Did the People Magazine Defense Work?

Prior to Genevieve Kelley Case, I had a perception that People Magazine owned by Time, Inc. was generally a trusted news source. That was until I started to read the stories by People Magazine Reporter Elaine Aradillas  as well as People’s coverage of Kelly Rutherford’s Case. With today’s online media, certainly journalism has changed. But at the very least I thought there would be some independent reporting and some fact checking.

I recently read that Nathalie De Clercq has filed a $4 million dollar lawsuit against People/Time, Inc. for a story printed in People magazine that featured a photograph of her and implied that she had an adulterous relationship with Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, resulting in the end of his marriage. The lawsuit has been cleared for trial and will most likely be settled out of court. People actually published a story with a photo of the wrong person.

So back to the Kelley Case. When Genevieve and Scott Kelley wanted to return to the United States after their 10 year kidnapping, they hired protective parent attorney Alan D. Rosenfeld. It sounds like People Mag reporter, Elaine Aradillas was brought in about the same time. So as part of the defense strategy, the Kelleys and Rosenfeld would use what I would call the “People Magazine Defense“. They would try the case in the media in a small town courthouse in New Hampshire. If People Magazine sided with the kidnapper as unfortunately a spoon-fed reporter like Aradillas did, the District Attorney’s Office and Judge in this small town would eventually get tired of this case and want it to be settled.

There was a huge amount of support and resources to find and arrest the Kelleys from the U.S. Marshall’s Office, John Walsh’s CNN Show the Hunt, the local Sheriff’s Office and others. These organizations took the crime of parental kidnapping seriously and certainly did what they had to do to get the case before the Court House in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, I am certain with the protective parent groups and their resources put a tremendous amount of pressure on the local district attorney and the judge to reduce the charges in this case that could have sent the Kelleys to prison for up to 10 years including felony charges.

Would the local district attorney and judge treat this case differently if the kidnapped child was the child of the Governor of New Hampshire, a District Attorney in their Office instead of a doctor from California. The child was “kidnapped” for ten years. Most likely they might have felt that the local jury pool was tainted by those small town jurors that might believe that if People Magazine supports the mother, than the defendant should not be guilty.

If you want some evidence on how bias Elaine Aradillas was in her story, you should read both of the stories below. It’s as if she printed exactly what Alan Rosenfeld told her to. She did everything to disparage the father and his reputation:

Runaway Kelley Couple Plead Guilty – The Orleans Record by Staff Writer Robert Blechl
Staff Writer

Kidnapper Mom Pleads Guilty – People Magazine by Elaine Aradillas

Unfortunately, the protective parent cause wants to recruit custodial-embattled mothers to commit this crime. And I am certain that the next protective mom could simply call up one the Free the Kelley Supporters, grab a plane ticket to Costa Rica with her child or children and be gone for the next several years. It could even be one of the Free The Kelley Supporters Child or Grandchild that was found in Costa Rica or Honduras having kidnapped their child.  And under a worst case scenario protective parent attorney Alan Rosenfeld will once again walk into Judge Peter Bornstein’s court room with the “People Magazine Defense“. 

So did the People Magazine Defense work? In the next year as Genevieve and Scott Jail sit in their jail cells with the some of the Jerry Springer-like folk, I would like to think that it didn’t. And as Scott Kelley goes to apply for a teaching job at a private school in New Hampshire and his application is denied because of his criminal record and those that don’t want a convicted child kidnapper working at their school, I would say it didn’t. When Genevieve Kelley petitions New Hampshire to practice medicine again and they deny her license because of her criminal conviction, then again the defense did not work. And when the adult-child in this case wakes up one morning and realizes what Scott and Genevieve did to her and reunifies with her biological father, then I would say that it didn’t work.

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