Melissa Etheridge’s ex Tammy Lynn Micheals suspects her of cheating


In Touch scored an exclusive interview with the lawyer representing Melissa Etheridge’s ex, Tammy Lynn Michaels. Michaels has asserted through a series of (now deleted) entries on her blog that she’s dead broke, having given up an acting career to raise their now three year-old twins. She’s also claimed to be sickand about to be evicted from her home. When this story first came out, on was on Michaels’ side as it sounded like Etheridge left her abruptly after nine years, leaving her without much to live on and fending for herself. Now I’m not so sure, though, as Michaels has sounded whiny and out of touch on her blog. There’s much more to the story than we’re hearing.

In his In Touch interview, Michaels’ lawyer lays out his client’s suspicions and provides more background on how little money she’s being given to live on.

Now In Touch can reveal the real reason the breakup came out of the blue. “Tammy suspects that there’s another woman in the situation,” Tammy’s lawyer, Steven Knowles, exclusively tells In Touch. “Even before papers were signed, there were all the usual signs. Strange comings and goings and lots of days and nights absent…

“Tammy says Melissa doesn’t even ask about the kids and rarely sees them… Frankly, this is an unfortunately and common phenomenon among divorcing spouses.”

Tammy feels that Melissa, 49, has not only abandoned the family emotionally, she’s also neglecting them financially, adds Knowles.

“Tammy has a very small credit card stipend of $2,000 a month…

“When they were in court, Melissa was forced to give her $2,000 in cash, but that was fought tool and nail…

“Tammy should be entitled to alimony, child support and division of the assets…

“Tammy and the children are entitled to live in the same manner that Melissa is accustomed to.” And when calculated on the statewide program, DissoMaster, it totals up to “$60,000 a month…

“Melissa’s attitude is that Tammy is used up and needs to be cut out as cheaply as possible.”

[From In Touch, print edition, August 2, 2010]

I guess I don’t blame Michaels for using the press to hit back at Etheridge when she has little money to live on. It sounds bitter and petty to put it out there, but I understand the urge. The article is incorrect on one point, though. They note that “their relationship was legal under California law,” which is technically true, but Tammy and Melissa had a civil partnership, not a legal marriage as they never took advantage of the chance to make it a full marriage before Prop 8 passed. They did have a big traditional wedding attended by other celebrities in 2003. Etheridge even bitched after Prop 8 passed that she didn’t need to pay state taxes because “that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights.” Now she’s probably glad she didn’t have the same rights, because she doesn’t have the same responsibilities.

Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels at the '2nd Annual Power Up Premiere' honoring Showtime's Jerry Offsay and Melissa Etheridge at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Ca. Sunday, Nov. 3, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 6:  (L to R) Tammy Lynn Michaels and recording artist Melissa Etheridge attend the premiere screening of 'The L Word' at the LACMA on January 6, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. The original series 'The L Word' airs exclusively on the Showtime Network on January 18, 2004.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Header: Melissa on June 26, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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33 Responses to “Melissa Etheridge’s ex Tammy Lynn Micheals suspects her of cheating”

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  1. Rosanna says:

    Tammy is a whiner like so many other women. I’m sorry that Melissa has to go through that! I just hate it when a person whose career is failing stays home “because of the kids” and then blames it all on the partner.

  2. Roma says:

    I think Tammy is being whinny but I do have to say, I get it. Especially when it’s the other person that wants to move on and you do feel like you put your life on hold for them it can be devastating.

    But really, she needs to stop publicizing the whole thing. Just cut up Melissa’s clothes in private like any pissed off wife.

  3. Renee says:

    I think a lot of women stay home to be mothers and it has nothing to do with their career failing. Melissa better step up, she chose this women to be the mother of her kids.

  4. Dorothy says:

    Tammy is doing what anyone else would do in the same situation – complain about your spouse to anyone who will listen!!!!

    I feel sad for her and the kids. I hope she gets a ton of money and finds new love.

  5. Leticia says:

    does anyone know if etheridge was cheap like this to the mother of the first two kids?

  6. LindyLou says:

    She only getting $2000/month?? That is ridiculous. How cheap!

  7. mln says:

    I do think it’s Melissa’s M.O to set up shop with another woman hopefully this time she won’t have more babies she has 4 or 5 now (I think) Unfortunatly she is giving ammo to all the Same-sex marraige opponents with her antics. I wish that she had taken care of Tammy so we wouldn’t have to be subjected to the whining.

  8. Tess says:


  9. Iggles says:

    Wow. It’s amazing how much being a wife and mother is devalued in our society. Taking care of the kids is not being “lazy”. I would have love it if my mom could of stayed at home, but as a single mom she had to work.

