LI divorce lawyer arrested amid messy divorce

Attorney Dominic Barbara and his then-wife Leslie attend Attorney Dominic Barbara and his then-wife Leslie attend a party in New York City. (July 1, 2004) Photo Credit: Getty Images File

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One of Long Island's most flamboyant matrimonial lawyers was arrested Tuesday on charges stemming from his own messy divorce, after police said he approached his ex-wife in a Glen Cove bagel shop, violating an order of protection she holds against him.

Dominic Barbara, 64, the divorce and defense lawyer who helped make Long Island infamous by representing the likes of Joey Buttafuoco and Jessica Hahn, was charged with criminal contempt.

Police said he violated the order of protection by sitting down with his ex-wife Leslie, 45, while she was having coffee about 10:30 a.m. Sunday with a man at the Glen Cove Bagel Cafe on Forest Avenue.

He was released and is scheduled to appear this morning in Glen Cove court for a hearing on the order of protection. His criminal case, on the contempt charge, is scheduled May 11, police said.

It's just the latest chapter in the Barbara vs. Barbara drama. In November 2008, Leslie Barbara, who also is a lawyer, was charged with second-degree menacing after Dominic Barbara said she threw a plate of spaghetti at his head. The Nassau County district attorney later dropped the charges at Dominic Barbara's request.

In the latest incident, Leslie Barbara said Tuesday that she and a friend were sitting at the bagel shop when her ex-husband barged in with a police officer and demanded that she be arrested for stalking him.

Police did not arrest her, and after she complained, police later arrested him, she said.

The friend - private investigator Jay Salpeter, who works for Leslie Barbara - confirmed that account.

Dominic Barbara said his ex-wife indeed has been stalking him.

"I just want to end this finally after all these years," Dominic Barbara said.

Leslie Barbara, who spoke to Newsday together with her divorce lawyer, James P. Joseph of Garden City, said she too wants the dispute to end.

"While I did everything in my power to end our relationship amicably, his actions have been increasingly irrational," she said. "As his former wife, I'm concerned for his well-being."

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