Divorce, KGB-style

As a lawyer, I recommend you not do this:

In a civil judgment, U.S. Magistrate Judge F.A. Gossett III has ruled that Dianna Divingnzzo unlawfully recorded ex-husband William “Duke” Lewton by inserting the device into her then-4-year-old daughter’s toy bear.

[…]

When it comes to child custody cases, attorneys say, parents sometimes resort to irrational means to try to protect their children. At times, that involves parents spying on each other or hiring private detectives to do surveillance and dig through trash.

In this case, Divingnzzo hired private detectives to tail Lewton for months — to the point of planting GPS devices on two of his vehicles.

Then in December 2007, she went a step further. She admitted in depositions that she removed stitches from Little Bear, planted the listening device in it and stitched the toy back up.

She then insisted to several people that the girl couldn’t go anywhere without Little Bear. Ironically, Lewton had purchased the toy for his daughter.

In time, Little Bear recorded dozens of conversations involving Lewton, the daughter, a cousin, a neighbor, an office manager and court workers overseeing the child-custody case.

Divingnzzo’s father transcribed some of the recordings — even adding his own interpretations of sounds that could be heard on the tape.

In time, Divingnzzo presented the CDs and transcripts of the conversations to Bianco, her then-attorney in the child-custody case.

Bianco made copies of the CDs and transcripts and supplied them to the judge, attorneys and therapists involved in the child-custody case. Bianco said he did so as part of his ethical duty to provide discovery materials to everyone in the case.

It’s not uncommon, sadly, for parents to become unhealthily obsessed with what their former partner is doing, but this case almost approaches “Weekend With Daddy” levels.

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