Geena Davis Makes a Bold Claim in Her Divorce Proceedings

Sep 6, 2018 at 1:35 p.m. ET
Reza Jarrahy and Geena Davis attend the Operation Smile's 2015 Smile Gala on October 2, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California
Image: Amy Graves/WireImage/Getty Images.

When Geena Davis' husband of 17 years, Reza Jarrahy, filed for divorce in May, it felt like the end of an era. Celebrity divorces, along with divorces in general, can be somber affairs. But now, Davis is claiming that she and Jarrahy weren't actually married in a statement made by Davis. The claim is not only a bold one but also makes the divorce proceedings a little tricky.

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People reports that Jarrahy filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, in May after a six-month separation. Us Weekly additionally reports that Davis filed a motion in court on Tuesday to dismiss her estranged partner's earlier divorce filing. She alleges that when they held a private marriage ceremony in the Hamptons in 2001, they purposely didn't get an actual marriage license — which means they had a commitment ceremony but didn't actually legalize that commitment. In her filing on Tuesday, Davis said divorce would be impossible because she and Jarrahy “knowingly and voluntarily chose to have a marriage-like ceremony, fully aware that it was not legally binding.” 

To back up her claim, Davis said that she and Jarrahy filed "single" on their taxes, didn't own property together and “never had a joint checking or savings account, never had a joint retirement account,” per People. Additionally, Davis said that Jarrahy did not receive health insurance through her SAG-AFTRA membership because he didn't qualify as a family member. According to SAG-AFTRA benefits descriptions, domestic partners — which Jarrahy would have been at the very least — do not qualify as dependents. Only legal spouses and children.

People and Us both report that Davis also included a letter written by Jarrahy in 2012 for a homeownership application. It reads, “I filed my tax returns in 2009 as a single individual because I am not currently married. Ms. Davis and I cohabitate and co-parent our three children but are not officially wed.” This letter was written 11 years after the couple's commitment ceremony; unless Jarrahy and Davis acquired, signed and filed a marriage license between 2012 and November 2017 when they separated, then Davis is correct. They are not legally married. So what pushed Jarrahy to file for divorce?

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We don't know the answer to that question, but we do know, per People, that Jarrahy filed for spousal support and full custody of the duo's three children in May. He also requested that Davis be denied if she filed for spousal support. The situation seems like a complex legal hornet's nest, so we hope it gets cleared up soon.

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