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Heard on the Hill: Clay’s Divorce Drama

Rep. William Lacy Clay won over the audience as a romantic lead in the annual “Will on the Hill” performance at the Shakespeare Theatre Co.

In the charity theatrics on Monday night, Clay portrayed a Romeo-esque character separated from his true love (played by CNN’s Jessica Yellin) by their families, who were of opposite political stripes. But behind the scenes, things in Clay’s love life were even messier than they were onstage.

Earlier in the day, news that Clay filed for divorce from wife Ivie Lewellen Clay was making waves in their hometown of St. Louis. On Tuesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Ivie Clay claimed she and the couple’s two children first learned of the filing through news reports, and the Congressman had yet to inform his children of the divorce.

“I and my children are devastated and embarrassed that my husband let us find out from the children’s friends and the media that he had filed for divorce, and mostly that he still has not contacted our children,” Ivie Clay said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “I would have wanted to prepare the children.”

Clay on Tuesday shot back, releasing to HOH a statement claiming that the divorce wasn’t much of a shocker. “My wife and I have been discussing this situation for a number of months and this action should not have come as a surprise to anyone,” the statement read in part.

And while Clay on Monday night was all smiles on the stage of the Shakespeare Theatre’s Sidney Harman Hall, his statement indicates things aren’t so happy. “This is a difficult, private family matter that will hopefully be resolved [amicably] and swiftly by all parties,” the statement reads.

HOH doesn’t know if this drama will end up as a tragedy, but for now it’s certainly a tempest.

Garner’s New Alias. Actress Jennifer Garner sported many disguises during her time portraying a secret agent, and on Tuesday she added another job title to her real-life repertoire.

The actress spent the day as a lobbyist, joining activist Mark Shriver on Capitol Hill to ask Members to allocate $2 billion in additional funding for early childhood education. The pair attended a luncheon in the Rayburn House Office Building before meeting privately with Members, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Sens. Arlen Specter (Pa.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

A celebrity ambassador for the nonprofit group Save the Children, Garner also spent part of the day reading to students at a local preschool. Before her trip to the Hill, Garner told HOH it would be her first time lobbying Members — unlike her hubby, actor Ben Affleck, who’s a frequent visitor to the Capitol — and she admitted she was a bit nervous.

“I don’t really know what to expect. I feel like I’ll be standing in the hallway with a sandwich board,” Garner joked.

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