Hacienda


PRODUCER: What was it like, being at the Hacienda?

ASHY: Honestly? At first, it was fun.

PRODUCER: Fun.

ASHY: There was a safari park, I swear to God, with actual giraffes and zebras and shit. Sorry. Zebras and stuff. You can edit this, right?

PRODUCER: Yeah, no worries.

ASHY: I’m sure all of that was completely illegal. Like, people aren’t allowed to just have zebras on their property. You can’t just buy a herd of zebras and have them shipped to southern California. But he did, and no one blinked an eye. That was how things worked for him. He wanted zebras, zebras were procured.

PRODUCER: So, it was fun? The Hacienda?

ASHY: Yeah, in the beginning. For me, anyway. For Patrick, I don’t know. I think he had fun, too, at first. I can’t speak for him.


~


PRODUCER: When did you begin to suspect your brother was being abused?

ASHY: Right after Jeremy showed up, I had this feeling, this gut feeling, that Patrick was not okay. But I doubted myself. I mean, there was no way for me to actually know.

PRODUCER: You never asked Patrick?

ASHY: Hell no. We didn’t have that kind of relationship. I’m two years younger than him. He was always in charge. I wasn’t about to be, like, Hey, bro, is there something weird happening here? Are you being sexually abused? Wanna talk about it? Sorry, but come on. Kids don’t talk to each other like that. We didn’t, anyway.

PRODUCER: But what made you think something was off?

ASHY: Patrick changed. Before Jeremy, we were tight. Not, like, best friends. But close. He wasn’t a mean big brother who pulled my hair and yanked the heads off my Barbies. He looked out for me. Especially with our stepdad at the time, Todd, who hated me. Luckily, Todd wasn’t our stepdad for very long. Mom dropped him like a hot potato once Patrick started to get some fame and she became America’s Number One Stage Mom. But anyway. Once Jeremy showed up at the Hacienda, Patrick abandoned me. Or, at least, that’s how I felt at the time. I know now he was dealing with his own shit. Sorry—stuff.

PRODUCER: You can swear.

ASHY: No, I know. But I don’t want to come off as trashy. That was always Mom’s biggest fear. That we’d come off as trailer trash. (Laughs). I guess I am turning into her after all. But yeah, if you could edit this to make me sound better, that’d be awesome.

PRODUCER: Just talk naturally. I want to hear your story. America wants to hear your story.

ASHY: Okay, here’s my story: I was on the sidelines. I was at the Hacienda, riding elephants and swimming and jumping on beds and having a blast while my brother was being sexually molested by a monster. Great story, right?

PRODUCER: Do you want to take a break? We can pick up again later.

ASHY: Yeah. Let’s do that.


~


PRODUCER: Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood?

ASHY: Oh, Jesus. Do I have to? (Laughs).

PRODUCER: Where did you and Patrick grow up?

ASHY: Lake Aramack, Michigan. It’s—here. If Michigan is your right hand, it’s like, at the crease where your ring finger meets the palm.

PRODUCER: What’s Lake Aramack like?

ASHY: Uh, rural. That’s the nice way to describe it. White. Poor. Crappy. But there’s a nice lake. We spent a lot of time out on the water as kids. Tubing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, all that stuff. That’s actually how Patrick was—you know.

PRODUCER: Discovered?

ASHY: I hate that word because it sounds so gross, but yeah. Discovered. He won this kids’ water-skiing competition in Michigan and qualified for Junior Nationals, down in Florida. We all drove down, me and Patrick and Mom and Todd. We’d never been outside Michigan before, so driving down to Florida was like going to the moon. We stayed in this crappy motel, like, twenty miles from the actual competition, because we couldn’t afford anywhere else. The bedspread had cigarette burns and there were dead bugs collecting in the lights. We snuck a cooler full of baloney sandwiches and juice into Junior Nationals because Todd didn’t want to pay for the food they were selling in the stands. Cheapskate.

PRODUCER: And that’s where you first met Jeremy Monroe? How did that happen?

