Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Dennis Hopper's wife ordered to stay away

Dennis and Victoria Hopper
The couple were married in 1996

Dennis Hopper's wife has been ordered to stay at least 10 feet (three metres) away from him, a US judge has ruled.

The ailing actor, 73, requested the restraining order from his wife of 14 years as part of divorce proceedings.

His petition was accompanied by a doctor's declaration that his treatment for prostate cancer required him to eliminate unnecessary stress.

Victoria Hopper must not contact the star directly and is also banned from entering her husband's main residence.

In legal papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Easy Rider star claimed that his wife had engaged in "outrageous conduct" in the past year and cited several arguments between the couple over visitation rights concerning their 6 year old daughter, Galen.

Mrs Hopper, 42, claimed in court papers filed last month that the actor smoked marijuana around their daughter, threatened her and that his illness had left him unable to make sound decisions.

However the actor denied the claims, with supporting documents from two doctors who determined he was fully competent.

On Thursday, a judge awarded Hopper daily visitation rights with his daughter Galen.

Emotional distress

Hopper said he remained hopeful about his prognosis as he undergoes chemotherapy.

"My doctors and I are hopeful that this treatment will be successful so that I may soon resume the full enjoyment of my life and work," he said.

But his life, Hopper's lawyers and doctors claim, is threatened by the couple's legal wrangling in recent months.

"Whether motivated by malice, greed, dissolution strategy, or emotional instability, [Victoria Hopper's] actions subjected [Dennis Hopper] to emotional distress which has threatened his ability to survive," lawyer Douglas Bagby, wrote in a court filing.

The star's personal doctor, physician David Agus, added: "It is my belief and recommendation that the less Mr Hopper has to do with his estranged wife at this time, the more likely he is to have his life extended."

The star filed for divorce in January citing irreconcilable differences. A court hearing on visitation rights and the restraining order is scheduled for 9 March.

Hopper, who has been married five times, is a veteran of the big screen. Highlights of his film career include Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet and Speed.

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