After strangling, wife sues ex-Bush attorney for $30 million

By Muriel Kane
Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:09 EDT
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Wife fears husband’s ‘past associations’

The wife of a former high-ranked Bush administration lawyer who was charged earlier this month with her attempted murder has brought a civil suit against him for $30 million.

As previously reported, John Michael Farren is accused of flying into a rage after his wife served him with divorce papers on January 6, beating her unconscious with a metal flashlight, and then attempting to strangle her. She fled to a neighbor’s house with their seven-year-old and four-month-old after triggering an alarm which brought the police to arrest Mr. Farren.

In her affidavit, Mary Farren makes some unusual arguments for why she not only needs $30 million but needs it right now, prior to any judgment in her case and before her husband can use any of the couple’s assets to post his $2 million bond.

Farren, herself an attorney, wrote to the Connecticut Superior Court, “Given the community in which we live, and the station of living to which we are accustomed, and our plans for the future life and education of our children, the defendant’s obligations to support his children and me are substantial.”

She added that since the attack she remains in fear of her husband, and that given his “past associations and resources” she feels a need to hire bodyguards and take other security measures. Mr. Farren’s lawyer scoffed at that argument.

Farren formerly served in the Reagan administration and then became Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade under George H.W. Bush, but his influence in that administration waned when he was blamed for creating political controversies over trade issues.

More recently, Farren joined the White House counsel’s office in 2007 as a deputy to Fred Fielding, whom he had known since the Reagan days. According to the New York Times, “He left the job suddenly a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, although the White House had expected top aides to stay until the end. At the time, Mr. Farren had told an acquaintance that he wanted to leave before the administration turned over, to get a jump on the job market. If so, his plans might have changed; he has not worked full time since.”

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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