Bryan Asks Court to Conduct His Divorce Proceedings With First Lady Under Seal

Governor seeks court approval to keep divorce details from public eye

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • November 14, 2023

Governor Albert Bryan delivers his fifth State of the Territory Address in January 2023 at the Earl B. Ottley Legislative Building in St. Thomas. First Lady Yolanda Bryan, donning a red dress, looks on. By. GOVERNMENT HOUSE

Governor Albert Bryan has asked the V.I. Superior Court that divorce proceedings between himself and First Lady Yolanda Bryan be conducted under seal, so as to protect Mrs. Bryan and their two adult children.

According to the document, which was filed with the court on Tuesday and obtained by the Consortium, Mr. Bryan through his attorney Henry Smock of SmockLaw PC, seeks to file the divorce petition under seal so that details related to their relationship are not made public

"As Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, it is anticipated that the filing of this divorce will generate unwanted publicity which will potentially adversely affect his wife and two children," reads the petition, filed on Tuesday. "This is a private matter which does not merit public inquiry."

According to the filing, titled "Motion to File Verified Petition For Divorce Under Seal", Mr. Bryan's attorney has consulted with Mrs. Bryan's legal counsel, and both parties have agreed that the divorce proceedings should be conducted under seal.

The petition comes on the heels of the Consortium's interview with Governor Bryan in mid-October, where this reporter sought comment from the governor on the status of his relationship with the First Lady, particularly whether matters related to his personal life were impacting his governance. In response, the governor said, "I think that when there is an official statement to be made, I will make a statement," he said during the interview at Government House in St. Thomas. "Because to your point, the people not only need to know, but there are people who are concerned about what's going on in my personal life. But what I'm saying to people is that that's not the issue with me, I think we're moving along at a good pace, we're having a good year."

Earlier in the interview, Mr. Bryan had stated, "Am I being affected by personal matters in my life? I don't think so. I'm in a good place mentally. I think I'm getting my rest; I'm doing a lot of the stuff that I couldn't do in my first term because of Covid. Remember, two and a half years, building relationships for the Virgin Islands in the tourism sector as well as in the political arena."

He added, "I've been married for 27 years, and I always tell Yolanda I'm married to the people of the Virgin Islands for the next 8. That's my first priority. Everyday that I wake up I'm thinking about them, so that's what I'm working on now."

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