An ongoing custody battle between Jack White and his ex-wife, singer-songwriter/model Karen Elson, has apparently gotten ugly. A Nashville circuit judge hit White with a restraining order last Monday, July 22nd, barring the singer-guitarist from having "any contact with [Elson] whatsoever except as it relates to parenting time with the parties' minor children," according to a story first reported this afternoon by the Nashville City Paper. The couple amicably divorced in 2011.
Elson, who has primary custody of the couple's two children, characterizes White in the restraining order affidavit (obtained by the newspaper) as an unfit father who refused repeated pleas to attend family counseling, and claims the singer has a violent temper, citing a slew of harassment allegations. Elson claims she "fears for her and the children's safety as a result of this harassment."
Such alleged harassment reportedly includes contacting Elson's paralegal "in an inappropriate and aggressive manner"; making derogatory comments about Elson to the couple's business manager, in an attempt to "harass and embarrass [her]"; and bullying Elson continuously via phone calls, texts and emails pressuring her about the settlement terms of the divorce. "This pattern of husband's bullying wife into submission was a contributing factor in the demise of their marriage," the order claims.
"I'm not extending this anymore," White reportedly wrote Elson in an email regarding the settlement. "And we're not getting lawyers involved to rip me off."
According to the restraining order, Elson alleges that White went so far as to demand she request the kids be pulled from a class at their private school, because he didn't want them attending class with the child of another entertainer he believes "ripped off" his music. In a similar incident, the report also claims that an angered White harassed Elson for attending the wedding of a second "rival musician," who he believes also "ripped off" his music, and who is not named in the order.
Elson's attorney, Rose Palermo, told the Nashville City Paper that White and her client have been working to settle the dispute privately. Palermo — who is long regarded as Nashville's divorce lawyer to the stars — reportedly requested a custodial psychological evaluation for White. That motion is still pending.
White and Elson are due in court August 29th for a custody hearing. For the time being, White is only permitted to contact Elson by way of email.