An affadavit released by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department Friday says that balloon mom Mayumi Heene confessed that she and her husband staged the escape of the mylar balloon that supposedly contained their son as a publicity stunt. She’s retained a criminal lawyer. Her husband’s lawyer, however, questioned the confession, saying that “Her English is not that great, first of all.”
The japanese-born Heene has been living in the United States and married to an english speaker for over a decade. According to a friend, she ran the family film editing business in LA single-handed.
All the same, it looks as if quite a few people in her life make the same assumptions her husband’s lawyer does.
Richard Heene’s former business partner, Barbara Slusser (she of the violent Wife Swap toilet paper attack), told ABC News that he was controlling and abusive towards his wife, who Slusser says confided that she was raised by a controlling and abusive father. Slusser then puts it all together and concludes that Mayumi Heene was subservient to her husband, who both Slusser and Heene neighbors say isolated her from outside contact, because she was japanese.
Another former business partner, Scott Stevens, also clearly a deep student of comparative ethnology and the dynamics of abusive relationships, came up with “It’s a cultural thing, and he leveraged that knowledge. He believed that Asian women can be subservient, and that’s what he wanted. But it takes two to tango, and she was with him for more than a decade. Every day that was the dynamic in play.”
Of course, that’s what Richard Heene thinks too, only he’s pretty much good with it. Heene, apparently, snapped when his Wife Swap “wife” wasn’t deferential enough, and told her “You’re a man’s nightmare. I’m so glad my wife was born in Japan.”
Mayumi Heene has been encouraged by social services to take her kids and go to a safe house. So far, she’s said no.
By the way, if you think these people are lonely, read the comments on any of these stories.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 24, 2009