Ultimately, says Debra, there was another reason she never
sought a divorce. “I think that her love for him just caused
her to be blind to the other things,” she says.
DIVORCE TOO EXPENSIVE?
While Jo Ann’s love for TL may have been unabiding,
Diane’s children, Robin Longstreet and Darren Robertson, say
it was their understanding that TL and Jo Ann’s marriage was
over as husband and wife when TL and Diane became a couple.
Kathy, Debra, Robin and Darren say TL always said that it
would be too expensive to get a divorce, with the marriage of
TL and Jo Ann continuing largely as a business arrangement.
“He had a way of making you feel that everything he said
was gospel,” Kathy says.
Debra says that was just a ploy on TL’s part. “He just wanted
control,” Debra says. “He wanted to control her property.”
Deeds from the 1970s reveal that the ownership of their
ranch — their greatest asset — was not 50/50. The deeds
show that Jo Ann owned 77 percent of the largest sections of
the ranch, while TL owned 22 percent and Kathy and Debra
owned 1 percent.
Despite her majority ownership, however, Jo Ann turned all
business decisions over to TL. Jo Ann’s daughters say the reason
she gave was always the same: “I trust him and I love him.”
While Jo Ann at first was cold about TL’s relationship with
Diane, she grew to accommodate it. TL and Diane would fly
to North Carolina for a visit, sitting down to the dinner table
together with her. TL and Diane would also stay overnight
ROBERTSON FAMILY ARCHIVES
>> TL Sloan and Robin Robertson Longstreet net a trout at Tellico.