Things are heating up in the high profile split between singer Melissa Etheridge, 49, and her partner of nine years, Tammy Lynn Michaels, 35. Etheridge recently filed to dissolve the partnership (the two were not legally married), which came as a surprise to Michaels, who blogged that Etheridge was breaking a promise not to file until the fall. Michaels also made it clear that she gave up her acting career to raise her now three year-old twins with Etheridge. According to Michaels, Etheridge emotionally and physically withdrew from the relationship and then left her high and dry without providing for the children’s welfare. She claimed that she’s been forced to borrow money from friends to pay for gas and food.
In her filing Etheridge sought joint custody of the children without spousal support for Michaels. In response Michaels filed for full custody, claiming that Etheridge wasn’t around enough to be an effective parent, and is seeking spousal support. What’s more is that Michaels’ lawyer claims his client has just $4 left, while Etheridge’s lawyer counters that she’s still paying the bills.
Melissa Etheridge has left Tammy Lynn Michaels and the two children they have together high and dry … this according to Tammy’s lawyer Steven Knowles. But Melissa says Tammy is delusional.
Knowles tells TMZ Tammy has a grand total of $4 to her name … adding, “Melissa has not been treating Tammy or the children as if they are a wife and children, financially and otherwise.”
Knowles says Melissa has not given Tammy or the kids a penny since the breakup … and she is now destitute.
TMZ broke the story, Melissa filed for dissolution of her domestic partnership with Tammy last week.
On Tuesday, Tammy filed her own legal docs … but she is asking for a dissolution of marriage. According to Knowles, even though Tammy and Melissa were not legally married in California, “They were married in their own eyes and in the eyes of the world … and Melissa was the first to say they were, in fact, married.”
BTW – Tammy is asking for spousal support – something she can’t get if she is not “married.”
As we first told you, Melissa wants joint custody … but Tammy is asking for full legal and physical custody.
Knowles tells us Melissa can’t possibly be a participant in the custody agreement because her schedule makes it impossible to be a meaningful parent.
Melissa’s lawyer, Neal Hersh, tells TMZ, “Melissa is paying all of Tammy’s expenses, which totals tens of thousands of dollars per month.”
Let’s assume that Etheridge’s lawyer is telling the truth and that she’s still paying for the mortgage and utilities on the home where Michaels and the children are living. (At least that’s how I interpreted that statement. Etheridge might be giving her money for incidentals, but it doesn’t sound like it.) If that’s the case, why can’t she also give her money for gas, food and living expenses? Many of you warned me in our last story not to just believe Michaels’ account that she was dead broke and to question whether she was telling the truth or not. I’m on Michaels’ side now and do believe that it went down that way and that she has no money left. None of us know what went on in that marriage (and it deserves to be called one) that caused it to end but if it’s true that Etheridge is leaving Michaels without a dime that’s despicable.
Amid all this mess things may pick up for Michaels’ career. She’s slated to star in a same sex romantic comedy, Nicest Thing, directed by Amanda Bearse. (Marcy from Married… with Children. Can you believe it?) Wikipedia has the film starting production this year.