Sen. Herman E Talmadge (D-Ga.) is "guilty of cruel treatment and habitual intoxication" and once concealed a land deal from the Internal Revenue Service. His estranged wife has charged in court.
Betty Talmadge made the charges in a cross-petition for divorce. The latest development in an almost year-old domestic haggle.
Talmadge, the senior senator from Georgia and chairman of the Agriculture Committee, could not reached for comment, but his lawyer said the charges "are simply a threat to smear Sen. Talmadge and a threat to hurt him politically in an effort to get more money."
Talmadge obtained a divorce earlier this year. But the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the decree in May and ordered a jury trial. In Georgia, a party contesting any point in a divorce case, is entitled to a jury trial over the merits of the case.
The main issue in the highly publicized divorce action has been money. Mrs. Talmadge's lawyers say the senator is worth nearly $1.7 million. His lawyers say she is worth 1.2 million.
In August, Talmadge claimed in a petition that his wife had improperly retained some $750.00 from the sale of his share of a 1,000 acre tract near Atlanta.
Mrs. Talmadge contends that the property was a gift to her, that she paid capital gains tax on it and that she was justified in retaining the proceeds of it sale in 1972.
In a petition, she charged that her husband "does not come into this court with clean hands. Since his concealing his financial activities from the people of the state of Georgia the Senate of the United States, the Internal Revenue Service and the Comptroller General of the United States Was improper and illegal . . ."
Reached by telephone at her home in Lovejoy. Mrs. Talmadge declined comment on her allegations of drinking and cruelty. "That speaks for it self." she said.
Her petition did not contain any specific allegations of cruelty ro excessive drinking nor did it point out which.If any laws were broken in the land deal mentioned in the document