Christian Brando, son of the late Hollywood legend Marlon Brando, is being sued by his ex-wife and stepdaughter who say he often abused and threatened to kill them.
Deborah Brando and her 13-year-old daughter filed a lawsuit against Brando, 46, in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking unspecified damages for violation of their civil rights, assault, domestic violence, battery and emotional distress, their lawyer Brian Oxman said.
Brando’s lawyer Bruce Margolin said neither he nor Brando could comment on the lawsuit because they had not yet seen it.
Brando and his ex-wife met in 1990, the same year he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for shooting dead his half-sister’s boyfriend Dag Drollet. Brando served five years in prison.
Christian and Deborah Brando moved into his father’s home a month after the actor’s death on July 1 2004. They married in October 2004 and divorced earlier this year, Oxman said.
The lawsuit claims Brando “repeatedly struck Ms Brando with his hands and fists and threatened to kill her in the presence of her daughter”. It also alleges that he forced his wife to have sex, threatening to suffocate her with a pillow.
The lawsuit also claims that Brando would chase his stepdaughter and once threatened to “to cut her up into a million pieces”.
“There was no physical contact with Deborah’s daughter, but she was put in fear for her life,” Oxman said.
In one instance, Brando asked his ex-wife to register a gun in her name because he was a convicted felon and could not own a weapon, the lawsuit says.
On another occasion, Brando told his ex-wife he was a having a difficult time with his father’s death and ”wished his father was still alive so that he could kill his father”.
Brando pleaded guilty to charges of spousal abuse in January and was sentenced to drug and alcohol rehabilitation and three years’ probation.
He gained recent notoriety as a witness in actor Robert Blake’s civil trial, where he refused to testify, invoking his Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Blake’s lawyers hinted that Brando may have killed Blake’s late wife Bonny Lee Bakley. At one time Bakley claimed Brando, a former boyfriend, had fathered her daughter Rose until DNA tests proved Blake was the father.
Last month, Blake was found liable in the civil trial for his wife’s murder after he had been acquitted of criminal charges. A jury ordered the former star of the Baretta TV detective series to pay £17m (€24.7m) to Bakley’s four children.