Tag Archives: Parental alienation

Russian news video exposes some of the lies

Komsomolskaya Pravda , an online Russian daily newspaper, has published a new video with interviews of Marianne Grin (Марианны Гринь) about

KP banner

Russian court decision refusing to recognize the Italian judgment, awarding domicile of the children to the father, under an international treaty between Russia and Italy.

Unlike previous Russian videos, the reporter attempted to verify Grin’s various claims of violence in Italy and even Russia, and found them to lack any basis. After the paper’s investigation, it also deleted or modified previous articles about the case.

The video is available at:  http://www.kp.ru/video/486574/

A transcript of the video, in English, was kindly provided by a friend of the site set up by the family on Facebook, for which we are grateful.

MG shoving reporter

English transcript to video

US citizen Marianne Grin ran away from her American husband to Russia, bringing the couple’s four children, later demonstrating by tearing up her and the children’s American passports in front of the US consulate.

Family conflicts are difficult to figure out, each side considering itself on the right side, and the other side in the wrong. We are going to attempt to sort things out. Marianne, a native of Moscow was taken to the United States in the early 90s, when she was 15 years old. [Correction: she left Russia in 1980.]

The young woman graduated from Harvard, became a lawyer, found a good job and fell in love. Michael was tall, handsome. They got married and started working together in the law division of the largest energy company in the US. Marianna gave birth to the first child when her husband was offered to work in the company’s legal department in Italy.

The family moves to Florence. There Marianne gives birth to three more children. Then a family conflict flares up. Both sides describe it differently. Michael refuses to comment on it publicly (to journalists), explaining his unwillingness to discuss the mother in front of the children.

Marianne, on the other hand, is eager to speak to the press, peppering her husband with insults.

“We were not poor, my husband had, and continues to have, a very well paying job, which forces him to travel around the world because he is responsible for international legal affairs of a huge American corporation. He lives in airplanes. He would leave home for a week to two weeks and what he did on those business trips, only he knows. At some point he started to live a separate life in the open, and that is how we lived.”

Divorce in Italy can be a terrible ordeal. Whoever gains custody of the children has the claim to a large portion of the family assets plus child support payments. [Note: this appears to be Grin’s spin on Italian law to the journalist.]

“He understood what that would mean for him and he sued me for the sole custody of all four children, purely for economic reasons. The story took a different turn when he forced the kids to live with him. And the beatings began.”

Violence towards the children is Marianne’s main accusation against her former husband. And she accused him of that frequently. On one occasion, Michael supposedly hit the kids’ heads against the wall, on another she alleges he broke the eldest son’s arm.

But the doctors, after thorough examinations, found no health problems with the children. No criminal cases were ever initiated. After a lengthy process, the court decided that the children should live with their father, but both parents would retain custody. It was a victory for Michael. But this, as it turned out, was not the end of this story.

Marianna: “The father stole the children’s American passports and banned the consular officer from issuing them new passports, and we ended up in Italy as Russian citizens. To this day there are no other documents for the children.”

Having lost the case in Italy, Marianne decided to take a desperate step: together with the children she took a boat to Croatia and from there she took a plane to St. Petersburg.

“We escaped to Russia, when the situation became absolutely desperate. He sued for custody through the courts and did not want to divide the family assets, and that he got. He had me listed in Interpol, now I am an international criminal, as I ‘kidnapped’ the kids. I cannot leave this country, I would be immediately arrested on the border…”

But Marianna’s statements have no basis in fact. Here is the official Interpol website:Interpol - no Grin listing

As can be seen, Mrs. Grin is not listed among the Russian women of comparable age. Nor is she listed among American women.

By the way, what were the documents that Marianne Grin was tearing up in front of the US consulate? If her husband stole the documents, how could she tearing them up in Russia?

There are many such questions about Marianne’s story.

Marianna: “For the last 1.5 years he is bombarding me with suits here, in St. Petersburg, to forcefully impose the Italian court decision regarding the custody of the kids. One and a half months ago he showed up in a state school here, across the park, insisting on ‘contact’, he is legally their father, and attacked the kids. He came and said that he wants to communicate with the kids, but this American father has no control.  He physically attacked his 6 year old son, grabbed him by the legs, hit his head against the wall, against the floor, dragged him upside down to the third floor of the school, where he was planning to ‘communicate’ with the kids. He says he has the ‘right’, that he is the ‘owner’, ‘MINE!’..

The school principal describes these events differently. In her letter to the court, she states that the father attempted to take the child to the classroom, however, the boy started to resist, so the father put the child on his shoulder and carried him. There is no mention of beating, or hitting the child’s head against the wall.

