If only there were a gadget to fix domestic strife. New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, one of the most widely read tech writers in the country, has recently been making headlines of his own due to his complicated personal life, his relationship with a technology publicist and a history of apparent breaches of long-standing Times ethics policies.
Now it seems his estranged wife, Jennifer Pogue, is also getting into the writing game. The couple recently announced they were separating after more than 15 years, following an incident in which both Pogues were arrested in a domestic disturbance. During the incident, Mr. Pogue, reportedly upset that Ms. Pogue was at home during one of his visits with their children, is said to have assaulted her with an iPhone. That detail drew attention due in no small part to repeated accusations of Mr. Pogue being a shill for Apple products; he even once built a page on his website to defend himself against this criticism.
Now, Ms. Pogue has offered up her side of the story in a letter to a local news website, WestportNow, that seeks, as she put it, to “correct the misinformation” in the press.
“I was assaulted with my own iPhone while I was lying on my bed reading a book,” she wrote. “I fought to get my iPhone back because I had an audiophile [sic] from earlier that evening of David treating me horribly in front of my children.” That was when she called 911, she explained, going on to accuse her soon-to-be-ex-husband of lying to police, “telling them that I was not supposed to be in the house and that he was acting in self-defense—not that he assaulted me first.”
The letter goes on to explain that Ms. Pogue considers herself a “victim of the press” and that she is “not happy the way people have spun this story,” though her complaints are not specified. Ms. Pogue also wrote that she has been “bullied by my husband’s divorce lawyer,” who threatened to sue her for “any loss in David’s income if I released the iPhone audiotape” and that the money would come from the alimony he pays her.
Ms. Pogue continued to say that the threat is a “perfect example of how victims’ rights are not fully protected and how bullies continue to be bullies.” Mr. Pogue, the so-called “Oprah of gadgets,” has often been the subject of media scrutiny, including in this paper, for a number of business endeavors that seem to violate New York Times ethics policies. The latest controversy involves Mr. Pogue’s accepting a speakers’ fee to offer advice to a group of corporate communication professionals. The Times is reviewing the matter.
As for the charges by the state against Mr. Pogue and his estranged wife, they were dropped.
Reached by phone on Monday evening, Mr. Pogue’s lawyer, Mark Sherman, assured the Transom he would return to us with a “biting” comment regarding Ms. Pogue’s letter, to be drafted between himself and the divorce lawyer. As of this writing, that comment has yet to materialize, and Mr. Sherman did not return a subsequent follow-up call.
UPDATE: The Transom spoke with Mark Sherman—David Pogue’s lawyer—this evening. Mr. Sherman noted: “Mrs. Pogue’s accusations regarding David’s divorce strategy are pure fiction.” Also: “In order to serve the best interests of the Pogue children, it would be inappropriate to comment any further. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Pogue is not exercising the same degree of discretion.”
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