ASHY: Turns out, Jeremy was a big fan of kids’ water-skiing. And kids’ swimming, and diving, and all that crap. He was America’s favorite Olympian, right? Every little kid looked up to him. Remember those Coke commercials where he teaches the little boy how to do the backstroke, and afterwards they share a bottle of Coke? Honestly, makes me want to gag, thinking about those commercials now. Knowing what he was.

PRODUCER: So, Jeremy came to Patrick’s water-skiing competition?

ASHY: Yep. Since he had a place down in Florida, no big deal for him to make a surprise appearance at Junior Nationals, do a little spectating. Because that’s not creepy, right, an adult man dropping in on a kids’ water-skiing competition? But no one thought that way, back then. Everyone thought his intentions were totally pure. Just an American swimming hero, encouraging the next generation of young athletes, blah blah blah. No one ever said, Huh, why is this adult man lurking in the stands all day at a kids’ water-skiing competition, checking out little kids in bathing suits? I’ll never forget when he showed up. We were midway through the first day and Patrick was about to be up in slalom, and everyone in the stands started whispering and pointing. So, we started rubbernecking, trying to figure out what was going on. My mom spotted him first. She actually gasped, like she’d just seen Jesus Christ himself. He was sitting in the front row with his entourage. I remember this one woman was fanning him with a white paper fan. Another guy was holding a parasol over him, one of those dainty, frilly ones.

PRODUCER: What’d you think of him?

ASHY: I thought he looked—weird. I’d seen pictures of him before, obviously. His face was on the frickin’ Wheaties box. My best friend back home had a Jeremy Monroe poster in her room. I can still picture that poster: Jeremy was wearing a tiny American flag swimsuit and all his Olympic medals around his neck. He had a super-smooth chest, like a Ken doll. That’s why little girls liked him, you know? He was non-threatening. And before he started doing all the surgeries and drugs and crap, he was cute. He had dimples. A nice smile. But when I saw him in the stands that day, he didn’t look cute. He looked waxy, like he was gonna melt in the sun. And he was wearing this green plastic visor, like an old lady at bingo. And he was so thin, his cheeks were sunken. He looked ill. He didn’t look like the guy who’d set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly.

PRODUCER: Were you star-struck?

ASHY: Of course I was star-struck. We all were.


~


PRODUCER: So, what happened after Jeremy showed up at Junior Nationals?

ASHY: (Sighs). This is the part where I wish we could go back and change things. I wish that, when Jeremy asked Mom if he could take us to dinner to celebrate Patrick’s win at Junior Nationals, she’d said no. I wish she’d said, Oh, no thank you, Mr. Monroe, that’s very kind, but we have to be getting back to Michigan, and also, why the fuck are you at a kids’ water-skiing competition? And why are you so interested in my pre-teen son? But Mom was never gonna say no to Jeremy. To her, he was still the Olympic hero, the cutie-pie. She could never see past his fame, his charm, his dimples.

PRODUCER: But you could?

ASHY: I could, eventually. Not soon enough to help Patrick, though. So, I guess I’m as bad as her, in some ways.


~


PRODUCER: I wanted to talk about how you ended up at the Hacienda, if that’s alright.

ASHY: Can I smoke?

PRODUCER: Uh—we were told this whole building is non-smoking—

ASHY: No, they don’t care. Trust me.

PRODUCER: Maybe we can take five and—

ASHY: Nah, I’m good. I’ll smoke this one really quick, I promise. Believe me, I will be a better interview after this cigarette. What was the question, again?

PRODUCER: If you could tell me how you and Patrick ended up at the Hacienda—

ASHY: Right. Well, my family was supposed to go home to Michigan right after Junior Nationals—we’d only paid for two nights in the hotel—but Jeremy invited us to stay at his place, this mega-mansion on a private beach up the road. And instead of being like, Why does this guy want us to stay at his house? Isn’t this weird? Mom was like, Sure! She never questioned his motives, not once. You should have seen the place: pink stucco, red-tile roof, Spanish-style villa right on a white-sand beach. We were lake people from the armpit of Michigan. We’d never seen anything like this house. Plus, Jeremy was a super-famous athlete, and he wanted to hang out with us? The whole thing felt like a dream. You know the kind of dream where you fly? Like, obviously it’s weird that you’re flying, but you’re not gonna question it, right? You’re just gonna keep going and hope that you don’t come crashing down. That’s how we felt. Let’s not ruin this. Let’s just see what happens. We ended up staying in Florida for two weeks, maybe three. Todd eventually went home because he had to go back to work. But my mom called the salon where she worked and asked if she could take a couple weeks off. And I guess they said okay. I don’t know, she never ended up going back there.

