Melissa Etheridge says she pays ex $2k/month + bills, ex says she’s broke

People Magazine has an interesting back and forth between Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michael’s lawyers commenting on the state of Tammy Lynn’s finances. As you might remember, Melissa and Tammy Lynn split up recently after nine years and two kids together. Melissa told the press that the split was mutual while Tammy Lynn blogged that she was blindsided by both the breakup and by Etheridge filing to legally end their partnership. (They were not legally married during the time when it was possible in California.) She also described how she gave up a lucrative acting career in order to raise their twins while Etheridge worked on her music.

After filing for full legal custody, Tammy Lynn’s lawyer noted to TMZ that his client was completely broke and had just $4 to her name. Melissa’s lawyer countered at the time that “Melissa is paying all of Tammy’s expenses, which totals tens of thousands of dollars per month.” Tammy Lynn is seeking spousal support while Melissa’s filing for joint custody requests that she get none.

In a court hearing on Monday, Tammy Lynn requested $25,000 immediately to pay for expenses along with an additional $25,000 for lawyers fees. The initial $25,000 was denied based on Melissa’s claim that she pays for all of Tammy’s household expenses. (TMZ has that story, and it sounds like the issue of lawyer’s fees was deferred, although they don’t specify.)

According to Melissa’s lawyer, his client pays Tammy Lynn $2,000 a month in addition to covering all of the other expenses. If that’s true why is Tammy claiming that she has to borrow money from friends for gas, then? Here’s People’s story on what Melissa allegedly pays for:

Has Melissa Etheridge left her ex and their twins broke?

That’s what Tammy Etheridge’s attorney claimed in an L.A. courtroom on Monday – but Melissa’s lawyer says that’s not the case.

“[Tammy] is being completely supported by Melissa and has been since they separated,” Melissa’s attorney Neal Hersh told PEOPLE after appearing at a hearing. “She’s being well-provided for and then some, as are the children, which are Melissa’s first priority.”

The singer has been giving the former Tammy Lynn Michaels $2,000 a month and pays household bills including utilities and a car lease, the lawyer says.

Tammy’s attorney Steven Knowles acknowledges, “Melissa is paying various sundry expenses,” but says that Tammy, 35, and their 3-year-old twins, Johnnie and Miller, are “destitute.” Knowles adds, “It doesn’t put money in her wallet. Literally she has no cash.”

Knowles also claims Tammy’s credit card has been declined when she’s tried to purchase groceries and clothing for their children, something Hersh says is, if true, “a one-off situation.”

Melissa, 49, and Tammy, 35, split late last year after nearly nine years together. Melissa is seeking joint custody of their twins, while Tammy is seeking full custody.

[From People]

Tammy Lynn hasn’t blogged in about a week and a half. Her last entry was on how shocked she was that Etheridge had filed paperwork to make their split official, having promised that she would wait to file until the fall. I would say that I’m team Tammy Lynn, but only if it’s true that Melissa isn’t providing for her living expenses beyond the mortgage, utilities and other bills. It does sound incredibly cheap and petty of Melissa to deny Tammy Lynn $25,000 to live on for the next few months. (That may be a lot of money to you or me, but Melissa is a millionaire.) Tammy Lynn has been raising their twins and has dedicated her life to being there for them. Melissa Etheridge is currently touring to promote her new album. It’s not like she can’t afford $25,000 for the mother of her youngest children. This really speaks to how contentious their split must be.

Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels are shown in 2005 and 2006. Credit:

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38 Responses to “Melissa Etheridge says she pays ex $2k/month + bills, ex says she’s broke”

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  1. Hautie says:

    The one with all the money gets all the control.

    So Tammy is left with no real control of her daily finances.

    And cutting off her credit card was a little cruel.

  2. Tess says:

    Something skeevy about these folks.

    What’s the surprise? When you lie down with dogs, you can’t be shocked about the fleas.

