Aug 2 2007
Robert Olen Butler, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, is a believer that what goes on in the marriage bed should be shared with others and thus when his wife of twelve years, Elizabeth Dewberry, left him for Ted Turner, he wrote a long detailed email to his favorite grad students and others about the demise of his relationship.
Gawker has the entire email, but probably the best part is when Butler compares Turner to Dewberry’s abusive, child molesting grandfather or when he describes Ted Turner as being deeply devoted to his harem of girlfriends.
Elizabeth is leaving me for Ted Turner.
She and I will remain the best of friends. She also knows about, endorses, and even encourages that I tell this much detail of the story:
She has spoken openly in her work and in her public life of the fact that she was molested by her grandfather from an early age, a molestation that was known and tacitly condoned by her radically Evangelical Christian parents. She then went into a decade-long abusive marriage. I met her when she was in a terminally desperate state from this lifetime of abuse, and we married and we truly loved each other. . . .
And it is very common for a woman to be drawn to men who remind them of their childhood abusers. Ted is such a man, though fortunately, he is far from being abusive. From all that I can tell, he is kind to her, loyal, considerate, and devoted to his family, and perhaps, therefore, he can redeem some things for her. . . .
She will not be Ted’s only girlfriend. Ted is permanently and avowedly non-monogamous. But though he has several girlfriends, it is a very small number, and he does not take them up lightly and he gives them his absolute support when he does.