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Trials & Litigation

Former White House lawyer is no-show at civil trial for alleged wife beating

Posted Dec 11, 2013 8:03 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Connecticut judge entered a default judgment on Tuesday against former White House lawyer John Michael Farren in a civil trial seeking damages for allegedly beating his wife and breaking her jaw.

Farren had appeared in court during jury selection last week, then missed two days of the trial, the Stamford Advocate reports. Judge Robert Genuario said Farren had sent an email to the courthouse saying he was hospitalized and could not make the trial, but the defendant did not respond to questions in reply emails.

Farren’s former wife, Mary Margaret Farren, is seeking millions of dollars in damages. She claims her husband beat her after she told him in January 2010 that she wanted a divorce. A video at the civil trial showed her at the hospital after the attack with cuts to her scalp and throat, bruising to her face, and hair matted with blood, according to the story.

Neighbors also testified that Mary Farren had sought their help after the beating, according to the article. A paramedic who responded to the emergency call testified that Mary Farren was bleeding profusely, she had a gash on her forehead that looked like a cracked watermelon, and she had strangle marks on her neck.

John Michael Farren still faces criminal charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. He told a judge in the criminal case that an MRI shows he suffers from a possible brain disease.

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