Family Feud: When Blood Relations Dissolve
Commissioner Alan Friedenthal is a childhood friend of my brother-in-law’s brother.
It is shocking to my conscience that my sister, Mary Sherman did not tell me about this relationship. One night about a year ago I decided to look at Friedenthal’s Facebook. I had never done that before. Someone else pointed out the improprieties on Steff Padilla, Friedenthal’s wife’s Facebook, so I looked at that before she took it down. Then I let my assumptions make an ass out of me. I assumed the same sleuth who found the Padilla Facebook threats would have found any nasty things on Friedenthal’s page also. Not so.
This other court watcher did not know my family. How could she know of the Friedenthal-Sherman connection.
When I told my mother, Sandi Kramer that David Sherman was Facebook friends and went to Taft High with Alan Friedenthal, she poo-pooed me. When I insisted that they were friends, and that David’s wife Helene was also a Facebook friend, Mom got mad! Not at my sister Mary, as I expected. My mom got mad at me.
Shoot the messenger.
Just because I can’t resist a bit of gossip, I’ll say Helene is sisters with Lisa Kudrow. That makes Lisa Kudrow my sister’s sister-in-law’s sister. It probably intrigues Friedenthal as well, since he a thespian wanna-be.
Back in 2008, when I was trying to get Friedenthal recused from my case, I sent a copy of my petition for writ of mandate to Mary. She sent it back to me with a curt note. I may have a copy of the note buried somewhere, but to paraphrase as closely as I can by memory, she wrote “why are you sending this to me? I can’t help you, but BTW, if this is the best you can do, you are not going to see your son again until he is 18.” Wow! She was right. I didn’t see or speak to him until he aged out.
It is just unfathomable to me that the relationship between the Sherman Family and Al Friedenthal was not disclosed to me. There is that slight outside, I got a bridge to sell you chance that Mary and Al did not know each other. But Mary has Money. (There is a prenup, I suspect, between Mary and her husband Jeff, but Jeff’s dad started a company called Aims Media that Jeff and his brother’s took over. They eventually sold it to Discovery Channel for millions and millions, my mom told me.) Mary and Jeff have a huge house with a pool and a view in Calabasas in a gated community, travel the world and throw lavish parties for all the events in their children’s lives. David and Helene probably throw similar parties. And Friedenthal probably gets an invite.
Mary and I never got along well. Mary is PC, but I find her to be materialistic, shallow and back-stabbing. It might seem back-stabbing of me to be writing this about her, but as my readers know, I do not back-stab, I tell it right to someone’s face. My opinion of Mary was never camouflaged with air kisses and birthday cards. I tried to be civil to her, only because it would upset my mother greatly if I wasn’t, but I refused to applaud and cheer Mary’s every fart.
Mary despised my ex Tim. The feeling was mutual. But I think Mary held me more responsible for Tim’s behavior than she held him.
Is there a saying that war makes strange bedfellows? There should be. I suspect that Tim fared so well in our divorce in part due to Mary. I know Mary is the one who suggested to my parents that I hire Gary Weyman to represent me. Gary Weyman is the attorney who didn’t know about or purposefully ignored Family Code 215. He made no argument at the time my former spouse got a change of custody without inviting me to the hearing.
I also suspect Mary or her husband Jeff told Friedenthal I am crazy. Maybe, as desperately wicked as this sounds, they even told him to take my children away from me.
What would Mary and Jeff have to gain by being so diabolical? One thing is just feeding their egos. Mary was the first of five sisters, and none to happy with the division of my parents’ love and affection. Also, my parents are extremely wealthy. They have less cash and prizes than the Shermans, but Dad was a surgeon and invested wisely in real estate. Mom had a great eye, chutzpah and my dad to steer her away from hair-brained or less than ethical ideas. There was a lot of money to be inherited, but 1/5th of a lot of money, while still a lot of money to me, probably wasn’t enough for Mary and Jeff.
I think Mary lobbied my mother against me in order to get a bigger piece of the pie. How easy was it to say “Laura is a bad mother”, when the court was making my visitation monitored? “Laura is bad with money and stupid” when the court brought me to the brink of bankruptcy.
I feel like I grew up on Dallas.
Like on Dallas, you will have to tune in next time to hear the continuing saga.