The protracted legal brawl between exes Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels entered Round 327 when Michaels filed papers on April 9, citing the $23,000 per month she receives for herself and her five-year-old twins, Johnnie Rose and Miller, as insufficient. Etheridge swung back, claiming Michaels burned Miller with a cigarette. And the hits just keep on coming.
It was just another flurry of blows between the rocker and the Popular and The L Word actress since they announced the end of their nine-year relationship in 2010. I reached out to Tammy to talk about the latest allegations, why she doesn’t seem to have a filter, and where she sees herself in five years.
AfterEllen.com: The tabloids are running snide headlines like, “Melissa Etheridge’s Ex-GF I Can’t Live on $23,000 a Month!” or dismissively calling your custody battle a “lovers’ spat.” Do you think the media is taking Melissa’s side?
AE: You mean spin control?
AE: You don’t seem to have a “machine.” If you did, it might advise you to cool it with the blogging until this is all over.
AE: Even if it’s going to hurt you in the press, the courts or the public eye?
AE: But if you were more private, wouldn’t things would be easier for you?
AE: Do you have an aversion to filters?
AE: Why not?
AE: Have you felt the need to defend yourself or just be heard via your blog?
I had to let a lot of time pass, let a lot of things pass and let life sort of marinate – the wisdom that comes from healed wounds. And at that point, I felt, “OK. I’m going to try to get back to one of the things I love, which is writing.” And so, I’m talking about what my life is, and it’s my kids. I really just want it to be about this: [gesturing around the room] this one, who’s obsessed with his fart jokes, or this little girl who can’t get enough stuffed bunnies.
TM: I can’t control everything. That’s when I started thinking to myself, “Where’s that Buddhism for Dummies book?” [laughs] That’s how I’m trying to be in life: like a rock in the stream, man. And the water and the media, other people’s projections, other people’s baloney, and the s–t just goes over you.
AE: Do you regret publicly disclosing that you received a “box of dicks,” the sex toy shipment meant for Melissa’s house, not yours?
AE: That’s what I mean about privacy. That one was a little TMI.
AE: Maybe her assistant didn’t know what it was. Or it was too late. Or she forgot. S–t happens.
AE: And then?
AE: That there was someone else in her life? I can see how that would hurt. Is it public knowledge why you two broke up?
AE: But are you discussing the reason?
AE: Are you going to?
AE: OK. A lot of people are criticizing you for not being able to live on the $23,000 a month you’re currently getting.
AE: Which show was that?
But [Melissa] wouldn’t take off from her music stuff to allow me to do TV or movies. She implored me to be home. I hate to think, “Oh, I gave up my career,” because you know what? That would subtract from how much it meant to raise the kids.
AE: That math assumes a lot – Committed only ran for one season. Instead of lost wages or whether $23,000 is more than enough to live on, I’m wondering if it’s really about percentages. If Melissa is making almost $178,000 a month, as you say, then $23,000 is only about 13% of that. Straight wives would seek 50% of their husbands’ income, and many would get it, no?
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Tammy Lynn Michaels