Kelli Stapleton: A Year Later (And Still a Coward)

22 09 2014

My original post about Kelli Stapleton, 46, the Michigan mother who tried to kill her then 14-year-old daughter, Issy, has been getting a little more play lately as Stapleton’s trial loomed.

According to People, in the eleventh hour Stapleton took a plea, copping to first degree child abuse rather than moving forward to face the attempted murder trial.

Dr. Phil McGraw interviewed Kelli Stapleton in jail, which aired in two parts on his afternoon talk show last week. In that interview, Stapleton said, appallingly, that “the jail of Benzie County has been a much kinder warden than the jail of autism has been.”   That doesn’t sound anything like remorse to me, ladies and gentlemen.

In a July court appearance, Stapleton deflected responsibility or acknowledgement of her despicable actions by stating she could not recall certain visits or conversations with law enforcement and social workers in the aftermath of September 3rd, as she was suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.  

Though in the Dr. Phil interview Stapleton states that she misses Issy, and she’s “not even worthy to beg for her forgiveness,” she admits that her concerns for her other children do not outweigh her instincts of self-preservation. She tells McGraw that given the opportunity, in a perfect scenario, she would not try to resume contact with or caring for her daughter if released from jail.

Friends of Kelli Stapleton are interviewed for the program, and they describe teenaged Issy as having “a difficult time communicating her wants and her needs,” “agitated easily,” and “impatient.” They allege that at the hands of her child, Stapleton has suffered a traumatic brain injury on three occasions. Their tones are very melodramatic, going so far as to say the child “terrorized” her mother and members of the immediate family lived in fear every moment that Issy could/would kill them.

Of course this whole mess is terrible, but arguably, its been indicated that Kelli Stapleton exacerbated the family’s predicament.

 

upnorthlive_stapleton

 

The response to my other post, published a year ago, has been mixed… with some people so sympathizing with Kelli Stapleton as to attack me. You have the right to voice your opinion as much as I do, but you overlook the actual words I used to frame the reason I wrote about this situation at all. It clearly reads “I can imagine, to a degree,” because of my experience with this community; NOT I understand exactly what Kelli Stapleton’s life and the lives of every other parent of a disabled or autistic child goes through every day of their lives. I was qualifying my perspective, not in any way trying to discount the struggles and sacrifices many of you have had to endure/make.

Furthermore, that is one of the more minute details in my coverage of Kelli Stapleton’s merciless assualt on her daughter. You can think I’m an asshole all you want, but an individual claiming to be the defendent’s sister-in-law wrote to me, and several other online outlets, explaining how my perceptions of Stapleton as a narcissist and a borderline-sociopoath are correct. Laura Kelm commented, “She was and is all about herself. And now she is using the media to dupe people into feeling sympathy where none is deserved. She was not an amazing, involved parent that only had her family’s welfare at heart. And it makes me sick reading comments all over the web from people feeling sorry for her.” [From the research I’ve been able to conduct, Kelm seems legit. The Detroit native, a mother herself, is the step-sister of Matt Stapleton.]

We should be focusing on Issy, and how after her remarkable recovery from the carbon monoxide poisoning she suffered at the hands of her mother, she and her family must cope with an entirely new, challenging dynamic. Kelli is facing life in prison, but even if she were to escape with a lighter sentence than the law calls for (and the public expects), Matt Stapleton has moved forward with divorce and custody proceedings.  She failed to kill herself and her daughter, but she did manage to immeasurably and permanently alter the Stapleton family structure.

 

 

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I Wished for this on New Years Eve…

24 01 2014

… As Miley Cyrus idiotically rang in 2014 with Ryan Seacrest, and as Dick Clark no doubt turned over in his grave, I told my family I wanted but two things to happen this year:
1. I want Miley to go away. Girlfriend is twerking all over my last nerve!
2. I want a cure for Bieber Fever. This kid is such a tool (who hasn’t EVER had a #1 single in the US)!

