Wendy Davis Testimony in Federal Trial: 'I Got Divorced by the Time I Was 19'

Wendy Davis Testimony in Federal Trial: 'I Got Divorced by the Time I Was 19'

Texas State Senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis testified in a Washington, D.C. Federal courtroom on January 20, 2012 that she “got divorced by the time [she] was 19 years old.”

The Dallas Morning News reported on Sunday that, in fact, Senator Davis did not file for divorce from her first husband, Frank Underwood, until December, 1983, when she was 20 years and six months old. The divorce was finalized on May 22, 1984, just a week after her 21st birthday.

The case in which Senator Davis testified, State of Texas, plaintiff, vs. United States of America and Eric H. Holder, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, defendants, and Wendy Davis, et al., intervenor-defenders, was tried in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Senator Davis testified for more than an hour, beginning at 8:15 on the morning of January 20, 2012. She was led through her direct testimony in questions posed by her attorney, election law expert J. Gerald Hebert.

Here is a verbatim transcript taken from the start of her testimony that day:


Q. Good morning, Senator Davis?

A. Good morning.

Q. I’d like to start by asking you to state your full name?

A. My name is Wendy Russell Davis.

Q. Where do you reside?

A. I reside in Fort Worth, Texas.

Q. If you would introduce yourself to the Court, tell them who you are?

A. I’m a State Senator representing a large portion of Tarrant County, Senate District 10. I was elected in 2008. I’m in the first term of the Texas Senate.

Q. It’s a four year term?

A. Correct.

Q. So you are up for reelection this year?

Q. Where were you born? 

A. I was born in Rhode Island, West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Q. When did you move to Texas?

A. When I was 11 years old. So I’ve lived there for 37 years.

Q. Have you lived in Tarrant County for 37 years?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. Did you attend school in Tarrant County?

A. I did.

Q. What high school did you attend?

A. I went to Richland High School in Richland Hills. It’s kind of a blue collar suburb of Fort Worth.

Q. Tell the Court after you graduated from high school did you go on to college immediately?

A. No, I did not.

Q. What did you do?

A. When I was only 18 I got married. I had a baby, I got divorced by the time I was 19 years old. [emphasis added]

And I had started working, I actually started working when I was 14. 

I was raised by a single mother. My mother only had a 6th grade education. My parents divorced when I was 11 years old.

So my mother raised four children with no child support with a 6th grade education, having never worked in her life.

She went to work at Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store, that’s where she worked the entire time that I was growing up.