SEEKS CUSTODY OF CHILD.
SYDNEY, March 28
Emilie Polini, the well-known emotion-
al actress, who is at present appearing m ''The Lie" at the Sydney Theatre Boyal, made an application in the Equity Court to-day for the custody of her baby girl. The applicant in private life is Mrs. Ellis. In her affidavit the applicant said that her husband was a returned soldier, and that it was agreed that she should re- main on the stage until he was in a posi- tion to make a home for her. Subse- quently she and her husband bought some property near Bathurst, in part pay- ment for which she gave her husband £1100. Later the property had to be abandoned owing to her husband's lack of experience, and the whole of her money was lost. During the two years and nine months that elapsed between her marriage and the birth of her baby girl the only money she received from her husband was for six weeks' rent of a flat and three months' rent in advance of a bungalow at Rose Bay. During that period she paid all other expenses. It was resolvcd that her husband should go to Queensland in search of employment:, and she asked him if his mother would take the baby girl for a year. She later employed a nurse, to whom she paid £4 a week. After touring all the capital cities she asked for the return of her child, but she received no reply to her letters. She then wrote protesting against her hus- band's extraordinary conduct. In the past twelve months she had saved over £4000, and would be in a position to retire in five years. At the conclusion of her present engagement she intended to leave for England on April 4 next, where she would go to her family, and she wanted to take the child with her.
Mr. E. J. Tait, theatrical manager, said that Mrs. Ellis was one of the highest paid artists in Australia.
Mr. Ellis denied his wife's allegations. He denied that it was arranged that his wife should continue on the stage, and declared that he was then in a position to provide a home for his wife. The child had lived under the same roof as him- self since birth, and had always had his personal attention. He had always been willing to support his wife and child ac- cording to his means. His wife was a very imperious woman, and hysterical over trivial matters. While at Rose Bay his wife showed more affection for pet fox terrier than for the baby or himself. She told him she wanted to be free, and asked for a divorce, but he refused. He did not think the child would receive proper parental affection were its cus- tody given to the mother. He had, how- ever, nothing against his wife's character.
The hearing of the application was adjourned until next Thursday.