Is Bashing the Mother of Your Children Freedom of Speech?
August 9, 2011
© Ronen for Veer
Almost 4 years ago, Anthony Morelli started a blog, thepsychoexwife.com, to document his relationship with his ex-wife, the mother of his children. In his words, it's the “true account of a marriage, divorce, and subsequent (child) custody fight between a loving man, his terroristic ex-wife who we suspect suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (at least from our armchair psychologist diagnosis), and the husband's new partner."
The site, which reached more than 200,000 people a month, was recently shut down after Family Court Judge Diane Gibbons, who was presiding over a custody hearing, said it went beyond venting and was outright cruel, reports the TODAY Show.
"Your children are being hurt because you are bad mouthing the woman they love in public," she said. "Should I put them with the man who is publicly browbeating their mother?"
Publicly browbeating actually makes it sound sweeter than what it is. Morelli wrote insulting descriptions for his "Psycho Ex-Wife" (PEW) and her whole family (all of whom are still related to his children, mind you). Here, he describes his ex-wife:
She’s on the precipice of 40 and probably looks all 50-years of it. Imagine if you will, Jabba The Hut, with less personality. She spends her time ... drinking her days away bemoaning her victim status, when she isn’t stuffing the children with fast food, buying them toys, or pushing them towards the TV or computer.
Now Morelli, with the help of an attorney, is appealing the judge's decision, citing violation of the First Amendment. His new website solicits donations to help pay the court costs.
Whether you believe this violates the First Amendment or not, one thing is clear: this is terrible for the Morellis’ children (ages 10 and 12). Divorce is hard enough without this circus going on.
As psychiatrist Gail Saltz told the TODAY Show, "The only way to try to help to be the healthiest for them is to preserve two good parents, even if they don’t want to be together. But it’s your job to help say to some degree, 'Your mom’s an okay person and loves you.'”
Do you think Morelli has the legal right to blog about his ex-wife in this way? What impact do you think all of this has on their kids?