Cases involving bigamy are pretty rare, so, naturally, cases involving bigamy and a celebrity are the kind of thing that make headlines. Family attorneys in Pasadena, along with journalists and movie fans, were shocked and puzzled when the story broke last month that Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon's parents were involved in a bigamy case. Witherspoon's mom, Betty Witherspoon, filed a lawsuit against John Draper Witherspoon and Tricianne Taylor, seeking to have their recent marriage annulled. Despite being separated since 1996, Betty claims the two were never officially divorced and therefore still married. Now, amidst allegations of dementia, a judge has appointed a lawyer to investigate John Witherspoon's well-being.
A Nashville judge stepped in last week and appointed an attorney to investigate John Draper Witherspoon. The judge was prompted to do so after Betty had filed court documents filled with shocking allegations. In the documents, she claims she discovered that her husband had married the other woman after reading a newspaper wedding announcement. According to the Washington Post, Betty " signed an affidavit saying that when she confronted her 70-year-old husband, he didn't know who the woman was or remember marrying her."
Witherspoon also has accused Tricianne "Patricia" Taylor of taking out loans while posing as Mrs. John Witherspoon and altering his will. "My husband's spending practices have accelerated," her affidavit says. "I now understand that he may have borrowed $400,000 at Bank of America and either forged my name or had his girlfriend posing as his wife sign." The court documents state that Betty Witherspoon still loves her husband and fears for his safety while he is in the company of Taylor. The documents say she no longer lives with her husband because of his "alcoholism, infidelity, overspending and hoarding."
Meanwhile, Joe Brandon Jr., Taylor's attorney, has publicly dismissed the claims.
"She vehemently denies those allegations," said Joe Brandon Jr. "She's devastated, and we don't have any further comment."
Reese Witherspoon and her brother have both appeared in court throughout the proceedings and are expected to continue to do so.