When Tammy Lynn Michaels and Melissa Etheridge announced their nine-year relationship was over, you just knew things weren’t going to end well. Married since 2003, Tammy Lynn Michaels and Melissa Etheridge had a life and a family together. Michaels gave birth to twins, using sperm from an anonymous donor, in 2006 and both women have been parents to the twins ever since. But now they’ve separated, not only does Tammy Lynn Michaels want complete custody of the children, she wants Melissa Etheridge’s money to go with them. Saying she’s ‘destitute’, according to TMZ, Michaels asked an LA court judge for an immediate $25,000 cash-up-front payment this week, plus $25,000 to help pay her legal fees. Just like many Hollywood ex-wives, it all seems to be about money, doesn’t it?
Luckily for Melissa Etheridge, the LA court judge denied Michaels’ claim quickly. Etheridge’s attorney pointed out there was no need for Michaels to get more money from Etheridge, as Etheridge was paying for all of Michaels’ and the childrens’ expenses already. Now, I’d hardly call that ‘destitute’ would you?
On top of that, Tammy Lynn Michaels is a relatively successful actress in her own right and that also means money. She starred in the TV series ‘Popular’ and was also a frequent guest star on the Showtime lesbian TV drama, ‘The L Word’. Not only is there a fee up front for an actor’s performance but, even in a small part, he or she gets paid what are called ‘residuals’ and residuals are often thousands of dollars a month.
A residual is a fee that’s paid to an actor, actress or other performer every time a TV show is shown. That means, if ‘The L Word’ is aired on TV in Istanbul, Tammy Lynn Michaels receives a fee and every time ‘Popular’ is shown on TV in Barcelona (or New York, or London, or Bangkok or anywhere else in the world), Tammy Lynn Michaels gets a check.
I once worked at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in Los Angeles, putting monthly residual checks into envelopes and mailing them and, let me tell you, the lowest check I ever saw was for a couple of thousand dollars to an actor I’d never heard of. The highest in the tens of thousands of dollars to one of Hollywood’s top stars (sorry, I’m not telling you who!).
My next door neighbor was a small time actress who had one line in a TV show. Two years after the show first aired, she was still receiving enough money every month in her residual check to pay for her rent and car payment. So, Tammy Lynn Michaels doesn’t need to try to convince the judge she’s ‘destitute’ as the judge, like me, knows that’s simply not possible.
According to TMZ, the next hearing in the Tammy Lynn Michaels and Melissa Etheridge divorce is set for September. Probably by then Tammy Lynn Michaels will have figured out another reason why ‘destitution’ is knocking at her door.
Melissa Etheridge’s Ex Shut Down in Court – TMZ