The divorce of a Connecticut state senator has garnered increased media attention in recent weeks as she went public with her relationship with a former staffer. State Sen. Alex Bergstein is in the midst of a divorce from her husband Seth, who is a Morgan Stanley executive.
Sen. Bergstein, who represents Greenwich, announced the relationship on Facebook last month. She said that it was not the reason she filed for divorce last December. According to Bergstein, “Long after my marriage had ended emotionally and physically, I made the decision to end it legally. Once I was free and empowered, I was able to see other paths to happiness.”
Her girlfriend worked on her 2018 campaign, which she won by just over 600 votes over a five-term senator. The woman then became Bergstein’s personal assistant. Sen. Bergstein said, “Like many others, we fell in love through our work and then ended our professional relationship…. There’s no scandal here.”
There is some scandal, however, regarding her husband, whom she married in 1995. A month prior to that, he offered to pay $222,000 to his wife to cover the salaries of the woman who’s now her girlfriend and another aide “from Morgan Stanley earnings for the next 2 years” according to an email that became public amid the divorce court filings.
Seth Bergstein reportedly never followed through with that payment. However, as one Connecticut attorney who used to be a federal prosecutor says, “I don’t know that it is illegal, but….it certainly looks bad.” He continued, “You’re actually going to have a business paying for our public servants? What’s the difference between that and giving them a kickback to pay for legislation?”
Financial transparency and honesty are key in divorce. However, that means that sometimes financial transactions that are less than honest can come to light. When public figures are involved, this can have a significant impact on their reputations and careers. While it may be impossible to prevent any details of your divorce from being made public, you can seek a attorney who will commit to as much discretion as possible.