PRODUCER: How old were you?

ASHY: I was ten. Patrick was twelve.

PRODUCER: Okay, so you stayed at Jeremy’s mansion in Florida for a few weeks—

ASHY: But then he had to leave for South America. One of the networks had hired him to cover the Pan-American games, as a commentator. He hadn’t swum for years at that point, but everyone still wanted a piece of him, and he’d take any job he was offered.

PRODUCER: So, Jeremy left for South America, and then what?

ASHY: Before he took off, he invited us to come live in the Hacienda, his place out in California, while he was gone. He said he had a full staff there to take care of us, and more stuff for us kids to do, and we could just—chill, I guess, until he was back. I remember, he said, Patrick’s special. He deserves to be in a special place. And my mom agreed. That’s when she quit her job back in Michigan, for good. I remember when she made the call; I was sitting right next to her. We were in one of the guest bedrooms at Jeremy’s place in Florida. The bed was huge, with a red satin coverlet, which, looking back, was tacky as hell, but at the time, we were so impressed, like, Ooh, shiny. And the phone was gold, one of those rotary ones. Mom picked up that gold phone and called the salon in Michigan, and she was like, “Sharon, an opportunity has come up, and I won’t be coming back to work.”

PRODUCER: What did she mean by that, “an opportunity?”

ASHY: Managing Patrick. Launching him in Hollywood. Jeremy had connections, and he said he could get Patrick in front of cameras. He said Patrick had star quality.

PRODUCER: Just Patrick?

ASHY: Just Patrick.

PRODUCER: Did that bother you?

ASHY: Hang on, I’m just gonna light one more cigarette. This is the last one, I swear.

PRODUCER: Ashy, if you want to take a break—

ASHY: No, no, let me just smoke this and then we can get through the rest of this goddamn interview. Sorry.

PRODUCER: Did it bother you that Jeremy didn’t think you had star quality, too?

ASHY: (Inhales). Look, I never thought I was going to be a star. I was realistic, even as a kid. I was this grubby little girl with a bad haircut and weird teeth. I was really into dolphins. How basic is that? There was nothing special about me. You could have gone to Lake Aramack and plucked any goddamn kid out of the mall and that was me. Patrick had his water-skiing, and then later the music videos and all that. I couldn’t sing, or dance, or wink at the camera. I was just a kid. And Jeremy didn’t have much use for kids who were just kids.


~


PRODUCER: What was daily life like at the Hacienda?

ASHY: There were all of these wild animals running around, and a giant pool with a waterslide, and a kitchen where you could get whatever you wanted, any time. The first couple weeks, while Jeremy was gone, Patrick and I ran wild. Mom sat by the pool and had Jeremy’s staff bring her Mai-Tais and shit, while Patrick and I subsisted off of gum-balls and pop. I remember staying up all hours of the night, jumping on beds, watching movies, playing with these expensive electronic toys that Mom never would have bought for us. There was no bedtime, no rules. What’s that book where the kids are on the island?

PRODUCER: Lord of the Flies?

ASHY: Yeah, that. Except no murder. (Laughs). Sorry, bad joke.

PRODUCER: And your mom—?

ASHY: Mom pretty much checked out of the whole parenting gig as soon as we stepped foot onto the Hacienda. From then on, she was involved with Patrick as his manager, but she didn’t do a whole lot of actual, you know, parenting. She was drinking a lot, and then Jeremy got her started on pills, and the rest is history. So, she was there, physically, but she wasn’t there—she didn’t protect us. What she let happen to Patrick—I won’t ever forgive her for that.

