columnist David Brooks and his wife of 27 years, Sarah, were divorcing. Few in Brooks’s fairly wide circle were willing to discuss the discrepancy.
The unsourced item, under the collective byline of the “Reliable Source” gossip column, rattled a certain portion of the Acela corridor: Here was a leading conservative pundit, a father of three who has his Facebook profile remains “Married.” (Judging from its recent activity, the profile appears to be active.) And residence records maintained by Nexis indicate that the Brookses continue to live together in their .95 million Cleveland Park home.“We stand by the report,” a spokesperson for the paper told Gawker, without elaborating on the report’s sourcing. “Now why in hell would I talk to you about a friend’s private life?
“We don’t anonymize names,” the court spokesperson, Leah Gurowitz, said.
“On rare occasions there is a motion to seal a case, but the standards for that are very high.
I don’t recall any divorce/custody cases that have been sealed and I have been here a dozen years.”To file for divorce without creating a public record, the Brookses would need to quietly relocate to a state like New York, where uncontested family cases are kept confidential.
New York law requires, for divorce cases, that both parties reside there for at least one year—if only one spouse resides there, it’s two years—and there’s no indication that either David or Sarah Brooks has resettled in New York, or elsewhere.
Nevada gives out speedier divorces, but even those require 90 days’ residency, which would mean uprooting the Brookses’ school-aged children.
If you fly to Guam, it’s possible to exploit certain loopholes and divorce yet more quickly, but, again, there’s no sign of either Brooks relocating even briefly to the far side of the International Date Line.
Brooks did not acknowledge requests for comment.* Correction: This item initially misidentified Wieseltier as a congregant of Adas Israel, the Conservative synagogue to which Brooks belongs.
In fact, Wieseltier belongs to Kesher Israel, a modern Orthodox one located in Georgetown.
Writes Wieseltier: “This is not just a journalistic delinquency.
It is also a metaphysical one.” Gawker regrets the error.
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