This was written less than a month after I found out Craig had filed for divorce, less than two months after our 'family vacation' in Hawaii. The vacation was contrived to get me out of town so Craig could have his attorney, Jacqueline Misho come to the house and go through my private papers, stealing what she wanted.
This included the adoption of my biological children, which Craig had insisted on in June of 1989 but also included private letters from my friends and family and other documents and possibly items from the office which went missing.
Response to Craig’s Response of February 24, 1998
1. The statement asking for support was drawn from one month’s expenses, December 23 to January 23. It was not representative of our monthly expenses, but I was told that I needed to get something in immediately and had only a few hours to go through paperwork. Obviously a month than includes Christmas and a vacation in Hawaii for the entire family will have expenses which are not a balanced representation of what is normally spent. I have since prepared a more complete document that itemizes our expenses and that is submitted with this response.
2. Craig is both angry and violent. He is especially violent when he is thwarted or faced with one of the things he has never been willing to confront. He has battered me on and off throughout the entire course of our marriage. Craig speaks of “enrolling the kids,” but he has contacted the children, himself and through Michael Emerling, promising them trust funds in such a way that these represent attempts to suborn them. He immediately told Scott, who is to be married in July, that he was not allowed to invite me to the wedding. Scott was upset because he and I have become close, and Dawn and I promised to make the dresses for the bridesmaids.
The children witnessed many incidents of Craig’s violence. They are very clear about these. I have never been violent. I have never struck Craig or even fought back, when he hit me. Craig has three times knocked me out, bruised my face, chest and back. The last time he knocked me out was January 1997. The cause of the incident was his tax problem.
Craig extracted several promises from me before we were married. I was to have plastic surgery because I was not attractive enough for him. He was to adopt all of the children and at the time the adoption took place, Justin, then three, would take his name. Since we were never above water financially this never happened. But Craig has continued to ask me to have plastic surgery, and I had planned to do so when we had cleaned up our debts, in fact, early this year.
But this was a contract. A trade. I told Craig I would not marry him if he did not take care of his tax situation. Craig had not filed taxes in 25 years. I did not feel I could risk marrying him if he did not comply with the law. Soon afterward I made an appointment with my tax accountant, Doug Thorburn. Craig went in and tax forms were filled out. I saw them. Then I paid the bill sent by Doug. The next year, I did the same and we signed the return. I thought Craig had kept his word. But this was not true. Craig has deposited the returns in the bottom of one of 29 boxes which I discovered in January of 1997 when his adult-onset diabetes, failing health and the encroaching IRS and State Franchise Tax Board had levied us into near bankruptcy.
At that time, realizing that I had been lied to on a grand scale, I exacted several promises from Craig.
I. If any money wad returned from the taxes it would be my separate property. This seemed unlikely, but and Craig and I felt it to be fair. The Tax Thing, as we called it, took months of my life with 18 hour days. During that time I blacked out with what seemed to be a heart attack but did not have time to go to the hospital until a week later. The IRS, and the State Franchise Tax Board, had seized the proceeds from the sale of our house in North Hills and I needed every cent of the $25,000 to prevent foreclosure on the house in Santa Barbara and fend off bill collectors - and continue to eat.
2. The next year we would fund my non-profits.
3. I would in the future handle all of our finances.
I told Craig at the time that his lying had opened a breech of trust between us. I had relied on his filing and had been deceived by his actions.
We did not expect to get anything back from the taxes, in fact, we expected to pay heavy penalties. I considered, briefly, filing as an innocent spouse but could not abandon him. Craig has spent $6,000 on attorneys and then refused to give them information so that they could act for him. The name of the firm was Brown and Associates in Los Angeles.
The levy had been in place since the previous summer. We had been running into debt, living on credit cards and loans. Every dew days I asked Craig what was happening with the “audit.” He always said it would be finished in a few more days.
When I found out I immediately contacted my old accountant, Doug Thorburn. I explained what had happened. He agreed to work on credit since I couldn’t pay him right away. I started going though boxes of papers and trash, some 20 years old. Then I had an idea. Craig has a disability that I now understood had dominated his life. He was disabled. He had left job after job because the tax men were breathing down his neck, never able to profit from his brilliance.
