CHRISTIANSTED — In what could be a first for a sitting chief executive, Governor Albert Bryan, is seeking to divorce first lady Yolanda Bryan, and has asked the Virgin Islands Superior Court to allow divorce proceedings to be conducted under seal.
Grounds for the motion, submitted by attorney Henry Smock of SmockLaw PC, included the statement that as governor of the Virgin Islands, the divorce filing is anticipated to generate unwanted publicity that “will potentially adversely affect his wife and two children.”
“This is a private matter which does not merit public inquiry,” the motion continued.
Further, it noted that Smock has spoken with the first lady’s counsel, attorney Julie Evert, who stated that her client joins in the request to file under seal.
The court filing follows months of speculation that Bryan and his wife were estranged. The couple has two adult daughters.
In a blog interview in October, the governor did not deny that he and his wife of 27 years were experiencing marital difficulties in relation to questioning about governing, telling his interviewer at one point that “I think that when there is an official statement to be made, I will make that statement.”
The Virgin Islands Free Press asked Government House for comment based on the governor’s public statement, but was told it is a “private matter.”
It was unclear this week whether Mrs. Bryan is still residing at the taxpayer-funded Government House or moved back into the couple’s private home pending the divorce proceedings.
Government House spokesperson Richard Motta was contacted for comment late Tuesday following Bryan’s court filing, but he does not routinely respond to press enquiries from the V.I. Free Press.