Reese Witherspoon's Father John Sued for Bigamy By Wife Betty

Celebrity News May. 10, 2012 AT 2:17PM
Reese Witherspoon's Father John Sued for Bigamy By Wife Betty Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

Reese Witherspoon's latest drama isn't on the big screen -- it's happening in real life.

The actress' mother, Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Witherspoon, accused her husband, Dr. John Witherspoon, of bigamy in court documents filed Tuesday in Davidson County, Tennessee. She has asked to have his January 14 marriage Tricianne Taylor annulled, USA Today reports.

Betty and John were married March 21, 1970, Us Weekly has confirmed. According to the affidavit, Betty and John "are in regular contact and speak together many times per week. They attend family functions together, including their daughter's wedding in California."

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In the affidavit, Betty explained that she's still in love with her husband, whom she separated from in 1996. She believes John, 70, is suffering from early onset dementia and has troubles with drinking, hoarding and finances. She fears "for my husband's personal safety and the safety of my family."

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Betty believes Taylor may be taking advantage of John, given his poor mental health. "When I confronted my husband, he said he didn't know who Tricianne Taylor was and that he did not remember getting married," she said in the affidavit.

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Taylor refused to speak to Betty when confronted, and she did not respond to a letter informing her that John is married and has two children and four grandchildren, according to the affidavit. "She clearly knows now that she is married to a man who is not divorced," Betty said.

Through an investigator, Betty learned that Taylor "has gotten my husband to sign a new will."

Betty would like Taylor to return any vehicles, jewelry or other property acquired since their January wedding. Taylor is currently living with John in a condominium owned by Reese and driving a vehicle purchased during the marriage, court documents reveal.

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Around 2006, "my daughter and I made a decision not to allow my husband to borrow money recklessly which might encumber the marital estate," Betty explained in her affidavit. "So we put the condominium where my husband now lives and my house in Sugartree in my daughter's name."

Reese, 36, is currently expecting her first child with CAA Agent Jim Toth, 41. She shares custody of daughter Ava, 12, and son Deacon, 8, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, 37.

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