Olympic Skier's Custody Battle Wins Gold Medal In WTF


It’s a classic love story — boy meets girl. Girl gets pregnant. Boy and Girl break up. Girl moves to a different state for college. Boy sues Girl for custody of the fetus. Court rules Fetus belongs with Boy. Girl forced to give Fetus to Boy and Boy’s New Wife. Boy is Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller. Classic. Love. Story.

Much like a Saturday spent in an Ikea, the story of the messy, messy custody battle over the child of Sara McKenna and Bode Miller is alternately confusing and infuriating. The New York Times has a good rundown on the crooked timeline, but in case you’re a TAKE CHARGE GO GETTER with NO TIME FOR PARAGRAPHS, here’s an easily digestible timeline

Early 2012: Miller and McKenna meet through a matchmaking service. They fall into a relationship, occasionally hanging out on the yacht where Mr. Miller lived at the time. McKenna gets pregnant.

June 2012: Post breakup, McKenna asks Miller to go to an ultrasound appointment with her. Miller texts her that he won’t, because “U made this choice against my wish.”

October 2012: McKenna, a former Marine, informs Miller that she’s moving to New York City, since she’d been admitted to Columbia.

December 2012: Miller begins taking action to be involved in his child’s life, accusing McKenna of moving to New York to find a court more likely to grant her custody of their child (which, according to McKenna, he had asked her to abort. Awk. Ward.)

Early 2013: McKenna gives birth to a baby boy and files for custody in New York. She calls him Sam.

May 2013: This happened:

…on May 30, a Family Court referee refused [to grant McKenna custody], rebuking Ms. McKenna for “unjustifiable conduct” and “forum shopping” and making the unusual decision to leave the case in California even though the baby was born and lived in New York.
While Ms. McKenna “did not ‘abduct’ the child,” the court said, “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.”
The Family Court in San Diego proceeded to grant primary custody to Mr. Miller. On Sept. 4, as Ms. McKenna described it, choking up, Mr. Miller and his wife came to her apartment, “took the baby out of my arms, dropped it in a car seat and drove away.”

Even though the baby’s name is Sam, Miller and his wife call him “Nathaniel.”

November 2013: A court in New York called BS on the California court’s ruling, noting that “Putative fathers have neither the right nor the ability to restrict a pregnant woman from her constitutionally protected liberty.”

Nice to know, right? That if you get pregnant you still have a right to go to different states if you’d like to? How generous of the justice system.

Today, a family court here in New York will determine whether or not McKenna will be awarded primary custody of her son. And in January 2014, Miller will likely compete for the US in downhill skiing. Pardon me in advance for any sarcastic jerk off motions during his events.


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