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Board of Trust member Lee Beaman accused of abuse, cruelty in divorce documents

Board of Trust member Lee Beaman admitted to having sexual relations with his wife and a prostitute, according to a court brief filed Thursday by his wife as part of the couple’s divorce proceedings.

The 20-page brief includes explosive allegations rife with sex, affairs and abuse.

Lee Beaman and his family are notable members of the Belmont community. The student life center is named after the Beaman family. The $9 million donation for the center came through the family’s charitable foundation of which Lee Beaman has been the president since 2002, according to an article from the Nashville Business Journal.

Additionally, the Alvin and Sally Beaman foundation has donated more than $25,000 per year to Belmont since 2010, according to the Belmont University President’s Report. The Beaman foundation also donated $10 million to Lipscomb University, and the school’s library is named after the Beaman family, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

Kelley Beaman, Beaman’s fourth wife, is seeking a divorce on the grounds of “cruel and inhuman treatment” and alleged that their 17-year marriage was marked by a “cycle of abuse and apology,” according to the brief.

Lee Beaman filed a counter-brief Friday morning in which his wife’s volatile statements are referred to as, “immaterial, impertinent and scandalous matter only meant to harass Mr. Beaman.”

His brief did not refute any of the allegations in his wife’s 20-page brief.

University President Dr. Robert Fisher said he had no comment on the matter, except “Mr. Beaman is a respected member of our board.”

Chairman of the Board of Trust Marty Dickens could not be reached for comment and Student Government Association President Gavin Mummert declined to comment.

The story broke Friday after The Nashville Scene and the Scoop: Nashville posted stories on their websites detailing the racy allegations.

Upon reading the Scene article, several Belmont students and alumni said they were disappointed.

Richard Meyer, who graduated in 2016, posted on the Scene’s Facebook page as well as his own public page.

“I urge that you remove this man from your board immediately,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Lee Beaman does not exhibit any character worthy of authority for any institution, let alone one that prides itself on strong moral character.”

This isn’t the first time this year that people have called for the removal of a Belmont Board of Trustee member.

In June, a petition with over 1,200 signatures asked Belmont to remove CoreCivic President and CEO Damon Hininger from the board. The petition cited CoreCivic’s involvement with immigrant detention as incompatible with Belmont’s values.

Hininger is still on the board, something freshman Maddie Starks said she would like to see changed for Beaman.

If the allegations have merit, Beaman should be removed from the board, and the Beaman name should be taken off the student life center, Starks said.

While standing in the Beaman Center, she said, “with Belmont’s sexual ethics stance, it is very troubling because Belmont is a Christian university.”

While the accusations against Beaman could reflect negatively on Belmont, the university also has the chance to garner public support if it makes the right choices, Meyer said.

“I strongly believe that if Belmont steps up and does the right thing, we’re going to gain national attention for being responsible, not for continuing to work with someone who doesn’t meet our standards.”

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This article written by Melissa Kriz and Bronte Lebo. Contributing reporting from Lydia Fletcher, Steven Boero and Liz Gresser. Photo courtesy of the Nashville Scene.

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