Skip to comments.Gov. Robert Bentley's Wife Filing for Divorce
Posted on 08/29/2015 11:44:12 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Gov. Robert Bentley's wife of 50 years, Dianne, today filed for divorce, saying "their marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown," according to court records.
The couple, both 72, were married in 1965 and have four children.
Alabama's First Lady files for divorce Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's wife, Diane, files for divorce citing "complete incompatibility." The filing cites "complete incompatibility of temperament" and states they have been separated since January. The filing also lists her address as Tuscaloosa and his as Montgomery.
"There exists a conflict of personalities which destroys the legitimate aims of matrimony and all possibilities of reconciliation are futile," the filing states.
The couple has continued to make public appearances together. Today, they were seen together at College Colors Day at the governor's mansion in Montgomery.
Dianne Bentley, who holds a degree in bacteriology from the University of Alabama, met the governor during his first year of medical school.
They married after she finished her senior year. She worked in medical labs for $325 a month to help put him through medical school. After his residency in Birmingham, they moved to Tuscaloosa, where they raised four sons and lived a quiet life until he got interested in running for the Legislature.
He lost his first race for the Legislature in 1998, but won in 2002 and got re-elected in 2006.
Efforts to reach her attorney were not immediately successful.
Jennifer Ardis, the governor's communications director, released a statement late Friday.
"The Governor asks that you please respect the privacy of the Bentley family during this difficult time," the statement read. "There will be no further comment."
In today's filing, Dianne Bentley asks for the governor to pay for all debts the couple incurred during the marriage, as well as her attorney fees. She also seeks sole ownership of all property they acquired during their marriage.
Her attorney today also filed notice that he intends to take a deposition from the governor on November 20 at his Birmingham office, according to court records.
The couple nearly divorced in 1999, according to court records. Details surrounding that were not immediately available.
A first lady and advocate
During his 2010 campaign for governor, she served as his driver as he traveled the state seeking votes. Even then, she seemed to shy away from the attention being first lady would bring.
"I didn't want him out there by himself, so I said, 'I'm going with you,'" she said in a 2010 interview.
"I'm just a very shy person. I'm not comfortable out with people and crowds ...I'm not a great political asset," she said.
Since becoming Alabama's first lady, she has championed a number of charitable causes. She frequently promotes programs to aid victims of domestic violence and literacy as well as foster care, adoption and Alabama state parks.
During the most recent regular session of the state legislature, she lobbied for a bill that would toughen penalties for abusers.
"The overwhelming needs of domestic violence victims and their children have led me to the State House with my own legislative agenda aimed at strengthening domestic violence victim services and protection in Alabama," she wrote in a March opinion piece.
In 2014, she embarked upon a tour of nine of Alabama's 22 state parks dubbed "Mrs. Bentley's Bucket List."
On the couple's 49th wedding anniversary in July 2014, they each tweeted photos from their wedding.
"I want to wish a wonderful anniversary to my lovely wife @FirstLadyDB. It has been an amazing 49 years," he tweeted.
For their 50th anniversary, on July 24, she tweeted: "God has blessed us w/ 50 years of marriage. I thank him for health, family, faith, and most of all His love and grace."
"The Bentleys have four sons, three daughters-in-law, seven granddaughters, and one grandson. Two of their sons are adopted but they have been loved so long no one remembers which two,"' according to her biography on a state website.
Time of turmoil for Alabama
News of the divorce comes as the state legislature prepares to enter a second special session after legislators and the governor were unable to reach a budget agreement.
"We are keeping Governor Bentley and Dianne in our thoughts and prayers during what must obviously be a difficult time. A marriage lasting five decades should be looked at with deep pride and a strong sense of accomplishment regardless of its ultimate outcome, and I know the citizens of our state are grateful for the personal sacrifices both of them have made during their years of public service," House Speaker Mike Hubbard said in a written statement.
State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, said the divorce comes at a time of crisis for the state and said Bentley should appoint someone to handle budget negotiations with the legislature.
"He needs to step away from the legislature. He is totally conflicted," Rogers said. "He can't work with the legislature to fashion a budget ... For this (the divorce) to happen at this time is unfathomable."
If the divorce is finalized, it won't be the first time a sitting Alabama governor has divorced.
George Wallace was divorced from his second wife, Cornelia, in 1978 during his third term as governor. He and his third wife, Lisa Taylor, divorced in 1987 after Wallace ended his fourth and final term as governor.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is available.
After 50 years? Seriously?
Oh for pete’s sake. Suck it up, preserve your dignity and your family, get a grip...
These people have enough money to live apart and never see each other ever again but not upset the lives of their children, friends, etc. But everybody now has to go out and reclaim their unhappy inner child - publicly.
Maybe one of them will decide that he/she was always a woman/man and really put it over the top?
It seems like she doesn’t like being in the spotlight. He should resign, rather than throw away a 50 year marriage. He had is day in politics.
1965-that’s when I was married.
Been together for 50+ yrs.
Never had a fight........:-)
It seems perfectly timed to do the most damage to him. Things like this are meant less about divorce than the ability to get even. Who knows, who cares. Politics changes people. Even at my level, I see it every day. I’ve changed, for sure. Some for the better, some for the worse. I think I’ve gotten less patient and a bit tougher.
Wouldn’t it have been worse before his re-election?
The women always file for divorce...
Greedy. That ought to kill any sympathy she can gin up. Looks like her lawyer is playing hardball - he will need to reply in kind.
Until death us do part or close. They have about 10 years of life left. Why be so selfish as to put your family through this? The only really dirty four letter word in this slovenly age is the word “duty.”
Smells like someone got caught on Ashley Madison.
That being the person caught cheating with?
After 50 years? Makes no sense. More information needed. I guess their lives as governor and first lady scrambled something about their relationship that lasted so long.
They were married on July 24, 1965. She files for divorce one month after their golden wedding anniversary. Did he forget to give her a gift?
Senility creeps in like a thief in the night.
Who gets the Alabama season tickets?
Been there, done that, patched it up successfully. They will too I’ll bet.
Why do you suspect her? He’s a politician. He’s likely the one who did something terrible.
Oh, there was some kinda cheating for sure. They almost divorced in 1999 and then in 2010 she insisted on driving him around the state to campaign. Poor old gal. I’m guessing she had enough.
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