Court Denies Ambrose’s Attempt to Blame Frank Report for Children’s Emotional Distress
Chris Ambrose lost his first battle in court in his four-year divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife Karen Riordan. The fight was over marital assets and custody of their three children.
Ambrose got all the marital assets and full custody of the children in a final decision in 2022.
Last week, Ambrose lost a motion for a protective order. He sought to bar his wife from coming within a mile of the children’s school or home.
Before the divorce, Ambrose was an absentee father for much of his children’s young lives until, in 2018, he lost his Hollywood writing career because of allegations of plagiarism.
His implosion came when he “wrote” an episode for the TV show Bones. After “Secrets and Lies” aired, viewers revealed, and the media reported, that it was an outright theft of the plot of an eight-year-old episode of another TV show, Instinct, from an episode called “The Plain and the Prodigy.”
The Wrap wrote a story entitled, CBS crime drama has been accused of ripping off long-running Fox procedural
CinemaBlend wrote a story entitled CBS’ Instinct Accused Of Ripping Off Plotline From Fox’s Bones
On April 3, two days after Secrets and Lies aired, Plagiarism Today wrote Did Instinct Plagiarize Bones?
The dialogue and plot were the same, an Amish piano player who ran away from the farm and was killed in the big city. Even the props and dialogue were the same, such as the murder investigators’ comments about a “nice quilt” and that if they were teenagers, they “would wanna run away from” the Amish parents’ home.
And Hollywood ran away from Ambrose. Fired from his lucrative Hollywood work, Ambrose came home to Connecticut and soon filed for divorce, but not before locking his wife out of their joint bank accounts and taking her inheritance – something he admitted in court testimony.
Ambrose, is also a lawyer. He called his children’s less than enthusiastic attitude about being with him “parental alienation,” which he said was caused by his wife.
He paid various “experts” to back up the theory. He claimed the children’s preference for their mother, their primary attachment figure all their lives, was not because of his behavior, but because their mother put them up to it.
The children disputed it, but CT Family Court Judge Jane Grossman never allowed them to speak. Instead, she flipped custody, taking three happy children out of their home with their mother and forcing them to live with their father based on a custody evaluation report paid for by Ambrose, and the testimony of the guardian ad litem, also paid by Ambrose because he had sole access to marital funds.
It did not hurt Ambrose’s chances of winning based on his selection of his attorney Nancy Aldrich.
At the time, Judge Grossman was due for reappointment to retain her judgeship. Based on parents’ horror stories that she flipped custody to the highest bidder, it looked like it would be a contentious hearing. Her friend, Judge Jane Emons, was booted off the bench when the state legislature’s judicial committee failed to fight for her reappointment.
Ambrose’s attorney, Nancy Aldrich’s son, Will Haskell, was a state senator and significantly on the judicial reappointment committee.
Much against their wishes, the children were suddenly removed from the only home they had ever known – with their mother – and forced to live with their father, which was a traumatizing event for them.
Judge Grossman went further. A staunch adherent of parental alienation, she barred all contact between children and mother.
Finally, another judge, Gerard Adelman, made Grossman’s orders final. Adelman was the leading adherent of parental alienation in Connecticut before becoming a judge. He is a man who made his career flipping custody to fathers as a guardian ad litem. He used parental alienation to hand children to fathers accused of sexual molestation based on nothing more than his word as a GAL, bolstered by a report by a custody evaluator he hand-selected, guided and paid for by the father.
The custody evaluator invariably found the same thing every time: The children were lying; the mother coached them, and the father did not sexually abuse the children.
Contradictory expert opinion, even from noted psychiatrists or pediatricians, was always ruled inadmissible or not credible.
When he became judge, Adelman continued to show his bias against mothers and his belief in parental alienation.
Adelman stands today as one of the leading adherents in CT to the concepts taught by the late Dr. Richard Gardner, who taught that alienation from a father is worse for a child than sexual molestation by the same father.
As shocking as it may sound to people outside Connecticut, this is settled practice. Though it is not written law, it is better than law. It is how CT family courts practice when fathers are affluent, or court actors can access father’s rights funds.
