The Slatest

Alabama First Lady Files for Divorce From Sitting Governor After 50 Years of Marriage

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Dianne Bentley in April 2011.

Jessica McGowan/Getty

Alabama first lady Dianne Bentley has filed for divorce from Republican governor Robert Bentley after 50 years of marriage, court records indicate. The two are both 72 years old. From

The filing cites “complete incompatibility of temperament” and states they have been separated since January. The filing also lists her address as Tuscaloosa and his as Montgomery … The couple has continued to make public appearances together. Today, they were seen together at College Colors Day at the governor’s mansion in Montgomery.

The cause of his separation from his wife was not disclosed, though court filings indicate the couple “nearly divorced” in 1999, says.

In what seems like a considerable stretch, a Democratic lawmaker named John Rogers is arguing that Bentley needs to take a leave of absence and appoint a temporary replacement because his personal life will otherwise distract him from budget negotiations:

“He needs to step away from the legislature. He is totally conflicted,” Rogers said. “He can’t work with the legislature to fashion a budget … For this (the divorce) to happen at this time is unfathomable.”

Bentley was first elected in 2010 and was reelected last year. (Alabama governors are limited to two terms in office.) He does not appear to have yet commented publicly on the news.