J. Bieber Mugshot, via Miami PD Twitter

J. Bieber Mugshot, via Miami PD Twitter

So as I started my day (1/23), with usual still bleary-eyed readings of People and TMZ to get my pop culture juices flowin’, I was filled with joy at the headlines about Justin Bieber’s early morning arrest in Miami, FL.
Do I wish him harm? Of course not. He is incredibly lucky he has a huge team around to cater to his every whim and block off public streets for drunken drag racing. He’s also damn lucky no one was injured or killed, as he did have a passenger in the obnoxious yellow Lambo.
I do wish someone would teach this fucking moron man-child a thing or two about responsibility. It’s obvious his parents are not capable of influencing him in a positive or constructive way (Mom, Dad; let the finger-pointing begin). You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, someone who just won’t take your advice that waving to fans as you are released from jail is tacky… Especially if that someone is your teenaged child, who makes more in one month than you could in a lifetime.

This is a 19-year-old KID who has more money than he can actually fathom what to do with, and millions of fans who hang on his every tweet, affirming all of his poor behavior with empty pledges of “love” and praise. Under normal circumstances, the Biebs would be just another college kid. And college kids make mistakes. The difference here is, the whole world is watching him– and because he takes their money for iTunes singles, stupid flashy merchandise, and concert tickets– he is accountable to that audience. He has to play the part of squeaky-clean, hormonally-neutral, parent-approved teeny bopper. That is literally what he signed up for.

Justin Bieber: Professional DBag.

Justin Bieber: Professional DBag.

The Biebs is just the latest example of a child star gone off the rails. Historically, a family background of addiction, generational criminality or domestic abuse, and disadvantaged economic status are common among child performers. Such factors are present in the Bieber background, having been not only acknowledged, but openly discussed for [further] profit, by Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette.
As the adorable-now-sophisticated Mara Wilson, former child star (Matilda, One Simple Wish, Mrs. Doubtfire), explained in a spring 2013 article for Cracked.com, ‘many child stars find themselves wanting to rebel in ways that would be detrimental to their careers.’ Some stay in line, and end up miserable,’ having been pushed into acting as a means of supporting their families.’ Others are presented with inappropriate opportunities or set up for exploitation, given the ‘adult nature of Hollywood that sometimes prevents even the best parents from being able to protect their child from the industry.’
Joke as we will, but with too much money, nothin’ but time, and nobody to say ‘no,’ there are a finite number of conclusions to the career (and life, if he keeps this up) of Justin Drew Bieber. Here’s a little list for you, with other child stars individuals to consider, as we think about what’s going to be Team Bieber’s next move…

*Best Case Scenarios:
Drew Barrymore
Demi Lovato

*Desperate Obscurity:
Dustin Diamond
Erin Moran

*Worst Case Scenarios:
Mackenzie Phillips
Brad Renfro





Kaitlyn Hunt Accepts [Generous] Plea Deal

5 10 2013

Have you guys heard about Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida high schooler accused of sexual assault? There was significant news and social media coverage of the case in the spring, but surprisingly few people I have encountered are up on the story.
I have been reading about her, and the situation, for the better part of 2013. I waited to post anything regarding the case, in hopes that it would resolve itself before much more damage to the self-esteem and reputations of all involved was tarnished much further.

That sort of came to fruition in the form of a plea deal, which Hunt accepted this week.

Regardless of who you support in this, Kaitlyn Hunt or her girlfriend/the victim, we all have to agree that This. Is. A. Mess.

Stephen Hunt, Kaitlyn Hunt and Kelly Hunt Smith seated in the gallery of an Indian River County courtroom (Photo Credit, Keith Carson for Vero News)

Stephen Hunt, Kaitlyn Hunt and Kelly Hunt Smith seated in the gallery of an Indian River County courtroom
(Photo Credit, Keith Carson for Vero News)

The gist of the saga is Hunt entered into a relationship with a female teammate last year. Both girls were students at Sebastian River High School; Hunt was a senior, the other girl was a freshman… which itself poses a problem with state statutory laws. After a few months of ‘dating,’ the relationship became sexual.

