When Lorretta Arnold lost her husband to COVID-19 in July of last year, she found comfort in their much younger chauffeur from Jamaica; so much comfort that the two ended up getting married in February of this year.
Now Mrs Arnold’s children are suing their mother’s husband and claiming that he married her for her wealth that her husband left behind. The court filings state that the significant age difference is proof that they do not have much in common and therefore the marriage should be annulled.
Mrs. Arnold, who is 83, says that she and her late husband had always liked her current husband, 36 year old Alton Vernon, who migrated from Jamaica in 2010 and has been driving for the Arnolds since 2013.
“Ralph (Mrs. Arnold’s late husband) and I both admired Alton and he as always being our friend but after Ralph died he was there for me and we became more than friends and now he is my husband,” Mrs. Arnold said. “People including my children can say what they want but they don’t get any love from him like I do so they would not understand. I love him and I am happy. Very happy.”
From the outside looking in, it does seem like the pair could not be more different. Mrs. Arnold is an older white woman while Mr. Vernon is a young Black man. The former lives in Tribeca, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in New York City while the latter lives in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.
Despite these differences, Mrs. Arnold professes her love for her husband and just wishes that her children would understand and be happy for her.
Mr. Vernon also said that what they have is a true love story and the chatter about him marrying her for her wealth could not be further from the truth.
“Listen, after Mr. Arnold died. I was the only one here for her. Because of travel restrictions her children who all live in different states did not even visit. It was just me and the lady who clean and cook for her would keep her company,” Mr. Vernon said. When the cleaning lady went up to her room in the evenings I would stay until 3 or 4 in the morning talking to her. It was during these long conversations that we realized we love each other.”
18 Karat Reggae spoke with family attorney Roger Grimes on whether or not the children have a chance of getting the marriage annulled but he says there is only a small chance of that happening.
“They are two adults and despite her age, Mrs. Arnold seems to be of sound mind so it is difficult to see how they could have a case,” Grimes said. “Unless they could somehow prove that she was tricked, forced or otherwise went into the marriage not on her free will, they really have no case.”
Mr. Vernon has rented out his house in Canarsie and is now living with his wife in Tribeca. The pair say that they are so confident that the children’s lawsuit is without merit that they have no plans in even hiring a lawyer.