Judge Adelman dissolved the Ambrose-Riordan marriage and handed every dime of more than $2 million of joint marital assets to Ambrose, plus Riordan’s inheritance. He awarded Ambrose complete and exclusive custody of the children, despite the children’s repeated calls to live with their mother.
Adelman ascribed the children’s desire to live with their mother to parental alienation.
Though separated for three years, the children continue to wish to live with their mother. It is unsurprising, since they lived with their mother and had continuous contact with her and her extended family and friends their entire lives until the parental alienation judges lowered the boom on their happiness.
They are now forbidden to see their mother and grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
It did not concern Judge Adelman that Ambrose has no close family and no friends he would ever care to bring home to meet the children.
One day the children had a mother and a life with many who loved them. The next day, the court placed them with their father, who forbade contact with their lifelong friends, family, and primary attachment figure, their mother.
The children’s cries were not without substantiation. According to DCF records, Ambrose was an unsafe and abusive father. The children alleged he sexually, physically, and emotionally abused them.
It cost Ambrose about $1 million in lawyers, custody evaluators, therapists, and the guardian ad litem to thwart the children’s cries to see their mother. The cost was about the same as what he would have had to give his wife out of their marital funds had he appeared before a court that followed state’s law and required Ambrose to file financial affidavits and enforced the laws of marital property.
Still, Ambrose lost in court last week. Though he has physical custody of the children – at their ages — 16, 16 and 12, Ambrose, 60, has increasing difficulty preventing them from going out the door and seeing their mother who lives nearby.
The motion for a protective order arose because she watched a high school sports game of one of the children and spoke with her daughter. Ambrose’ found out and his punishment of his daughter was not enough to deter the teenager from a vow to never see her mother again.
Ambrose seems to have realized that his daughter, at 16, was becoming like many teens can be not completely compliant. The old tricks he used in the past to threaten the child with arrest or take away her every possession were not as effective as before.
So Ambrose filed a motion with the court to bar the mother from coming within a mile of the children’s home or school. That would keep them apart and if the mother violated the order he would have her arrested.
He lost in court after Judge Eddie Rodriguez heard four days of evidence and ruled against Ambrose.
Strangely, much of the four days’ hearings were about how Frank Report’s stories hurt him and his children.
His parental alienation theory won him the right to closet his children away from the world and bar contact with everyone they knew and loved. He blamed their mother, whom he said coached the children. It was not his own behavior that alienated them, he said.
His latest theory was that it was not his own behavior [in taking their mother out of is children’s lives] that made the children depressed. It was Frank Report stories.
In court, Ambrose told a fanciful story about an incident at the Guilford fairgrounds, where a group of teens surrounded his daughter and began chanting “Frank Report.” Ambrose described the ensuing fight somewhat like an Antifa riot – all because of stories in the Frank Report.
Riordan, however, had the video which did not show any children chanting or even mentioniking Frank Report. The fight was a minor teenage catfight with a little pushing and shoving, a bit of scratching, some name-calling, lasting a few seconds.
Riordan told the court the melee had nothing to do with kids reading the Frank Report, a website they likely never even heard of.
Riordan asked Ambrose to produce a police report since the described riot must have brought police to the scene where witnesses would have told police about children taunting a child with a repetitive chant of “Frank Report.”
Ambrose could not produce a police report.
Ambrose testified Frank Report caused another of his children to absent himself from school.
Riordan had the police reports.
Ambrose tried to get the Madison police to force the child out of his room and to school. The police reports show Ambrose told the police nothing about Frank Report. Instead, he told the police that his child was not going to school because he was depressed about his poor relationship with his mother. His ex-wife, Ambrose said, lives far away and does not even bother to see her child. He failed to tell police that he won custody and forbade the children from seeing their mother, which is why the boy is depressed.
Another almost comical moment was when Ambrose spoke with literal tears in his eyes [he broke down and sobbed numerous times during the hearings] and asked the court to imagine his horror when he tried to shield the children from the website stories about him.