When their basketball coach  became aware of their involvement, he called the younger girl’s parents. Shortly thereafter, in February, the girls’ parents, Laurie and Jim Smith, called the police.  (Though their daughter, who is a minor, has remained unnamed in this epic- Kelley Hunt Smith wasted no time name-dropping her parents on a now defunct Facebook page.)

It has been reported that sexual contact occurred twice in the bathroom at school, and on one occasion at the Hunt home, after the girlfriend ‘ran away from home.’
Hunt was not only kicked off the basketball team when her relationship came to light, but was forced out of Sebastian River HS and enrolled in an alternative school.

Upon her arrest, it was speculated that a conviction for lewd & lascivious battery of a child could land Hunt in prison for 15 years and require her to register as a sex offender.
In 2007, the Florida state senate passed a law, known as the Romeo & Juliet law, that would allow high school age people engaged in a relationship to petition the court for leniency (of sorts), thereby distinguishing them from true child predators.  It was suggested that Hunt could/would appeal for this categorization moving forward to [avoid] trial.

It has also been widely spread, by Hunt supporters, that among the complainants’ (unnamed partner’s parents) reasons for pursuing this case, is they think Hunt coerced their daughter into a same-sex relationship– suggesting that their child is not in fact gay.
There has been an incredible movement to “Free Kate” thanks in part to her family’s vocality online. People protesting that the other girl’s parents were being vindictive because they don’t accept their child’s orientation; that Hunt is being persecuted for being a lesbian; and that Hunt doesn’t deserve to be jailed because “she is just a kid.”

In a segment of ABC’s “20/20,” which aired on October 4, 2013, Laurie Smith admitted that “We’ve had the conversation, and I’m perfectly fine with who she is.” Effectively negating all the allegations of hate the “Free Kate” camp had been spewing.
This statement reiterated what the Smiths shared with WPEC-TV back in May; this whole debacle is NOT a matter of race, orientation or personality, but age. They claim to have warned Kaitlyn to stay away from their daughter on two occasions, because the relationship was “wrong,” before resorting to involving local authorities.

Kaitlyn Hunt, self portrait

Kaitlyn Hunt, undated self portrait.

Hunt, who turned 19 in August, has been jailed for violating a no-contact order. It was discovered that Hunt continued to exchange thousands of text and picture messages with the victim. A judge revoked her bond, and a(nother) plea deal was rescinded.  It has been suggested that Kelley Hunt Smith, Kaitlyn’s mother, was not only aware of continued contact, but herself urged the victim to cover their tracks.

This week, Hunt accepted a plea deal in which she pleaded ‘no contest’ to two counts of misdemeanor battery, misdemeanor contributing to the dependency of a child and two counts of felony interference with child custody.
Prosecutor Brian Workman stated that, per the agreement, Hunt “will be sentenced to four months in jail, to be followed by two years of house arrest with electronic monitoring, and nine months of monitored probation after that.”

She will not have to register as a sex offender, and has the option of petitioning for her case file to be sealed and/or expunged after 10 years. However, Workman added that “If she violates the terms of her supervision, the judge may sentence her to any lawful sentence, including prison.”

———————————————————————————————–

My issues with this case and all the debate it’s sparked:

– An 18 year old and a 14 year old, regardless of orientation, is a cut and dry crime. Its common sense; two people in very different phases of their adolescence have no business being together!   If Kaitlyn Hunt were a boy, this hoopla would not be happening; nobody would be protesting anything. The bottom line here is that a 14 year old cannot consent to any kind of intimacy, and that is the violation Kaitlyn Hunt has to answer for.

