Rebecca Ethington, Your Blank Pages Have Been Revealed
Every once in a while, something catches our attention that is so appalling and egregious that it really lights a fire under us. So much so, that we really go out of our way to find all the evidence we need to shed as much light as possible on a scourge that paints the entire indie community as a bunch of charlatans. When we began to receive several messages blowing the whistle on Rebecca Ethington, we were happy to tell those individuals that our case file on her was already several inches thick.
You see, those of us at Blank Pages have many high horses to sit on, but the highest of them all represents violence against women and children. When anyone in our community presents their story as one of being a survivor of VAW, we take that seriously, but if anyone in our community exploits VAW to extort money from others, then that is another thing altogether.
According to her social media platforms, the so-called martyrdom of Rebecca Ethington began in 2014 when she “ finally got the courage to leave [her] husband of ten years [and] got the courage to walk away from a ‘very scary’ relationship” in July of 2014. What she leaves out from her fairy tale is that her husband at the time had already filed for divorce against her.
She also leaves out some other important details from her story. This might have been an oversight on her part, but we suspect that it might have more to do with her knowing that people would be less inclined to give her money if they knew the truth.
As many might think, mothers are given sole custody of their children more times than not in a divorce. This is definitely the case in Utah where, statistically, mothers are given primary custody of their children in 80% of custody determinations. In general, this is because judges move to preserve the status quo in picking the primary parent, which is often the case in a state where so many mothers are stay-at-home parents and can be the primary parents. But this isn’t what happened in Ethington’s case. In fact, she says she lost her kids because they were taken away from her — that she’s been fighting to get them back for the last three years. Not only this, but she claims that she has only been now been assigned a custody evaluator and this is now her chance so please send her all the money.
All of Rebecca Ethington’s claims are either completely false or a loosely fabricated reality.
This is one of those cases where Google becomes your best friend when you know how to use it and where to look because we found all the information online from public record searches.
Ethington says she walked away from this relationship supposedly in July of 2014, but in August of that same year, her then-husband filed a police report against her due to her abuse of him. The police officer’s report is below.
Ethington might try to spin this by saying that her then-husband faked his report and that this was yet another attempt at making her look bad, right? Because it’s not, like, we haven’t heard her say that before, like, ever. Unfortunately, the police report states she admits to striking her then-husband:
The supplemental photographs were not part of the public files, so, unfortunately, we were not able to view those to ascertain the difference between Ethington’s version of a slap and her then-husband’s punch. However, it seems the officer taking the report was able to differentiate between the two because he cited her on scene:
We will give Rebecca Ethington credit; she did appear at her court date and plead guilty:
Ethington’s plea was an abeyance agreement, which means that if she completed the conditions of her agreement then she could have the charges dismissed after the abeyance period and there would be no conviction on her record. Here was her abeyance agreement:
According to the docket, Ethington completed her plea in abeyance at the end of May 2015.
We obtained these records not through Google, but through very eager journalism interns from a local university who were anxious to use FOIA requests. They were also poor college students who were very eager to earn an extra $50. We assume they haven’t taken their Ethics in Journalism classes yet.
Shortly after Ethington assaulted her husband, a judge granted him an Ex Parte Child Protective Order, which is granted when a judge believes it is necessary to protect a parent and his or her children from the other parent. These are generally set in place for approximately 20 days or up to 150 days, depending. In this case, the Ex Parte was in place for around the usual 20 days. It is unusual for judges to grant Ex Parte POs in Utah:
Almost all Ex Parte Protective Orders include a variation of the following text:
And finally, we deliberated on whether or not to include this particular section, ultimately deciding that it was imperative. Throughout Ethington’s smear campaign against her ex-husband, she has insisted that she has been kept away from her kids, that her ex-husband has made it nearly impossible for her to have a relationship with her children. And yet, even in this Ex Parte, this proves to be false:
Ethington’s ex-husband could have requested anything under the civil portion of this Ex Parte. He could have stipulated that she had no contact with their children and it would have been granted. This would have been a perfect time for him to exert ultimate control over Ethington and rip his children away from her, with permission from the court. And yet, he didn’t. Even during this time, after she physically abused him, he still stipulated with the court for her to have standard parent-time. It is reasonable, in the circumstances, for him to request supervision (that they both agree to, by the way) and to not permit overnight visitation.
