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Ben Vereen, a veteran actor and performer who has worked over 50 years in the business, was recently faced with a bit of legal struggle on Thursday. Vereen, who has been married for the past 36 years to one woman, was officially still married to his first wife although he claimed to have filed for divorce in 1972.

The New York Post reports that Vereen appeared in Brooklyn Supreme Court Thursday (Sept. 8) to address the legal matter of his marriage to his first wife, Andrea Vereen, a minister in the city. When Mrs. Vereen went to file for social security benefits and marked that she was divorced in the application process, that sent red flags to the processing staff. Sources to the Post say that Vereen assumed that all things were final and said that Mrs. Vereen submitted the documents in 1974.

From the Post:

Andrea, a Pentecostal minister, learned they were still officially man and wife only when she went to file for Social Security at age 65 in Brooklyn in January and listed herself as divorced — but was told there was no proof of that, sources said. She phoned Vereen, who immediately filed for divorce, sources said.

The estranged couple arrived at Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday, avoiding one another by standing at opposite ends of a long hallway.

Andrea is seeking alimony and “equitable’’ property distribution, as well as lawyers’ fees.

Adding a wrinkle to the story is that Vereen was 19 and his wife was 14 and pregnant at the time of their nuptials. After leaving his wife in 1972, Vereen married Nancy Bruner in 1976. The first Mrs. Vereen is seeking alimony, lawyer fees, and property.