Reese Witherspoon’s parents, Mary Elizabeth and John Witherspoon, may have a problem. Mary Elizabeth filed a petition in Davidson county on May 9th, 2012 accusing her husband of running off to Gatlinburg, TN and marrying another woman, Patricia Ann Taylor. Mary Elizabeth claims that her husband may be suffering from dementia and depression, as well as being an alcoholic and a hoarder.
The dementia and alcoholism might explain why he claims he doesn’t remember getting married to Patricia, even though the marriage license was returned to the clerk on February 2nd, 2012. Despite his alleged severe memory lapses, the petition mentions that Mr. Witherspoon still practices as an ear, nose and throat doctor at Baptist Hospital.
Reese’s parents have been married for 42 years, but they haven’t lived in the same residence since 1996. Regardless, they talk often and attend family functions together, like Reese’s wedding in March. Note that Reese’s wedding took place after her father married Patricia. In fact, Patricia tried to attend the wedding but was denied entry. I bet the wedding would have been much more interesting if she had managed to get in.
The petition goes on to claim that Patricia is living with John at his condominium and has been seen driving a vehicle purchased during his marriage to Mary Elizabeth. Further, there are claims that Patricia has attempted to borrow money as “Ms. John Witherspoon” and has tried to get Mr. Witherspoon to sign a new will.
Tennessee’s requirements for a valid marriage are fairly straightforward. One of the requirements is that parties cannot get married if either one is already married to someone else. If a party attempts to do this, the second marriage is invalid. If Mary Elizabeth is successful in this lawsuit, the marriage between John and Patricia will be treated as if it never happened.
I’ll post again if more interesting information surfaces.