April 23, 1998 12:00 AM

On Sunday Julia Roberts may have won an Oscar for portraying her, but on Friday the real-life Erin Brockovich’s ex-husband, Steven Brockovich, sued the noted legal researcher in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing her of defaming him in PEOPLE with claims that he was negligent in paying child support, say reports. (Meanwhile, Brockovich’s first husband, Shawn Brown, is currently on trial for attempting to blackmail her with claims that she had an affair with her boss, attorney Ed Masry, played by Albert Finney in the film.) Contacted by, Brockovich was not available for comment, but Masry, in a phone interview, alleged that Steven Brockovich had made threats to bring litigation. Masry added: “Erin and I met with his attorney and Erin told the attorney in no uncertain terms that she would not pay one dime to Steven Brockovich.” The lawsuit claims that Erin Brockovich made comments to PEOPLE about her former husband’s alleged failure to pay child support, as well as to a supermarket tabloid. Neither publication was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

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