Filing a bigamy lawsuit against John Witherspoon in Tennessee, Mary Elizabeth insists in a sworn affidavit that she still loves the 'This Means War' actress' father and does not want a divorce.
Reese Witherspoon's parents are embroiled in an unusual legal drama. The Oscar winner's mother, Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Witherspoon, has accused her husband of 42 years, John, of bigamy and is seeking to annul his new marriage to Tricianne Taylor in a lawsuit filed in Davidson County, Tennessee on Tuesday, May 8.
In her petition for annulment, Betty stated, "No person in Tennessee can marry another while being married at the same time of the second marriage." Although she and her husband separated in 1996 "because of his alcoholism, infidelity, overspending and hoarding," the 63-year-old insisted, "I love my husband and I don't want a divorce."
Betty also noted that she found out that John married Tricianne in January from a wedding announcement in the local newspaper in April. The retired nurse and university professor further dished, "When I confronted my husband, he said he didn't know who Tricianne Taylor was and that he did not remember getting married."
Betty additionally claimed that Tricianne is aware that John is still married because she had confronted the 60-year-old woman. "She refused to talk to me," Reese's mother said. "I wrote her a letter stating that John Witherspoon was married and had two children and four grandchildren. I have had no response. But she clearly knows now that she is married to a man who is not divorced."
According to the affidavit, Tricianne "attempted to crash the March 2011 wedding of Reese Witherspoon, but was denied entrance because she was not on the guest list." Betty also noted that Tricianne "is living in the condominium owned by my daughter Reese. And she is driving our vehicles. I have also learned through an investigator that she has gotten my husband to sign a new will."
In addition to the annulment, Betty asked the court to force Tricianne to return any vehicles, jewelry or other property acquired during the void marriage, and block her from removing or converting any assets owned by John. She additionally filed a restraining order against Tricianne, saying she's "hereby enjoined and restrained from using or attempting to use the last name Witherspoon."