Still, they found the stories online and felt crushed.
But Riordan had audio of him telling his children, who knew nothing about website stories, to read the stories online, even directing them to the website URLs.
[You may wonder how Riordan had many audios and videos of Ambrose abusing the children. It is because the children took to recording him secretly. They argue that their father always lies and that no one will believe how abusive he is unless they have proof. Suppose you were any kind of judge other than an Adelman or Grossman. In that case, whether you think the children are wrong to record their father, it says volumes about their unhappy home. It is also noteworthy that Ambrose secretly recorded the children before the children recorded their father. It speaks to the distrust and inharmony in that unhappy, and lonesome home.]
When Riordan testified, Ambrose tried to put words in her mouth: the Frank Report stories caused the children enormous emotional distress, right Karen?
Riordan denied it. She said Ambrose’s cruel behavior caused them distress, mainly because they couldn’t see their mother, whom they had lived with all their lives.
Ambrose testified that one of the children endured brutal ridicule from classmates who saw Frank Report stories. He said she emailed her mother asking for a story to be taken down, but the article remained.
Riordan pointed out the email came from Ambrose’s email account, not from her daughter.
Ambrose defended that by saying his then-15-year-old daughter had to use his email account because none of the children have their own email.
Riordan countered that almost all teenagers have email accounts. It is odd that he would not allow the children to have communications with the outside world.
On further questioning, Ambrose admitted he forced the children to cancel their Instagram accounts. Why? Because the same children who supposedly are so hurt by the publicity about their case were posting stories about the pain of losing their mother and the lies their father told about them.
Ambrose testified that Frank Report posted an “open letter” to one of their sons on his 15th birthday, saying it was hurtful.
“That was quite a memorable birthday for him,” Ambrose explained later, condemning Frank Report writing about the motherless boy.
Ironically, Ambrose submitted as evidence a Frank Report story about another memorable birthday, the boy’s 12th.
What made it memorable was that Ambrose came home and asked his son to open the door to let him in the house, and the boy’s dog, Cody, ran out. The boy tried to chase after the dog, but Ambrose ordered the boy back into the house.
Ambrose seems to have never liked the dog, and often joked about the dog meeting with an unfortunate death, like being impaled or hit by a car. When the children objected to these comments, Ambrose said he was only joking.
Cody met an unpleasant end after Chris Ambrose said the dog loved peanut butter.
Shortly after the dog ran out the door, a neighbor called and said Cody showed up on her porch, and offered to bring the dog home.
Ambrose declined, saying Cody loved peanut butter and would come home for a plate of the salty treat he placed outside the door.
Ambrose’s statement puzzled the children, for Cody did not eat peanut butter; and Ambrose did not put a plate outside the door.
Because he turned down the neighbor’s offer, the neighbor let the dog run off the porch expecting he would go home to get his peanut butter. The dog ran onto the busy road, and was struck and killed by a car.
The following day, the boy’s birthday was made somber by the loss of the dog and the recognition that their father lied about the peanut butter, It was made worse when Ambrose repeatedly told his sorrowful son that he was to blame for the dog’s death because he had left the door open a few seconds too long. As a result, the boy not only endured the loss of his beloved dog on his birthday, but was also gaslit by his father into a blame-shifting tactic that he, not Ambrose, was responsible for the dog’s death.
I heard audios of the children questioning Ambrose about lying about the peanut butter, and his nonchalant attitude and blame shifting on that is a marvel to behold.
Yes, it was a memorable birthday for the boy.
In the same vein, Ambrose told his stories for four days, but Judge Eddie Rodriguez didn’t buy that Frank Report was the culprit or that the mother was dangerous to her children.
He denied Ambrose’s motion to prevent the children from seeing their mother.
Within 45 minutes of losing in court, Chris Ambrose emailed me claiming he and the mother, Karen Riordan, agreed they wanted me to take down my stories.
