A 36-year-old woman told police that she forgot she was married after being charged with bigamy in Hordaland County.
The woman, a Norwegian citizen originally from Africa, told police that she forgot her marital status when entering into her fourth marriage since coming to Norway, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.
“The woman has been reported to the immigration division of the police. An investigation has begun and we believe the last marriage was purely a formality,” police lawyer Anette Vangsnes of the Hordaland police told Bergens Tidende.
The woman came to Norway in the 1990s, married a Norwegian man and was later divorced. In 2002 she wedded an African man, but this marriage also broke up before too long.
In February 2004 matrimony beckoned again and the woman married another African man. According to the national register, this relationship is still valid.
In August 2004 the woman’s third husband went away on holiday and while he was gone the woman took a fourth husband, another African man. When the latest groom applied for residency permission in Norway police got suspicious and the woman’s marital history came to light.
“She has no other explanation other than that she had forgotten she was married,” Vangsnes said.
A conviction for bigamy or polygamy is extremely rare and according to legal information foundation Lovdata the offense has only been tried seven times, usually with men charged.
A woman from Iran received a 21-day suspended sentence for bigamy and social security fraud from Eidsivating court in 2003 after marrying anew before her separation resulted in a formal divorce.