The Distillers founder Brody Dalle testified in her own defense at her criminal contempt trial in Los Angeles Thursday as she fights to avoid jail time over her ex-husband Josh Homme’s claims she willfully violated a court order in their child custody battle.
Dalle, 42, told the court she tried to convince the couple’s three kids to go to Homme’s house for his court-ordered custodial time on Sept. 4, but the kids “refused.”
“I demanded they go and I pleaded with them,” Dalle testified Thursday. “I told them there was a court order, and if they didn’t go, that I could go to jail.”
She said a day later, on Sept. 5, she tried again. She packed a bag, put it by the door and ordered the kids to put their shoes on. Again, they “refused,” she said.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff asked if Dalle considered “physically walking them to the car.” She said she tried, but the children “pushed” her away.
“The more pressure I put on them to go, the more distressed they became,” Dalle said.
The testimony was critical because Judge Riff has said a possible defense in the case would be showing that the children rejected Dalle’s good-faith efforts to carry out the custodial exchange.
Dalle also answered limited questions about her claims Homme punched her car window on June 18 and that Homme’s alleged misconduct around the kids, including threats against Dalle and drinking and driving, left the kids “terrified.”
Homme, 48, testified in the trial last week, claiming he had a healthy relationship with the couple’s two sons, ages 10 and 5, that lasted through a trip to Utah over the summer. His lawyers contend Dalle has been “alienating” the kids from their dad.
The former spouses separated in November 2019 and later filed dueling domestic violence restraining orders against each other. Their 15-year-old daughter was granted a restraining order against her dad in September.
Last week, Judge Riff dismissed pending restraining order petitions filed on behalf of the couple’s sons, saying Dalle filed them without proper authorization.
Dalle’s trial continues Friday.
In a written statement to the court filed this week, Dalle again asked Judge Riff to appoint a mental health professional to conduct a comprehensive child custody evaluation and order both parents to “submit to random, observed alcohol and 12-panel drug testing urinalysis twice per week at a neutral facility operated by a neutral third party.”
“It defies logic that Josh would not want all of his claims of alienation, brain washing, etc., by me on our children to not be extensively investigated. Our children are ages 5 (to) 15, and we have many years remaining during which we must parent our children together. Our children deserve to grow up and be parented in a healthy and safe environment where they can thrive,” she wrote.