Claiming his finances are in dire straits, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis wants to reduce support payments he makes to his two ex-wives.
Alexakis—once Portland's most celebrated and reviled post-grunge musician—filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, primarily because he owes more than $2.3 million in state and federal taxes, according to a court filing by one of his ex-wives.
Ex-wife Stephanie Greig says in recent court filings that Alexakis stopped paying her $1,500 monthly support payments and monthly rent on the former couple's Mount Hood cabin in December 2005. Greig also says she had to pawn a ring in order to pay off $19,000 in legal bills she racked up protecting her interests in Alexakis' bankruptcy case in California, according to memos filed earlier this month in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Greig, Alexakis' wife for nearly four years, is asking the court to award her $22,500 in back payments plus interest.
"In addition to his profligate personal spending habits (notwithstanding his alleged insolvency), [Alexakis] spent thousands of dollars in attorney's fees to avoid having to fulfill his obligations to [Greig] and has in turn forced [Greig] to retain attorneys to defend her interests," her attorney, Brett Bender, argues in court filings.
Greig recently quit a waitress job at Portland's Vindalho restaurant to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles, court records say.
For his part, Alexakis, 44, argues in court papers that his income fell from $1.4 million in 2001 to $223,700 in 2003. At the end of 2004, Capitol Records ended his recording contract, causing him not to get an expected $750,000 advance.
Court records say the $66,000 he made from Broadcast Music Inc., or BMI, went to pay off debts and that the IRS holds a lien on all his other assets. He argues that these debts prevent him from being able to pay Greig's $1,500 monthly spousal support, and that the payments should stop or be reduced because his ex has had adequate time to readjust to her post-marriage life.
"The fact [Greig] has chosen to work only 19 to 20 hours per week and travel extensively is her choice alone and should have no bearing on whether [Alexakis'] spousal support obligation should continue," his attorney Richard Funk argues in a court memo.
Attempts to contact the musician through Funk, Alexakis' managers, and another Alexakis attorney in California, Michael Holst, were unsuccessful at press time. But the lead singer got wind that WW was researching a story on the support-payment dispute and posted a reaction on myspace.com.
"[S]tephanie wrote the i r s , asking for 'innocent spouse relief'...claiming she never benefited from the money i made back in the day," Alexakis wrote. "[i]t's ludicrous! she lived like a queen....she was a 21 year old driving an $80,000 jag taking acting classes and waking up at noon to hang out with her friends."
Meanwhile, another Alexakis ex-wife, Jennifer Dodson Paget, is fighting his attempts to reduce his monthly child-support payments for their 13-year-old daughter, Anna. Paget's attorney, Catherine Carroll, did not return WW's calls.
Holtz, Alexakis' attorney, spoke with Alexakis on Tuesday but did not return WW's call after until press time.
Alexakis disputes how much money he owes to Greig and is letting legal proceedings take their course.
"What the judge says he should pay, he'll pay," Holtz says.
Regarding reductions to his daughter's child-support payments, Holtz says Alexakis currently pays $3,000 a month in child support plus $1,200 private-school tuition, as well as her insurance. And he plans to put her through a private high school.
His monthly payments would be about $500 a month if calculated based upon his current income, Holtz says.
"He loves his daughter more than anything," Holtz says. "There's a bigger picture here."
Debts, his generosity towards his daughter and caring for his ailing mother until her death earlier this year—not rock-star excesses—have put Alexakis in the unfortunate position of needing to ask for the payment reduction, Holtz says.