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L.A. prosecutors charge 1968 Playboy playmate of the year with attempted murder

October 20, 2010 | 12:46 pm

Playboy The 1968 Playboy playmate of the year has been charged with attempted murder after Los Angeles police said she shot her husband of 20 years this weekend during a dispute, authorities said Wednesday.

Victoria Rathgeb, 66, is due in court Nov. 1 to answer to the charge that she intentionally shot her husband with a semiautomatic handgun.

Rathgeb, being held in lieu of $1.5-million bail, was arrested Saturday after police said they responded to a reported shooting at an apartment in the 7000 block of Hawthorn Avenue in Hollywood.

Her husband, identified as Bruce Rathgeb, is in grave condition at a local hospital, according to LAPD Lt. Bob Binder.

"Her husband is in extremely critical condition with significant injuries," Binder said.

Binder said the shooting evolved from "a longstanding dispute between the two parties," although he noted that there had been no previous law enforcement contacts with either member of the couple.

Binder would not comment on news reports that Victoria Rathgeb originally told police that a drug dealer had shot her husband.

"We investigated all possible angles to the story and came to the conclusion that she most certainly did shoot her husband," Binder said.

-- Andrew Blankstein


Photo: Victoria Rathgeb in 1968 Playboy cover. Playboy Magazine