Civil Rights activist and Baptist minister, the Rev. Al Sharpton, has reportedly filed for divorce from his estranged wife, Kathy Jordan, after 24 years of marriage. Though the couple have been separated since 2004, court records reveal the 66-year-old officially filed for divorce at the Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday, according to New York Post.
Sharpton met Jordan in 1971 when they both worked for legendary musician James Brown. The MNSBC PoliticsNation host was then the road manager for the “Godfather of Soul” while Jordan was his backup singer. They married in 1980 and have two daughters – Dominique and Ashley.
Sharpton has been dating Aisha McShaw – a personal stylist – since 2013, according to New York Daily News. After the couple’s relationship became public that year, Sharpton was criticized for being romantically involved with McShaw despite the fact that he and Jordan had still not divorced.
Responding to the backlash, Sharpton’s aide, Rachel Noerdlinger, told the news outlet: “His exact words to me were, ‘Rachel, I’m not announcing an engagement or a marriage. Don’t I have a right to date when my marriage has been over for a decade?’”
Sharpton founded the National Action Network (NAN) – a not-for-profit civil rights organization – in 1991. NAN has over 100 chapters nationwide, including a Washington, DC Bureau and regional offices across the US.
As one of the nation’s most-renowned civil rights leaders, Rev. Al Sharpton has been praised by former President Barack Obama as “the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden”.