News Segment


March 9, 2006

Heather Locklear is on the hunt for a less judgmental judge.

One week after her soon-to-be ex-husband, Richie Sambora filed court papers challenging the objectivity of the first judge assigned to handle their divorce case, Locklear has filed similar documents, alleging that the second judge assigned to the case is prejudiced against her.

Locklear’s attorney, Lance Spiegel, filed a preemptory challenge on Monday, claiming that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas’ alleged bias against his client would prevent Locklear from receiving “a fair and impartial trial or hearing.”

The court accepted the challenge and the case will be reassigned, according to court documents.

Locklear’s filing almost certainly comes less as a result of any insecurities on the part of the Spin City star and more as a sign that the divorcing duo is seeking to have their split handled by a private judge–a course of action that has become increasingly popular in celebrity circles.

Among the high-profile stars who have chosen to uncouple in a low-profile fashion are Brad and Jen, Nick and Jessica and Charlie and Denise.

With a private judge presiding, A-listers can generally avoid the discomfort of having the details of their divorce proceedings made available for public consumption.

Locklear filed for divorce from Sambora on Feb. 2, citing irreconcilable differences. The split came after months of denials from the couple that anything was amiss in their union.

The pair wed in Paris in December 1994 and have an eight-year-old daughter together.

According to her divorce filing, Locklear is seeking physical custody of her daughter, Ava, with visitation rights for Sambora.

She also wants the court to enforce a prenuptial agreement the couple signed on Dec. 14, 1994, the day before they married.

The split marks the second divorce for Locklear, who was previously wed to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee from 1985 to 1992. This was the first marriage–and divorce–for Sambora.

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