July 26, 2017 / 11:22 PM / 2 years ago

Robert Durst's wife cheated with blues rocker before vanishing, friend says

FILE PHOTO: Robert Durst attends a motions hearing on capital murder charges in the death of Susan Berman in Los Angeles, California, U.S. January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Boster/Pool/File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After the wife of real estate scion Robert Durst disappeared in 1982, his longtime friend told Durst she was dating a blues musician and might have run off with him, according to testimony on Wednesday.

Los Angeles County prosecutors asked Durst’s friend of 45 years, Emily Altman, to testify about Robert and Kathleen Durst’s relationship ahead of his trial for murder.

Durst is accused of first-degree murder for shooting his friend Susan Berman in December 2000 because of what she knew about the unsolved disappearance and presumed slaying of his wife, Kathleen.

Robert Durst’s ties to three mysterious deaths were explored in the HBO series “The Jinx,” in which he admitted he had on occasion struck his wife.

On her second day of testimony, which could be used by prosecutors to show there was discord in the Dursts’ marriage, Altman testified in Los Angeles Superior Court that Kathleen Durst told her details about an affair she was having with a blues musician.

“I think Kathie has been seeing this guy,” Altman recalled telling Robert Durst at the time. “And maybe she left you for him?”

Durst, 74, has denied having anything to do with the disappearance of his wife, whose body was never found. He was never charged in her death.

“The Jinx” chronicled Durst’s ties to his wife’s disappearance, Berman’s slaying and Durst’s 2003 acquittal in the killing and dismemberment of a Texas neighbor.

Prosecutors in 2015 formally charged Durst with killing Berman, who was a writer, a day after HBO aired the finale of the documentary mini-series. In that, Durst was recorded muttering to himself off-camera: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

Reporting by Jaclyn Cosgrove in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric M. Johnson and Peter Cooney

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