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.
In that photo, doesn’t it look like George Wallace to the left of the bride? I wonder if that is him.
Do you know how much property they have? She paid for him to go to medical school and raised four of his children. Maybe she should get a basket of cookies and get dropped off in the woods.
I’ve never been in a Baptist church, but my guess is they don’t look like that.
However, if that’s the officiant standing behind them, he does not seem to be a priest.
There might have been some reason they had their wedding in a church of a different denomination.
Republican and it’s not mentioned in the article, weird — however, the writer did try to associate him with George Wallace (D), and of course it wouldn’t do to start with a bunch of party affiliations.
> 2010 gubernatorial election... In the June 1, 2010 primary race, Bentley surprised political analysts by finishing second ahead of Tim James to reach a runoff election with Bradley Byrne. One of James’ supporters, former U.S. Representative Sonny Callahan, endorsed Bentley in the runoff. In the July 13 run-off election, Bentley defeated Byrne by a 56%-44% margin to claim the Republican nomination for Governor. Bentley has stated he does not approve of gambling in the State of Alabama, but supports a referendum for its citizens to vote on whether to approve its legality. 2014 gubernatorial election... In the general election held on November 4, 2014, Bentley won re-election easily against Democratic candidate Parker Griffith, gathering almost twice the votes of his rival at 63% to 36%. In 2014, Bentley won the largest percentage of the vote of any modern-day Republican governor in Alabama. Bentley won the largest percentage of the vote that any Republican gubernatorial candidate had received in modern Alabama history... Bentley promised the people of Alabama that he would not accept a salary until the state unemployment level reached 5.2%. As of January 2015, Bentley has not accepted a gubernatorial salary.
He just started his second term as governor. At 72, he probably won't want a third term. While he's governor, though, he will be under extreme pressure to make this bad PR go away, and be accommodating to her demands.
Once he retires, though, she loses a huge amount of leverage.
He's a REPUBLICAN governor who just won re-election. You think any cheating by him would not be uncovered and used by Dem operatives?
Democrats can bang young interns in the Oval Office and engage in forcible rape, and the media will refuse to cover it. A Republican can't make an off-color joke and not have it be 24/7 coverage for the following year (ask Clarence Thomas).
Last year, husband & I were married 50 years. I’ve NEVER thought there was some Prince Charming out there *somewhere* who was going to sweep me off my feet. - You take the good, the bad, the ugly & you realize that those Sleeping Beauty stories were all lies. - Until death us do part. Not glamourous; but dependable. - Nowadays, people are discarded like yesterday’s trash. Ha! “Incompatible!” Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be. Eventually, all marriages pretty much reach that point. - One guy I know divorced his wife not long ago; and he’s back going to every 50th Class Reunion he can find in order to “git another woman”. - The human condition isn’t glamourous. Get used to it. If Twinkie did, anyone can. (Husband has been shocked at how determined Twinkie is & now, I think he’s glad she was.)
My guess is he’s good at being discreet with his sluts and his sluts were discreet too.
Republican politicians can be so good at being discreet Dem ops can’t catch them. Look at Thad Cochran for example
“If Mrs. Bentley can be remembered for one thing as First Lady, she hopes that the people of Alabama will remember her stand for Christ.”
I don’t think so at this point. I don’t recall ‘irretrievable breakdown’ as being a Biblical ground, and scorched earth divorces don’t seem to me to be Christian, either.
There's also the possibility that he's a good man and his wife is a loon. That happens too.
True but then he is a politician and they are known to cheat on their spouses
Meh, not really.
The women always file for divorce...
There is a psychologically abusive dirty trick used by guys who want out but have no inertia to file themselves. They create an unbearable environment, often secret from friends and family. It could be repeated nasty comments, affairs, silent treatment, really anything stressful to the point of creating an unrelenting distrustful, toxic situation. Bosses do this to employees, too, to get them to quit. I get that they were separated, living apart, but sometimes you want to quit the sham and live an authentic life. I also get that they were together 50 years, but sometimes a crappy situation crosses the boundaries of decency. Life really is too short to live in a soul-crushing situation.
I doubt in 1965, Catholic churches would have been used by Baptists for a wedding, but maybe Episcopalian?
“...but maybe Episcopalian?”
That’s actually what I was thinking at the start.
My family’s Roman Catholic Church burned to the ground, right about that same time, when I was just a wee tyke.
We all went to Church (for quite a while I think although I don’t remember with much clarity) in a recently closed soda fountain, which was instantly dubbed St. Whelan’s.
That’s why I say things might happen, maybe they went to a very small church but were having a very big wedding for example.
It’s sad to see such elderly people divorce, but it reminds me of an old bad joke.
A ninety year old couple appears in court to get a divorce and the Judge says to them: why are you getting divorced at your advanced ages. They tell him: we were waiting for the kids to die.
I don’t know the answer. I worked with a woman that got divorced after 32-33 years and thought: “Have fun dating, grandma.”
The unicorn woman: Gross. Abuse of an elder.
I think the poop is about to hit the fan.
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