Melissa Etheridge’s ex set up meeting to see twins, served her divorce papers instead

Just yesterday we heard from Melissa Etheridge’s ex, Tammy Lynn Micheals, that she was sick and broke, having been left scrambling for money to buy food and gas and pay doctor’s bills since her split with the rock star. Michaels cares for her three year old twins with Etheridge and claims that she gave up a lucrative acting career to be a stay-at-home mom while Etheridge focused on her work. Now Etheridge is claiming in new court papers that Michaels scammed her by asking her to come to a hotel to see the twins and serving her with divorce papers instead. That would have happened after Etheridge served Michaels with dissolution of partnership papers. It may have been vindictive to use the children as bait in order to serve divorce papers, but it’s not like she did it out of the blue. The least she could have done is to let Melissa see the kids first and then get the process server in. Here’s US Weekly’s report on what happened.

Another bitter chapter in the Melissa Etheridge-Tammy Michaels split.

In a declaration released Thursday, Etheridge, 49, accuses Michaels, 35, of using their 3-year-old twins as “pawns.”

She claims that on July 6 — during a break from her summer tour — Michaels told her their kids were going to meet her at her Boston hotel.

A short time later, she “received a text message … stating, ‘My plans changed, sorry,'” the singer recounts in the court papers, obtained by E! News.

Etheridge says she was then served with court papers from her ex.

Etheridge says it was “a ploy to have me served, and mistakenly believing that by serving me, I would have to dismiss my Petition … [she] used our children as pawns.”

Etheridge’s claim is an attempt to fight back at Michaels, who is asking for in excess of $12,000 a month to take care of the kids and find work. See more volcanic relationships.

Michaels, a former actress who is now a full-time homemaker, claims she has no income.

Michaels says she doesn’t see why Etheridge can’t support her, considering that the rocker rakes in between $600,000 and $750,000 a month.

Etheridge’s attorney says the singer currently gives Michaels $2,000 a month and pays all of her household bills. Etheridge announced she had split from Michaels earlier this year.

[From US Weekly]

This is a cheap move. According to Michaels, Etheridge promised her she wouldn’t file for separation until the fall, only to be surprised when she was served papers. So I guess in retaliation she got a lawyer and served Etheridge papers, using the excuse of seeing their kids in order to make sure she would be there.

I used to be on Michaels’ side because I believed her claims that Etheridge had left her broke and wasn’t providing for her. The more she blogs the more she seems unstable and possibly embellishing to make herself out to be the wronged party, though. She’s since deleted a couple of blog entires, so even if she didn’t personally have the revelation that it was stupid to whine about her breakup online she wisely followed her lawyer’s advice to stop doing it. Meanwhile their poor kids are stuck in the middle. I hope for their sake that Michaels and Etheridge are able to put aside their differences and successfully co-parent. Given everything we’ve heard so far, it doesn’t seem likely.

Header photo is from 2002. Photo below is from 2001. Credit: Fame Pictures.

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46 Responses to “Melissa Etheridge’s ex set up meeting to see twins, served her divorce papers instead”

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  1. denise says:

    Melissa is mean, and Tammi is getting annoying.

  2. Katalina says:

    Having been following this for a while, I’m starting to think that maybe the behavior we are seeing from Michaels is part of the reason Etheridge left.
    If she’s getting 2K a month PLUS her rent/mortgage and all other household expenses paid, how exactly is she broke and homeless?? Me thinks that maybe Ms. Michaels is a little bit loony.

  3. Me1st says:

    if she is as broke as she says she is then where did the money come from to get a lawyer to draw up divorce papers? Also, she was an actress? What did she play on, I don’t remember. I think she is only known because of Melissa

  4. Jeri says:

    If the $2000. does not have to go for living expenses & is on top of all bills being taken care of, I think Melissa is doing the right thing. If living expenses/bills are paid by that $2000. it’s not enough for a celeb breakup. Michaels does seem kinda flaky now but who knows what’s really going on.

  5. bellaluna says:

    If Tammy served Melissa the divorce papers herself, they may be null & void. Papers must be served by someone without a personal interest in the outcome of the case, as far as I understand it.

    And now I’m over these two as well. So, who’s next? 😀

  6. hellen says:

    I don’t know what’s going on either, but look at the body language. Melissa is leaning/looking away from Tammy (more obviously in the first photo) – Tammy looks fully engaged, but Melissa looks like she is pulling away.

