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Divorce man 'wants kidney back'

Dr Batista and his wife
Some divorce lawyers say a kidney is not a marital asset to be divided

A US man divorcing his wife is demanding that she return the kidney he donated to her or pay him $1.5m (1m) in compensation.

Dr Richard Batista told reporters that he decided to go public because he was frustrated at the slow pace of divorce negotiations with his estranged wife.

He said he had not only given his heart to his wife, Dawnell, but donated his kidney to save her life.

But divorce lawyers say a donated organ is not a marital asset to be divided.

Dr Batista married Dawnell in 1990 and donated the kidney to her in 2001. She filed for divorce in 2005 and a settlement has still not been reached.

'Betrayal'

He told reporters at his lawyer's office in Long Island, New York, that going public was a last resort.

I felt humiliated, betrayed, disrespected and disregarded
Dr Richard Batista
"There is no deeper pain that you can ever express than betrayal from somebody who you love and devoted your life to," he said.

He said he had been prevented from seeing their three children for extended periods.

"I felt humiliated, betrayed, disrespected and disregarded for me as a person, as a man, as a husband, as a father."

Dr Batista's lawyer, Dominic Barbara, said his client was "asking for the value of the kidney" that he gave his wife.

A lawyer for Mrs Batista said: "The facts aren't as represented by Dr Batista. We will be addressing the issues before the judge within the next few days."

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