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.
Sheesh. I don't care who's at fault. She can't see clear to let him keep an old rusty bicycle at least? ALL property???
Quick! Someone check the AshleyMadison data dump!
Sounds like she wants everything, including the clothes in his closet. So if he wants to keep the football tickets, he’s going to have to get down on her level.
If I was his lawyer, the first thing I’d do is demand she be tested for Alzheimer’s to see if she is even competent to proceed.
I’m also suspicious of the timing - anti-repubbie/christian/straight/conservative southern white governor in a white-led osuthern state trending repubbie? Reasons abound for his “destruction” this way..
Infidelity is my guess. Probably serial infidelity.
Catholic wedding? Is she going to ask for an annulment, as well?
She should have crossed that bridge years ago.
The husband of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has struck up a romance with a woman who is a fellow Alzheimer’s patient and lives at the same assisted living center as him, according to a television news report.
Alzheimer’s a horrible living death.
That’s right. She wants to impoverish him at age 72.
My guess, he’s a serial cheater. She put up with it for decades to keep the marriage. Then he stopped being discreet and flaunted his sluts in front of and expected her to be nice to them but that was a burden she could not bear.
With demands like that, it couldn’t be any clearer that this is spite-driven. He gets all the debts, pays for her to sue him for divorce, and she gets all the property?
I can’t imagine ANY temperament that is compatible with someone who would make such an outrageous demand.
Probably the final straw.
They are Baptist, why would they have a Catholic wedding?
Doesn't want much does she?
Either she has gone a bit goofy or there is a lot more going on here.
While it isn’t unusual to see depictions of Christ behind the pulpit of a Baptist church, the halos around his (and, presumably, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’s) head would seem more common to a Catholic or Orthodox church (with Orthodox churches being quite rare in the mid-century South).
I didn’t see a cross or crucifix, which would have been more definitive.
So it might be a Baptist building, but the iconology would be a bit out of norm.
I agree it doesn’t look Baptist. (although I am not an expert). But I couldn’t find any information that he’s been anything besides a Baptist, and I’m doubtful whether the Church would even do a mixed wedding in 1965.
I do see it now, but I can't tell which it is.
I would guess she is even more liberal than he is.
“Dianne Bentley seeks sole ownership of all property they acquired during their marriage.”
I have never heard of such a thing. I get it, she’s mad about something perhaps justifably, but I don’t see how this passes muster at all.
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