At this point Craig was hysterically grateful to me for rescuing him. He apologized again and again for the harm he had done to me.
I decided to file under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The result, no penalties were requested. The attitude of the people I dealt with shifted immediately , They became understanding and respectful and much less demanding. And in August checks started to arrive in the mail. I had money to pay off our debts. But I didn’t tell Craig that was what I was going to do. I wanted to surprise him.
The money came in and went out. There were a lot of debts. I initially wanted us in the black by Christmas but then Ed was almost killed in a motorcycle accident September 27th and I spent the next four months caring for him. In December Justin started to have problems and I had him admitted to a juvenile treatment program in Idaho. It was expensive. Then I began considering boarding schools. It was heartbreaking. Justin was having reactions to several things. One of these was to Ed’s accident. Facing mortality in a sibling when you are 14 is hard. Seeing a vibrant brother less able, returned to early childhood in some ways, can be terrifying. I understood.
Craig was, as always, hardly there. I didn’t complain. Many years of the same had made it routine. And now I understood, I thought, his emotional problems. Craig was phobic to authority. I thought I could deal with it.
In September Craig broached the idea of again investing money in the stock market. Craig’s idea of investing, which I went along with initially because I didn’t know anything about it, is to buy puts. He had never made a cent this way while I have known him and has spent a lot of money. No, I told him that first we would pay off our debts. All of our debts.
Then he came back a few weeks later and wanted me to start a savings account. I told him the best savings account was paying off our credit cards. Saving money at 6% while paying it out at 18.9% is just crazy.
But I knew that Craig likes to gamble in the stock market and he really wanted money to make his album. So in December I gave him $10,000 for the album and told him I was going to start a saving account for him with a debit card. He just stared at me. But he has never been able to keep track of checks because he won’t write them down. I urged him to get into therapy for his phobic problem. He refused.
But our bills were close to being entirely paid off. And Ed was still alive. I told Craig that I forgave him for the pain he had caused me. And I told him that I wanted to have another baby. We discussed this and my age. He suggested that I could have a procedure and become pregnant with a clone - of my own. I was happy. I felt warm, close and trusting for the first time in years. That was just before Christmas 1997
We went to Hawaii for a family vacation. I made all the arrangements. We rented a house and Craig lazed around all day, thanking me over and over again for the time out.
But on the last night he was there Craig seemed nervous and agitated. He demanded I stop the kids from making noise, although they were not very loud. I sent out and ask them to quiet down. Ayn, who is 22 and works at PR Newswire in Detroit, was using my laptop to e-mail a friend. Craig demanded I stop her from using the computer, although it was barely audible. I was worried about how he was acting and went out and asked her to stop. But before she could log off he stormed out and grabbed the computer and shoved me again a wall. It was a terrible end to what had been a wonderful vacation. I had a bruise down my right side for about a week.
3. I have never spent a moment trying to destroy Craig. But I am afraid he is going to do that himself with his continued inattention to his health. He is badly overweight and will not change his diet. He has several medical problems which need immediate attention and refuses to go to the doctor for them.
I first learned Craig was divorcing me on January 23. He called at 11:30 in the evening. He had told me that a heavy meeting schedule had kept him from coming home. Since this had happened over the years when he was busy I didn’t think anything of it, though I had worried he wasn’t coming home to shower or sleep.
I had returned from Hawaii on January 7th. On the 8th I paid bills, including Craig’s credit card. Over the next weeks I would cook for him, wash his clothes, make love to him, pick up his dry cleaning, pack his bag for Europe and drive him to the airport on the 10th. He called almost every day while he was in Europe.
On the 19th we held hands in the movie theater.
Was I surprised when he told me? I was dumbfounded, speechless. I have reiterated a history of the events to close friends, of course. How else does he expect me to deal with it?
Craig made no arrangements to come pick up his “stuff” on the 25th. He showed up having called me to say me he would be there sometime that day and then hung up one me. He did not answer his phone at work so I couldn’t talk to him. I didn’t sleep that night. But I did use the anger and betrayal I felt to take his clothes out of his dresser and put them in a plastic bag. Since I had just washed and put them away they were still faintly warm.
