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Custody battle over Mary Pickford's Oscar goes to trial

October 28, 2008 |  2:49 pm

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has lost a round in the long, bitter custody debate over one of Mary Pickford's Oscars. The much-chronicled legal battle pits the academy against three women who have the Oscar in their possession. City News Service has the latest developments:

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Phrasel Shelton finalized a tentative ruling he handed down Monday that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not entitled to a pre-trial judgment in its favor in its suit against the three women. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday. Two of the Oscars once belonged to pioneering actress Mary Pickford, and the third belonged to her third husband, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, whom she married in 1935. The Academy says in its lawsuit that it has a contractual right to buy the three Pickford-Rogers statuettes at $10 a piece if they are ever put up for sale. Both Pickford and Rogers signed receipts giving the Academy first right of refusal to the Oscars, the lawsuit states. The women who have the three Oscars -- Marian D. Stahl, Virginia Patricia Casey and Kim E. Boyer -- claim they only want to sell one of the Pickford Oscars and give the money to charity. They maintain that the Pickford signature on the agreement cited by the Academy is not authentic.

Here's the story behind that photo.

--Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times file