The World, New York City, Thursday, 26 Jan, 1893, p. 14, col. 5.
"Names 4 Co-respondents.
President Robert L. Sackett's Woes Lead Him to Sue for Divorce.
His Wife Has a Fancy for Singing and a Stage Career.
She Goes to the Berkeley Lyceum School of Acting, Calls Herself Adele Le Clair, and Lives Apart from Her Husband—A Guest at the San Remo, Savoy, Imperial and Other Hotels—Theory that Her Mind Is Affected.
Robert L. Sackett, President of the Sackett & Wilhelms Lithographing Company, which does the lithgraphing for Judge, and is in the same building, on the northwest corner of Fifth avenue and Fifteenth stret, has brought suit for absolute divorce from his wife, who is at present living in the San Remo Hotel, Central Park West and Seventy-fifth street.
Mrs. Sackett left her husband last April, and has been known since then as Miss Adele Le Clair. Mr. Sackett's lawyers are Smith & Martin, of No. 49 Broadway, and Howe & Hummel represent the defendant.
In his complaint Mr. Sackett named as co-respondents Edward H. Colell, manager of Chickering Hall; Dr. Hugh H. Hagan, of No. 47 West Fiftieth street; Edward Pelper, once connected with Mayer's Dramatic Agency and afterwards connected with an extravaganza troupe managed by Wemyss Henderson; a Mr. Allen, and others. Mrs. Sackett makes a general denial, and it is hinted that she will make unpleasant counter-charges.
Mrs. Sackett is a very handsome woman, about twenty-six years old and is said to be an excellent musician. She is a native of this city and was a Miss Wall before she married. She has been preparing for the concert stage since she left her husband and lately has been studying for the dramatic stage also. She has been attending the Berkeley Lyceum School of Acting, and a friend who called on her recently found her deep in the study of "The School for Scandal," which, in the light of late events, he considered very apropos.
Mr. Robert L. Sackett was seen last night at the Hotel Kensington, northeast corner of Fifth avenue and Fifteenth street. He is a quiet unassuming business man. He is of medium height, well built and wears a small, light mustache. He is somewhat bald, has large blue eyes and wears gold-rimmed spectacles.
On a bureau in Mr. Sackett's room are two photographs, one the picture of his daughter Clara, a pretty little girl with long dark hair, the other in a silver frame represents Mrs. Sackett and Clara. Mrs. Sackett wears a white dress, which shows her handsome features to good advantage. The picture represents a very good looking woman with dark hair, a high forehead and small, plump hands. She appears to be of medium height. "I am very sorry," said Mr. Sackett, "that it has become known that I have applied for an absolute divorce from my wife. I would prefer not to say anything on the subject. My lawyers know all the facts in the case. They know them much better than I do. They are in possession of all the information you want."
When the reporter informed Mr. Sackett that his wife had made a general denial of all the allegations contained in the complaint, and that she was about to bring some charges against him, Mr. Sackett said:
"Of course she will deny my charges. I expected that. Any woman would deny them. But we have all the necessary proof. I really don't know all the facts. Yes, it is true that we had private detectives to obtain that information for us. My wife has been aware of the fact that I was to bring suit for absolute divorce. She has applied for several reputable lawyers to represent her, but they declined to have anything to do with her case. You say Mrs. Sackett will bring a countersuit. What does she charge me with?"
The reporter informed Mr. Sackett that Mrs. Sackett had not yet been definite on this point.
"What can she mean? I have no idea. Ah! But my reputation is A1. Nobody can say one single word against my character. I am prepared to meet any and all accusations.
"I have done all within my power to avoid this. I begged her at the time she left me to consider well the step she was about to take. This was April 1 last. We had both agreed to a mutual separation. I was to retain the full possession of out little daughter. I agreed to pay Mrs. Sackett $30 a week. We were living at the Kensington Hotel at the time. Before I signed the papers I told her that I would give her two weeks to consider. She said she wanted no time. She left."
"And why did you separate?" asked the reporter.
"She came near ruining me financially. Her extravagance knew no bounds. She spent money so foolishly. The hotel bills ran up to $100 a week when they should not have exceeded $40 or $45. There were messenger and telephone charges amounting some weeks to $8 and $9. And then there were so many livery bills and goodness knows what."