PRODUCER: No one was watching you and Patrick during the day?

ASHY: Well, there was Jeremy’s staff. But their job was to protect him from liability. They made sure we didn’t get trampled by giraffes, and they stopped us from drowning in the pool, that kind of thing. They didn’t care about us kids beyond preventing us from dying. They’d all made their deal with the Devil. They worked for Jeremy; they knew what was up. They were paid to look the other way.

PRODUCER: You think they knew about the abuse?

ASHY: Of course. We weren’t the first kids Jeremy had brought to the Hacienda. There were others before us. We just haven’t heard their stories yet. Maybe now we will.


~


PRODUCER: Let’s go back to when Jeremy returned from the Pan-American Games. Did things change once he was at the Hacienda?

ASHY: Yeah. Jeremy was stuck to Patrick like glue. Playing in the pool, petting the animals, all the stuff I used to do with Patrick—now Jeremy was right there. There was this elephant you could ride. His name was Binky. He had a little jeweled saddle that held two riders, and there was a staff member whose job was to hoist people up onto Binky’s back and then lead him around with a rope. I mean, this shit would never fly nowadays, right? Keeping a captive elephant for bratty kids to ride? No freaking way. But this was the ’90s, and King Jeremy got whatever he wanted. Anyway, Patrick and I rode Binky every day. Patrick rode in the front of the saddle and I went in back. We’d ride Binky in circles around and around the elephant enclosure. Poor Binky. What a life. But when Jeremy came back, he and Patrick rode Binky—Patrick in front, Jeremy in back. I was replaced, just like that. So, I played by myself. I learned to be alone.

PRODUCER: That must have been hard.

ASHY: Yeah, well, I’ve been alone ever since, so I guess I needed to learn at some point, right?


~


PRODUCER: How long were you at the Hacienda?

ASHY: A year, before Mom sent me back to Michigan to live with my Meemaw.

PRODUCER: Why did she do that?

ASHY: She thought I was becoming a “distraction” for Patrick. He was starting to get some attention in Hollywood because of those stupid music videos Jeremy had him do, and Mom didn’t want his ugly, talentless little sister ruining his image. There were always people at the Hacienda filming Patrick, doing his hair and makeup, adjusting the lighting, and I was in the way. But you know the real reason she sent me away? I’d started to question why Jeremy was always with Patrick, why Patrick slept in Jeremy’s room. But Mom couldn’t hear a word against Jeremy, so she got rid of me. I still wonder, if I hadn’t left, if things would’ve been different. For all of us, you know?


~


PRODUCER: Tell me about life back in Michigan, after you left the Hacienda.

ASHY: I was miserable. I missed Patrick, and the kids I used to be friends with treated me so different after I came back. They just wanted to hear about Jeremy. I didn’t want to talk about him, or the Hacienda, but after a while, I gave up and just told them what they wanted to hear. I told them about Binky and his little saddle and the bright blue pool and how the air smelled like cotton candy and chlorine and eucalyptus.

PRODUCER: Did you tell anyone that you thought Patrick was being abused?

ASHY: Just my Meemaw.

PRODUCER: What did she say?

ASHY: She said, “Oh, Ashy, your mom wouldn’t let anybody hurt Patrick. She loves that boy more than life itself.” She thought I was just jealous because Mom loved Patrick more than me, and he was gonna be famous and I wasn’t. Everyone thought that. Kind of ironic how things worked out, though, right? Now, no one remembers Patrick, but everyone knows who I am.


~


PRODUCER: Can we go over your teenage years, after you left California?

ASHY: Not much to tell. I came back to Lake Aramack, somehow graduated high school. I think the teachers felt sorry for me. Mom was gone and Meemaw was diabetic and on oxygen and couldn’t really do much other than pour me a bowl of Cocoa Puffs every morning and send me on my way. I had some friends, but they were losers. If any of them are watching this—hi Carolyn, hi Kyle, hi Mick—I’m sorry, but you guys know I’m right. We hung out and drank vodka out of Big Gulp cups and smoked weed and played hacky-sack. We used to get drunk and take out Mick’s dad’s boat, but then Mick drove the boat into a dock and shattered the bow and banged up the hull and his dad pretty much lost his mind. No drunk boating for us after that. To be honest, I don’t remember much from those years. I was just passing time until I could get out of there.