  7. lrm says:

    omg-you guys think 2k is alot?
    she is used to living w/mellissa who makes 600k plus a MONTH?

    yea, i’m sure she seems unstable sometimes…she just got blindsided and had her perceived lifed destroyed. and then ME continues to lie and backtrack on her word. That’s confusing, and throws you for a loop-when the person you thought you were closest to, suddenly is your adversary?

    geesh. 12k is not alot when you think about it….
    also, 2k plus expenses? sounds like she’s being ‘kept’-i mean, humiliation to begin with, and then having to go to ME everytime she needs or wants to do something extra for the kids, as they get older-you know, a class here or there, a uniform for something, lessons or tutoring…it does add up, and 2k is not much in that regard.

    I live on a very low amount per month, but I think you have to skew things to see the particular situation-and ME should cough up for a stable life for tammy and the kids-you know ME will not be around much. And Tammy plans to look for work again.

  8. Novaraen says:

    I agree that 2k a month even if she is paying the utility bills as well is not very much at all. I have twins and it is no cheap endeavor to raise them. You have double everything to think of…diapers, food, clothes and other necessities.

    Seriously Melissa has the money…doesn’t she want her kids to live well and have the things they need? Sounds like she’s trying to punish Tammy by only giving her a little money. Think of the kids.

    I’m still on team Tammy.

  9. Anti-icon says:

    $12,000 a month is not a lot? It is a lot of money in which to give yourself and your children a fine life with many priviledges.

    I am a women. I did not get alimony nor did I pay any. But I did stay married for 20 years and we did share a child and we both did work.

    This just seems BEYOND fair, and I am a feminist and this case is interesting for all it reveals about equality and fairness.

    Tammy needs to be grateful for what she has: her health, her beauty, her intelligence and MOST IMPORTANTLY OF ALL: her beautiful children. No one can take that from her.

    Hope all unfolds peacefully at both homes here.

  10. snowball says:

    I still think Melissa’s acting lower than pond scum. Something’s not right with her. I’d part the freaking Red Sea to get to my kids, even if it meant doling out $200k a month in blood money until the court settled stuff. She just doesn’t seem to care all that much.

    Anyone know what the deal ended up being with her first relationship and their kids? Just from the little I heard when she first split from Tammy, she seemed awfully lukewarm about those kids too.

  11. malachais says:

    Read this before you guys continue commenting (pls):,,20402417,00.html

    $6k on rent? $1500 on groceries? 3 people? What?
    $800 dining out with her kids? Who dines out THAT much?

    It doesn’t matter how they lived or what they were used to prior to the separation. They are NO LONGER together. This woman needs to suck it up and ask for a reasonable amount not for her convenience, but for her kids. I highly doubt she comes from a celebrity family where she is used to this luxurious lifestyle. Let the courts decide how much she gets, isn’t it according to the individual’s income? Let the judge decide, but in the meantime, get Michaels out of the tabloids CB, she has been embellishing her financial situation the entire time.

  12. Cinderella says:

    Melissa is in no position to accuse anyone of not being forthcoming.

    I’m just wondering…if they co-own a five million dollar home in So. Cal., (if they still own it) can’t they sell the home and split the proceeds? If Melissa made her move out, shouldn’t Tammy receive her share of the equity? What a legal nightmare, and it shouldn’t have to be.

    I still say, Melissa is being such a twat by being so spiteful. Make Tammy sign a confidentiality agreement, give her a respectable settlement (it’s not going to break her!) and be done with it, already.

  13. Linda says:

    Serving divorce papers assumes you’re married. I don’t think they were legally married which makes it a fake drama. I hate those. There are enough real dramas to think about.

  14. snowball says:

    @malachais – depends on where they’re living. In California, is $6K unreasonable to rent a house? I haven’t got a clue about groceries, again, it depends on what they’re eating and the general cost of living. If they’re eating good stuff – organics, lots of fresh things, then yeah, $1500 in California isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. $800 to dine out is silly, but I don’t know their habits.

    Do you really think People magazine, of all places, is going to take anyone’s side except Melissa’s? We’ve talked all over the place about what a pandering whore People has become. This is just another example.

    What does CB have to do with getting Tammy out of the tabloids?

    And yes, the couple’s standard of living during their relationship DOES matter in terms of what will happen now, at least in the short term. They aren’t HER kids, they are THEIR kids. What does Tammy’s family background or what she was used to have to do with anything?

  15. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    @Me1st: She was a teen drama-type show called Popular about a dozen years ago. It was cancelled being she started seeing Etheridge.

  16. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    ‘before’, what button did I push to get that?

