Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich
'Love Is Blue'
Longet had a parallel career as a pop singer, releasing the first of five recordings in 1966. Her specialty was covers of easy-listening songs, sung in a distinctive breathy whisper.
She had four Top 100 hits in her career, including a cover of fellow Frenchman Andre Popp's made-for-Muzak "Love Is Blue."
She also recorded covers of the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere," Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, "Make It With You" by Bread, and a number of Carpenters' tunes, including "They Long to Be (Close to You)" and "We've Only Just Begun."
In 1969, Longet gave birth to her third child, Bobby, named for Williams' friend Bobby Kennedy. By then the marriage was on the rocks, even though Longet and the children continued to appear until 1972 as a happy family on Williams' popular Christmas specials.
The couple separated in 1969. Claudine and the children stayed in their oceanside mansion in Malibu, Calif.
Williams and Longet remained friendly. He agreed to pay her $8,000 a month in support. When they finally divorced in 1975, Longet won a $2.1 million settlement.
By then, she was deeply involved with Spider Sabich.
That relationship would bring her more fame — or infamy — than anything she had done in a recording, television or film studio.