PRODUCER: And Patrick was still at the Hacienda?

ASHY: Yup. He never left. Neither did Mom. Within a couple of years, she was basically a walking corpse with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, she was so deep into pain pills. My theory is that Jeremy got her hooked on pills so she wouldn’t put up a fight when he took over Patrick’s life. And then when Mom and Jeremy got married, that was the real icing on the cake. Did you see the wedding photos in the National Enquirer? Totally ridiculous. Jeremy wore a white tuxedo and a fake smile. Looked like he’d had his lips pinned back. And Mom looked like the bride of Frankenstein. Frozen face, stiff body. Crazy, painted-on eyebrows. God knows what kind of drugs they gave her. Talk about a sham marriage.

PRODUCER: Did you talk to Patrick during those years?

ASHY: I tried. I called the Hacienda all the time, talked to whatever staff member was assigned to answer the phone that day. Sometimes I’d get to talk to Patrick and sometimes I wouldn’t. We didn’t have much to say to each other by then, our lives were so different. He was shooting music videos, going on tour, signing autographs. I was getting high and sitting in my bedroom staring at the wall, listening to Meemaw’s soaps blaring in the other room, wishing my life didn’t suck so much. Over the years, we talked less and less, and his career got worse and worse. He’d started off as Jeremy Monroe’s little water-skiing protegee, his trick pony. Whenever Jeremy appeared somewhere to sign autographs or give a speech or whatever, there was Patrick, right beside him, his little shadow. Then, Patrick started making the music videos. Those were Jeremy’s idea, by the way. Jeremy told my mom, Look, this is how Patrick’s gonna break into Hollywood. No one gets famous water-skiing. And Mom was like, But Patrick can’t sing. And Jeremy said, Doesn’t matter. And he was right. Eventually, Patrick became the one whose face was on posters in little girls’ rooms. But his music career was always fragile, you know? He was always worried he was gonna lose everything. And I think he knew, deep down, that the only reason he had a career at all was because of Jeremy’s connections. (Sighs). You know what I regret?

PRODUCER: What?

ASHY: One time, Patrick asked me if I’d seen his latest video—the one for “Sunshine Girl.” Remember that song? God, it was a stupid song. Anyway. In the video he had to dance and he was super-insecure about his dancing. One time, this bitchy choreographer called him a “clodhopper,” and he formed this whole complex about dancing. So, anyway, Patrick asked me if I saw the video, and I knew he wanted me to say that he did great, that his dancing was awesome, that he was a star, all that. But—I just couldn’t. I guess I was still mad at him for abandoning me, for letting Mom send me away, and—I wanted to hurt him. I was sick of everyone kissing his ass and no one caring what happened to me. So, I lied, said I hadn’t seen the video. And he just said, “Oh,” and changed the subject. And after that, he never asked me if I’d seen any of his videos again.

PRODUCER: Did you ever ask Patrick about Jeremy during these phone calls?

ASHY: No. There was this unspoken agreement between us to never mention him. I always assumed that was because Patrick knew I hated Jeremy and didn’t want to argue with me, but now I wonder—maybe, all those years, he was waiting for me to ask him if he was okay.


~


PRODUCER: What happened after you graduated high school?

ASHY: I had big plans to leave Lake Aramack, but I couldn’t get my shit together. I ended up getting a job at the supermarket. I started as a bag girl and moved my way up to manager. Took a few years, but a lot of people don’t ever get promoted there, so I was proud of myself. I was in my mid-twenties, had my own place, a steady job, a few boyfriends here and there. Could have been a lot worse, you know what I mean?

PRODUCER: What made you leave?

ASHY: (Sighs). Patrick. I just reached a point where I realized I couldn’t sit on my ass pretending that I was okay with what was happening to him anymore.

PRODUCER: What do you mean?

