Governor Divorce
Joe Cavaretta  /  AP
Jim Gibbons, right, kisses his wife Dawn during a news conference in Las Vegas on Aug. 25, 2003, when he was a U.S. House member. Dawn Gibbons is accusing her estranged husband, now governor, of having extramarital affairs.
updated 4/6/2009 9:32:04 PM ET 2009-04-07T01:32:04

First lady Dawn Gibbons accuses Gov. Jim Gibbons in divorce papers of having extramarital affairs with a former Playboy magazine model and another woman to whom he sent hundreds of text messages last year.

The Republican governor has been untruthful about his "infidelity" with the two women, his estranged wife says in a divorce filing, which was unsealed Monday by a court order in Washoe County Family Court.

The governor has insisted both women were just friends. He filed for divorce last May, citing "incompatibility" with his wife. The couple had been married since 1986.

Dawn Gibbons identified one of the women in the documents as Kathy Karrasch, who over several weeks in 2007 received more than 860 text messages from the governor on his state cell phone.

The governor publicly apologized last year and reimbursed the state $130. He denied the messages were "love notes."

His explanation that the messages were consultations with Karrasch about state business was "laughable," Dawn Gibbons said in court documents.

The documents identified the second woman as Leslie Durant, who once posed nude in Playboy magazine and is the former wife of ex-Reno Mayor Pete Sferrazza.

'Other women'
The first lady alleged Gibbons wanted a divorce because he was having an affair with a woman who had known the couple for years.

She said in the court documents that her husband "has had similar relationships with many other women during the marriage."

The governor had fought to keep the court file sealed, but Judge Frances Doherty ordered most of the documents unsealed.

"The governor disagrees with the court's decision, but will obey it. He otherwise has no comment," said Gary Silverman, a Reno lawyer representing the governor in the divorce case.

A few months before the governor's divorce filing, his office acknowledged the couple was having problems and that he had moved out of the mansion. Dawn Gibbons remained in the governor's mansion for a while, but now lives in an adjacent apartment.

'Embarrassing' event
The governor said in court documents he wanted the first lady to move out of the mansion because she was aggressive.

"It was once said in another context that being in close quarters with such a volatile person was like being locked in a phone booth with an enraged ferret," the documents said.

Dawn Gibbons also made references in court papers to an incident in Las Vegas just weeks before the 2006 election in which a cocktail waitress, Chrissy Mazzeo, accused the governor of making unwanted sexual advances and threatening to rape her in a parking lot.

"I stood by his side and supported his candidacy notwithstanding this terribly embarrassing and distressing event," she said.

Gibbons denied the allegations and no criminal charges were filed.

Mazzeo has filed a lawsuit accusing Gibbons of battery, false imprisonment and second-degree kidnapping, as well as lying about the incident.

More on: Jim Gibbons

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