Cancer-stricken entrepreneur Don Barden has responded to his wife's request of a judge to have him declared incompetent to handle his far-flung business interests by filing for divorce.
In papers filed Monday in Wayne Circuit Court, Barden asked for a divorce from his wife of 21 years, Bella Marshall, 60. And in answer to Marshall's request filed last week to have the 67-year-old real estate developer and casino owner declared incompetent, Barden accused her of acting in a "scurrilous and slanderous manner."
"Here is a man, fighting to recover from cancer, and he gets slammed with these papers that say, 'I'm going to the probate court and having you declared incompetent.' That's just not fair at all," Barden's lawyer, Henry Baskin, said Monday.
Marshall's lawyer said she had anticipated her husband's release in the new year from in-patient treatment at Karmanos Cancer Institute and arranged for 24-hour home nursing care. But Barden never showed up.
Barden's lawyer said not coming home was Barden's conscious decision.
"I visited him for a couple of hours, and I talked to the doctors at Karmanos," said Baskin. "He is able to run his business. He is able to make decisions about his personal life without hesitation. He does not have what was portrayed in public as a disabling brain cancer. He is not well. He has lung cancer, and he is getting treatment for it."
Attached to the court filings is a statement signed by Barden, stating: "I am mentally capable of making decisions affecting my business interests, my marriage and my future. I suffer no disability which would prevent a clear and concise statement that I am of sound mind and aware of the proceedings that have been filed by my wife."
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Barden Fights Wife's Claim, Seeks Divorce