ASHY: He was on drugs, like, serious drugs. When I talked to him on the phone, I hardly recognized his voice. He was slurring his words, half-asleep. Or he’d say crazy things, like one time he told me he was sprouting wings from his shoulder blades, and that he had to have surgery to have them removed. Just batshit, you know? But as soon as he started to talk crazy, someone would hang up the phone. And then after a while, whenever I’d call, I’d be told Patrick was out, or that he didn’t want to speak to me. And I knew that was B.S. Patrick and I may have had our differences, but he never would have said he didn’t want to talk to me. I was his sister. I had a feeling that something was wrong. The same feeling I had as a kid when Patrick started sleeping in Jeremy’s room at the Hacienda—but this time I wasn’t going to let anyone send me away to keep me quiet. I was gonna do something.

PRODUCER: What’d you do?

ASHY: I flew out to LA. I went to the Hacienda and rang the buzzer at the end of that mile-long driveway. They wouldn’t let me in. So, I came back the next day wearing a hat and sunglasses and I said I was there to interview for a position with the housekeeping staff. When I lived at the Hacienda, someone was always quitting. They were constantly going through staff, trying to find people desperate or stupid or evil enough to stay working for Jeremy long-term.

PRODUCER: Did that work?

ASHY: Yeah, they buzzed me in. I hadn’t set foot in the Hacienda for, what, fourteen years? But I still knew the place like the back of my hand. The geography of a place like that sticks with you. I probably could have found my way blindfolded from one end of the property to the other. All I knew was that I had to find my brother, fast. I went in through a side-door off the garden where I knew they never had staff posted. That door led to a hallway that cut around the side of the main house, past the screening room, past the indoor basketball court, past the sauna, and around to a set of stairs. I went up to the second floor, where all the bedrooms are. I started with Jeremy’s room, because I figured maybe Patrick was in there.

PRODUCER: Had you been in Jeremy’s room before?

ASHY: No. I was never allowed.

PRODUCER: What was the room like?

ASHY: What’s the word—garish? Looked like a bordello had sex with an arcade. Like a little kid tried to design a “sexy” room. Black silk sheets on this giant four-poster bed. Mirrors everywhere but also pinball machines, for some reason? A tiger rug on the floor. Honest to God, like, a skinned tiger, with big gleaming teeth and all. If I didn’t already think Jeremy was a piece of shit, that rug alone would have convinced me. There were a bunch of pill bottles on the bedside table, too. But Patrick wasn’t there. Jeremy wasn’t, either. So, I kept going down the hall, looking in every bedroom until I found Patrick.

PRODUCER: What was Patrick like, when you found him?

ASHY: (Inhales). Sorry—I still have trouble talking about this without getting emotional.

PRODUCER: Take your time.

ASHY: He looked—awful. Almost dead. His skin was gray, like the blood was barely circulating. He was all sweaty and his hair was pasted to his forehead. He’d lost a bunch of weight—his arms were so skinny—but his face was bloated. He looked like someone had just fished him up out of the lake.

PRODUCER: What’d you do when you found him?

ASHY: I started talking to him, saying, Okay, it’s okay, Patrick, we’re gonna get you out of here. But I couldn’t move him. He was dead-weight, barely conscious. But I was determined. I slung his arm over my shoulders and lifted him that way. I’d just gotten him out of bed when I heard the door open.

PRODUCER: Jeremy found you?

ASHY: Can we take a break?

PRODUCER: Right now? Sure—

ASHY: (Unintelligible).


~


PRODUCER: Do you feel ready to keep going?

ASHY: Yeah. I’m good.

PRODUCER: Can you tell me what happened after Jeremy found you and Patrick?

ASHY: He tried to stop me, I guess.

PRODUCER: You guess?

ASHY: I blacked out. I know people won’t believe that; they’ll say I’m lying, but why would I?

PRODUCER: Well, some might say that, given the fact that you’re planning on appealing your conviction—

ASHY: No, that’s bullshit. Sorry, but this isn’t about my court case. This is about telling the truth about what happened to my brother—what happened to my whole family, actually, because of that man.

PRODUCER: You don’t remember anything after Jeremy came in?

