COUNTRY music legend GEORGE JONES has had a secret wife for more than 30 years – that’s the incredible charge of Linda Dodson, who says the crooner is a bigamist because he never divorced her before marrying his current wife Nancy Sepulvado.
Linda says she hooked up with George after he split from his third wife, country legend Tammy Wynette, and carried on a rocky seven-year relationship with the hard-drinking Grammy winner before they parted ways in 1981.
Incredibly, just two years after the breakup, George tied the knot with Nancy even though Linda says she was – and STILL is – his wife under Alabama common law. “It’s time to set the record straight,” Linda told The ENQUIRER in a world exclusive interview. “His wife Nancy acts like I was nothing to George, but I’m just as married to him as she is.”
FOR THE FIRST TIME, LINDA, a 64-year-old from Sheffield, Ala., who lives on disability due to vision problems, is speaking openly about their tormented relationship in this sensational two-part ENQUIRER expose.
Her explosive revelations come just as the 81-year-old “He Stopped Loving Her Today” singer began his 60-date farewell tour to cap his celebrated career.
Linda says she first met George while he was visiting her sister Charlene and her songwriter husband Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery at their Alabama home in 1974
.“For the first four years, our relationship was wonderful,” Linda told The ENQUIRER. “In 1976, he asked me to marry him. But because he told me, ‘I’ve been drunk every time I’ve gotten married,’ I wouldn’t go ahead with it. He was always drinking.”
They continued to live together in seven different homes, and Peanutt, who wrote over 70 songs for George, told The ENQUIRER: “George and Linda were married under common law and they were never divorced – in my mind that makes George a bigamist.”
The singer – who had 14 No. 1 country hits, including “I Always Get Lucky with You” and “Yesterday’s Wine” – almost started a family with Linda.
“In 1978, I was pregnant with twins, but I miscarried,” she revealed. The couple’s relationship deteriorated, and in 1981 George met Nancy while on tour. Soon they were living together, and Linda was out of his life.
The four-times-wed singer confirmed his relationship with Linda in his autobiography “I Lived to Tell It All,” and admits: “I didn’t know that Alabama acknowledged common-law marriages.”
Years after their split, when Linda was planning to remarry, she says a judge told her she needed to be officially divorced. She figured she already was because she’d signed what she thought to be a divorce decree after they broke up.
“George’s lawyers had me sign a blank sheet of paper, telling me it was for my divorce decree,” Linda claimed. “I just wanted to get on with my life, so I signed it.
“Later, I saw they had filled it in with a statement that I had never been married to George, either through a ceremony or by common law. But that was false. We definitely had a common-law marriage under Alabama law – and we are still married to this day!”