Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson has asked a Florida judge to annul his marriage to his estranged wife because she was already married when they wed nearly a quarter-century ago.
"Ms. Grayson knew that she was legally married to another man and was not divorced or widowed," the congressman's attorney, Richard West, said in a filing last week. The Orlando Sentinel
reported the filing on Tuesday. "She concealed the absence of divorce and falsely represented to Mr. Grayson that she was single in order to induce him to marry her."
West's filing was a response to Lolita Grayson's January divorce petition. He asked Orange County Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc to establish a trust over the assets Grayson transferred to his wife "providing for their return" and made other requests, the Sentinel reports.
In the filing, Grayson, 56, claimed that his wife was married when the couple "conducted an apparent marriage ceremony" in April 1990. The document includes a final divorce decree — dated March 7, 1994 — that lists Lolita Carson as the respondent, and a man named Robert Carson as the petitioner, the Sentinel reports.
West told the Sentinel that the previous marriage was discovered in a background check.
"It's not common," he said.
Last week's filing also accuses Lolita Grayson of defamation, slander, and libel — and seeks damages. She was granted a restraining order against the congressman in March after accusing him of pushing her against a door during an incident
at the former couple’s home.
Lolita Grayson eventually dropped the temporary order, but the congressman asked LeBlanc in last week's filing to find his estranged wife liable for the battery, according to the Sentinel.
First elected in 2008, Grayson lost re-election in 2010 and then was re-elected in 2012 after redistricting.
He is seeking re-election in November, squaring off against several Republican challengers and an independent.
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