And so we ask you, dear reader, does this sound like the same man Ethington has made into a villain? Before you answer that, we’ll have you take a look at what the Court states in her ex-husband’s temporary protective order:
“the Respondent has abused or committed domestic violence against Petitioner, or that there is a substantial likelihood that Respondent immediately threatens Petitioner’s physical safety.”
Think about that.
Think about being a victim of domestic violence, trying to protect the safety of your children, and the culture around you tells you that it’s impossible for you to be a victim because you’re a man. And then think about how your abuser has rewritten the narrative in order to make you the bad guy so that she can be the victim in her community. This happens consistently to women every day who leave abusive relationships and we are outraged over it, but when it happens to a man we are silent because we won’t dare to ask questions even when the woman’s story doesn’t make sense.
Well, Ethington’s story has never made sense.
Due to respecting the privacy of the children, we will not reveal specific information from any protection orders, divorce papers, or custody agreements (yes, we have those, too). But we will post enough in order to demonstrate that what we do have is legitimate. And we will do this because we feel it is time for Ethington to not only stop manipulating her fan base but to also allow her ex-husband to live his life without the continuous harassment and defamation.
First, we’ll talk about custody since that preoccupies a lot of her fundraising. Ethington’s divorce was finalized April 30, 2015, and includes 32 total points that both parties agreed to in order to finalize. There is a separate document that outlines the parenting plan, but reminding the reader that both Petitioner (ex-husband) and Respondent (Ethington) had to agree to ALL 32 points outlined in this agreement, the finalized divorce awards custody in this way:
In spite of what Ethington has claimed, she has been given joint legal custody, which means that she and her ex-husband have equal weight in making decisions when it comes to their children. Their father was awarded primary physical custody, which means the children live with him full-time while Ethington is able to have visitation — “reasonable parent-time”. In other words, this divorce and custody arrangement is a normal, average custody arrangement just like anyone else’s. The only thing that is different is someone’s reaction to it.
This all went to mediation in September of 2016, and by “all” I mean two subjects from the original divorce settlement: custody and the issue of royalties. We’ll get to the royalties in a moment. The mediation agreement outlines specific expectations for custody and visitation arrangements, including what times Ethington can best reach the children for phone calls and FaceTime. It also emphasizes the original custody determination:
The mediation agreement, in fact, makes it so painfully clear as to how Ethington can have access to her children, that we had to wonder why she was thinking she couldn’t have a relationship with her children. The agreement includes: an exact listing of when Respondent will have her parent time (including holidays, weekends, and summer vacation), when she can have phone calls and FaceTime (times are explained because of children’s sports and dance lessons, etc.), and also an offer from the Petitioner to create a Google Calendar that will include all the children’s activities, medical appointments, playdates, etc.
Further, Ethington likes to play “I have to pay for everything and drive to see them” card. But this is exactly what she agreed to in her parenting agreement:
When it comes to summer vacation, “Parties will transfer children … during summer break, and each party will be responsible for their own transportation costs.” Both Petitioner and Respondent had to agree to this plan. Both of them. Ethington agreed to all of these stipulations and is now claiming that she is the victim. Perhaps she will, and claim that she had to agree to these terms or else she lose her kids forever. If that were the case, however, her ex-husband would not make such an effort in the same agreement to give her access to the children.
