Former Today show anchor Tamron Hall is being dragged into the ugly divorce of Jesse Jackson Jr. — and the former U.S. congressman is not happy about it.
Jackson’s estranged wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, has filed court papers requesting subpoenas be issued for Hall, as well as 11 other people, including Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who “have been identified as persons having knowledge of the circumstances that led to the estrangement of the parties, financial issues raised, and allegations made in this matter,” according to the court filing.
No further details were revealed about why Sandi Jackson, 53, is seeking information from Hall, 46, but Jackson Jr.’s attorney tells PEOPLE that their relationship is irrelevant to the divorce case.
“Former Congressman Jackson knows Ms. Hall on an exclusively professional basis,” Chicago lawyer Brendan Hammer says in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. “Mr. Jackson is deeply saddened and understandably angered that a well-respected, accomplished, dignified and honorable woman like Ms. Hall would be dragged into these proceedings so cavalierly and with so little concern for the position she holds and the high regard in which she is held.”
Hammer added that Jackson Jr. “intends to move swiftly and strongly in every way possible to insure that Ms. Hall’s good name remains unsullied.”
The Jacksons’ divorce is in the final stages, Hammer says, and at this point mostly involves issues of property division, child support and alimony. “It is hard to envision how Ms. Hall and many of the others being pursued by Ms. Jackson in multiple jurisdictions could have any materiality regarding those issues,” he says.
Jesse Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson in 2006
Jesse Jackson Jr., 52, was a U.S. Rep. from Illinois from 1995 until his resignation in 2012 amid a bipolar disorder diagnosis and a federal probe into his campaign finances.
He later pleaded guilty to federal counts of spending about $750,000 of campaign cash on personal items including vacations, Michael Jackson memorabilia and a Rolex watch, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
He is the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., who is also among the people from whom a subpoena is being sought.
Sandi Jackson, a Chicago alderman from 2007 until she resigned in 2013, followed Jackson Jr. to prison for a one-year stint after her own guilty plea to a charge of filing false income tax returns in connection with that money.
The Jacksons started divorce proceedings in July 2016 after 25 years of marriage and two children. Their case has been contentious, with accusations of as-yet unspecified “damaging information,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Her side has filed court papers asking for the names of people he has had extramarital sex with, along with the dates and locations of the encounters. Meanwhile, his side has cryptically alleged his estranged spouse committed unnamed acts that led to the marriage’s breakdown, the Tribune reported.
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As for Hall, she is developing a new daytime talk show after abruptly departing the Today show and NBC News and MSNBC in February. Hall lived in Chicago for a decade, working from 1997 to 2007 at TV station WFLD as a reporter, anchor and host of a morning program.
A rep for Hall had no comment when contacted by PEOPLE.
Sandi Jackson’s attorney, Chandra Walker Holloway, did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Hall covered politics in Chicago up until 2007 when she relocated to New York City.