Actress Tammy Lynn Michaels claims her
split with rocker Melissa Etheridge has left her penniless, $4 to be
Celebrity website TMZ.com is
reporting that Michaels' lawyer, Steven Knowles, says Etheridge
has not given Michaels or their children a dime since their split,
announced in April.
Michaels' wrote on her blog that
Etheridge's filing of paperwork to end their California domestic
partnership was a shock that left her “blindsided.”
Both women claim “irreconcilable
differences” in their separate filings, but Etheridge is asking for
joint custody of the couple's twin 3-year-old children, son Miller
and daughter Johnnie Rose. Michaels, who gave birth to the twins,
says she wants full custody of the children with visitation rights
Forty-nine-year old Etheridge shares
joint custody of two children, Bailey Jean, 13, and Beckett, 11, from
a previous relationship with Julie Cypher.
Michaels, 35, said on her blog that she
gave up her acting career in 2001 to care for the children.
Lawyer Knowles told PEOPLE that
Michaels filed for a dissolution of marriage (instead of a
dissolution of domestic partnership) because the couple considered
their relationship a marriage. He said the filing was symbolic and
that his client would amend the complaint if the court asked.
Michaels is more likely to prevail in
her claim for spousal support if the court views their relationship
as a marriage.
Etheridge lawyer Neal Hersh told TMZ
that his Grammy-winning client is paying “all of Tammy's expenses.”
The women exchanged vows in Malibu,
California in 2003. They reportedly attempted to marry during the
2008 June-to-November window when gay marriage was legal in