  3. dread pirate cuervo says:

    My BF pays his ex $2K a month. He makes good money but nowhere near rock star money. Melissa won’t be getting away that easy after they go to court.

  4. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    I have always gotten the nasty/creep vibe from Melissa. I remember her and how she was the reason for Lou Diamond Phillips wife ending her marriage with him to be with her.

    Not only is she cheap but she is a homewrecker.

  5. Jackson says:

    Yes, very cheap of Melissa. Give Tammy the cash, you aren’t going to miss it and she’s raising your kids. It sucks to not have actual cash in your pocket, you know, even if the credit card and other bills are being paid. Sadly, I agree with what was posted above, whoever has the money has the control.

  6. MSat says:

    I get about $2K per month in child support from my ex for ONE kid. And he’s no millionaire. I’m sure that the cost of twin toddlers, along with maintaining what I’d imagine is a very high-end home, burns through $2K pretty quickly.

    Pay, up Melissa! We know you’re rolling in it! This woman took care of you while you were battling cancer, for cryin’ out loud.

  7. Shay says:

    2K a month is a minimum wage, and one that barely skims the basic essential expenses.

  8. Marjalane says:

    This baby momma’s totally getting screwed, but I’m not surprised. Maybe Melissa went to the “Mel Gibson school of fiscal parental responsibility”. Actually I read in one interview where Melissa was quoted that, (paraphrasing) “She wasn’t the one who even wanted the kids with Tammi, Tammi just wanted to be pregnant because all her friends were”.

    Now maybe that was said or not, but way to go to make your children feel wanted if it was! I still think this will be really interesting to see how a court handles the payout in a gay relationship. I also think Melissa has set back the bar by acting like she wasn’t in a “real marriage or partnership” and doesn’t owe her any future support. Little hypocritical if you ask me.

  9. gabs says:

    Team Tammy!

  10. sapphire says:

    2k a month is incredibly cheap, even with a “car lease”. Can’t Melissa even ante up for a mini-van? Talk about a tightwad.

  11. Obvious says:

    Even if Melissa is paying for everything else minus gas, groceries and clothes 2K is nothing. That’s what I make and I can’t even sock money away for anything. 25k is a lot to me, but nothing to Melissa. If I had 25, i could pay all my bills off, and have money to save and then live off what I make.

  12. bellaluna says:

    How is it that the “children are Melissa’s first priority” when she’s unwilling to help their mother support them? Doesn’t ring true to me.

    And yes, the one with the money is usually the one with the control. Nothing is happening to TL that doesn’t happen to hundreds or thousands of ordinary women every single day.

  13. Novaraen says:

    Honestly 2k a month is not very much. It’s very shameful what Melissa is doing in this situation…acting like a total douche.

  14. Renee says:

    Just goes to show that if you let gays and lesbians get married they won’t do any worse than straight people. I have heard a lot worse stories than this about divorces. Well hello there Mr. Mel (I have lost my mind) Gibson or Mr. Jesse (I’m a big douche) James.

  15. Anne says:

    I’m not sure who’s side I’m on yet. I’m not sure if I believe the story about the money.

  16. jeannified says:

    If Melissa Etheridge is really doing this…only paying Tammy Lynn $2,000.00 plus expenses a month, that is NOTHING!!! …and Tammy Lynn is supposed to raise those two little kids properly on $2,000.00 a month?! Christ! Melissa needs to get it together and pay Tammy Lynn alot more than that! Cheap b – – – h!

  17. Moi says:

    From what I read, the $25,000 was for legal fees, not living expenses. The more I hear about what’s going on, the more I can’t stand ME. Plus, Tammy is renting and has to be out in 45 days. I will never purchase anything related to ME again. I guess you don’t have a dick to be a dick. Team Tammy all the way!!! ME better wise up and step up to the plate before she has no fans left.