And then there is this video made by Michael himself. The teachers, his son and his daughter are all in the classroom. There is his daughter, calmly next to the wall. No one is crying, grimacing in pain, or holding their head. However he is unable to communicate with his son. In order to attract his attention, the father is hiding behind the desks.

Everything is calm until the mother forces herself into the classroom. Only now her son starts to cry.

[Voice of Marianne shouting on video from school]: “Come here now! Turn around! This is called violence against children!” MG accusing violence at school

Marianne takes away the children, how they later have concussions is a mystery. But the mother goes to the police and attempts to press criminal charges against her husband.

Interviewer to Marianne: “Will you be trying to prevent meetings between the kids and their father?”

Marianne: “No, of course not, I have to, my kids are not two years old, I again repeat that my two older kids are taller than me, speak in low voices, so I do not plan to try to prevent anything, it would be impossible.”

We ask Marianne to comment on the video shot at school. Her facial expression immediately changes.

Grin gets angry at reporter

[Marianne to reporter] “You were paid to represent the interests of an American citizen. Your questions are provocative and false.  There is no sense in answering a false question. Thank you. Now goodbye. [shoving the reporter’s microphone and walking away] Goodbye!”

Now Marianne’s case about the four children is being tried in St. Petersburg. The lower court (first instance) refused to enforce the Italian’s court’s ruling. The children will stay with their mother for now.

Michael: “I am disappointed, obviously. We will continued to try this case in Russia. It was already tried once, and decided in Italy. Now we are going to have to repeat this whole process in Russia. I am ready for anything to meet with my kids in Russia. When it is impossible to meet with the kids, impossible to speak with them, it is very difficult to convince them that the information they were given about me is false, to tell them their father loves them as much as before. And everything they were told about their father is not true.

And there has been zero communication with the children since September of 2011. Everybody was blocked from communicating, the entire family, including the three-year old little girl who is their cousin. It was really hard for her to lose contact. It is a very dramatic situation.

One of my children will soon have a birthday. I will try to get him a birthday present and find someone to help deliver it.

We offered Michael to use our channel and address the children directly.

Michael: “I miss you guys, I love you very much.”

Mike in front of court


Russian TV: Американец просит опровергнуть сообщение

Grin at protest
Post in Russian and English
“26 декабря 2012 года в нашем эфире рассказывалось о пикете у консульства США, в котором участвовала Марианна Гринь. Со слов Марианны, ее дети неоднократно подвергались жестокому обращению со стороны родного отца, кстати, гражданина США.

“В редакцию поступило обращение адвоката отца ребенка с просьбой опровергнуть распространенные сведения, так как они не соответствуют действительности. В соответствии со статьей 43 закона «О средствах массовой информации» редакция отмечает, что не располагает доказательствами того, что распространенные ранее сведения соответствуют действительности.”

Six year old son at picket in favor of law banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans

Six year old son at picket

Published retraction of Russian TV

“On December 26, 2012, our TV described the picket at the U.S. Consulate, at which appeared a certain Marianne Grin. From the words of Marianne, her children were mistreated by their father, who happens to be a U.S. citizen.

“Our editor received a complaint from a lawyer representing the father of the children, who requested our correction to the reported information, as it is not true.  In accordance with Article 43 of the law on Mass Media, we note that there is no evidence that the previously transmitted information is true.”

Judgment: Russia Will not Respect International Treaty – no reasons yet given

UPDATE, JANUARY 30, 2013: The judge’s written decision, issued on January 29, gives two reasons for the denial of recognition: the children’s Russian citizenship and unspecified conflicts with Russian law.

Neither of these impediments were present in the previous rulings of the same judge, when he issued a decision in January 2012 stating that interim Italian decrees could not be recognized in Russia, only the court’s final decision, and that the award of “sole custody” to the father is not legally recognizable. Both of these issues were addressed with the final judgment of the Italian court, rendered in September 2012, but the judge does not appear to follow his own, earlier decision of January 2012.

The essence of this ruling is essentially that foreign decisions cannot be enforced in Russia even when the Russian party voluntarily submits to the jurisdiction of the foreign court and continues to participate in the foreign proceedings even after initiating identical claims against the same party in Russia. 

The Russian court today in St. Petersburg denied the request for recognition of the final Italian judgment, refusing to apply the international convention the country signed with Italy for the enforcement of civil judgments. No reasons were given yet.

images injusticePreviously, an interim Italian decree awarding custody of the children to the father was issued prior to the abduction of the children by Marianne Grin. Grin illegally abducted the children to Russia, as well as violating an Italian court order prohibiting the children from leaving the country without the consent of both parents.