  17. Ron says:

    Melissa is not known for being particularly nice. Why is it that whne she gets slapped with papers it’s bad? Tammy knew she would never show up otherwise. You have to do what you have to do when you are dealing with a meany.

  18. malachais says:

    @snowball. I was agreeing CB’s comment that Tammy is embellishing her financial situation. I wrote that I highly doubt Tammy lived a luxurious style prior to meeting Melissa, and that is an opinion-based comment. I really don’t know what her background is. If Tammy is “so broke” then whatever standard of living she had during their partnership should be put aside in an effort to keep her kids off the street and have money period.

    I have family in California and yes the cost of living is fairly high, but those numbers seems outrageous. I agree that People magazine is going to side with Melissa on this matter, but we’re here to make comments regarding the topic.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t feel bad for Tammy when there are multiple media outlets saying proof of support has been provided by Melissa to the courts. Otherwise they would be living with someone and not in Melissa’ house.

    These people clearly had a communication problem. I feel bad for the kids, but I also feel like both parents should step up and work. regardless if one decided to stay home.

  19. Lisa Turtle says:

    When ur in a relationship and it’s agreed upon that one party will stay home and raise the children, thereby giving up their livelyhood for the sake of the family, it is the other party’s moral duty to support the family financially.

    Melissa Etheridge is being cheap. She’s being stingy and with-holding. $2,000 a month? That’s not enough.

  20. Sammy says:

    All I have to say
    Julie Cypher

  21. Sue says:

    The point is: was she a wife or not? Marriage for straight folks means you can argue for alimony for the “wife” in the relationship – the one who was not the breadwinner. The point also is: control. Frankly, the fact that Melissa pays “living expenses” means she still wants control. A promise to pay “living expenses” cannot be garnished, whereas a set, court ordered amount can be. Most people advise divorcing people to get all monies upfront and spelled out, because vague, “living expenses” – what does that mean? Does it mean health insurance or just the rent and utilities? Does it mean dental? What about other stuff? “living expenses” can be a hoard for abusive, controlling husbands.

    If they are parting, it’s a grownup thing to do to just set aside money to be paid to the non-bread earning partner. Also, being married may be that she’s entitled ultimately to half. Half of 600,000 a month is not 2,000, although $300,000 is not what she is asking for.

    Bear in mind, if Melissa actually wanted to date and marry a bread winner, she would have done so. She wanted the full attention and a stay at home wife and mom. There are consequences for her and for Mel G. in their splits. Don’t date the pretty ones without a visible means of support and no career if when you split from a legal partnership, you don’t want to split money. They were not room mates in other words who just take what they came in with. Don’t marry if you don’t want to halve your money.

  22. Megan says:

    I wish they wouldn’t play this whole divorce out in public. They are both immature for going to the media and writing in blogs about their personal lives.

  23. gen says:

    Anybody read ME’s book? She is so immature & self-centered. Not crazy about her. Team Tammy

  24. Kimble says:

    I get more than $2K per month after expenses and my husband doesn’t earn ME’s monthly income a year!!!!

    He pays this voluntarily BTW as we are not yet divorced …

    Cheap is cheap and ME probably does want financial control over Tammy and the kids – I would fight her tooth and nail too …

  25. Novaraen says:

    I live in California…and 6k for rent in So Cal isn’t actually much at the level that Melissa and Tammy are used to living at. Seems kinda low actually. Heck I’m at the broke as a joke level and rent runs around 2k for a 3 bedroom, very basic…run of the mill house.

    The 800 a month to eat out doesn’t seem high either. If she eats out with the two kids and maybe a relative it could run her 100 bucks a pop. Say she goes out to eat 2 times a week. We are talking So Cal here…everything costs more here. Trust me…unfortunately I know.

    BUT, the 1500 a month for groceries does seem a bit extreme. Is she throwing parties??

  26. Johnthing says:

    Team Tammy!

  27. Anon says:

    I think there is a lot of confusion here about the legal circumstances. First, they were not legally married in California, so Etheridge was correct to file to dissolve the partnership and not a marriage as no marriage was recognized by law. Michael’s is simply counter-filing because in Califronia in order to get alimony you have to have been married. It’s a false legal move to further her economic situation. That’s not to say Etheridge shouldn’t offer alimony, but these are the legal facts.

    Second, the amounts of money we are talking about now are interim – as in, these are the amounts Etheridge will pay while they are going through the legal process to come to a settlement agreement. If they can’t agree on a settlement, it could be that a court will determine that a higher amount ought to be paid to Micheals, but for now the court has been satisfied that Etheridge is paying the expenses and offering an additional $2000.00 for Micheals.

