An attorney for a neurosurgeon who has filed for divorce from actress Geena Davis urged a judge to award his client $415,000 in interim attorneys’ fees in advance of a hearing resuming later this month concerning the validity of the marriage, but a lawyer for the actress said the judge has no jurisdiction to make such an award.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas Friday did not rule on Dr. Reza Jarrahy’s request, saying he wanted to take the issue under submission before the hearing resumes Nov. 21. The hearing began Aug. 21, but was interrupted when Jarrahy’s lawyer, Stephen Kolodny, became ill.
But Juhas declined an invitation by Kolodny to view a video of the ceremony of what he purports to be the wedding of the doctor and Davis in the Hamptons in Long Island, New York, in September 2001. The judge said he would look strictly at the New York statutes and that the only issue that ultimately needs to be decided in the case is whether Jarrahy’s father was legally able to marry the two. Both sides agree there was no marriage license.
“What difference does the video make?”, Juhas asked.
Juhas asked Davis’ attorney, Peter Lauzon, if any amount of attorneys’ fees is reasonable. Lauzon paused momentarily, saying he did not believe the judge had jurisdiction to award such fees. He then said there could be a reasonable amount given, but he was not specific.
The 63-year-old Davis was present in court and Juhas brought a smile to her face when the judge asked Lauzon, ”Is it a double-secret amount?”
Jarrahy, 48, did not attend the hearing.
The couple have a 17-year-old daughter and twin 15-year-old sons. Jarrahy filed for divorce in May 2018 and asked for spousal support as well as joint legal and physical custody of the children.
Lauzon said that during their 17-year relationship, Jarrahy always filed his tax returns as a single person. Lauzon said Jarrahy’s lawyers have spent considerable amounts of money on the same issues over and over again since the divorce petition was filed.
“They’ve bankrupted (Jarrahy) and they’re trying to bankrupt Ms. Davis,” Lauzon said. “She’s not a blank check.”
Lauzon said it would be premature to award Jarrahy attorneys’ fees in advance of a hearing in which he may ultimately lose his claim to have been married to Davis, raising the question of whether he should then have to write a check giving the money back to the actress.
“Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen,” Lauzon said.