ASHY: You know when you have a nightmare, and you wake up all sweaty and your heart is pounding, and you still have, like, the flavor of the dream on your tongue, but you can’t remember the details, or even what the dream was about? You just know it was bad? That’s how I feel when I try to remember. I know something terrible happened, but when I try to pin down what, my brain just breaks. It’s called dissociative amnesia, by the way. It’s a real thing, you can look it up.

PRODUCER: What’s the next thing you remember?

ASHY: Being in jail. I kept asking the cop at the jail, What happened, what happened, where’s Patrick. And he just kept shaking his head. He had a moustache, I remember, this bristly brown moustache, and he looked like a walrus, a judgmental, shitty walrus, and I hated him. Days went by before anyone would tell me what was happening.

PRODUCER: And then?

ASHY: And then? Here I am.


~


PRODUCER: Are you and Patrick—in touch?

ASHY: No. He won’t answer my emails or letters. And every time I’ve tried to call, he gets his lawyers to threaten me.

PRODUCER: Well, speaking of that, Patrick’s lawyers sent a statement that they want me to read, which says: “Ms. Woodhead’s attempts to cash in on her tenuous association with Patrick Woodhead through the posthumous character assassination of a beloved American sports hero is shameful. Ms. Woodhead has a long and demonstrable history of lying and deceitful behavior. Unfortunately, her envy over her brother’s success has led her, time and again, to lash out: first, by the brutal murder of Mr. Jackson Monroe, a celebrated American Olympian and Mr. Woodhead’s long-time friend, mentor, and stepfather, and now, by her disgusting smear campaign against both the late Mr. Monroe and Mr. Woodhead. Mr. Woodhead and his mother, Deanna Monroe, want nothing more than to be left in peace to grieve the untimely death of Mr. Monroe. To that end, this will be their last statement regarding Ms. Woodhead’s baseless accusations.” Do you have a response?

ASHY: Can I bum a cigarette?

PRODUCER: I don’t smoke, so—

ASHY: Of course you fucking don’t. Look, here’s my response: there’s a reason Patrick hasn’t been seen in public for the last two years. He’s sick, okay? He’s really sick and if someone doesn’t help him, and get him out of that place, he’s going to die. And it’ll be everyone’s fault, everyone who ever hung a Jeremy Monroe poster in their bedroom or listened to one of my brother’s albums, knowing that a little boy was living in an adult man’s mansion, and pretended that everything was fine. I’m the only one who’s ever tried to help Patrick. And yeah, I’ve made mistakes. But at least I tried. At least I cared. Can I say something to Patrick?

PRODUCER: Okay—

ASHY: Patrick. I know you’re watching this. And all I want to say is that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I let Jeremy replace me at the Hacienda. I’m sorry I let Mom send me away. I’m sorry I never asked if you were okay. I should have asked. And I should have told you the truth, that I saw all your videos, and you were great.


~


PRODUCER: Can you just show us around your—cell?

ASHY: Sure. Over here, you’ve got your metal bed with the plastic mattress, your metal sink, your metal toilet, which stinks, sorry, and your lovely barred window. My palace. Ta da.

PRODUCER: You’ve got some photos on the wall here. Can you tell us about them?

ASHY: Well, that’s Patrick. That poster was from his first tour. See, he signed the corner there? “To Ashy, love you sis.” And this is a photo of him performing at some halftime show. Look at how long his hair was, oh my God. And those sequined pants, Jesus. And that one up there is a promo poster from a movie he did that, like, no one except me saw.

PRODUCER: What’s that one, at the bottom?

ASHY: That’s us, as kids. Right before Patrick qualified for Junior Nationals.

PRODUCER: Where was this taken?

ASHY: The public dock in Lake Aramack. That boat behind us was Todd’s. His baby. He loved that thing more than he loved us. Low bar, but still. God, look at Patrick’s mullet. We were just a couple of little lake rats. But see how big we’re smiling? Even though we were poor and our stepdad was an asshole and we had bad hair, we were happy. That was probably the last time we were truly happy, you know? And we had no idea.  

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