Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden's wife, Nancy, has filed for divorce, accusing him of physical and mental cruelty and adultery.
Documents filed late Tuesday in Circuit Court allege that "over the years" since their marriage in July 1984, Mr. Hayden "has engaged in a course of abusive conduct . . . designed to intimidate her and to injure her emotionally, physically and mentally."
Mr. Hayden, responding through Carol Hirschburg, his official spokeswoman, accused his wife of filing the suit to break an impasse in negotiations of a financial settlement to end the marriage. He said he would file a reply denying the allegations.
Mrs. Hayden, who left the family home in Baldwin last Dec. 13, could not be reached for comment on the suit. Her lawyer, Richard J. Reinhardt of Towson, would not elaborate on the allegations of abuse and adultery.
"I can't comment on any of the facts of the case. It's attorney-client privilege," Mr. Reinhardt said. When told that Mr. Hayden said he would file a denial, Mr. Reinhardt said, "Let him file anything he wants."
This is the second marriage for both the Haydens. His first ended in May 1984.
In 1970, his first wife, Suzette, had him arrested on a charge of assault by pushing her. She later withdrew the charge and the case was dropped. The former Mrs. Hayden, who has remarried and moved out-of-state, declined to discuss her first marriage.
The petition alleges that the Republican county executive has "on numerous occasions committed the crime of adultery."
It does not cite a co-respondent.
Mr. Hayden is asked to list all political and non-political functions he has attended with his wife, since Jan. 1, 1991 -- about three weeks after his inauguration -- and all functions he has attended "with an escort other than your wife, naming the escort and her address and occupation."
Mrs. Hayden, a county elementary school supervisor, charged that her husband's conduct has continued "uninterruptedly since May 20, 1991" and forced her to leave the family home last December.