Reese Witherspoon's mother has accused the actress' father of bigamy after he married another woman during their separation.
Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Witherspoon filed legal papers on May 8 in Nashville, Tennessee, looking to annul John Witherspoon's new marriage, since the two are still married.
70-year-old John Witherspoon, an former ear-nose-and-throat doctor, married Tricianne Taylor, 60, in January. Betty and John have been separated since 1996, but were never officially divorced.
Witherspoon and Taylor applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2011. But according to records, it was never returned to the court. According to USA Today, marriage applications are only valid for 30 days in Tennessee.
Betty, a 63-year-old nurse and retired Tennessee State professor, was married to John for 42 years and said in the filing that she still loves him but "fears he may be suffering from early onset of dementia."
"I love my husband and I don't want a divorce," Betty wrote in an affidavit obtained by USA Today. "We have been married 42 years. He needs help. He has a problem with alcohol. He also has a problem with hoarding, which led to our separation."
According to the Associated Press, Betty is worried that Taylor is taking advantage of her husband's mental condition. She alleges in the legal documents that Taylor has tried to take out loans as Mrs. John Witherspoon, lives in his condo which is owned by Reese Witherspoon, drives a company vehicle without permission and had her husband sign a new will. Betty has filed a restraining order to stop Taylor from converting the family's assets.
The legal papers note that John Witherspoon was "let go" from his medical practice due to personal problems, which Betty said include depression.
Betty was alerted to her husband's new marriage after finding the wedding announcement in a local newspaper. In the affidavit she wrote, "When I confronted my husband, he said he didn't know who Tricianne Taylor was and that he did not remember getting married."
When Betty attempted to confront Taylor, she refused to talk to her and did not respond to a later which clearly stated that Witherspoon was still married and had two children and four grandchildren.
According to the legal documents, John tried to bring Taylor to Reese Witherspoon's March 2011 wedding to Jim Toth, but a security officer refused to let her in because she was not on the guest list.
Reese Witherspoon, 36, is reportedly pregnant with her third child, her first with Toth. Witherspoon and actor Ryan Phillippe, her first husband, are parents to daughter Ava, 12 and son Deacon, 8.
The actress recently appeared in the 2012 film "This Means War" with Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and E! talk show host Chelsea Handler.
Witherspoon has also appeared in the 2011 romantic comedy film "How Do You Know" with Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd and the 2010 film "Water for Elephants" with "Twilight" actor Robert Pattinson.