A California judge has denied a request
for rocker Melissa Etheridge to pay $25,000 to her former partner
Tammy Lynn Michaels, celebrity
website TMZ reported.
Michaels' attorney Steven Knowles asked
the court to order Etheridge to immediately pay $25,000 to his
client, whom he claims is broke.
The judge disagreed after Etheridge
attorney Neal Hersh said his client was already giving Michaels
$2,000 a month, in addition to paying various bills.
Knowles told PEOPLE his client is
“destitute.” “It doesn't put money in her wallet. Literally
she has no cash,” he said.
The women announced their breakup after
nine years in April. Both women claim “irreconcilable differences”
in their filings for dissolution, but forty-nine-year 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 for Etheridge.
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. She has
filed for a dissolution of marriage, rather than domestic
partnership. A move Knowles said 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. The women reportedly attempted to marry during the
2008 June-to-November window when gay marriage was legal in