    Third, for those who are saying Etheridge is humiliating Micheals by paying the bills instead of giving her a larger amount and allowing her to cover her expenses, this is not the way things are usually done during this interim stage of the legal process. Etheridge would want to be sure that the expenses are paid, and be able to show receipts, which is why she would be paying these directly. Once a final settlement is determined, then Micheals can pay her own bills as she sees fit.

    The bottom line is that Micheals and a lot of posters on here want things to be final, when the court process is just beginning, and they are only in the interim stage. Whether Etheridge is being “cheap” or not in her current stance, she is at least keeping quiet which is ultimately the best thing for their children.

  28. gg says:

    ITA with Irm, hellen and snowball. I used to be a paralegal at a family law office for five years. When the homemaker submits papers, the lawyer generally inflates them to try and get more money. The judge will decide.

    If Tammy is actually currently getting only $2k per month, Melissa needs to cough it up – she makes plenty, and California is expensive.

    If they’re both being jerks, then shame on them both.

  29. Jackie says:

    Melissa isn’t paying nearly enough. Come on, she needs to continue making sure that Tammy and the twins are living a lifestyle that they have become accustom to.
    Melissa seems like the kind of person that wants to have children but then leave and not take care of them the way she did when she was in the household with them.
    She asks these women to stay at home with the children and then she wants to leave and not take care of both the women and the children.
    And if Tammy is loony or whatever, Melissa knew that during their relationship.
    I have no respect for Melissa. It’s no different than if a man had done this.

  30. Rosanna says:

    Another golddigger. It’s too easy to say “I gave up a lucrative career for family” in the absence of a valid EVIDENCE. Yet another woman who thought she was “marrying up” and might have avoided to get a job with the excuse of a family. LAME! If it was a man using that excuse we’d never hear the end of it… but because she’s a woman then she can do it. NONSENSE.

  31. lucy2 says:

    Anon, I think you make a very good point about this all being temporary.

    By the time the rent, utilities, car, and cash are paid, Melissa is probably paying out about $10K/month. If she’s really making between $7-9 mil/year (I’m surprised it’s that high), the court will make her pay more. But right now I think she’s trying to be cheap about it, which is sad when there’s kids involved.

    I’m not sure how one spends $800 month dining out plus $1500 on groceries for one adult and two 3 year olds though. At some point Tammy needs to be a responsible adult – if you see you’re spending too much, cut back a little. That’s what the rest of the world does!

  32. Francesca says:

    There is more to this situation that meets the eye. Yes, it is true that Tammy was accustomed to a very high standard or living with Melissa but let’s not forget that Melissa had built most of her fortune BEFORE she met Tammy not during their relationship. Before meeting Melissa Tammy was dirt poor and her acting career was just starting out. Yes, Tammy stayed home with the kids, but she blogged for years that that was all she wanted in life (to be a mom) and I think she was very happy to have found someone who supported her and her decision to be a homemaker. Also, Tammy makes it sound like she gave up everything to make a home, but they had a full time nanny who lived with them since the twins were born… not exactly your typical homaker (or else why did she need to spend $5000 a month just on her own clothes?

    For the past three years Melissa has been alone at most events. i believe the Oscars was the last time the two were seen together. So, Melissa earned the money and did not even have her partner beside her at work functions and certainly not because they could not afford a babysitter. Tammy just preferred to stay home.

    So, I say, if you marry a celebrity and get all the advantages of a celebrity life, you should behave as the spouse of said celebrity.

    I think Melissa deserves a break.

  33. stacia says:

    My rent was 2200 in Southern California when I lived there years ago in a two bedroom APARTMENT in Marina Del Rey. This was 9 YEARS ago. I cannot imagine what it is now. And trust me, if you shop at Whole Foods or Gelsons, 1500 in food and diapers a month for two kids and an adult CAN happen.

  34. Paigeroni says:

    Melissa seems like a nice person. She’ll most likely make sure her kids are taken care of, and Tammy will be able to get a career going again. We all have to work, don’t we?
    I just wish Melissa would go back to her chemo hairstyle. It was so attractive. The long, limp, dishwater locks do nothing for her.

  35. Shelley says:

    If you go to Tammy’s blog – Hollywoodfarmgirl dot blogspot dot com – you’ll understand a lot more about her. If you get the DVD of the wonderful acidic teen comedy “Popular,” which is from the “Glee” guy, you’ll see how very gifted an actress she is. Please consider that she left that career willingly to make a home for ME, to help raise the two other children ME has, and then stood steadfast by ME through a horrendous fight with cancer. Three years ago Tammy gave birth to twins, thinking that she and ME would raise them together. This has been the last ten years of Tammy’s life, from age 25 to 34.