Not included here, but continuously brought up by Ethington, is how her ex-husband moved the children away from her, supposedly to make it so she can’t see them as easily. However, according to Utah State Code 30–3–37, she has 60 days to object to the move and yet she didn’t. Why didn’t she? Why did she wait until after they moved to start objecting? Yet one more contradiction that she chooses to leave out from her GoFundMe. Another contradiction? You’re going to LOVE this one, guys. According to court dockets, Ethington is the one who keeps attempting to bring her ex-husband back into court. We’ve tried repeatedly to obtain access to these dockets, but our luck ran out in this regard. But here is the list that we could confirm — and maybe there are more, who knows at this point? Since Fall of 2016, we counted one Petition to Modify the Decree of Divorce (mediated), two denied temporary restraining orders, one denied motion for a temporary custodial order, and one Motion for Order to Show Cause that appears to have a note of refusal to sign by a county commissioner.
Another point of leverage Ethington uses in her favor is her royalties being stolen by her ex-husband. Those of us who work hard on our writing are protective of our royalties; the idea of our marriage ending and our ex being awarded a portion of our royalties makes us cringe, right?
In fact, this whole royalty thing is the excuse Ethington used to get out of the dust-up she irrationally created when she accused another author of plagiarism. Remember that whole fiasco? You know, the one where she read a blurb that only sort of remotely sounded like Through Glass — sort of — and Ethington went Whomp!Whomp! on that other author’s ass for no reason? Yeah, that was weird.
Of course, when Ethington was confronted about it, she fell back on the usual sadness of life. The last line of her status was super-melodramatic: “Guys, I think I just lost my kids.” And it wasn’t because of anything she did because Ethington never does anything wrong. Let’s take a look back at this exciting moment in time when, for no reason whatsoever other than reading a blurb, Ethington attempted to ruin an author’s reputation and it backfired:
The first step in stirring a pot is to bait the hook, which Ethington does in the status. She drops the Amazon link to this “plagiarizer” to see if anyone will engage.
And someone does engage, but not in the way Ethington probably expected. Someone says she has read that book and says it’s not the same at all. Instead of assuaging Ethington’s concerns, though, this only makes her worry more. What happens next is a day’s worth of drama that would have delighted Ethington — if it had gone her way.
When things blow up in the wrong direction, Ethington knows it is time to deflect attention, and so suddenly, this all became someone else’s fault. It wasn’t her fault that she falsely accused another author of plagiarism; it was her ex-husband’s fault. Obviously, because why not?
Let’s get this straight, apparently, the ex-husband randomly discovered this book and instead of contacting the author himself, he contacted Ethington and went all “Boo! Boo! Bogeyman” on her, so she sent out an accusatory Facebook Status. And then, after she saw the shit hit the fan, she wrote a long status in which she lists the following excuses for what happened:
- Someone took a question out of context and sent screenshots to the other author
- More conclusions were jumped to
- She was attacked all day on her own page
- Someone made assumptions, ergo she’s screwed
- People should know her well enough to know “that’d she never”
- Someone stepped out of line.
- Someone caused more damage.
We have to ask ourselves, when will Ethington ever just accept responsibility for her own actions? When will she stop blaming her ex-husband and other people?
She brings up the issue of royalties and how obsessed her ex-husband is taking her money so much that we thought we should put that to rest as well. We didn’t want to post screen shots from the settlement, so instead, we created a chart to identify what the court determined in terms of what both Petitioner and Respondent would be awarded. Feel free to use this chart as a handy guide whenever Ethington brings up Imdalind and how her ex-husband is planning on stealing something from her.
Ethington has raised so many lies, half-truths, and hysterics over her children and former marriage that nobody has thought to even question the validity over such claims. And this is exactly the problem because now, when an author in our community legitimately has a problem and needs to leave an abusive relationship, people will be hesitant to help. This is what makes us the most upset in this situation. We need to build a community in which the abused feel safe to reach out and ask for help regardless if they are male, female, or a member of the LGBT+Q community. Individuals who falsely represent themselves for whatever reason make that safety more difficult to achieve and put more DV victims at risk. Ethington’s ex-husband has endured enough and for what reason? Because she said so, which is no reason at all.
Rebecca Ethington, your blank pages have been filled in and the book is closed.
Originally published at blankpagesrevealed.wordpress.com on April 18, 2017.