Roscoe Orman, Aka “Mr. Gordon”, Ordered To Pay Monthly Support To Ex He Left Homeless After 39 Years

September 25, 2013  |  


We told you earlier in the year about Roscoe Orman. The man, who has for years played “Mr. Gordon” on Sesame Street, had been in a long-term relationship with a woman named Sharon Joiner-Orman for 39 years. They had four children together, who are now grown, and she took care of them as well as taking care of their home together while he made a name for himself as an actor. Despite all that they shared, the two never married, though I guess Sharon was okay with that seeing as how they had been an item for decades. Unfortunately, Orman up and decided to leave in 2010 when he found a pretty young thing that gave him the time of day. He gave money to Sharon ($3, 600 a month) to help her since she put her life on hold for him, but just two years later, he married that pretty young thing and ceased sending money to Sharon. She wound up broke after losing the New Jersey home they once shared (though he told her she should move to a smaller home), and has been staying with one of their daughters because she has nowhere else to go. She took Orman to court in order to see if she could get consistent financial help in the form of “palimony,” and just last month a judge ruled in her favor. Palimony, as I’m sure you know, is regarded as the division of finances and property after the end of a live-in relationship.

Though they never made an agreement in writing, as palimony agreements are supposed to go, New Jersey Judge Ned Rosenberg said that Orman will have to resume paying monthly to his ex either way. A hearing is scheduled for next week to determine how much he will have to dole out. In the judge’s ruling he wrote this:

“The court finds the plaintiff (Joiner) has fully performed her end of the bargain (to put it tersely). In addition, there is no way to qualify the value of the services plaintiff provided over the course of 39 years much less the value of foregone educational and work related opportunities. What is more, the defendant does not deny the agreement and even acknowledged the obligation by deeds and words.”

Despite the fact that they were together for so long, the fact that Sharon took his last name somehow, and despite the fact that Orman dedicated his book (Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor) to her saying, “To my wife, Sharon Joiner-Orman, thanks for providing this story and my life with true meaning,” they were never married. But the court says they were basically (aside from a paper agreement) like a married couple and he owes her for all that she did and gave up for him. We’ll have to wait and see what the court orders him to pay, but any contribution that can help her get on her feet seems only right. But what do you think?


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