Geena Davis. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Geena Davis split from fourth husband Reza Jarrahy in May after 16 years of marriage, but she recently filed documents asking for his divorce petition to be dismissed because their union was never official, but he has now hit back and insisted they were legally wed.

Reza - who has daughter Alizeh, 16, and 13-year-old twin sons Kaiis and Kian with the actress - has filed a motion to dismiss her request and included pictures from their big day in 2001 to back up his insistence they were married.

Geena had argued the union wasn't legal because they never obtained a marriage license and filed separate taxes every year, and though her estranged spouse agreed that was the case, he claimed it was part of "a financial strategy orchestrated by Geena and her business manager."

The documents stated the doctor was told that "identifying as 'not married' would benefit Geena's tax burden" and that his taxes were done by them.

He added in the paperwork: "Did she lie to everyone when she told them we were married? I certainly intended to marry, and believed I was marrying Geena and our early history together and Geena's own statements in interviews she gave to the press supports that this was her intention as well. Any suggestion that we had no intention of getting legally married is absolutely untrue!"

He went on to describe how they met and became engaged, recalling how the four-carat Harry Winston ring he bought the 'Beetlejuice' star cost double his yearly salary as a young medic and took him 10 years to pay off, and accused the 62-year-old actress' own publicist of leaking news of their engagement at the time.

Reza explained they didn't get a marriage license because Geena didn't want the media to find out about their wedding day and she feared the application would tip off the press.

As well as submitting photographic proof of the wedding, the doctor explained the ceremony was officiated by both a priest and his own father so it could be validated under Islamic laws and traditions for his family who immigrated from Iran, and his dad also filed documents outlining his involvement.

Reza added: "Geena and I left the alter as husband and wife."

And his legal team pointed out that under New York law, a marriage license isn't needed to be married, but it is solemnised when the parties solemnly declare in the presence of a clergyman or magistrate and the attending of witness or witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife.