Attorney: Melissa Etheridge Is Paying Tammy s Bills

Melissa Etheridge (left) and Tammy Lynn Michaels

Jill Johnson/JPI

07/12/2010 AT 8:00 PM ET

Has Melissa Etheridge left her ex and their twins broke?

That s what Tammy Etheridge s attorney claimed in an L.A. courtroom on Monday – but Melissa s lawyer says that s not the case.

“[Tammy] is being completely supported by Melissa and has been since they separated,” Melissa s attorney Neal Hersh told PEOPLE after appearing at a hearing. “She s being well-provided for and then some, as are the children, which are Melissa s first priority.”

The singer has been giving the former Tammy Lynn Michaels $2,000 a month and pays household bills including utilities and a car lease, the lawyer says.

Tammy s attorney Steven Knowles acknowledges, “Melissa is paying various sundry expenses,” but says that Tammy, 35, and their 3-year-old twins, Johnnie and Miller, are “destitute.” Knowles adds, “It doesn t put money in her wallet. Literally she has no cash.”

Knowles also claims Tammy s credit card has been declined when she s tried to purchase groceries and clothing for their children, something Hersh says is, if true, “a one-off situation.”

Melissa, 49, and Tammy, 35, split late last year after nearly nine years together. Melissa is seeking joint custody of their twins, while Tammy is seeking full custody.


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