    Anyway, going through a painful divorce and dealing with money issues because you were a stay at home mom does not make you whiney! She’s not just bitching for the sake of bitching. She has children to take care of and very little money to do so. Her ex is being a jerk and she’s putting her on blast. Doesn’t sound whiney to me at all.

  10. a says:


  11. oh hey says:

    @Iggles, I wonder if they say the same thing if Melissa was a man.

  12. Tia C says:

    While she does give the impression of having commitment issues, I think Melissa was smart to cut her losses on this relationship. From all the stories I’ve read, Tammy sounds like she’s a couple sandwiches shy of a full picnic.

  13. Megan says:

    Well they do say lesbian separations are like nuclear war, and this one is no different.

  14. Jo says:

    Team Tammy all the way!! I bet her attorney advised her to remove her (many year old) blogs pertaining to the current situation. Tammy did allude in a strong way to cheating … $2,000 a mont is nothing.. Where is she going to live.. no house? geeze… not a fan of Melissa anymore Cheap and unfair!

  15. Riley says:

    Maybe the people who think Tammy’s being whiny could come up with some suggestions because it sounds like she’s in a bad situation. What else can she do. The only leverage she probably has is publicity. She is in the traditional powerless wife role, and Etheridge (initials ME) is acting like the traditional man. Way to advance things, Melissa Etheridge. Also, way to make a mockery of the gay rights cause. You want marriage rights, then behave this way. The poor kids. It must be disorienting enough to grow up in a non-traditional household, then to have your world upside down overnight and be abandoned.

  16. dread pirate cuervo says:

    I think Tammy is pissed b/c while Melissa does foot ALL her bills, she only gives Tammy $2k a month cash, to use as Tammy sees fit. Everything else Melissa pays directly. It’s a control issue. Melissa left Tammy & now allows her no control over her financial situation. She’ll pay for school, but only this school; she’ll pay for housing, but only that house; etc…

  17. Bren says:

    I would love to hear Melissa’s view of this mess – but like a smart woman she is saying nothing and for that I respect her

  18. cantbelievethis says:

    Wait, in another article it said that Etheridge is pay ALL household bills (rent, groceries, kids tuition(?), kids clothes, etc) plus giving Tammy $2,000 cash a month and that article says $2,000 credit card stipend. So she gets $4,000 a month that doesn’t have to go to bills. How is she getting evicted if Etheridge is paying the household bills?

  19. MightyMouse says:

    @ dread pirate cuervo (first off – great name!)
    I think you nailed it.

  20. LolaBella says:

    Wow, $60,000 a month??? What the hell were they doing that equates to her needing that amount of money per month??? That seems ridiculously excessive.

    At first Tammy got the sympathy vote, but with each subsequent blog post she just sounded jilted, whiny and bitter.Not for one second did I believe she was near destitute and broke like she implied.

    Since I don’t think she will be legally entitled to ME’s money, I hope that ME does the right thing and ensures that her children are financially secure and taken care of.

  21. Persistent Cat says:

    @ Riley: “Maybe the people who think Tammy’s being whiny could come up with some suggestions because it sounds like she’s in a bad situation.”

    She could deal with it with some dignity. I’m so sick of everyone having to air everything out in public. Not just celebrities but everyone. There are sites devoted to posting screen shots of people’s Facebook status’ and wall posts where couples fight and accuse each other of cheating, etc. That shouldn’t happen. Announcements don’t have to be made, TMZ does not have to be contacted… Everyone should just STFU.

  22. Jeri says:

    DUH!!?? Of course she has someone else.

  23. Cinderella says:

    I agree with Riley 150%.

  24. Anti-icon says:

    Tammi’s lawyer appears to be using the press to sway public opinion against Ethridge so that she will pony up. During my hideous divorce settlement, my own lawyer did a similar “calculation” about what alimony I was entitled, based upon 20 years of marriage and my “downsizing” my own career to be a mother (I still worked from home, though). MY own lawyer told me it was up to ME to talk my EX into the alimony I was entitled, based upon the calculation. I couldn’t succeed, and settled on nothing, to get the divorce done (my ex just kept saying NO, for 9 months.)

    Child support and alimony is complex. Because I had made lots of $$$ in my career before my husband and I agreed that I would stay at home because our child had health issues, and yet, I was shafted financially.

    I’m sure it will be even harder for Tammi to get what she deserves, because it is a civil union as opposed to a marriage; but the courts DO NOT SUPPORT STAY AT HOME MOTHERS. THIS IS WRONG.

