Three adopted Hispanic teenagers, Mia, Matthew, and Sawyer, say they need protection from their father, Christopher Ambrose – but no one is listening.
And now he wants the court to cancel their phone service.
“Not once in 1,277 days have we gotten to be heard,” Matthew said recently. Family Court placed them in the hands of their dad and removed their mother from their lives.
They should consider reaching out to Connecticut Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Minnie Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has been a prominent voice in advocating for reform in the state’s family court system over the past dozen years.
She has been vocal about cases where fit, loving parents have been separated from their children due to questionable decisions and recommendations from court-appointed or court-ordered professionals – as what happened in the Ambrose case.
Mia and Matthew are now almost 17 and Sawyer is 13. They lived with their mother most of their lives, while Ambrose worked as a successful Hollywood TV writer. After allegations of plagiarism in 2018, he became unemployable, returned home to Connecticut, and soon filed for divorce of his wife of 17 years, Karen Riordan – the kids’ mother.
After Ambrose converted the joint accounts into his control, Riordan, unable to compete with the spending frenzy of family court, was like a sheep to be sheared. So were the children.
Gonzalez would understand. She believes the family court system, in its current state, might be more profitable for insiders than an impartial justice system.
Ambrose, aided by court-appointed professionals he paid, and some judicious judge hopping, managed to flip custody – against the children’s wishes – from their mother and her happy home of 13 years – claiming parental alienation to his sole and exclusive custody.
Along the way, he subsumed more than $1 million of the mother’s assets, avoiding financial disclosures, alimony and child support.
After he got custody, he kept the children in virtual isolation for three years, often taking away their phones and internet, and denying them the right to see their mother, or any of the family and friends they grew up with.
After three years of enforced isolation, the teens finally ran to their mother earlier this year.
For the first time since family court removed them in 2020, the teens expressed happiness about their home life.
On August 8, after Ambrose went to two judges who denied his request to arrest the mother, and force the children back to him, he found Judge Thomas J. O’Neill a charm.
With high-priced, and well-connected family law attorney Alexander Cuda, Ambrose persuaded Judge O’Neill to issue a restraining order against the mother, on the claim that she brainwashed them into leave his loving home.
In violation of the laws of nature, human kindness, common sense – none of which he seemed to possess in the slightest, along with a decided lack of intelligence, and a moral compass that magnetizes due south Judge O’Neill, looking at the wealthy Ambrose, sitting with his top flight attorney, and then next to them the harried, troubled and frightened protective mother, representing herself, for Ambrose had taken all her money, the dimwitted judicial representative of the people of the State of Connecticut – who might in other jurisdictions be considered corruptly malignant – and trundled off to the nearest penal institution – stole the children’s happiness by barring them from contact with their mother for one year.
This seems part of a pattern.
Representative Gonzalez has discussed many times. She has raised concerns about cases where fit and loving parents, without any issues of abuse or neglect, have been kept apart from their children for months or even years due to questionable recommendations or documents provided by court-appointed or court-ordered professionals.
Before issuing his disastrous-to-the-children-but-pleasing-to-their–father ruling Judge O’Neill was adamant: He would not listen to the teenagers. Thier voices were irrelevant. He had the word of the old plagiarist Ambrose and the good word of his attorney, Cuda, whose word being good upon the Court of Bought Justice for anything, he chose to put his hand to – or to say it succinctly in O’Neill’s vernacular – money talks and children should be neither seen nor heard.
Ambrose’s happy victory over his children turned sour within hours.
Thinking the teens would be forced to return to him, Ambrose got a rude surprise. Though Mia, Sawyer and Matthew were forced to leave their mother’s loving house, they could not endure a return to the loneliness he provided.
Matthew, speaking for his siblings and himself, said, “We are not happy with him. We were happy with our mother, but Chris twisted everything in court.”
Then, Matthew explained what happened next:
On August 8th, 2023, we were forced to run away because there was a restraining order that prevented us from seeing, talking, or being near our mother. We fled to safe haven in Rhode Island, where we stayed with our grandfather. On September 10th. we overheard a call. Chris was on the phone and told my grandfather that he would be coming to Rhode Island with police to force us back to Connecticut. We felt very anxious about this and decided to run away.
“We ended up at Carmen’s house, a good friend of our mother’s. Throughout our short time at Carmen’s, we were visited by Investigators, CPS, and police.
“On September 19th, CPS and Westchester police entered the house, where they said we had to go back to Chris. They said many times throughout the encounter that we don’t have a choice, and we needed to return to Chris’ house, because he has court ordered custody.
Yet, the police nor CPS had any paperwork saying that they will physically remove us from the house. The police told us that if we did not leave, we would be sent to a ‘sanctuary,’ where they ‘promised’ we would be ‘raped, abused, jumped, have our things taken.’
We refused to leave, and the police guaranteed that they would be back the next morning with a court order to remove us.
That was when we ran again to our cousin, Johnny’s house. While we were there, Chris called and showed up to the house many times to attempt the coerce and threaten us to come back. Throughout his visits and calls, he would constantly lie. Saying things like how he never took our phones, even though he took our phones from December 3 2020, to December 2021. He said he has never called us ‘beaners,’ although there is a video of him calling us beaners.
“He would lie and say it was our mother’s decision to not be in our lives. Our mother would have been in our lives if Chris weren’t so corrupt. We would’ve had a normal life if we were just allowed to live with our mother.”
But the wily Ambrose got a restraining order against the cousin, forcing the kids out of cousin Johnny’s house.
On October 23, the New York CPS and six police cars, with about a dozen police showed arrived at Johnny’s house and told the teens they had to leave or police would arrest Johnny.
“We told CPS the things that Chris has called us, the things he has done to us, but they did not care. They forced us back with an abuser.”
With a dozen police officers watching, the intimidated teens entered Ambrose’s car. Triumphant over his glad victory over his children, Ambrose drove them back to his Madison, Connecticut home.
Matthew said, “Upon entering his home, Chris was pleased to tell us his home is now fully armed with alarm locks on all the windows and doors, preventing us from seeking safe haven again.
“We have been forced back with Chris Ambrose. They have sent us back with a sexual abuser, someone who has molested my siblings, who emotionally and physically abused us, someone who has no care for his children. Someone who calls his children of Hispanic heritage ‘beaners’; someone who calls his daughter a bitch, fat, and belittles her constantly.”
Ambrose, who has proven he can easily defeat his teenage children again and again, does not appreciate the unkind words. He has taken wise steps to ensure that the teens do not speak to outsiders, especially someone like Rep Minnie Gonzalez.
In Family Court, Ambrose made a motion two days ago seeking a pliable judge willing to order the teens’ cell phone service be canceled within 24 hours.
“If I do not send any further communications, it is because Chris has taken our phones and cut off all contact to people who care about us, like he’s done in 2020 to 2023.”
For untold thousands of parents and children, Gonzalez is the “champion on the Judiciary Committee,” the one brave legislator who does not bend to the money interests in Connecticut,
And, if Ambrose is successful, the teens will not contact Rep. Gonzalez or anyone else.
When Gonzalez calls, I can hear Ambrose now.
The kids who ran to four homes in three states to avoid living with their father were forced back. Now, they are locked and locked, with 24 hour surveillance, with no phone or internet.
Gonzalez “is willing to ask tough questions,” a retired CBS executive said of her, but Ambrose has a better idea.
Make sure Gonzalez has no one to talk to.