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Reese Witherspoon is on maternity leave from making movies, but she's got plenty of drama going on at home. In a very strange legal battle, Reese's mother, Betty Witherspoon, 60, has sued Reese's father, John Witherspoon, 70, for bigamy, USA Today reports. It seems that Reese's dad recently married another woman... while neglecting the fact that he's still married to Betty!
According to a paid wedding announcement published last month in The Tennessean, John Witherspoon married a woman named Tricianne Taylor on Jan. 16. The newspaper described a Texas-themed ceremony ("cowboy boots and yellow roses accented the ambiance"), with the 60-year-old bride dressed in a sequin-accented ivy grown and the groom in a white linen suit.
Pretty as the wedding may have been, it wasn't legal, because John never got a divorce from Betty, from whom he's been separated since 1996. In the lawsuit she filed, Reese's mom said that she still loves her husband and wants to keep the marriage intact. She also expressed concern that John is suffering early onset dementia -- which, coupled with an alcohol problem and other issues, means he may not have the faculties to understand what he did.
"When I confronted my husband, he said he didn't know who Tricianne Taylor was and that he did not remember getting married," Betty said in an affidavit.
Furthermore, Betty wrote her husband's new wife a letter explaining that he was already married, with two children and four grandchildren -- and got no response. Betty expressed concern in the court filing that Taylor, who by now knows that her marriage is not legal, is trying to use John to get to Reese's money. Allegedly, Taylor is already living in a condo owned by Reese, and has made changes to John's will.
"I also fear for my husband's personal safety and the safety of my family," said Betty, who wants the marriage annulled and Taylor to return any gifts John has give her.
It's important to note that Reese's parents have not lived together in more than 15 years; Betty claims that she moved out because of her husband's "alcoholism, infidelity, overspending and hoarding."
Another fact worth considering: John didn't exactly try to hide his romance with Tricianne Taylor. They applied for their first marriage license a year ago, and John even tried to bring his girlfriend as a guest to Reese's 2011 wedding to Jim Toth.
"The security officers at the wedding refused to let her in because she was not on the guest list," said the affidavit. (Sounds like she may have been on a "do not let this person in whatever you do" list, though.)
Meanwhile, while the scandal is unfolding, John and Betty are expecting their fifth grandchild. News of Reese's third pregnancy (her first with new husband Toth) broke in March. She has not commented on her parents' court battle.