Six days before Father’s Day, the public became aware that actor Ed Asner was officially a papa for the fourth time in his life—though he didn’t follow the usual procedure. For one thing, the baby boy had been born 10 months before. For another, Asner wasn’t involved in a paternity suit. Instead, as a result of a support settlement between the actor’s girlfriend, Carol Vogelman, and her estranged husband, David Stone, it was disclosed that Asner was the father of Vogelman’s only child. Cigars were not passed out.
The seeds of the unusual case were sown in October 1986, when Vogelman—a housewife legally separated after 10 years of marriage—met Asner at a press conference and began dating him. Their child, Charles Edward Vogelman, was born last Aug. 5.
Asner, who was divorced in January of this year, was initially less than thrilled. “He was very tempted by the thought of running away from the whole situation, but he didn’t,” says Vogelman, 40, who lives in Santa Monica. “He’s consistently taken an interest in the baby.” In a private settlement made between father and mother, Asner started giving Vogelman $2,100 per month in child support.
Meanwhile, Stone, 40, a Hollywood sound editor, was still paying Vogelman as much as $3,000 per month, according to his attorney, Ronald Supancic. By last September, says Supancic, Stone “was getting increasingly agitated over the idea that he was not only supporting Carol but her new baby too.” Stone took Vogelman to court to have the support reduced. Under the voluntary settlement approved two weeks ago in California Superior Court, Stone will pay $1,000 per month in spousal support. Asner will continue forking over the $2,100.
Although he agreed to the plan, Stone finds it disagreeable, declaring in a prepared statement: “It seems to encourage some women to penalize men and continue their dependency.” Asner has made no comment, but Vogelman is obviously elated. “I’ve never been happier, despite all the trouble,” says Carol, who maintains a friendly relationship with Asner. “The baby is my life, and the little guy is going to set the world on its ear someday.”