Karen Elson and Jack White in 2009 (Getty Images)
The rocker and the British model-singer, who famously threw a divorce party after announcing their split in June 2011, have found themselves at odds over their divorce settlement and custody of their two children. Now, things have become even more heated.
Elson, 34, sought and received a restraining order against 38-year-old White, alleging that he was harassing her. Her sworn affidavit obtained by The City Paper in Nashville, where they reside, states that she "fears for her and the children’s safety as a result of this harassment." White, who was served with the order on July 22, has been barred from having any contact with his soon-to-be ex "except as it relates to parenting time with the parties' minor children," in which case he can only communicate with her via email.
According to the filing, White was allegedly calling and emailing Elson and “pressuring her about the settlement terms for divorce," which she officially filed for in 2012. She claims he has a violent temper and a tendency of sending harassing emails and texts, noting, “This pattern of husband’s bullying wife into submission was a contributing factor in the demise of their marriage."
Apparently Elson — who has primary custody of their children, Scarlett, 7, and Henry Lee, almost 6 — and White had previously been feuding over his parental role. While the former White Stripes singer wants an active role in raising them, she accuses him of being an unfit parent. She also claims he refuses to attend family counseling.
As examples of the "Blunderbuss" singer's poor parenting decisions, Elson says in the filing that he wanted her to contact their kids' school to have the children moved from a class because another entertainer, whom he thought had "ripped off" his music, had a child in the same class.
Apparently being "ripped off" is a theme. Elson also claims White berated her for attending a wedding of another rival musician who had claims also stole his music. The other entertainers were not identified in the court papers.
Elson's attorney has filed a motion for a custodial psychological evaluation, during which a professional (typically a psychologist or social worker) assesses their family situation and makes recommendations to the court about parenting and custodial arrangements, of which "omg! Insider" has obtained a copy. A judge was due to rule on that on Friday.
This legal battle is a complete turnaround from when the couple, which married in Brazil in 2005, first split. Along with announcing their intentions to divorce (calling themselves "trusted friends and co-parents"), they said they were commemorating the occasion with a divorce party in Nashville "to re-affirm our friendship and celebrate the past and future with close friends and family."
"We feel so fortunate for the time we have shared and the time we will continue to spend both separately and together watching our children grow," they also said at the time.
While omg! has not yet heard back from reps for White and Elson, the couple will be in court on August 29 for the next step in their custody dispute.
Some celebrity couples do play nice after a split. Check out these friendly exes.
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