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Wife responds to kidney divorce demand

January 12, 2009 3:18:27 PM PST
For the first time, we are hearing from the woman at the center of a bitter divorce battle.Her husband says, as part of the divorce settlement, he wants his kidney back.

Wiping her tears away from her eyes, the woman behind the story heard around the world spoke out Monday.

Forty-five-year-old Dawnell Batista is going through a divorce, but it isn't just any split. Her husband, Dr. Richard Batista, last week made a stunning request, asking for his kidney back as part of the divorce settlement.

In her first appearance since the bombshell announcement, Dawnell wasn't sure what to say.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I have no comment."

The mother-of-three hesitated to talk about details of the case, but in a pre-court hearing Monday, attorneys argued that Dr. Batista had an alleged obsession involving dawnell's undergarments to try to prove she was having an affair. Dawnell's attorney says there was no affair, and even downplayed Dr. Batista's kidney donation to her.

"She is here with her sisters," Douglas Rothkapf said. "All were positive donors."

Dr. Batista says he risked his life donating an organ and knows he can't technically get his kidney back. But wants to be reimbursed.

So what does a kidney go for these days? According to Dr. Batistia's attorney, $1.5 million.

The kidney request is all part of the divorce trial. A judge is expected to start hearing the case Tuesday.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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