“From October 3, 2021 through the present, you have published at least 74 articles and well over a thousand reader “comments” that discuss our three minor children on your websites, ….Your articles repeatedly publicly identify our children – with dozens of photos – as victims of sexual and emotional abuse [by Ambrose], a violation of privacy even adult victims of such alleged crimes are spared….. This unconscionable invasion of privacy not only exposes them to information they are too young to see, it also subjects them to intense public scrutiny, stinging ridicule, and humiliation. In short, you are causing them extreme emotional distress that impacts their daily lives.
“To protect our children, Karen and I demand that you immediately remove every photo, record, article, and comment referencing them in any way from your websites and that you refrain from publicizing anything about them anywhere in the future….
“We demand you stop tormenting them. Immediately….
“This is far from the first time you have been made aware of the severe damage your publications cause our children, but it’s the first time Karen is joining me in insisting that you stop bullying them in print and leave them alone….
“Therefore, both Karen and I demand that you immediately take down every photo of and any reference to them in your articles and do not publicize anything about them on any platform in the future….
“It is expected that your regard for Karen will lead you to accede to her request to end your obsessive torment of our children without delay.”
I wrote to Riordan, copying Ambrose, to ask if this was a joint request of her and his. I did refer to Ambrose’s history as a plagiarist.
To: Chris Ambrose and Karen Riordan
“I received the preposterous email below from Christopher Ambrose [who I copied on this].
“He states his email is a ‘United Parental Demand to Stop Invading Our Children’s Privacy and Causing Emotional Distress.’
“He writes he claims for both you and him. Maybe it is just my Instinct, but I feel in my Bones he is lying again.
“For instance, he writes: ‘To protect our children, Karen and I demand that you immediately remove every photo, record, article, etc….’
“And again, he writes, ‘It is expected that your regard for Karen will lead you to accede to her request to end your obsessive torment of our children without delay.’
“I am not aware, Karen, that you need Chris to make your requests for you.
“I am convinced that the children’s tormenter is the man writing the email to me. The fact that my truthful reports have tormented Chris since they exposed his Secrets and Lies, is not my problem.
“Karen, for the record, are you joining Chris in this demand, or is he just being a Pain in the Prodigy again with his incessant lying?
“PS Good try Chris or as the Investigative Reporter said, ‘If I was a teenager, I’d wanna get out of [y]our house too. Nice quilt, though.'”
“You are correct. I did not know about nor did I approve the email sent by Chris Ambrose to you, whereby he claims we made a ‘United Parental Demand.’
“You’ll notice Chris Ambrose did not copy me in his email to you. He made a false representation in this email.
“Chris has made false representations in the past.
“He forged my signature on federal tax returns to conceal his earnings and deny me financial access to marital funds. He hacked my email account and sent an email in my name, falsely stating that I would settle a lawsuit, and took the money. He forged my initials on a real estate sales document.
“His email to you, where he claims it came from both of us, is a classic case of him blame-shifting. Your articles have not caused our children to be clinically depressed, ridden by anxiety, engage in self-harm, or have suicidal ideations. On the contrary, these symptoms arose before you wrote your first article about him in 2021. The symptoms began after they were suddenly and traumatically removed from my care and placed in Chris’s sole care and custody in April 2020.
“Remember, he was a Hollywood screenwriter who destroyed his career when outed for plagiarism and intellectual property theft. He is used to writing convincing and believable fiction.
“His rebound business warrants investigation: His Eyes Above Productions D-U-N-S number shows it is a barber/beauty industry business. He does not have a barber’s license.
“He tells people that Eyes Above Productions is a writing and entertainment company. I am curious to know what kind of entertainment he seeks or provides for others.
“The children exposed on their social media accounts that Chris poses as a barber online to solicit young men.
“I believe your articles are accurate and supported with evidence. Much of the evidence presented in my own case, I only learned through your investigations. It is essential for the public to be warned about the realities of weaponized custody evaluations.
“I agree that you might consider changing the names of the children. But the children are not complaining about Frank Report. Chris is lying about that. For three long years, our children have made it clear that their abuse and trauma has been caused by Chris Ambrose.
Stay tuned for more on this case…. A lot more.