As to Craig’s assertions about his visit on Saturday: He had papers served on me in front of Dawn and Justin, who were both upset and incredulous. I then told him that I had placed his “stuff” in the garage and told him to take it.
I would not have seen him again after that because I went up stairs to cry, but Dawn came and told me that he was going through the house, taking things. I told him that this should wait until I had had time to understand what was happening. He ignored me. His hired flunky told me could not prevent him from being there - and refused to believe me when I told him that I had not known until late Thursday night.
We tried to keep them out of the house after we thought they had finally gone, but the hired flunky came in the kitchen door, which I tried to block, and Craig then went in the patio, pushing Dawn out of the way in plain sight of Justin who was very upset by what was happening.
Dawn called the police because she felt violated. I asked for a restraining order because Craig was acting so strangely I was afraid. He wouldn’t talk to me. he wouldn’t tell me where he was staying.
When I went to the attorney on Monday Dawn decided to ask for a restraining order. I wanted a keep away order. I didn’t want him coming to the house again, as he had, but I wanted to talk to him. I was frantic to find out what he could be thinking, why he was doing this.
Later on Saturday he started calling the kids, Ed, Ayn, Scott and Justin. He had attempted to talk to Dawn on Saturday when he and his hired flunky were removing his belongings from the garage, but she would not speak to him. This was before he assaulted her. He told them not to choose sides. He would not tell them why he was leaving me. He never told me, either, except to say I should have been nicer to him.
I finally talked to him on Monday night. I called the motel closest to Green Hills and he was registered there. We talked a little. Then he hung up on me. I was wretched. But I never yelled at him. I did tell him that I still loved him. I have not suggested a reconciliation to Craig in any phone call. I did suggest a reconciliation to my attorney who forwarded the offer to Craig’s attorney. But the offer was conditional and very specific. It hinged on Craig’s entering therapy and taking an apartment. There would be a legal separation until such time as Craig had overcome the emotional problems that caused the tax crisis that took place last January. I made this offer because I felt that the divorce was caused by his phobic reaction to authority coming out against me because I was handling the finances and he felt controlled. I still think this is true. But now I doubt I would agree to this plan myself.
Craig promised when we married to treat all of my children from my previous marriage as his own. He had bought them, along with me, and my previous husband had signed a paper giving up all rights to the children. In effect, Craig has adopted them. As far as I was concerned, Craig was their father. None of the girls or Justin have any contact with my previous husband. Ed sees Ron because he lived with him for several years. But I never received a cent of support from Ron. And Craig negotiated the settlement with Ron, so I have to assume that was what he wanted.
I asked for phone contact because I think it is stupid for grown people to be unable to talk to each other. I have called Craig occasionally to try to talk. I have had no resolution for the situation and am frustrated because I can’t be sure what happened. But Craig has convinced me that the relationship is dead and that I should move on with my life. That is actually a pretty fast turnaround since I only learned about the divorce one month ago.
If Craig doesn’t want to talk then I don’t know how we can effectively both be parents to Justin. But since Craig now wants to deny paternity maybe that doesn’t matter. But initially, before I found out Craig was going to deny paternity, I took the workshop, “Children in the Middle” and thought it would be a good thing for us to try to develop a working relationship for them. Now I don’t know what to think.
4. My history in the LPC, the organization which was having the convention began in 1974. I was a state officer, Southern Vice Chairman, for six terms, L.A. County Chairman for two terms. I ran and funded two offices, from 1980 - 1986. I raised money, managed campaigns, wrote speeches, went on the radio - and held every lower office imaginable. I left in 1988 and re-registered Republican. But I attended conventions until 1990 when I helped a friend of mine, Gail Lightfoot, in her election bid for State Chairman.
I originally decided to attend the convention in November to see old friends and to distribute literature on the non-profit I started, the Women’s Institute for Individual and Political Justice. I mentioned this to several people. The information on the convention came out late and I had just received it a day or two before on January 23. I called to reserve for the banquet before I knew Craig was attending. I was not thrilled he would be there, but decided to ignore him. If it hadn’t been for Ed’s accident and the divorce I would have been tabling at the convention instead of just putting literature at the delegates seats on Sunday.