  25. Cynthia says:

    I have as much worshiped Melissa for 10 plus years, her music is amazing! But now I am heart broken at the way she has treated Tammy, she needs to sit down spill the beans to Tammy and find common ground, for the sake of those beautiful babies, also ME’s other 2, Tammy helped raise them as well and I’m sure they are being torn over this matter,again! Shame on you ME for the selfishness you are showing, your fans base will slowly die out because of this behavior. Oops sorry for the rant;)

  26. Ann says:

    “Well they do say lesbian separations are like nuclear war, and this one is no different.”

    Not really. Just think of all the mudslinging that goes on when hetero couples split and there’s a lot of money involved.

  27. Angie says:

    I think a lot of the women here saying Tammy is whining need to get a grip. If Mellisa were ‘Matthew’, Tammy’s outrage and ‘whining’ would be fully supported.

    Imagine if a male musician did this to his actress wife, whom he adopted children with and they agreed she would give up her acting career to raise them. Would you honestly dare accuse that woman of whining if a man did this to her? Realise how close minded you are being, for the love of god!

  28. lauren says:


  29. Shari says:

    Break ups happen and there is always a bad guy. Tammy needs to deal with reality. There are no guarantees that a relationship will make it through a lifetime. It has already been proven in court that Melissa has been paying Tammy’s bills and giving her money for the kids since before the split hit the fan. My best friend went through divorce and only got $2000.00 for child support. At least she has a job. Maybe Tammy should stop whining, get up off her lazy butt and find a job. Acting career? What acting career? She can’t act. Get a real job Tammy.

  30. tammy quit acting to take care of julies kids,julie got half after she spread it all over town, tammy stayed true and this is the thanks she gets.

  31. insanity50 says:

    Melissa Etheridge is finally free of that @#@% Tammy you need to get A life.Tammy you used Melissa for far to long
    Melissa’s cd Fearless Love sounds like the old music which should tell some of you fans something about this f#%@d up relationship. Melissa Etheridge is looking good and sounding great and I am sure she is happier…Tammy fans hit the curb.MLE is the best female rocker around.She Rocks u and Shocks u and Electrify’s u

  32. Joannw says:

    Ya Tammy was good enough to put her career on hold to help raise her children with the first wife , then she nursed her thru cancer and then had children with her and then when not maybe giving Melissa all of her attention while she raises twins -the rock god moves on. ANd then throw mud at her. Dont get me wrong love her music but am sickened by the person she is showing herself to be.

  33. Alicia says:

    Ok so I highly respect Melissa for staying low- way low. However I am torn, for Tammy. Their relationship is none of my business (though I have read the blogs and this article.) yet I can relate to it. I’ve been dateing a much older woman than I and she was in an 11 year relationship with a woman who made a shit ton of money, while my friend worked as a highschool teacher, but also did all the home improvment work on the house they shared (owned equaly) and the ex is draging my friend through the courts for the last TWO years! Because she made more money, and suposedly that matters!? They had no “marriage” and have no rights.

    It is my opinion the ex is only doing this for control (much like Tammy) and sympathy. My friend did leave the ex because of the ex’s anerexia that she fails to seek help for and became overwhelming for my friend to continue to deal with, be supportive of her partner killing herself. Though, the ex feels abandoned and jaded, but my friend sincerely did what she could, buying liquid diets etc…

    Anyway, what I think is going on in this case is similar. Tammy=ex and ME=my friend. Tammy is upset, yes. I get that though she appears a bit looneytoons and is controlling the situation by blasting ME. Not cool. I think better leverage would be to have a cool head and go into court with a case rather than poetry…I do feel for her because it’s not like she can afford daycare, but I am sure Mellissa would pay for the daycare willingly and graciously if Tammy sought work.

    I see Mellissa wanting the best for Tammy and thier children (listen to Indiana). “girls like you can fly!” and I believe that’s still true 😉 to draw lines to my story above the person has to want to help themselves, no bodody can do it for ’em.

    And it is common knowledge that Tammy was fairly unknown before she met ME and by anymeans makeing the level of income ME did during thier partnership.

    As far as the accuisation of another women on ME behalf…it could be true, but I doubt it. My friend left abruptly because she knew if the other knew of her plans it would be even uglier. Sometimes people have to remove themselves in order to remain healthy for themselves. It is not selfishness, it is smart. We don’t know what it was like under the roof with them, but we do know Tammy can be “unstable” or at least her poems are kinda out there!

    Let bygods be bygods and let them figure it out. They were in love, like my friend was, and eventually, even if it takes two years, will work

    I am not by anymeans takeing sides, I am relating my young knowledge the best I can- I am a fan of Mellissa’s, and it saddens me people are threatening to ‘boycott’ her ;). But still not takeing sides-