by Jim Ridley
On July 22, in Davidson County Circuit Court, Judge Philip Robinson granted a restraining order against Jack White filed by his estranged wife Karen Elson. The order is reportedly the latest development in an ongoing dispute over parenting rights.
According to Bobby Allyn, who broke the story in The City Paper, the order cites "fears for her and her children's safety" after allegations of harassment:
White, according to the restraining order affidavit, has a violent temper and a tendency of sending harassing emails and text messages.
Elson has contacted White’s attorney about the number of phone calls and emails he was allegedly sending “pressuring her about the settlement terms for divorce.”
In one email, White wrote: “I’m not extending this anymore,” referring to a settlement. “And we’re not getting lawyers involved to rip me off.”
Recently, according to the filing, White wanted Elson to contact their kids’ private school in an effort to get their kids out of a class in which another entertainer’s child was present. White said that he feels that entertainer “ripped off” his music, the order said.
In another incident, White berated Elson when she attended the wedding of a rival musician. Again, he was upset because this entertainer also “ripped off” his music, according to the order. The musician was unnamed in the court filing.
Update, Aug. 2, 1:08 p.m.: TMZ reports that the "rival musician" in question is indeed The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.
Update No. 2, Aug. 2, 6:32 p.m.: As the Cream's own Adam Gold now reports for Rolling Stone, White's lawyer filed a motion with the Davidson County Circuit Court today in which White responds to Elson's claims. The counter-motion cites an email from Elson to White in which she calls the White Stripe an "amazing father," and also quotes White's Dead Weather bandmate Dean Fertita. We've block quoted a portion of the story after the jump.
As reported by RS:
The filing cites a series of emails from Elson to White in which she praises his parenting abilities. "You're an amazing father, I'm so glad we had these kids together," Elson wrote in an email to White dated May 19th, 2013. White's attorney, Cathy Speers Johnson, calls Elson's motion for a psychiatric exam "inflammatory . . . . disingenuous, fraudulent and retaliatory and simply designed to malign him in the public record or to gain an upper hand in this litigation."
In response to claims by Elson that she fears White, the countermotion states that Elson left their children in his care the day after signing her restraining order affidavit, while she took a 10-day "work/pleasure trip" to New York. The following day, she filed her motion requesting a psychiatric exam. "One who was truly fearful of another would not leave their children alone with that person for 10 days," White's response says. "The truth of the matter is that Ms. Elson is not fearful for herself or the parties' minor children."
White claims that Elson professed her love for him as recently as last month, telling their mutual friend Dean Fertita, "I'm completely in love with Jack and I'd move back in tomorrow if he asked me." (Fertita, White's bandmate in the Dead Weather, also plays in Queens of the Stone Age.) "This is not the statement of a woman who is concerned about the emotional stability of the father of their children or their safety when they are with him," the motion states.