Friday, September 16, 2005

Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney split over "fraud"

I am fascinated by the news that Renee Zellweger filed to have her four-month-old marriage to country star Kenny Chesney annuled on the grounds of "fraud." While she says "fraud" is a legal term and not a reflection on Chesney, that's kind of like saying that being a "convict" or a "bastard" is just a legal description. It's true, but it doesn't really help.

So, what does it mean? Based entirely on a bar review class on the laws of a state other than California that I took several years ago, I will say with 50% confidence that "fraud" in this context has to be something very fundamental to the marriage, and which, if Renee had known about it, she wouldn't have married him. Traditionally (I'm still talking out my ass here, by the way), this would have to be something like saying you were pregnant (or a virgin) when you weren't, or concealing a sexually transmitted disease, insanity, or the fact that you were already married. Interestingly, I seem to recall that lying about whether you loved the other person would not count--ahhh, institution of marriage, you beautiful thing! Back in the day, lying about your race could count. Of course, concealing your homosexuality might also do it. Let the unfounded speculation continue apace!

5 comments:

Mr. A said...

Perhaps the impending release of "bareback," oops...I mean "brokeback mountain" has given Mr. Chesney a new sense of possibility.

Andrea said...

I think, based on nothing more than having taken a CA bar exam 5 years ago (prior to which I learned NOTHING about fraud in marriage), I think fraud means that he tricked her into marrying him, like "let's pretend we're having a wedding, and you'll pretend to be the bride and I will get to pretend being the groom, and then the sex we have that night will be like the first night of our marriage, but it will all be role-playing. But since we are rich, we can role-play with a real justice of the peace, and with our real family with us at the $10,000 per person per night resort we are visiting. But it's all fake." Like that kind of fraud.

Toolstein said...

Also, maybe he can't get it up. Concealing a viagra-necessitating condition is fraud.

Andrea said...

This (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/indexd?blogid=7) reeks of "did not consummate".

jcat said...

I sure hope Katie (er, Kate) Holmes is paying close attention.