Brandy Abruzzo, the wife of state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, took to Twitter this week to tell her side of the story regarding divorce proceedings that have sprawled on for close to two years.
All the claims, as one might expect, were challenged by a spokesman for Abruzzo, a Boynton Beach Democrat.
But Mrs. Abruzzo, in an emotional and exclusive conversation with Florida Politics, had her say as well.
And soon enough, doubt was cast on her narrative by a source familiar with the situation.
Mrs. Abruzzo’s Twitter fusillade started the day after Christmas.
“In need of a high profile attorney that has expertise in political corruption in a divorce. Please advise,” Mrs. Abruzzo tweeted December 26.
A previous tweet was even more shocking: “In a 911 call where I was assaulted by [Rep.] Abruzzo … I have a recording of the officers saying they couldn’t arrest him and ‘it’s a sticky situation since he’s a senator’ … I called PBSO to get a copy of the CAD and it no longer existed!! Can anyone help with corruption?”
Before that, the feed offered an audio file.
“Let me just take care of you. You’ll never have to work again. And we can just work on being friends and lovers,” said a voice appearing to belong to Rep. Abruzzo, in an audio file datestamped Dec. 26 of this year (but recorded, according to one source, before that).
“I’ll do whatever I need to do when the time for me needs to be,” a voice — Mrs. Abruzzo’s — said in the call.
The account also contained a cryptic message dated Dec. 8: “They’re dropping like flies … shameful. I plan on telling my story too someday.”
The Abruzzos have been estranged for some time. But Mrs. Abruzzo is telling her story now.
Mrs. Abruzzo said that she initially started the Twitter account to show her husband’s “girlfriends, colleagues, and friends” that — despite everything — the couple was “trying to work things out.”
However, Mrs. Abruzzo — who described her husband as a “pathological liar,” who allegedly “leaves [their] baby with random sitters” on custodial weekends — clearly feels like those efforts have been exhausted.
“I’ve been asking him to give me a divorce,” Mrs. Abruzzo said, but her efforts have been frustrated — in part because of what she perceives to be delays on his end, and in part because she can’t afford an attorney and doesn’t simply want to accede to his terms.
Mrs. Abruzzo has asked for the divorce papers, she said; however, they haven’t been provided.
She also does not live on the marital property, she said.
Money has been a problem as well, Mrs. Abruzzo lamented. Postings on the internet have hampered her job search, she said, as has the reality of having two small children. Her sole source of income, at least for now, is an allowance Rep. Abruzzo gives her.
Mrs. Abruzzo also contended that “the marriage was a scam.”
“He sought me out. Got me pregnant on our honeymoon. Five weeks after the baby was born,” she said, her Alabama twang coming through, “he moved out when I was on a ‘girls’ weekend.'”
“If you’re a dedicated father and husband,” Mrs. Abruzzo added, “you don’t leave a mother and a baby after five weeks.”
Mrs. Abruzzo met her husband at a political function when she worked for Rep. Irv Slosberg. Though “not very political” by her own description, she interviewed for a job with Rep. Abruzzo.
She wasn’t hired, however.
“He ended up asking me on a date,” she said.
In a sense, that power dynamic informed the rest of the relationship, per Mrs. Abruzzo, who alleges that her husband discussed “procreating” with her for her “genetics,” and who fears not getting a fair shake in the divorce.
“He’s got cops and judges in his back pocket,” she said. “All of these people are like his best friends.”
Ultimately, she’s “tired of living his lie,” and finds it “unfair that he would seek out an innocent person to have a child with and then walk away.”
A source familiar with Rep. Abruzzo’s side of this situation paints a completely different picture.
The couple had not been trying to reconcile in some time, says that source.
There have not been multiple baby sitters, that source said, but just one sitter.
That source also disputes the narrative put forth by Mrs. Abruzzo that she can’t afford her attorney, noting that Rep. Abruzzo is obligated to pay for her attorney, and that she fired one already and chose to represent herself.
As well, doubt is cast on Mrs. Abruzzo’s claim that she doesn’t have time to get a job; the younger child is in school from approximately 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., which creates a significant window of time.
As well, Mrs. Abruzzo’s pleas of penury are disputed, as Rep. Abruzzo pays out roughly $6,000 a month between rent, automobile payments, and allowance payments — in addition to a four-figure sum she gets from a previous husband.
Suffice it to say there is some divergence between the narratives.
Rep. Abruzzo’s spokesman, Christian Ulvert, said that the lawmaker wants to resolve this matter quickly so that all parties can “move forward in 2018.”
“The Twitter posts are coming to a head because he is working hard to resolve this,” Ulvert said, calling the claims “false information.”
Regarding the above-mentioned Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office call, Ulvert said that “to our knowledge that never happened,” and that Rep. Abruzzo was the only person to make such a call from their marriage.
Divorce proceedings began almost two years ago, Ulvert said, and the two had long since separated. Both the representative and his wife have dated other people since, which he said casts doubt on Mrs. Abruzzo’s narrative about a “mistress.”
The Twitter account was created a few weeks ago, Ulvert added, to “give the false impression that they are together.”