Florida congressman's messy divorce gets messier

AP News
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Posted: Oct 16, 2014 5:16 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson's messy divorce is getting messier, at least when it comes to his house.

Court papers filed by his estranged wife, Lolita, claim that the Democratic congressman failed to pay for repairs for the 5,300-square-foot Orlando house where she is living with their four children. The roof is leaking, broken windows are allowing rain to get inside and the house has a significant mold problem because of the moisture, Lolita Grayson said in the papers filed at the Orange County Courthouse.

She also said the congressman cut off her credit cards, even though he has been the sole financial provider during their 24 years of marriage.

"The wife has been a stay-at-home wife and mother and is financially dependent on her husband," the filing said. "The wife has no financial resources to contribute to the repairs and maintenance of the marital residence."

Lolita Grayson's attorney, Mercedes Wechsler, said in an interview Thursday that the home's condition was "horrible."

Alan Grayson's attorney, Mark NeJame, said the congressman from Orlando was providing for his family, spending more than $10,000 a month on the home's mortgage, child support, utilities and household expenses. Besides the four younger children living at home, the couple has an adult child in school and he is paying the tuition, NeJame said.

"If she is a poor housekeeper, that's her issue, not his," NeJame said. "For her to slant it in such a way that he is not providing his fair share is wrong and untrue."

The accusation on home repairs is only the latest salvo between the millionaire congressman and his estranged wife in contentious divorce proceedings that started at the beginning of the year.

In March, Lolita Grayson was granted a restraining order against the congressman after she alleged that Alan Grayson pushed her against the front door of their home when he stopped by the house. The Orange County Sheriff's Office investigated the claim but decided there was not enough evidence to file charges. A video of the encounter taken by a Grayson staffer shows the diminutive Lolita Grayson pushing her tall husband.

In April, Alan Grayson accused his wife of bigamy, claiming she was never divorced from her first husband when they married in 1990. Lolita Grayson says she was divorced at the time.

Before the divorce proceedings move ahead, a hearing on whether the marriage is void because of the bigamy allegation will take place next month.