What led to the separation was the following advertisement which appeared in The World March 12, 1891:
To whom it may concern—All persons or firms are cautioned against giving credit in my name or charging goods to my account, as I will not pay any bills unless authorized by myself in writing. R.L. Sackett, 110 fifth ave.
When seen by a World reporter at that time Mr. Sackett declined to say who had been ordering goods without his consent.
That Mr. Sackett was called upon to pay bills contracted by his wife after the publication of the above advertisement is known, because on Aug. 10, 1892, he caused the following to be published in a morning newspaper:
To whom it may concern—I take this method of again notifying all persons and firms that I am not responsible for any bills or debts which may be or have been contracted since March 12, 1892, by my wife, Clara A. Sackett. All persons or firms are again cautioned against giving credit in my name or charging goods to my account, as I will pay no bills unless they are authorized by myself in writing. Robert L. Sackett, 150 5th ave.
"Here is her picture," said Mr. Sackett, as he took the photograph from the bureau, "and this is my little girl. See what a beautiful woman Mrs. Sackett is. She is very handsome, but—never mind, I'll not say one word against her.
"My little girl is now in the country. She is all I have left. I have always treated Mrs. Sackett with the utmost kindness. She lived a life of luxury. I pity her. What future has she before her now? Her own parents will have nothing to do with her. They know how she has acted. She is young yet. She will be twenty-seven on her next birthday."
"Are you acquainted with Dr. Hugh H. Hagan, Edward H. Colell, manager of Chickering Hall, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Pelper, manager of a theatrical company, whom you name as co-respondents in your complaint against Mrs. Sackett?"
"I am not. We have all the proof we want, though," was Mr. Sackett's reply.
He said he had been given to understand that Dr. Hagan and Mr. Cobell had said they would sue him for defamation of character because he (Mr. Sackett) had accused them with having been intimate with his wife.
"You say that it has been stated that my wife's mind is affected?" asked Mr. Sackett. "That is not true. Her mind is perfectly sound. I had her examined by two prominent physicians in this city some little time before we separated. They assured me that Mrs. Sackett was of sound mind. We were married nine years ago."
Mr. Sackett said he had done all he could for his wife. He said that until three months ago he had paid her nearly $100 a week instead of $30 as per agreement.
"You say she accuses me of being of a very jealous disposition," said Mr. Sackett in an answer to the reporter's question. "That is not true. I am not jealous."
Mr. Sackett said his wife was a good pianist, but that she could not sing.
"She has no right to call herself Miss Adele Le Clair," said her husband. "She is Mrs. Sackett; that's all. Le Clair is not even her maiden name. I don't know how she came to adopt that name."
Since her separation from Mr. Sackett, Mrs. Sackett has been living at various hotels. At the Hotel Savoy, her husband says, she owes a bill of $200.
Mrs. Sackett, or rather Miss Adele Le Clair, has been stopping at the Hotel San Remo, Central Park West and Seventy-ninth street since Jan. 10. A reporter for The World called to see her there last night. Miss Le Clair declined to make a statement. She referred the reporter to her counsel, Abe Hummel.
Mr. Cobell was not at Chickering Hall last night. He could not be found.
Dr. Hagan lives at No. 47 West Fiftieth street. He was not at home. He was said to be at No. 56 West Forty-Sixth street, where the doctor had formerly been living. He could not be found there either.
A mutual friend of both husband and wife said yesterday: "I am very sorry that a divorce suit has been begun, and it was done much against my advice. I really think that Mrs. Sackett is not of sound mind. She has been in several sanitariums during the past two years, for she was constantly running up immense bills, as she considered herself very rich, and her husband had to pay hundreds of dollars to big dry goods stores and other places."
Since Mrs. Sackett left her husband she has been living in the biggest and most fashionable hotels of the city. Somehow her stay was not long in any of them. Besides the Hotel Savoy, the Gedney House and the Imperial, Grenoble and Westminster Hotels have been favored by her. At the Savoy it was said last night that her bill was still unpaid, but that her husband had notified them a day or two ago that he would pay it.
It was said that the Savoy people had paid for many C.O.D. packages. St the Gedney House her trunk is now being held for debt. The Gedney House people were warned against her by the Grenoble's employees. It was also said last night that Mrs. Sackett is known at the Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C."