirty laundry in public.
"That obviously had to be on their minds when they agreed on a settlement," a court source said.
"The case would certainly have been an eye-opener, there's no doubt about that, and all the publicity that would have come out of it would have been bad publicity for both of them," said the source, who asked not to be named.
The tit-for-tat lawsuits in the case involved the actress' line of "Passion" perfume.
At stake were the $70 million-a-year profits from the $165-an-ounce bottled fragrance.
Lawyers for both sides had promised a no-holds-barred battle. Wynberg's lawyers were to have pressed Taylor about her addictions, weight problems and her seven marriages, including two to the late Richard Burton.
Miss Taylor's attorneys said they would bring up Wynberg's guilty pleas to charges of statutory rape, providing underage girls with drugs in return for sex and taking pornographic photos of young girls.
Wynberg claimed that "Passion," which came on the market in 1987, was a copycat version of a perfume he had developed and presented to Taylor in a heart-shaped bottle.
Taylor, 58, sued Wynberg to get out of a written agreement she made with him in 1977 giving him "perpetual rights" to 30 percent of the net profits from any perfume marketed under her name.
Wynberg sued the actress for $4 million, citing breach of contract because she was seeking to end their agreement. The actress said Wynberg breached the contract by not following through and developing a product.
Lawyers for both sides declined to discuss the details of what they described as an "out-of-court settlement" in the second day of jury selection in Superior Court.
Taylor's lawyer, Neil Papiano, said no money was involved in the settlement with Wynberg, a Dutch-born millionaire and former used-car dealer, and Taylor retained all her rights to the perfume.
Wynberg's lawyer, Quentin Kopp, said his client was pleased and satisfied with the resolution of his differences with Taylor to the rights to the perfume. Wynberg and Kopp refused to confirm that Wynberg won't get any money. Taylor had developed the perfume with the Chesebrough-Ponds company. In a telephone interview, Chesebrough-Ponds attorney Gregory Read refused to comment when asked if the corporation had provided a monetary settlement to Wynberg.
Wynberg, who spent two years with Taylor before she married actor Richard Burton for a second time in 1975, was asked how he felt now about Taylor. "Just like old times," he said. "She looks great."