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NEWS LITE : NOVELIST ADMITS TO AFFAIR WITH FBI AGENT'S WIFE.

Crime novelist Patricia Cornwell tells Vanity Fair that she did, indeed, have an affair with the estranged wife of a former FBI agent. Details of the affair came out in February during the attempted-murder trial of Eugene Bennett, convicted of trying to kill his ex-wife, Marguerite Bennett, also a former FBI agent. Bennett claimed his wife's affair with Cornwell pushed him over the edge.

Cornwell, 40, called the affair not even ``two trips over the rug. . . . It was very brief.'' She adds: ``It was about her neediness and my deprivation. . . . It was so stupid of me! So reckless. I mean, here she was, a married woman! . . . with two children!''

Last year, Cornwell, a divorcee, signed a three-book, $24 million deal with G.P. Putnam, one of the best ever for a woman author. An ex-reporter with the Charlotte Observer, she has admitted battles with eating disorders, alcoholism and manic-depression. Marguerite Bennett is now a police supervisor with a Virginia community college.

Too earnest

Writer's kin wanted cut,

party's over

A festival honoring Ernest Hemingway with a look-alike contest, fishing tournament and lots of partying was canceled Wednesday after his three sons asked for a cut of the proceeds and threatened to sue.

The Hemingway Days Festival began 16 years ago and has been a popular tradition in Key West, Fla., where the writer lived for years.

Hemingway's granddaughter, Lorian Hemingway, judged the writing contest and always attended, but her father and two uncles objected to the atmosphere and lowbrow Hemingway items on sale.

``We never wanted the festival to end, but that it be done with approval so that it could be done with integrity - not a tasteless use of the name and likeness of Ernest Hemingway,'' said Marla Metzner, president of Fashion Licensing of America.

The agency represents the Hemingway brothers, Jack, Patrick and Gregory. They sought a 10 percent cut of the 10-day festival's proceeds, and total control of marketing and all other aspects.

``The family looked the other way for too long,'' Metzner said.

Michael Whalton, who founded the festival, wanted no part of the deal. He said he earned $16,000 a year from the event but decided to shut it down instead of lose control.

``We really have worked hard to find a balance of events to honor him as a literary genius and a larger-than-life character,'' Whalton said.

Reeve's broken arm on the mend after fall

Christopher Reeve is recovering from Sunday surgery after breaking his arm in a fall. The paralyzed actor said it happened when two people transferring him from an exercise bike to a chair ``got out of sync'' and he fell to the floor. Reeve said he never felt pain and only realized he broke the arm when it swelled. The day of his surgery, he attended a premiere party at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art for his first directorial effort, ``In the Gloaming,'' airing April 20 on HBO.

Soundgarden breaks up after 12-year ride

Seattle's rock band Soundgarden is parting ways after 12 years, an A&M Records spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

All the members have ``separate, future projects in the works,'' said Brett Orlanski. ``But I don't know what those plans are.''

The band, which is made up of Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron, released six albums that sold a combined 20 million units.

But it was ``Superunknown,'' released in 1994, that was the breakthrough CD for the band. It garnered two Grammys.

The band released ``Down on the Upside'' last year, which sold more than 3 million units worldwide.

Members of Soundgarden have done side projects since the band's first album was released in the late '80s.

Cornell had a solo on the ``Singles'' soundtrack and he and Cameron also were in ``Temple of the Dog,'' a one-album project with Eddie Vedder and other Pearl Jam members.Along with Metallica, Soundgarden headlined last year's Lollapalooza rock festival.

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

Photo: (1) Cradled cousins

Joomi Lim smiles after babies Grace Kim and Joann Lim were born four hours apart at Simi Valley Hospital, the daughters of a pair of sisters who live at the same Burbank complex.

Andy Holzman/Special to the Daily News

(2) Soundgarden's bassist Ben Shepherd, singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and drummer Matt Cameron, are splitting up.

Associated Press
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 10, 1997
Words:722
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