Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade has asked for a protective order in his divorce case amid controversy over an alleged “improper” relationship with his boss, District Attorney Fani Willis.
Wade, who is leading the election interference case against former President Trump and 18 others, is involved in a contentious split with his estranged wife of 26 years, Joycelyn Wade. A Cobb County Superior Court judge unsealed filings in Wade’s divorce case last week, revealing that Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys sought to depose Willis to answer questions about their alleged affair.
In a filing last Wednesday, Wade’s attorneys argued a protective order is needed “due to the sensitive nature of the parties’ financial information and documents.”
Among the unsealed documents were bank statements showing that Wade had purchased plane tickets for himself and Willis. He also made payments for a Royal Caribbean cruise and luxury hotel stays, though the documents did not provide direct evidence of an affair. Other documents show Wade was questioned about his drug and alcohol use, though he is not accused of substance abuse.
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Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys claimed that the bank statements show that “Ms. Willis was an intended travel partner for at least some of these trips as indicated by flights he purchased for her to accompany him.”
They asserted that there “appears to be no reasonable explanation for their travels apart from a romantic relationship.”
Willis has neither confirmed nor denied the alleged romantic relationship.
The affair allegations surfaced earlier this month when Trump codefendant Michael Roman’s lawyer accused Willis and Nathan Wade of engaging in an improper relationship and mishandling public money in a separate court filing. Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, did not provide evidence of the alleged relationship between Willis and Wade but pointed to proof in Wade’s divorce case.
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Merchant alleges that Willis’ purported relationship with Wade created a conflict of interest and that she benefited financially from the relationship in the form of lavish vacations the two took using funds his law firm had received for working on the case.
County records show that Wade has been paid nearly $654,000 in legal fees since January 2022, an amount authorized by the district attorney, or Willis in this case.
Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys have argued Willis’ deposition is needed to determine whether Nathan Wade has spent their client’s money on another woman — Willis.
Willis fought the subpoena, asserting she has nothing to do with the divorce and that any alleged affair is irrelevant in this case. Her attorney, Cinque Axam, argued in court filings that Joycelyn Wade has “conspired with interested parties in the criminal Election Interference Case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass, and oppress District Attorney Willis.”
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Axam accused Joycelyn Wade of “obstructing and interfering” with the district attorney’s ongoing case against Trump.
Joycelyn Wade’s attorneys denied she was attempting to “harass” Willis and said the subpoena was “to seek pertinent information from her husband’s paramour regarding her relationship with Plaintiff and the extension to the Plaintiff’s financial involvement in the same.”
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A judge last week put the deposition on hold at least until he can hear from Nathan Wade, who has not been deposed.
A hearing in the divorce case is set for Wednesday when Wade could be questioned about the alleged affair.
Fox News’ Samantha Daigle; Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion, Anders Hagstrom, Brian Flood, Brandon Gillespie and The Associated Press contributed to this report.