  18. Anti-icon says:

    I am having serious doubts about Melissa Ethridge’s character, and I used to be a fan. I thought she loved her children, but she’s behaving like a pig. If these reports are accurate, which I really kinda doubt.

  19. Leek says:

    I’m not impressed. 2k/mo isn’t much with two kids in Los Angeles…if that is where they live.

  20. Moi says:

    One more thing, these words from Come to my window, never sounded truer than now:

    Keeping my eyes open
    I cannot afford to sleep
    Giving away promises
    I know that I can’t keep


  21. Amanda says:

    This makes me so sad. I feel incredibly sad for the children. Being the kids of a millionaire musician won’t matter a thing if you have parents that divorce and treat each other like absolute jerks. Can’t wait for them to start putting the kids in the middle.

    Oh wait! THey already have put the kids in the middle. Because when Melissa says that she pays “Tammy’s” expenses which run tens of thousands per month, I think she is forgetting about those 2 little people that tag along after Tammy everday, that live with Tammy, that Tammy feeds and cares for, that Tammy drives around to friends homes or their activities, That Tammy finds schools for, that Tammy dresses, two little kids about whom Tammy uses her cellphone to most likely keep Melissa filled in about while she is on the road. I think it’s safe to assume that much of Tammy’s expenses are also Melissa’s children’s expenses.

  22. aenflex says:

    Typical male behaviour!

  23. Anti-icon says:

    I really wanna know the financial stats on this. Because my gut is telling me Tammy gets $2000 ON TOP OF all the expenses being paid, which could run high. IF that is the case, then this isn’t that bad of a financial score. Times are changin for stay at home moms. I know the score on that in the middle of the country, at least.

  24. malachais says:

    I’m a little torn between Melissa/Tammy. If Melissa’s lawyer is providing proof that Melissa is paying for Tammy’s bills and also paying her $2k in support, then that should invalidate Tammy’s claims.

    You guys also have to take into consideration that Melissa hasn’t had a hit in years and her fortune is probably put up in bank accounts – she doesn’t have steady income so I can only assume this is taken into consideration, maybe that is what she can afford at the moment.

    From a middle-class person’s standpoint, I would think $2,000 would be enough to keep them afloat, especially if their bills are paid. Tammy doesn’t work, so what exactly is $2,000 being used one besides groceries and occasional shopping? I believe they have other kids too, right? They live in california too, so I can imagine the cost of living is fairly high.

    I still think she would give her more money, but this Tammy b-tch needs to get a job. Just because you married/had a partnership with a millionaire doesn’t mean you can just go to court and ask for more money every time you go “broke.” Yes, as a couple, they decide to keep Tammy at home. Now she is a single mom, so get over it and get a job.

    Just my opinion.

  25. gg says:

    ITA with Marjalane and Bellaluna. Cough it up, Etheridge.

  26. Bec says:

    So the rent is paid. Great. What about:

    -Incidentals: Baby powders, creams, etc.
    -Outings with the children (or are they supposed to stay in the house til Melissa ponies up?)
    -Household cleaning items, Laundry detergents, etc.
    -Hard goods: new car seat, or crib, or play pen

    $2000 over the course of the month for two infant children is not a lot of money. And if Tammy gets a job, where is she going to get the money to pay for childcare? That will certainly eat all of that money. Why would Melissa want to pay someone else to raise her children, when she could just be fair to her ex-wife? She’s a b*tch.

  27. lucy2 says:

    I too think it sounds like the $2K is in addition to expenses. For an ordinary, middle class family living modestly, that’s pretty good. But for a multi-millionaire like Melissa, it’s pretty shameful.
    I think Tammy eventually will go back to acting, but it sounds like the split was sudden, and she has two young kids to take care of – kids she and Melissa agreed to have and that she’d quit working to raise.
    Worrying about money puts a strain on a person, which the kids will pick up on. Melissa needs to step up and do the right thing to make it better for the kids.

