Originally from France, Claudine Longet was a Las Vegas showgirl when superstar crooner Andy Williams discovered her. They were married in 1961, when Claudine Longet was still 19 and Williams was 33. He helped boost her career as an actress and singer; in her few TV and film appearances she was typecast as the innocently foxy mademoiselle, but she had more success in pop music. Given a contract by Herb Alpert's A&M Records, she recorded mostly soft covers of songs by popular rock groups, including the albums Claudine (1967) and Love is Blue (1968). She and Williams split in 1970, and a few years later she began dating champion skier Vladimir "Spider" Sabich. She shot and killed Sabich at their home in Aspen, Colorado in 1976, leading to a highly-publicized murder trial. Longet pleaded not guilty, saying the shooting was an accident. She was convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to 30 days in jail. After her release, Claudine Longet retired from the entertainment business and married her trial defense attorney, Ron Austin.
Claudine Longet and Andy Williams separated in 1970 but weren’t formally divorced until 1975. They had three children: Noelle (b. 1963), Christian (b. 1965) and Robert (b. 1969). Robert was named for Robert F. Kennedy, a close friend of Williams and Longet who was killed in 1968… The night after she shot Spider Sabich, Claudine Longet stayed with neighbor John Denver and his wife.
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