Weighed in the balance…and found wanting

“These allegations lack a credible basis.”

So ruled a New York State Supreme Court Justice regarding Elena McMahan’s accusations of bigamy and incest against her former husband, Bruce McMahan.

And in a startling development, the judge awarded Bruce McMahan full custody of the former couple’s two young children, restricting Elena to one two-hour visit per week.  Even this brief period, by court order, must be supervised by an impartial professional, as must any telephone contact between Mrs. McMahan and her children.  Further, Mrs. McMahan was ordered to submit to regular compulsory psychiatric treatment as a condition allowing her access to the children.  We could go on, but we think we’ve made our point; Mrs. McMahan’s humiliation at this point must be extreme, and further detail can only serve to increase it.

This humiliation should also extend to two interested parties in this whole debacle; namely, Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega and reporter Kelly Cramer.  It was Cramer’s original two articles in a Village Voice Media publication that detailed Elena’s bizarre allegations, with Ortega rehashing the story several times in subsequent articles of his own.

Elena appears to be the primary source for the Voice articles, although she has denied under oath that she ever spoke to the Voice or anyone employed or associated with the publication — which is a tad embarrassing to Cramer and Ortega, since they quote her at great length (see “Fear and Fraud at the Village Voice”).  The entire affair was subsequently exposed here in a series of articles as an ill-advised and clumsy extortion attempt by Elena McMahan, with the Voice acting as an unwitting (we assume) dupe in furthering her scheme.

Elena’s story was supported only by her own asservations, along with forged emails, hilarious photographic “evidence” (more on that and their role in the original extortion plot in another post), and the testimony of Bruce’s twenty-something daughter Linda, since recanted by Linda under oath.  Still, with only the flimsiest pretext, the Voice decided that its own interests would be best served by defaming McMahan, and, by extension, his entire family.

As part of the custody trial, Elena attempted to introduce the Voice articles into evidence.  The judge, clearly troubled by the poisonous nature of the allegations, decided very reluctantly to allow her to present evidence on this topic, and, after reviewing over one hundred items submitted, ruled as follows:

“The Court remains unconvinced that this level of proof rises to the level necessary to permit me to allow the defense to cross-examine Dr. McMahan about the allegations of incest.  These allegations lack a credible basis.”

Further, the judge wondered how Mrs. McMahan herself could reasonably assert that she herself believed the charges.  Referring to Elena’s agreement to share custody of the children with Bruce in a settlement reached several years ago, he said:

“How could your client, if she felt that was the case, in good faith agree to any custody on the part of Dr. McMahan?”

Good question.  But many familiar with this case have always wondered how Elena, “in good faith,” could have exposed her children to such a devastatingly painful future in the first place.  If she actually believed that her husband was carrying on an affair with his own daughter, did she think that the lives of their two small children would be improved by telling the world about it?  Even then, her story found no takers until she finally stumbled across Cramer, toiling in well-deserved obscurity at a weekly giveaway tabloid somewhere in the marshes of Broward County, Florida, edited by Tony Ortega — later promoted to the editor’s post at New York’s plummeting Village Voice.

Cramer has since vanished from view.  She never published another story of any note — or, we should say, notoriety.   She now describes herself as a “freelance journalist,” which we think is another term for “just out of work.”  Yet there remain aspects to her progress that may be of interest.

And Elena?  Well, it’s a very rare moment indeed when a judge elects to take two young kids from their young mother (Elena is in her mid-thirties) and award full custody to a man in his seventies with six ex-wives.  That takes some doing.  Requiring mandatory regular psychiatric counseling, and restricting visitation so severely seems like piling on, but we assume the judge had good reasons for his decision.

Finally — what of the Village Voice?  Essentially, Cramer and Ortega walked into Bruce McMahan’s life, smeared him with the sleaziest scandal imaginable with no “credible” evidence whatever, and then continued to promote this cesspool of their own devise relentlessly until they had squeezed every last ounce of attention from it that they could.

Did they stop for one second to consider the effect their own lust for notoriety might have on the McMahan family?  McMahan’s children, most of whom are grown with families of their own, have been the targets of leering emailed taunts from strange sources; their name has been dragged through the mud in the worst possible way, and they have no recourse save to grin and bear it.  What, we wonder, is their crime, that they should be compelled to so heavily subsidize the greed of Cramer and Ortega?

The Daily Cannibal has written at some length on this topic, and we believe that this article should put paid to any doubts that remain regarding the motivation for Elena’s slanders, her credibility and her character.  We are done with her.

But we are not yet done with Ms. Cramer and Mr.  Ortega.  Because in fact, when these two scavengers set out to destroy Bruce McMahan, they walked into the living rooms and bedrooms of McMahan’s children and shot them in the heart.  They did this with no regard for anything but themselves.  They did not seek justice, they did not seek truth, they did not seek anything but to further their own nickel and dime careers.  On these topics, we have yet some thoughts — and some more information, which we think may interest and amuse our readers.

In the interim, perhaps Mr. McMahan and his family can comfort themselves with the fact that the Voice has had its day in court — a state Supreme Court at that — and been gagged.  Justice may be blind, but it’s not deaf, and it doesn’t want to hear any more filth from Cramer and Ortega.