Duke and Rob Riley are suing my wife, Legal Schnauzer, and me, claiming that my reporting on certain topics is false and defamatory. Court filings in the case include an affidavit from Duke in which she states, "To the best of my knowledge, I have never even been alone in a room with Rob Riley." These are among the documents that Riley and Duke have sought to have sealed in Shelby County Circuit Court.
What is unusual about Liberty Smith Duke's divorce from William Joseph Duke? For one, court documents show the couple lived in Chilton County--at 1155 County Road 368 in Verbena--but the divorce case was filed in Talladega County. Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that Talladega is known as an Alabama jurisdiction where divorces can be obtained quickly. Filing a divorce action in Talladega County also can keep sensitive information away from prying eyes in the home county.
Public documents in the Duke divorce do not include any inflammatory information, but that likely is because the case was resolved so quickly. Our sources say that someone was at risk of having dirty laundry revealed if the case did not reach a quick resolution. Given that William Duke initiated the divorce as plaintiff, the party in a weak position likely was Liberty Duke. Why was that?
Liberty Duke did not contest the divorce, and she did not even hire an attorney to fight it.
As a comparison, the Rollins v. Rollins case that we have covered extensively was litigated for three years in its proper jurisdiction, Greenville, South Carolina, before being unlawfully moved to Shelby County, Alabama, for more litigation.
Liberty Duke now is claiming that our reporting on certain subjects is false and defamatory. But she passed on multiple opportunities to answer questions on the subjects, and court documents show that she got divorced under duress. Her husband initiated the divorce, she did not contest it, and she clearly had no bargaining power--for some reason.
(To be continued)