"I realize now that he was right when he said our battles would continue until one of us was dead." -Betty Broderick
Jon's recent stint on Couples Therapy has reminded us just how contentious Jon and Kate's divorce was and still is. Jon says that, four years later, he and Kate are not even civil to each other, Kate emasculates him and judges him, and Kate would not allow him to speak to his children when he was on the show.
But their troubles can't even begin to compare to those of Betty Broderick, a California ex-wife and mother who went through such a contentious break-up she felt compelled to murder her ex-husband and his new wife in 1989. Broderick is currently serving a 32 to life sentence in prison.
Betty's complaints about Dan Broderick included:
- Dan's affair with his assistant.
- All the years Betty worked to put Dan through medical school and law school, including going door-to-door selling Tupperware.
- Dan's obsession with money, working and drinking.
- Dan would refuse to take the children on his custodial time or spend time with them. Betty had to physically drop them off on his porch. Later he asked for, and obtained full custody.
- Dan getting the house and most of the money in the divorce; Dan's lying and manipulation of the court system in order to obtain a grossly one-sided settlement.
- Betty was turned down by the best divorce attorneys in San Diego because they were friends with Dan or felt loyal to Dan, a prominent local attorney.
Dan's camp in turn said that Betty:
- Was in contempt of court orders including various restraining orders.
- Called his answering machine hundreds of times leaving nasty messages; destroyed his personal property.
- Was obsessed with him and could not move on.
- Was consumed by her anger and hate.
- Believed herself to be the best mother in the world when in reality she was causing severe psychological damage to her children with her hate and alienation.
- Was irresponsible, incapable, and untrustworthy.
While no divorce experts justified the murder, it did cause many in the divorce community to question California's "Epstein credits," a complicated doctrine which allowed for Dan, a multimillionaire, to be reimbursed so much money from Betty in the divorce he owed her next to nothing in the settlement.
Meredith Baxtor's critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated portrayal of the scorned ex-wife airs Tuesday, March 11 on Lifetime Movie Network (A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, and Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, The Last Chapter). The two part movie, which has achieved somewhat of a cult following a la Mommie Dearest, meticulously chronicles the marriage, divorce and murder. We'll be watching.