As New York socialite Carole Rome walked down the aisle in December 2008, she was escorted by her daughters from a previous marriage, Skylar, 10, and Jessica, 12.
The smiling groom: then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.
When the Rev. David Miller asked who was there to give the bride away, the Huffington Post reported, the girls quickly answered separately, “I do.”
Little did they know.
Four years later, on Feb. 1, a New York county judge temporarily awarded Carole Crist’s ex-husband, Todd Rome, full custody of their two teenage daughters after allegations that Florida’s former first lady abandoned the girls, according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times:
The judgement, which Rome read aloud over the telephone to New Times — but declined to release — overturned the parents’ joint custody, and follows two years in which Carole Crist hasn’t returned phone calls, text messages, letters, or any communication of any kind with her children, said Rome’s attorney, Mark Heller.
“It’s shocking and very disturbing because these two girls are at a fragile point in their lives, and as important as a father is, a mother is very important,” he said. “And [Crist] has been completely absent from their lives.”
The New Times article noted that the decision isn’t public record and couldn’t be independently verified.
“She’s completely abandoned them,” Todd Rome said in a telephone interview Friday with the Tampa Bay Times, adding that his ex-wife has not seen or spoken to her daughters since June 8, 2011.
Carole Crist has not commented publicly on the custody order, nor has Charlie, who told TCPalm a few months before their wedding: “The girls are wonderful. I think the world of them and I look forward to spending a lot of time with them.”
Of course, with Crist all but certain to run a second time for governor, news of his wife abandoning her children would have to be a deal breaker, no?
Silly me. I forgot. He’s a Democrat now.
As for fate, it’s ironic that many of those who’ll support Crist’s re-election efforts likely stood outside the church the day the former governor got married, protesting his support for banning same-sex marriage and gay adoption.
It turns out Crist was no more wedded to those positions than to his determination to spend “a lot of time” with his step-daughters.