I think in an effort to prevent a situation like this, the laws should be taught within high school health class/sex education– just like “No means No” and “Drunk people can’t consent,” high schoolers should be made aware that age laws matter too.  I do not believe Kaitlyn Hunt should be labeled as any kind of predator in the future– but she did behave defiantly after she had had been charged. Hunt blatantly disregarded the order to stay away from her girlfriend and continued to send private messages and photos/video to the younger party. She definitely dug herself a little deeper, as evidenced by the plea deal that Vero Beach prosecutors took off the table following her bond revocation.

– Hunt family attorney, Julia Graves, has stated that they wish to work with lawmakers following Kaitlyn Hunt’s release in order to change the law so teenagers attending the same school cannot  be prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationshipsAre you kidding me? The arguments that laws are unfair, considering public schools have students who are of age enrolled simultaneously with those who are under the age of consent, are ridiculous. Are districts supposed to reassign staff and students to new buildings? That would be a logistical and tax nightmare no one would volunteer to participate in. I think the Romeo & Juliet law sufficiently addresses these scenarios, if they are unable to be resolved in pre-trial mediation.

Kaitlyn’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, had been active in writing on a Facebook group (the page has since been taken down); sharing content I don’t feel was particularly helpful to her daughter or the looming legal situation. 
(Ex:) “Does my daughter deserve to lose her life for 15 years, or 3 years, or to have no life, because of one choice she made in high school, absolutely not!!”
(Ex:) “The (assistant) state attorney, Brian Workman needs to use taxpayers money to prosecute REAL criminals, not a high school student who has never been in trouble a day in her young life, all because she had a mutual consenting relationship with someone who has bigoted parents.”
—> INTERESTING REBUTTAL TO THIS SEEMINGLY DEVOTED MOTHER’S PARENTING STYLE AND OVERALL APPROACH TO LIFE <—

It’s not like she’s Casey Anthony. By the time her probation/house arrest is over, people outside her town will largely have forgotten about her/this. Kaitlyn Hunt was able to walk with her class at Sebastian River High School’s graduation, and will have the opportunity to take college classes online while she is finishing her sentence– so she isn’t quite ‘losing time’ or ‘ruining her future’ as her family suggests. This black cloud will not follow her forever. She should be grateful she isn’t having to register as a sex offender! If she is truly the warm, personable girl her family has claimed, she should be able to gracefully explain her situation to future partners and employers.

 

 

UPDATE —> Kaitlyn Hunt gives an interview from jail; not really taking responsibility for her behavior AT ALL.





Tyler Shields is a raging psychopath

20 06 2012

So I wasn’t really jazzed when E! was promoting the new show Mrs. Eastwood & Company, but I ended up catching bits of the first few episodes… I don’t hate it. I’m not sure who thought up this program (though I suspect Seacrest had a tiny hand in it!), the family seems amusing enough but I doubt anyone in E!’s young demographic was dying to know about Clint Eastwood’s second wife.

Dina Eastwood is a pretty cool lady. 
After growing up in a working-class family in Castro Valley, CA, she received a degree in broadcast journalism from San Francisco State.  She worked at various locally oriented stations through the early 90s, before meeting and marrying Eastwood in 1996. Dina would go on to host an educationally based television program “Quest for Excellence” in 1998.

I find that Dina is full of energy, investing herself fully into whatever task lay at hand. I hesitate to say she comes off as too pleased with her status as A-List spouse, because she imparts very reasonable lessons whilst trying to reign in her privileged daughters.

She seems to have a true journalist spirit, interests across the board and a deep-seeded desire to learn about them all. The project of the moment being manager to South African a cappella boyband ‘Overtone,’ to whom she was introduced while accompanying Clint on location for Invictus (2009).

Also featured on the reality show are Dina’s “company.”
Step-daughter Francesca Fisher-Eastwood (18), daughter Morgan (15), Lisa Thrash (family housekeeper), the 6 guys of ‘Overtone,’ and Francesca’s insane liar of a boyfriend, photographer Tyler Shields (30).

And that brings me to my topic: TYLER SHIELDS.