  28. jane16 says:

    This story is bothersome. The People quote doesn’t say she pays rent or mortgage. Its says household bills. I usually consider mortgage/rent separate from “household bills”. Even if she is paying their rent & utilities & car pymt, $2000 will disappear quite quickly given how expensive are groceries, sundries and other misc chidrens expenses in the L.A. area. Also, ME is a proponent of gay marriage and was furious when the anti-gay marriage bill passed in Calif. Now she wants to split from her wife without paying alimony? To a wife who gave up a promising career to be a housewife & mom??? Really Melissa? Sounds like ME wants the benefits of marriage without the responsibilities. What a hypocrite!

  29. N.D. says:

    From an article it’s clear that $2000 are on top of all household bills being paid including some of Tammy’s personal bills like car lease. It’s not huge sum of course especially for someone wealthy like Melissa but it’s far cry from being “broke”.

    Their kids are toddlers now and Melissa wants shared custody so Tammy can work if she wants her financial freedom back. Instead she asks for full custody and alimony making me think that the idea of being a working mom isn’t on her mind at all.

  30. cprincess says:

    Ive never liked Melissa Etheridge and shes the one who insisted on a ‘marriage’ so lets see her stand up for her responsiblities and take care of her children and ex who it seems pretty clear had devoted her time to raising them…
    If all she paying is $2000 per month in addition to the house hold bills-those figures are normal sized and not rich rock star sized so shut up and pay up Melissa and stop hiding behind those fancy lawyers…..

  31. Jeri says:

    Everyone needs some pocket money – just because essentials are paid by Melissa does not mean she has provided. That’s like when people say they have supported their kids by buying diapers. I know it’s not the same but I believe the underlying principle is the same. You need more then sustenence to live.

  32. Anti-icon says:

    I wish the paperwork on this case was public, because states are really different in how they define “expenses.” Alimony doesn’t even exist in most states anymore, so paying expenses IS TAKING CARE OF THE CHILDREN, IN MOST STATE COURT’S EYES. This forces people like Tammy (and me, who had worked and then scaled way back to a home based consulting practice) to go back to work, unless you are able to live on the amount paid for living “expenses.” It’s impossible to speculate unless we know the details?

    Any Cali divorce lawyers in da house to elaborate?

  33. n/a says:

    I just looked up ME’s “networth” (found it on a site) and it says she’s worth $25 million. Comparing other female singers, Pat Benetar and Kt Tunstall who are worth $12 mil. ME is worth a lot more.

    Now why can’t she pay the mother of her children more than $2,000 a month??

  34. Francesca says:

    It is easy to judge without having all the facts. The article says that Melissa pays $2000 in addition to covering all expenses, not just housing and transportation. It sounds like this money is for Tammy not for the kids. After all all kids expenses (including food, clothing and outings) can be accounted for with simple receipts for which Melissa may very well pay. $2000 in extra spending money is not extravagant but nothing to sneeze at either especially if one has no other expenses. Melissa has never been stingy with her money and I for one have no reason to believe she is now, regardless of the bad PR and the desire of people to cut her down.

  35. la chica says:

    if melissa is paying ALL of Tammy’s expenses PLUS giving her @2,000. a month, Tammy needs to STFU. she’s going for public pity bec she got dumped. not saying it doesn’t hurt to get dumped but that is no reason to become exploitative.

  36. birdgherl says:

    This is why BEFORE entering into a partnership of any kind, the papers must be drawn up. If Tammy had done that, chances are a) they never would have married in the first place or b) she would be able to spend her time and effort on her kids and not fighting a legal battle.

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  38. Olivia says:

    Get real people. Mellisa Etheridge entered into a marraige, had 2-children, twins no less, with her wife. Then she leaves her, (again! just like first wife), she is scum. You are all bowled over by her fame, and music.
    Actions speak louder than words. I am throwing my Mellisa music collection in trash. Good luck to the “new” Mellisa to be ex-wife.