Question: Whatever happened in the multimillion-dollar divorce between former soap opera actress Brenda Dickson and Honolulu attorney Jan Weinberg?
Answer: Dickson, who played Jill Abbott in "The Young and the Restless" in the 1970s and ’80s, was back in court yesterday as divorce proceedings continued, but Weinberg remained a no-show; there is a warrant for his arrest.
During court hearings in 2007, Dickson drew attention for her antics before television cameras, such as mocking a lawyer with Nazi salutes and saying, "Heil Hitler. Third Reich."
Family Court Judge Darryl Choy ordered her to move out of a $1.37 million Los Angeles condominium to allow Weinberg to sell the property, then fined her $1,000 a day and threw her in jail for 16 days until she complied.
In 2009, the state Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled that Family Court erred when it refused to extend deadlines for Dickson after her second lawyer withdrew from representing her, and that the court incorrectly valued her husband’s law practice and disregarded an agreement to divide the husband’s individual retirement account.
Weinberg appealed, but the Hawaii Supreme Court in April upheld the appeals court ruling about the extension for Dickson, sending the case back to court.
Family Court proceedings for the divorce case resumed last August, almost six years after the couple originally filed for divorce. They had married on Christmas Day 1997.
Weinberg has been found in contempt for failing to hand over financial documents, and for not paying spousal support and his wife’s attorney’s fees. A bench warrant was issued Feb. 9 for his arrest after he did not appear in court; bail was set at $300,000 should he be arrested.
Yesterday, Weinberg did not appear for day three of a five-day hearing.
Last month, Weinberg’s attorney, Steve Hisaka, said in court that he spoke with his client by phone and believed he was out of the country, according to court documents. Hisaka declined to comment yesterday, saying Family Court Judge Paul Murakami ordered both parties not to talk about the case.
But Dickson, who was in court, refused to keep mum and received a chiding from Murakami to stay in her seat. She referred a reporter to her website, brendadickson.com, which has a series of videos she made criticizing Hawaii’s Family Court system.
"I’m thrilled to be back in Hawaii having this trial," she told the Star-Advertiser at the Kapolei Courthouse yesterday. "I think there will be justice to be served if my husband will show up at all."
This update was written by Rob Shikina. To suggest a topic for "Whatever Happened To …", write the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or e-mail email@example.com.