Within minutes of his first appearance on the screen, I knew he was bad news. And I couldn’t help but wonder why his name was so familiar…  Behold the magic of Google. Shields is a professional photographer/artist, known publicly for his highly controversial pictorials with a gun-toting Lindsay Lohan and battered Heather Morris.

 

The Florida native was previously a ranked vert skater, having participated in the X-Games and tours with the Godfather of Skateboarding, Tony Hawk.
With no formal training to speak of, Shields seems to have fallen into his (current) profession the way so many people caught their breaks in the early 2000s: via Myspace. He has been deemed “young Hollywoods favorite photographer” by several online outlets, including PopEater, Celebuzz and the Daily Mail.

 I am stunned at the number of up-and-comers who pose for/with him. They seek Shields out, perhaps behind the backs of their management, in order to get the thrill of working with the crazy blood guy.

Well this guy is so egomaniacal, on Sundays episode he went so far as to tell Dina Eastwood he was a doctor when one of Morgan’s young friends was injured in the family swimming pool. (Her nose was bloody, though not broken.)  He has Francesca totally under a spell. She stated in an interview for the episode that he is “the one.”
I think he’s “the one” who is going to dump her when he gets where he wants to be. Dating the daughter of one of the most prolific actor/directors alive today, and appearing on the family’s reality show, is a great way to market himself.
And that fact has NOT escaped Shields’ consciousness.  The shock value of his work right now is not going to garner him the staying power of other and historical significance of David LaChappelle or Andres Serrano.

Francesca Eastwood, who has already posed for Shields in two not-so-safe scenarios (hanging precariously off a bridge and mutilating a $100k flaming handbag with a chainsaw), could end up in jail — as the cast of The CW’s Vampire Diaries found themselves in 2009 after a night romp in Georgia with Shields– or worse, as death threats for the pair have flown in since the artistic incident aired on June 10.

The latest episode also revealed that Shields is not “close” with his own family, therefore excited at the prospect of being accepted by the Eastwoods. His own family probably recognized those sociopathic tendencies and flair for the grandiose that Dina picked up on.
Subsequently, Dina declared that she never wanted to be in the same room with him again. Easier said than done when you’re (literally) on an island.





Here’s Hoping the Apple Falls Really Far from These Trees.

31 03 2011

Leave Britney Kevin Federline Alone!

Federline, 33, with Prince, 28 (Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/Startraks)

Word has it that Kevin Federline, aka K-Fed, aka Fed-Ex, is expecting his fifth child.

Federline has a daughter and son (born in 2002 and 2004) with former longtime girlfriend, actress Shar Jackson; and two sons (born 2005 and 2006) with pop singer Britney Spears.

Current girlfriend Victoria Prince, a former pro Volleyball player, has been dating Federline for about two years.  The baby is said to be due this summer.

As soon as this little tidbit leaked, the bloggers went berzerk.  Yet another woman let this sloppy bastard… well, I’ll let you fill in the end of that thought.

Kidding aside, I think that this man has really made the best of what life has handed him and dealt with the reprocussions of his choices admirably.  If you’ll recall, following ex-wife Spears’ very public freak out and subsequent conservatorship in ’07, Federline was awarded custody of their two young children, Sean Preston and Jayden James.  So a judge was sure enough that these kids were in good hands, we should give the guy some credit!

———————————————————
HERE ARE FOUR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEFINITELY WORSE PARENTS THAN K~FED!
The stork must have been higher than Snoop Dogg to deliver bouncing bundles to these people…

 

1. Charlie Sheen
The personal life of the highest paid man in television has begun to eclipse his resume spanning two decades.  The fact that three women have married him, knowing full well of his drug and prostitute-filled tendencies, blows my mind

The father of five — High school love Paula Profit gave birth to a daughter, Cassandra, now 26; ex-wife Denise Richards had two girls, Sam and Lola, in 2004 and 2005; and estranged wife Brooke Mueller has twin boys Max and Bob, born in 2008 — has been arrested half a dozen times.

