The ex-fiancée of Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer wants a judge to order the sale of a house they jointly own and have the proceeds split between them.
Tonya Branham also alleges that Thayer called a Lexington nonprofit where she is chairman of the board and “defamed” her in order to apply pressure to her to relinquish her interest in the property.
Thayer, R-Georgetown, has previously argued in court documents that Branham has no equity interest in the house. Thayer said Tuesday that he “has no comment at this time” on the latest court documents filed Monday.
In those documents, Branham says she is “entitled to keep her one-half joint interest in their home.”
Branham has asked a judge to order the auction of the house in a master commissioner’s sale and that the net proceeds “should be divided equally.” A hearing on that motion is scheduled for April 7 in Scott Circuit Court.
In previously filed documents, Branham alleged that Thayer threatened to use his political power against her.
Branham claims Thayer threatened to get the Administrative Office of the Courts to no longer allow her to serve as a Families in Transitions counselor and to try to keep her from volunteering with Court Appointed Special Advocates.
An amended counterclaim filed Monday alleges that Thayer “intentionally interfered” with Branham’s business relationship with Independence Place, a non-profit in Lexington that promotes independent living for people with disabilities.
The counterclaim says Thayer “intentionally interfered with” Branham’s relationship with Independence Place “by calling the director and defaming her.”
“Thayer’s motive in calling Independence Place was to apply pressure on Branham to sign a quit claim deed,” court documents say. In a quit claim deed, a grantor terminates or “quits” any right or claim to a property.
Kentucky Bank holds the mortgage to the Spy Glass Drive house in Georgetown purchased for $315,000.
Thayer and Branham became engaged on July 4, 2014. Branham says that the couple agreed that “Branham would be a joint owner” of the house, and on Aug. 4 they received a deed.
Thayer paid $123,000 down and financed the $192,000 balance with Kentucky Bank, court documents say. Branham “was not asked to sign the promissory note for the balance of the purchase price.”
“Branham accepted the gift of joint ownership in the house and lot by signing the deed,” the counterclaim says.
On Nov. 18, 2015, Thayer broke off the engagement to marry, court documents say.
Thayer has said in previous court documents that he and Branham were listed on the mortgage at the time of purchase. Those documents say Branham did not invest any equity in the house at the time of closing.
The documents say that Branham’s name was placed on the deed “as a conditional gift, conditioned on marriage, and such condition was not fulfilled.”
Thayer wants the judge to declare that he is the equitable owner of the house and that Branham “has no interest” in the property.
Last month Judge Paul Isaacs denied Thayer’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Branham.