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Ackland has his Vegas supporters. Dr. Kathleen Smith, who is certified in emergency medicine, treated him in May of last year and said he was depressed, "adamant that he was financially and emotionally ruined and had no reason to live," she wrote in a report. After she threatened to put him on suicide watch, he agreed to take an antidepressant. In an interview, she says, "He wanted to be left alone to die. He felt totally worthless and devalued when he was dumped like trash. He had looked forward to a great future [with Nova] and -- puff -- it was gone. She undermined him financially."

Says Irene Dessewffy, who helps Tony Curtis and other celebrities sell their art, "She [Nova] told me how fast she fell in love, that God is looking out for her; she was talking like an 18-year-old schoolgirl. Then she put a restraining order on him. I was in shock. This is worse than a soap opera. It is nuts."

One thing is certain: there will be no reconciliation. Says Nova of Ackland: "He is a liar." "A scam artist." "I only saw the man for a week and concluded he was a con man. He is crazy." "He is a creep." Ackland and his Vegas friends "are just people who shake people down." She vows to fight.

Ackland returns the favors: "I caught her in lies," he says. "She is the ultimate con artist."

So he hired Joshua M. Landish, one of Vegas's best-known divorce lawyers, to prepare the suit, which charges Nova with malicious intent to inflict emotional distress, among other things.

"I would have been happy with a couple of hundred thousand dollars, but people said, 'Go for millions,' " says Ackland. Folks do everything big in Vegas.

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