After abducting the children to Russia, Grin continued to press her case for custody in the Italian courts, which makes today’s decision even more difficult to understand.  In violating basic notions of due process, the decision essentially gives Grin the right to choose which court decision she prefers.

We are waiting for more information about the judge’s decision.

Italy & Russia

In a separate case before a different judge that Grin has filed in St. Petersburg against her ex-husband, with the same requests she made in Italy, the court has now ordered a psychological and psychiatric examination of the entire family.  Grin has opposed any such examination in Russia of her or the children.

Other Crimes of Marianne Grin (Марианны Гринь)

The press in Italy and Russia have focused on the destructive child abduction by Marianne Grin and the false information she has tried to air about those who were once near to her. But where there is a willingness to commit big crimes like child abduction, there is no hesitation to commit other ones. In Italy, Grin left behind a paper trail of habitual scams and criminal activities ranging from petty larceny to much more serious financial crimes.

The apartment she occupied in the center of Florence, Italy, belonged to the children’s father. While he was on vacation with the children, Grin sold her apartment on August 13, 2009.  On August 14, she forcefully broke into the her ex-husband’s apartment, declared herself homeless, and threw out all his belongings. But the children’s father, concerned about where his children would sleep when they visited their mother then consented in court that Grin could use his apartment.  The court assigned it to her for her use indefinitely. This became her legal residence in Florence.

Immediately after the abduction, however, the court reassigned it back to her ex-husband. (A story for another day is how just before abducting the children, Grin attempted to continue to control the apartment from Russia by creating a fraudulent “rental agreement” with a friend.)  What the husband discovered in the apartment could only be called a “document falsification workstation.”  Grin had stamps for creating official-looking documents and invoices in Italian and Russian, doctors’ stationary, and piles of examples in her handwriting.

Scams by Using the Children’s Names

As just one example of the activities discovered, the apartment’s internet service was not in the name of Marianne Grin, but the children’s, using fake social security numbers (Codice Fiscale) that she created to make them appear older!

First, she ordered internet in her 13-year old son’s name, using a falsified social security card that made him appear to be 26 years old.  The service was provided for several months, and was finally cut off for failure to make payments.

Internet Falsified Fiscal Code - 12 yr oldThis letter, dated August 18, 2011  is from a collection agency informing the eldest child that because he did not pay his internet bill the account would be closed and the debt sent to a collection agency.

It says that as of August 4, 2011 the child had not paid 437.80 Euros for the internet service that Grin had ordered.

So what did Grin do when the internet was cut-off for non/payment of bills in her son’s name?  She falsified another social security number in the name of her 9-year old daughter to make her appear over 15 years older than she is!

Internet Falsified Fiscal Code - 9 Yr old

In this document, you can see the fake social security number, with a birth date of 1987 instead of 2002. Again the address given for the internet connection was Grin’s legal residence in Florence.

Falsification of social security numbers is a crime in Italy.

Internet Falsified Fiscal Code - 9 Yr old_2

Without her children knowing it, is she doing the same to them in Russia? Potentially ruining their credit worthiness for many years to come?

There seems to be no limits to the criminal behavior of Marianne Grin as well as the lack of caring for her own children.

Russian Recognition Case Decision Postponed to Friday Jan 25, 2013

imagesToday in St. Petersburg, the hearing for the recognition of the Italian judgment providing that the children should live with their father, was held.  The judge  scheduled a final hearing for Friday, January 25, for the decision.

Grin told the judge that Michael “lives in an airplane”.  She also claimed that he had come to the children’s Russian school in November, where she said he beat them in front of the school director, psychologists and teachers. Michael’s lawyers responded that this is nonsense. As the newspaper Fontanka reported yesterday, school representatives were disturbed by Grin’s imaginary claims that they had permitted any violence to take place at the school, calling her assertions “lies”.