Craig had never been active in this organization. When he had last attended he was my come-along, as we put it in the LP. He had been active back east. He had been active in the National LP. He had never been active in the LPC. Only I had been active.
Craig tried to keep me from attending by having the LPC something unprecedented: refusing to accept my money. The call from Laura McFadden resulted in a call from me to Jack Dean, an old friend who I have known for over 20 years. Twenty minutes later I was talking to Mark Hinkle, who had initially believed the stories told to him by Michael Emerling, Craig’s friend. Mark has been told that I intended to be violent and pass out literature at the banquet. We talked. He rescinded the de-invitation. I asked if I could pass out literature, placing it on the delegate’s tables on the convention floor and on one of the huckster’s tables as is usual. He agreed. I asked again on Sunday morning and further asked if he wanted to read it in advance. He said, no, go ahead, I trust you.
I put out literature. I met with political friends. Then I went back to Santa Barbara and to Justin who was being supervised by a friend of mine. After I left Michael Emerling “confiscated my literature which embarrassed Craig.” I include a copy of the literature. There were two pieces but I assume Craig meant the flyer about the book.
Libertarians do not believe in limiting free speech. And what I was distributing was of interest to them because it has information about taxes and a possible approach, in some cases, to limit tax liability. Craig’s name is not mentioned. No one in whom I had not confided, even old friends, knew the person in question was Craig, until he told them himself by making a fuss. But I think the experience is valuable and needs to be publicized. I would think so even if Craig and I were not getting a divorce.
Frankly, I think Craig’s phobic reaction is out of control. His control.
I rode up in an elevator with Craig. I didn’t want to wait and I am not afraid of him in public places. His violence has always taken place in private, at home or once in our car. As to inviting a hug, what was said was this as I got out of the elevator, “I would still like to hug you.” And I did want to hug him. He looked so sad and alone. In my less objective moments I still want to hug him now, as I write this. But with time I have to hope that will fade.
5. I have called Craig on several occasions. Several times it has been to discuss the refinance of the house on Anacapa which was ongoing when he served me with divorce papers. I find it frustrating to have to call my attorney to talk to his attorney to talk to him. I know he is driven by guilt over what he has done to me and the kids. He deserves to feel guilty. He has violated every agreement we had. He had been unthinkably ungrateful for the rescue I managed last year over his taxes. But calling to tell him his shoes turned up or to arrange delivery of his mail is not contrived. I did so because he complained about the cost of his attorney. Also about her being overcontrolling.
I came to think Craig wanted me dead because of the kind of shock he intentionally delivered with this divorce. It was contrived to hurt me. He knew that emotional stress has brought on the attacks that worry me. He knows that of the five siblings in my family my two sisters were dead of heart attacks at 36 and 59. He knows that my younger brother had open heart surgery three years ago. He knows I am high risk - but he did what he did. Then, during a conversation with me while I was in the hospital after another such attack, he seemed disappointed that I was alive. Then he hung up on me.
If I had not been too forgiving this relationship would have ended long ago.
6. Justin’s needs are laid out in the expense statement just submitted. Temporary support is to maintain the family in its present lifestyle. Other issues are settled in negotiation and trial. Justin will be in a local private school in November and wants to take Japanese and other extra classes now.
7. I ask for more in the new expense statement.
8. The non-profit foundation is just getting off the ground. Dawn is working for the non-profit in a recognized program overseen not by Melinda but my Jack Dean. This is necessary for her graduation. Craig agreed to fund the non-profits as part of our agreement stemming from the tax crisis last spring. He cannot refuse to honor his commitments.
Craig promised to pay for Ed’s education in the same way as we did for the other children. Ed’s trust fund, just $7,000, will be used when he goes on to college. Or it may be necessary to make other arrangements for him if that is not possible.
9. The money in my bank account was not his earnings but my separate property that I wrested back from the IRS and State Franchise Tax Bureau. He left me with $27,000 which is almost gone. In fact, I used the tax money, advancing it to the community so that we could get out of debt. I intended to pay myself back later this year.