Jack White responds to ex-wife Karen Elson's restraining order

White Stripes founder claims Elson has praised his parenting abilities and admitted to being 'completely in love' with him

Jack White has launched a countermotion in court in response to the restraining order taken out by his former wife Karen Elson, as reported last week.

According to the Nashville City Paper, Elson's order read that she has "fears for her and the children's safety" as a result of the singer's alleged harassment via text and emails. The couple have been battling over parenting rights, with Elson claiming that the White Stripes founder is not fit to be a father despite his attempts to help raise the children, and is now barred from having "any contact with wife whatsoever except if it relates to parenting time with the parties' minor children".

However, according to Rolling Stone, the singer has contested this with a motion filed by his lawyer in Davidson County Court in Nashville on 2 August. "The reason for filing this response is that Mr White does not want to be portrayed as something he is not, violent towards his wife and children," it reads. In addition to this, the filing cites a series of emails from his former wife to White in which she praises his parenting abilities. One in particular, dating from 19 May 2013, allegedly reads: "You're an amazing father, I'm so glad we had these kids together."

Despite previously co-parenting their children amicably, it appears that the current rift partly stems from a European trip that Elson took with the children two months ago, during which she kept them overseas for 10 days longer than White had allegedly given written consent for. In response to claims by Elson that she fears the 38-year-old White Stripes founder, the countermotion states that Elson had left their two children in his care the day after signing her restraining order affidavit while she took the 10-day "work/pleasure trip" to New York.

As well as White's attorney Cathy Speers Johnson calling Elson's previous motion for a psychiatric exam "inflammatory … disingenuous, fraudulent and retaliatory and simply designed to malign him in the public record or to gain an upper hand in this litigation," White claims that Elson had last month declared her love for him, telling Dean Fertita, a mutual friend and White's bandmate in the Dead Weather: "I'm completely in love with Jack and I'd move back in tomorrow if he asked me." "This is not the statement of a woman who is concerned about the emotional stability of the father of their children or their safety when they are with him," White's motion states.

Elson's order also reports that White wanted Elson to contact their children's private school to remove their kids from a class in which another entertainer's child was present, who he said had "ripped off" his music. This weekend US gossip website TMZ claimed to have obtained the emails containing these qualms from White, one of which allegedly finds White concerned about their two children, seven-year-old Scarlett and six-year-old Henry, being enrolled into the same school as five-year-old Sadie, who is the daughter of Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.

"My concern with Auerbach is because I don't want the kids involved in any of that crap … That's a possible 12 fucking years I'm going to have to be sitting in kids' chairs next to that asshole with other people trying to lump us in together. He gets yet another free rein to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world," the email allegedly sent by White on 16 July reads.

Elson and White have a hearing on 29 August to discuss care of their children.


Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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