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Alan Grayson

Judge suggests Graysons settle bigamy case before next hearing

A Circuit Court judge on Monday urged U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and his estranged wife, Lolita, to settle their bigamy case in order to spare embarrassment for everyone involved.

Judge Robert LeBlanc suggested the option during a hearing after awarding Lolita Grayson $20,000 — paid for by her congressman husband — so her attorneys can prepare for the April 7 resumption of a hearing on the bigamy allegations.

"There are five children here that are going to read about their parents in the media, and I would suggest that both sides come to a reasonable agreement and not be too greedy," LeBlanc said Monday. "In either case they are never going to come back together again. It avoids embarrassment for both parties."

Lolita Grayson, 55, filed for divorce from her husband on Jan. 6, 2014 — two months before unsubstantiated allegations that Alan Grayson, a 57-year-old Democrat, had physically abused her. He responded with his own petition for annulment, arguing that his marriage was void because Lolita Grayson had not divorced her first husband when the couple got married in Virginia in 1990. The validity of their marriage has implications on the division of the couple's $30 million fortune.

In court Monday, attorney Mark Longwell initially asked the Judge for $42,000 to help his client, Lolita Grayson, pay legal fees. After the hearing, Longwell said reaching a settlement before April 7 would be desirable so the Graysons don't "air out their dirty laundry" in court.

Attorney Mark NeJame, Alan Grayson's attorney, said it's not imperative to settle before the April 7 hearing, which will determine whether their union is a legal marriage. NeJame said Alan Grayson wants the "full truth" to come out.

"I can't imagine any possible settlement excluding the fact that she was, in fact, not divorced from her first husband," NeJame said.

Copyright © 2015, Orlando Sentinel

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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