Wayne Rogers, who first gained fame by playing “Trapper” on the TV series “M*A*S*H,” is now a successful LA businessman and a regular panel member on “Cashin’ In,” an investment show on Fox News. According to an ugly lawsuit just filed against him, however, he had a child in 1985, hid that fact, fraudulently shorted his child support, and now refuses to help pay for medical care for his ailing son.
According to the lawsuit, Rogers and a former actress were in a relationship between 1978 and 1985, when she gave birth to their son. They split up, and each went on to marry other people. Rogers, however, begged the mom to hide the child’s existence from his wife. He claimed his wife “would go crazy” if she found out, because she very much wanted a child, but Rogers had a vasectomy before their marriage.
The pair agreed the mother would only contact Rogers at work and would use a pseudonym. They made a private child support agreement, although the woman now says Rogers intentionally understated his income. In any case, Rogers apparently agreed to fund their son’s undergraduate and graduate education, buy a $1-million term life insurance policy for him, and pay tens of thousands of dollars in child support.
He did pay some $75,000, but allegedly through intermediaries that she was expected to pay — to the tune of $25,000 or more. She now alleges that he was cooking his books so the child support would look like business debt, in order to get improper tax benefits.
In 1997, when the woman’s husband died, Rogers allegedly agreed to set up a $1-million trust fund for their son, along with a home should the mother die. He also agreed to fork over eight years’ worth of unpaid child support. When the son graduated from college, however, neither the tuition nor life insurance materialized.
Then, their son was diagnosed with endocarditis. Rogers did help pay for an emergency surgery that saved his life, but when he learned the son needed another surgery and might require a lifetime of care, Rogers allegedly “cut off all communication.”
“Rogers viewed his son as damaged goods, and a financial liability, not only personally but professionally, due to his medical condition,” reads the lawsuit.
The woman is suing Rogers for fraud, concealment, false promises and breach of contract, and is seeking compensatory, consequential and punitive damages.