Michael’s lawyer explained in court that, following Grin’s bizarre claims, the other Russian court hearing her case against Michael ordered a psychological evaluation (expertise) of the entire family.  This would be the second psychological evaluation in this divorce. The Italian psychological expert, Dr. A. Ceccarelli, issued over 180 pages of findings, reporting that Grin suffers from “a severely disturbed personality,” and transfers paranoid delusions to the children. In his court report to Judge Papait in June 2011, Dr. Ceccarelli says “The mother’s behavior and her relationship with the children … As we have already observed in the occasion of the previous monitoring, Ms. Grin […] appears a person suffering psychologically. Her behaviors are unpredictable and bizarre, guided by paranoid fantasy, of being a subject of a ‘plot’ and of ‘persecution’ in part by the Tribunal and by the ‘institutions’ in general (she manifests a strong distrust even of Social Services and Pediatric Neuropsychiatry). Considering the behavioral picture that emerges from all people that have had contact with the mother, we believe that there should be a new deep psychiatric evaluation of Ms. Grin, there being strong suspicions of a very gravely disturbed personality. In a similar context of mental illness, the relationship of the mother with the children is of strong psycho-pathological risk.”

DS Video Screen Shot 2012-11-27 at 7.52.24 PM

As was also explained in court today, the children have now given testimony that their mother deceived them when she brought them to Russia, telling them that it was only temporary because, she said, their father wanted to put them or their older brother into a mental institution.  Grin has prevented any contact with the father that would allow him to explain or show the children that this is false, for example by showing up at the children’s school on the day scheduled for visitation by the court, screaming “violence” and accusing the school director and teachers of being “scum” and “swine”.

Italy & RussiaThe case involves the recognition of an Italian civil judgment under a 1978 agreement between Russia and Italy for the recognition of each country’s civil judgments. The treaty expressly includes judgments in family law matters. At today’s hearing, representatives of the Italian consulate to St. Petersburg were also present.

Grin did not deny in court that she participated fully in the case in Italy, demanding the same things that three years later she began to request by filing a new court case in Russia. She claimed the two cases were “different” but she did not explain how.

The hearing lasted a few hours and the decision is scheduled for Friday, January 25th.

The father was questioned by a Russian journalist after the hearing but said that he did not wish to comment on the case. He said only that he looks forward to the day when he can hug his children and tell them he loves them. When asked if he had any words for his children, he said with wet eyes, “I miss you all very much.”

Sara and her papa

Sara and her papa

Mike, Eli and Ezra Basketball 2011

Американских детей поделят суды – Court to decide on American children

As reported in Fontanka.ru, January 21, 2013:Otec_Big

Городсуду Санкт-Петербурга во вторник, 22 января, предстоит окончательно решить конфликт между американцем Майклом Макилротом и бывшей гражданкой СССР Марианной Гринь. Больше трёх лет,как уже писала «Фонтанка», эти супруги делят детей. В Италии, где семья жила в последние годы, решение вынесено в пользу отца, и наша страна, согласно международной конвенции, должна его исполнить. Именно это и предстоит решить Горсуду: будет Россия соблюдать договорённости или нет.

Американских детей поделят суды – Court to decide on American children

City Court, St. Petersburg:  on Tuesday, 22 January, there will finally be a decision in the conflict between the American Michael Mcilwrath and the former citizen of the USSR Marianne Grin. For more than three years, as already reported in “Fontanka”, their children have been the subject of legal action. In Italy, where the family lived in recent years, the court decision was made in favor of the father, and our country, according to an international convention, must recognize that decision. That is what the City Court must decide: whether Russia will comply or not.

Американских детей поделят суды – Court to decide on American children

Corte d’Appello, San Pietroburgo:  Martedì, il 22 gennaio, potrà finalmente essere risolto il conflitto tra l’americano Michael Mcilwrath e la cittadina dell’ex Unione Sovietica Marianne Grin. Per oltre tre anni, come già riportato in “Fontanka”, questi bambini sono i soggetti di due azioni. In Italia, dove la famiglia ha vissuto negli ultimi anni, la decisione è stata presa a favore del padre, e il nostro paese, in base ad una convenzione internazionale, deve riconoscerla. Questo è ciò che la Corte di Appello deve decidere: se la Russia aderisce o meno.

20,000 Visitors! The family thanks you for your support!

Corita - yes to youThis blog has reached the 20,000 visitors mark! The family and friends of the abducted children wish to express their heartfelt thanks for all the encouragement and offers of support they have received. This has only increased in the time since the children were abducted from their home in Florence, Italy and illegally taken to Russia by their non-custodial mother.

Your voices of support, and the many concrete offers of help, have been a huge contribution. As we will report in a separate post, the Russian courts have begun to understand the lies and manipulations the children are experiencing, and have also issued judgments against the mother and Russian tabloid media that published her false story of “escape” from Italy without minimally attempting to verify it.

We will provide additional information about these developments in a future post, as well as what information we can about worrisome signs that have emerged yet again about the situation the children are enduring. But for now, we just wish to say……