    While ME wanders around giving interviews saying breakup is mutual, it is not. ME says “life is about change” but life in a committed relationship is not (supposed to) be about changing partners when you tire of the current one.

    Tammy is a common-sense woman who makes it clear on her blog that isn’t raising spoiled entitled children. If she says she needs money at a certain level, at least for now, I would believe her. What her future holds, as far as being able to support herself by acting, no one knows. Hollywood is a nasty place and she’s been gone awhile but there is no doubt of her talent and I hope she will be back. There’s also no doubt of her strength and she’ll be fine – she has great integrity, clearly. The same is not true of ME.

  36. Snarf says:

    Tammy is that you?

  37. Shelley says:

    Ha- no, if you mean me. A longtime reader of her blog and fan since “Popular.”. Admired how she stood by ME during ME’s fight with cancer with such devotion. I’m not gay, not liberal, and have never been treated by someone as ME is treating Tammy. I just am appalled at how ME is ‘rewarding’ Tammy for 9 years of such loyalty.

  38. L2 says:

    $2000 a month after household bills isn’t shit, especially when your ex rakes in hundreds of thousands a month. You know those household expenses are raked over with a fine toothed comb by Etheridge’s accountant and nothing gets passed off as household that isn’t. Household bills do not include clothing the children, buying toys, entertainment etc. I’m a suburbian housewife and I get more pocket money than that, each month, from my husband who is not a rock star.

  39. Mrs Odie 2 says:

    Who among us hasn’t behaved in an unstable fashion during a break-up? Okay, hands down. Next question. Who thinks $2000 is a lot of money from a wealthy rock star? Let me qualify that. I’m married to a high school teacher and after we pay bills, we have about 2000 to live on. A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER!

    Rock star lady should take better care of the WIFE who gave up her career to be a mother for her. She called her wife when things were good. Now that she wants out, it’s “domestic partner”? I am not liking her.

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  41. Henriette says:

    If I were forced to pick one or the other, I guess I’d be Team Tammy, but in reality, I’m Team Shut-the-F*ck-up! This drama shouldn’t be getting played out in public for everyone to read about. They have children together; how’s this going to appear to the little ones once they’re old to read about it.

    Show some class, ladies, and stop airing your dirty laundry.

  42. gg says:

    @ Francesca – I agree there is usually more than meets the eye in domestic situations such as this. However, how would we know if Melissa didn’t tell Tammy to stay at home instead of accompanying her to events?

  43. Gigohead says:

    I’m shocked that the judge would approve such a small amount considering Melissa makes so much money. 2k a month isn’t a lot of money. I spend that much alone in my kids school and baby siting and food for a month. I’m sure her expenses are a lot in California.

  44. RaraAvis says:

    Are you kidding me? Two grand a month is nothing. You know they fight over every “expense”. Team Tammy.

  45. hanh says:

    I agree. 12k a month is not alot when ME rakes in huge amounts a month. 12k is good enough to life comfortably in California – I think Tammy should ask for more! Its not like ME is going to take care of the kids anyway! She should pay up to Tammy who will be raising them.

  46. Jenna says:

    For all those who think Tammy is unstable or mean because she said the kids were going to Boston and then she canceled I say GOOD GO TAMMY FOR FIGHTING BACK. Melissa is a creep too if you want to really see the truth and the fact that a multimillionaire only gives her $2000.00 a month and she has 2 kids. I’m glad Tammy Lynn put that selfish has been rich rockin hag in her proper place both were married and both wanted kids but the benefit Tammy and other gilted gay woman don’t have is the legality of their marriage where every star in Hollywood attended. Tammy is the biological Mother and carried the twins in her womb for 9 months and Melissa is no Mommy and she is far worse than a man. I believe Tammy Lynn didn’t want to end the marriage but hag has been Melissa did and she has been cold callous and shameful about the whole thing. If Melissa doesn’t want to support the kids and the ex wife out of her multi millions than she has no right to Tammy Lynn’s children by a biological father who donated his sperm. Melissa Etheridge is the one now trying to gain the sympathy of her fans and anybody. It seems now Melissa has taken to airing her dirty laundry the hag. She is worse than a man. Gays should marry so they can divorce properly. I’m for Tammy and on her team and I believe she is broke.