Mobile Website | Login | Register
Staff Directory | Subscribe | About Us
Business Government Politics Region Crime/Public Safety Education People E-edition Ashburn Hamilton Hillsboro Lansdowne Leesburg Lovettsville Middleburg Purcellville River Creek Round Hill Sterling
Basketball Football Youth Wrestling Gymnastics Swimming Volleyball Baseball Track Golf Cheer Cross Country Schedule Scores
Brambleton Community of Faith Hangin in the Nosebleeds Journal Entry Loudoun Essence Made in Loudoun Odd Angles River Creek & Lansdowne South Riding Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
This Week's Slideshow Browse All Galleries Your Best Dish Featured Video The Virginians
  • Announcements
  • Autos
  • Jobs
  • Legals
  • Homes
  • YardSales
  • Submit an Ad
  • Newspaper Advertising Online Advertising
    Classified listings Homes section

    Bob McDonnell’s sister details communication woes

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Communication between former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife deteriorated so badly that he didn't bother to tell the onetime first lady that his sister and her husband were separated, according to defense testimony Tuesday.

    Maureen C. McDonnell said she told her brother about the separation as soon as it happened in 2011, but his wife didn't find out about it until six weeks later when the sister indicated that she would attend a Christmas party at the governor's mansion alone. She said her sister-in-law's reaction was, "OMG, I didn't know."

    The testimony is intended to bolster a defense claim that the former first couple's marriage was on the rocks and that they could not have conspired to accept gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman because they were barely speaking. Bob McDonnell and his wife, also named Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements.

    Maureen C. McDonnell testified that she saw a lot of strain in her brother's marriage to a woman she described as "very manipulative, very unpredictable and very deceptive," and the result was a breakdown in communication.

    "After he became governor, it kind of went from bad to worse," she said.

    She said her sister-in-law was unhappy as first lady, once describing the governor's mansion as a prison.

    "I think she felt trapped there," she said.

    She also offered testimony designed to counter the government's theory that the McDonnells were financially desperate because of two money-losing vacation rental properties in Virginia Beach. The houses are owned by Bob McDonnell and his sister. According to previous testimony and evidence, two loans from Williams totaling $70,000 were intended to keep those properties afloat after the real estate market tanked.

    Maureen C. McDonnell testified that she had long earned a six-figure salary, topping out at about $560,000 in 2012, and could easily pay the real estate venture's bills. She said her brother, who had once borrowed $2,000 from her when he was in law school, knew he could always turn to her or one of their other three siblings for financial help.

    She said she was horrified when she learned about a series of late fees on one of the mortgages. She attributed that to inattention by her then-husband, who handled the venture's bills but was distracted by the struggles of his own business as well as her difficult pregnancy and subsequent health problems.

    "I felt angry," she said of her reaction to the late fees. "There was no excuse. I had the money."

    The ex-governor's sister also said the properties were not intended to be a profit-making venture. She said she and her brother had happy memories of family vacations to Myrtle Beach as children and wanted to replicate that for their own children and their extended family.


    Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!

    Get Email Updates
    Tuesdays:  
    Thursdays:

    StayConnected

    Follow Us
    on Twitter

    News | Sports

    Like Us
    on Facebook

    News & Sports

    Join Our
    Email List

    Sign up for
    weekly updates
    The Loudoun Times-Mirror

    is an interactive, digital replica
    of the printed newspaper.
    Open the e-edition now.

    Loudoun Business Journal - Fall 2014

    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2014