An Oklahoma County judge unsealed the divorce records of Ward 2 Councilman and mayoral candidate Ed Shadid during a brief hearing Friday morning.
Special Judge Lisa K. Hammond opened
the entire file, which includes information that Shadid used
marijuana and cocaine, watched pornography and engaged in violent
outbursts toward his wife several years ago.
None of those actions occurred since
Shadid was elected to the city council in April 2011.
Hammond unsealed the documents at the
request of The Oklahoman newspaper. Neither Shadid nor his ex-wife
Dina Hammam attended Friday’s hearing. Shadid’s attorney also was
not present. Meanwhile, the newspaper was represented by attorney
Robert Nelon while Oklahoman reporter Nolan Clay and editor Robbie
Trammell covered the hearing.
Hammond sealed the divorce file and her
order explaining why the records were kept secret in June 2007.
Hammond commented during Friday’s
hearing that she no longer was opposed to unsealing the records. The
judge admitted that one document could be removed from the public
record, but opted to release it since Shadid did not attend the
hearing to protest.
The Oklahoman’s focus in previous
news stories centered on Shadid invoking his constitutional Fifth
Amendment right to self-incrimination during a 2005 divorce
deposition. The deposition’s transcript shows Shadid, on the advice
of his attorney, did not answer questions about past drug use.
Since then, Shadid, on several
occasions, has publicly admitted to a marijuana addiction and that he
snorted cocaine on two occasions – in 2000 and again in 2004.
In a statement made Thursday night,
Shadid said, “We have always made it clear that we have no
objection to allowing the media to see the entirety of our divorce
files, but in a way that would protect our children. There was very
little we which we wanted redacted for their protection. All such
efforts were rejected by The Oklahoman and the judge appears to have
made her decision before hearing the merits of the case.”
Shadid and Hammam have three children
together – ages 9, 10 and 12.
The Ward 2
councilman told campaign supporters Thursday night that the
newspaper’s open records request is an attempt to discredit him in
his bid to unseat three-term OKC Mayor Mick Cornett. The election is
“When a newspaper suppresses
information about its friends and goes to any lengths to politically
harm its opponents, the goal is to silence dissent,” he said to an
audience of about 300 people.
As part of his comments, Shadid relayed
a conversation he had with his oldest child.
“Last night, my 12-year-old daughter
asked me why the newspaper was doing this and I tried to explain that
it was because they wanted me to stop fighting the way decisions are
made. She responded, ‘So keep fighting,’” Shadid said to a
round of applause.
Hammam filed for divorce from Shadid in
December 2004, and the divorce was finalized in March 2007, court
See Tim Farley’s Dec. 15 story here: OPEN & SHUT?
Editor’s note: Following is a statement
from Ward 2 Councilman and mayoral candidate Ed Shadid in connection
with media reports that addressed his divorce records. The file was
unsealed Friday, Dec. 20 by a court order from Oklahoma County
Special Judge Lisa K. Hammond. The divorce records had been sealed
since June 2007.
many years, I have been very public about my addiction and recovery.
I have maintained transparency because I believe it is helpful for
those in long-term recovery to come forward in order to decrease the
associated shame and stigma.
unsealing of our divorce records is revealing the wreckage of my
past. It is a testament to what addiction did to our family. The
greater story is the power of addiction recovery programs that can
give individuals and families the tools they need to heal and thrive.
am grateful that I had access to one of the country’s best
treatment centers and completed a five-year program with the Oklahoma
Health Professionals Program (OHPP). The nationally recognized OHPP
works with a large number of physicians throughout Oklahoma and I
have their strong support. I have not used any illicit drugs or
alcohol in more than nine years with many years of urine and hair
screens to prove it.
stack of divorce documents is more than two feet high. I have read
very little of it over the years and do not intend to read it now or
in the future. I have at all times answered questions about the
divorce file and the use of the Fifth Amendment honestly given my
memory of these traumatic events, my understanding of the documents,
all the while knowing they were going to be released.
that sexual abuse allegations were disproved and that Dina wrote to
the court that I had “difficulties with marijuana abuse and not
cocaine abuse” my understanding has been that the Fifth Amendment
argument presented to the court dealt with marijuana abuse.
were many false allegations during our divorce, which were reported
on by The Oklahoman and other media outlets. For instance,
outrageous allegations of sexual abuse and “free-basing” cocaine
with a male prostitute were completely untrue.
to allegations of domestic violence, I never physically harmed Dina.
Nevertheless, episodes of shouting and breaking a lamp are examples
of intimidation and control and are not acceptable under any
circumstance. I would never want my children harmed; they are my
world. I never watched pornography in front of them or hurt them in
Guardian Ad Litem, Dr. John Call, an attorney and psychologist,
represented the children and held no allegiance to either parent. All
members of the family spent hundreds of hours with Dr. Call. He
reviewed the entirety of my substance abuse treatment records and
ultimately recommended to the court that the children spend roughly
half of their time with me and they have done so for nearly a decade.
we are not a traditional family, we are still a family nonetheless.
With all my being I love both Dina and my children and I will not
engage in further dialogue on these matters.”
— Ed Shadid