I’ve written before of how spouses will use claims of “witchcraft” – or allegiance to a Pagan/esoteric religion – to sway a judge their way in a custody battle. Often these gambits succeed because they take place in conservative (religiously and politically) areas, and because the accused can’t afford an expensive legal team or protracted litigation in order to fight judicial misconduct (though sometimes it succeeds even when the case is appealed). Now, I believe for the first time ever, claims of “witchcraft” and supernatural malfeasance have been used in a high-profile celebrity custody case.
“Lost” star [Naveen Andrews ] and Elena Eustache, the mother of three-year-old Naveen Joshua, were in L.A. County Superior Court, where a judge changed the custody order after Elena allegedly took the boy out of L.A. County without permission … Elena has alleged Naveen’s girlfriend, Barbara Hershey, practices witchcraft and that Naveen and Hershey have poisoned the boy. In response, Wasser asked the judge to order Elena to undergo psychiatric testing.
So I guess you see what happens when that tactic is applied to someone who is famous, rich, and capable of hiring the best lawyers on the planet (it probably didn’t hurt that this took place in L.A.). The accuser is forced to undergo psychiatric testing, while the accused (and the accused’s famous girlfriend) gets full custody. As to whether actress Barbara Hershey actually “practices witchcraft”, who’s to say? Most likely she is involved in the usual cocktail of vague New Age-y spirituality and positive-thinking stuff that so many Hollywood types find attractive, but I doubt she’s drawing down the moon or chanting the Witches’ rune. While most custody battles are usually horrible affairs for all involved, I can hope that one positive thing to come from this particular case is the beginning of the end for the “witchcraft tactic” in courtrooms.