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April 19, 2015

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Gibbons: Allegations of affairs have ‘no merit’

Unsealed divorce documents claim governor had affairs with two women


Tiffany Brown

Dawn Gibbons appears by her husband’s side during an October 2006 news conference.

CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons angrily denied allegations Tuesday night that he has cheated on his estranged wife Dawn with two women.

“That has no merit and no basis,” Gibbons said of the allegations leveled by Dawn Gibbons in divorce documents unsealed week.

In an interview with the Sun outside the Capitol, the governor said: “I get frustrated. I don’t want to bring my kids into some salacious little argument over how excited the world can be over a stupid little allegation like this.”

The governor filed for divorce from his wife in May, citing incompatibility.

In the divorce documents unsealed in Reno Monday, Dawn Gibbons claimed the governor had affairs with Leslie Sferrazza-Durant, a former Playboy model, and Kathy Karrasch, the wife of a Reno doctor.

Dawn Gibbons’ attorney, Cal Dunlap, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that Gibbons is seeking a divorce because of his involvement with the two women.

There “is nothing new” in these allegations, the governor said. “They were made at the beginning. It’s just a lawyer trying to make a big name for himself by making outrageous and outlandish allegations.

“The only people who get hurt are innocent people who get accused of something that isn’t anywhere near true,” the governor said.

Gibbons won a minor procedural battle in the divorce. District Judge Frances M. Doherty denied a motion by Dawn Gibbons for a “bill of particulars” and a “more definite statement” on why the governor is seeking the divorce.

In denying the motion, Judge Doherty said Nevada is a no-fault divorce state and incompatibility is sufficient grounds for a divorce. She quoted a Nevada Supreme Court ruling that eliminated the fault concept in establishing grounds for divorce.

Marital misconduct can be introduced in deciding the division of community property, the judge noted, but it has no bearing on child support or the grounds for divorce itself.

The judge denied the initial motion for a bill of particulars last August and rejected a bid to reconsider her decision last month. He ordered Dawn to pay $796 in fees to Gary Silverman, the governor’s attorney in the case.

The judge said that when the cause cited in a divorce is incompatibility, “a demand for particulars is spurious and serves no purpose.”

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