NEW YORK (Jul. 18)
Jonathan Pollard, serving a life term in prison for spying on behalf of Israel, has filed divorce papers against his wife, Anne, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for ending the marriage.
Anne Pollard received the papers Wednesday in her bed at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where she is receiving treatment for a digestive disorder.
Her medical condition worsened during her 40-month stay in prison, where she was sentenced after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact to possession of classified documents. She was released from a Manhattan halfway house in March.
A statement released by an attorney for Jonathan Pollard states that he “very deeply regrets that this action must be taken and wishes his wife the very best, but also desires to make clear that she no longer speaks for him for any purpose.”
The statement added that Pollard had planned divorce action earlier, but “postponed taking this action for several months due to his wife’s ongoing testing for illness and unavailability to visit him at the prison.”
Anne Pollard was “absolutely beside herself” over the divorce action, said her attorney, Mark Baker. A statement released on her behalf quoted her as saying, “I am deeply grieved by this action as I had hoped for children and a life together someday.”
Baker blames Jonathan Pollard’s family for influencing him against his wife. The couple have not seen each other in four years and have not communicated in several months.
The divorce action follows months of growing animosity between the two families since Anne Pollard’s release. Each side has accused the other of trying to monopolize and control efforts to free Jonathan Pollard.
“People who have their own agendas are exploiting the fact that Jonathan cannot meet with Anne without others present,” Baker said.
Judith Barnett, an attorney for Jonathan Pollard, responded that “this is a decision which was made 100 percent by Jonathan Pollard.”
The Pollards were married on Aug. 9, 1985. Three months later, on Nov. 21, Jonathan Pollard, then a U.S. naval intelligence analyst, was arrested outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington.