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Mr. France does not deny that he has remarried. He simply is insisting that he was never married to Lynn in the first place.

“I don’t think I was cheating,” Mr. France said in an interview aired Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show. “If you have a marriage that’s not right from the beginning, it’s not right at the end.”

Mr. France said Mrs. France’s claim of finding out about the second wedding on Facebook was “absurd” and said she knew long before. He claimed she was “losing the court battle” for custody of their two sons and was using the Facebook story for attention.

His attorney, Gary Williams, issued a statement Tuesday saying his client is asking a family-law court to declare that his marriage to Lynn was “void since its inception.”

“While it appears that John and Lynda France were both under the impression, once upon a time, that they were married, the fact of the matter is that their marriage was never legally proper,” Mr. Williams wrote, “and, therefore, it does not actually exist.”

Lynn and John France were married in July 2005 in a seaside wedding on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, having organized the event through Regency San Marino, which coordinates weddings for couples looking to get hitched in Italy. On the company’s website, Lynn is still the first radiant bride whose portrait appears in a gauzy veil, the brilliant blue sea behind her.

If that wedding was a fraud, it was news to Lynn.

“If that were true, then he’s lied to the IRS,” Mr. Zashin said. “He’s lied to insurance companies. Banks.”

In June 2009, against the advice of her attorneys, Mrs. France dropped divorce proceedings when her husband came home and persuaded her to reconcile.

But three months ago, Lynn said she was cleaning the sink when her husband took the couple’s 2-year-old son out of her arms and said he was going to give him some milk. Minutes later, she heard the car running.

“He threw them in, no car seats, no nothing, and took off,” she said.

She hasn’t seen her sons since. Mr. France had taken them to Tampa, Fla., where he currently lives with his new wife and, according to his attorney, is seeking custody of their children.

Mrs. France called 911, but as in most parental-custody disputes, little could be done. She is in contact with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and has a team of attorneys preparing for a court fight. Authorities have told her not to attempt to take back the children forcibly.

For Lynn, the only glimpse of her children now comes, ironically, from the same Facebook page where she found those fairy-tale wedding photos.

“It’s stranger than fiction to watch this woman living my life,” she said.

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