He can barely take care of himself, with or without the help of his ‘goddesses.’
I wouldn’t let this man watch a pet, nevermind a human child! Which coincidentally is something he and ex-wife Richards are currently fighting over.

2. Michael Lohan
Well, just look at his trainwreck of a daughter, former actress Lindsay Lohan, and see how put together this man is!

His many life accomplishments include an arrest and 3-year prison stint for insider trading,  an illegitimate child concieved while estranged from wife Dina in the mid-90s, another year   served for probation violation, followed by two and a half years in a correctional facility   following his assault on brother-in-law Matt Sullivan and conviction for DUI.

Lohan’s divorce from wife Dina was finalized in 2007– which is about the time that his oldest   daughter, Lindsay, began her inelegant descent from up-and-coming Disney darling to a   tabloid-fixture and drug-addict who hasn’t participated in a respectable film since 2005’s   “Herbie Fully Loaded.”  

Mr. Lohan is set to appear on Dr. Drew Pinsky’s Celebrity Rehab, in it’s fifth season, to resolve  anger issues and an extended dependency on alcohol.   Just days after he finished therapy at  the Pasadena Recovery Center, Lohan was accused of battering ex-fiance and disgraced journalist Kate Major.

 

3. Courtney Love

She may or may not have killed her husband Kurt Cobain in the early 90s, but her drug use and deviancy document back to her teens.

The Hole front-woman has had many social ups and downs — between fights with her bandmates, a myriad of lawsuits, confangled rants on her blog and Twitter, and attempt at acting — but the general perception of her is that she is a sloppy mess. You wouldn’t want her for a friend, but you definitely don’t want her for an enemy.

Child services have been a fixture in their lives since daughter Frances Bean, born to in 1992, was only weeks old. It is alleged that Courtney Love used heroin during the pregnancy, a suspicion only reinforced by statements Love herself made to Vanity Fair magazine.  Family members on both sides made efforts to secure guardianship of the minor, but not until 2009 did a permanent arrangement come to fruition.  A no-contact/restraining order was grated to Frances against her mother in December 2009, at which time Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, was appointed her temporary guardian by a Los Angeles County judge.

4. Alec Baldwin
He’s an award-winning actor, but I just don’t get it.  Sometimes Baldwin, just one of the four famous brothers, gives a likeable, nice-guy performance, but he plays a jackass way better! (Because, let’s just assume, he is one!)

No matter how many good things the cast of 30 Rock has to say about the funny-man, his 2008 voicemail rant against his 11-year-old daughter Ireland was no laughing matter.  That situation, in which he called the girl a “rude, thoughtless little pig,” had all the makings of a Lohan-level family disaster.

Baldwin has apologized and offered a bunch of explanations, but the bottom line is he lashed out at his child because of his paranoia and dissatisfaction with how his divorce from Kim Basinger played out.
Honestly, he should me more than happy to jump through the so-called hoops he talks about in order to maintain a relationship with Ireland. How dare any adult man complain about having to travel and spend a little money in order to see his kid?
What’s more, we very quickly forgave and forgot about this incident,  but I doubt Ireland has or will.

 

5. Joe Jackson

The original stage-father has been called the ultimate disciplinarian, a real bastard. Blinded by fame and sick with the power that came with managing The Jackson 5, he seems to have lost touch with his humble roots in Arkansas, personal failure as a boxer and blue-collar career in the steel insustry.

The most famous of his musical offspring, Michael, spoke candidly of his tumultuous childhood in the early 90s– telling Oprah Winfrey that Joe would overwork and beat the kids, to the point where little Michael would vomit in fear at the sight of him father.

All nine of the Jackson children have had their share of highly publicized personal issues— with the law, with romantic partners, and with their father.  Matriarch Katherine (Scruse) Jackson had the opportunity to save herself and her children from the manipulative would-be entrepreneur, but she declined to pursue a divorce despite Joe’s infidelity (that resulted in his eleventh child, Joh’Vonnie Jackson) in the early 70s.