ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and his wife have agreed to annul their 24-year marriage as they continued talks on a settlement, ending an acrimonious divorce process that had included allegations of bigamy, financial abandonment and battery.
The agreement was announced Tuesday by a judge in a Florida courtroom at the start of a hearing that had been scheduled to determine whether their marriage should be voided because Lolita Grayson was married to another man when they wed. That bigamy hearing was put on hold with the annulment announcement.
Lolita Grayson's attorney refused to comment after the hearing. She had claimed in court papers that she was divorced from her first husband when she married the congressman in 1990. They have five children.
Alan Grayson's attorney said they were close to reaching a settlement.
"It means there was never a legal marriage. It basically invalidates it," said Mark NeJame, Grayson's attorney. "There was a ceremony, but it turns out you can't be married to two people at the same time."
Besides bigamy allegations, there were mutual allegations of battery, accusations by Lolita Grayson of financial abandonment by the congressman and a trial delay caused by Lolita Grayson's leaking breast implants.
Lolita Grayson is a stay-at-home mother. Court papers put Alan Grayson's worth at $31 million. He was an attorney before going to Congress.
Last year, 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 Lolita Grayson pushing her tall husband. The restraining order was later withdrawn.
Lolita Grayson also accused her husband of cutting off her financial resources during the divorce process and refusing to pay for repairs to the home she shared with their four children.
Grayson said he 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, he said.
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mikeschneiderap