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Op-Ed

The secret Cowboy daughter

March 14, 2022

The secret child of a famous person says she was not represented as a toddler. Also, the Pie Queen may be all right.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

I’m going to admit right off the bat here that I’m not familiar with Texas law. The definition of “child” may be a bit different there than what I’m used to.

This is from an astonishing complaint filed in state court in Dallas last week: “It is hard to imagine what could be less in the best interest of a child than to enforce agreements that leave a child without a father and which prevent or legally punish a child from even stating who her father is.”

Are you thinking this lawsuit is a tearjerker? It does sound sad — unless you’ve read the part of the complaint that precedes this sad conclusion.

The plaintiff child in question is actually a 25-year-old assistant to a Texas congressman and a former “Director of Digital Response” in the Trump White House who is asking for a declaration that she can publicly declare that Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is her father.

According to the suit, the child, Alexandra Davis, was due to get lump-sum payments at the ages of 26 and 28 from trusts that Jones set up under an agreement with her mother to hush up the parentage. The agreement also “purported to bind plaintiff, then a one year old child, to confidentiality as well as prohibit her from ever seeking to legal establish paternity….

“At no point was Plaintiff represented by counsel….”

One-year-olds are notoriously negligent when it comes to hiring attorneys.

So now Davis wants not to be bound by the confidentiality agreement since she didn’t have capacity to contract as a toddler without a lawyer.

The suit says Davis “has lived her life fatherless and in secret fear that if she should tell anyone who her father was, she and her mother would lose financial support, or worse.”

No, I have no idea what the “worse” might be. Maybe she’d be banned from Cowboys games?

It goes on: “Plaintiff has had to endure the endless public profiles of her father and siblings while forced to remain secret to everyone” — except when questioned under oath by the FBI so she could get a security clearance to work for the White House.

“To make things even sadder for Plaintiff is that (her mother) has been recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which threatens to leave Plaintiff with no acknowledged immediate family members.”

OK, but why now? This is where it gets weird.

According to the suit, Jones’ other daughter that he does acknowledge is going through a contentious divorce and, for some reason, Davis’ mother was subpoenaed for a deposition in that divorce. The mother was then informed “that defendant Jones would be very displeased if she testified at her deposition and disclosed that he was Plaintiff’s father.” The mother was told that could terminate the payments to Davis that she was supposed to get at ages 26 and 28.

Ah. So it is about money after all.

Sigh.

Can’t blame her, though. But I do have a question. If the former 1-year-old is not bound by the agreement, is Dad bound by the agreement to pay her?

Maybe. Or maybe all the kid wants is a hug.

Or a movie deal.

I’m sure this is going to get interesting.

It was a dark and stormy night…. Here’s a trivia challenge for. Read the following passage and see if you know where I found it:

“It was rainy and dark as I emerged onto the drive running along the side of the West Wing. The FBI agents on my protective detail met me, and Will and I climbed into the armored black Chevy Suburban.”

Cue the ominous music.

Have you got it?

Yes, you’re right — it’s a passage from “One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General,” the new thriller from former Attorney General William Barr.

No, I haven’t read the book. The quote is from an excerpt published recently in the Wall Street Journal. I’m definitely not reading the book now because I don’t want to spoil the miniseries that’s has to be coming. It’s got to be great — I’m thinking maybe Chris Pratt for the lead role.

My favorite sentence from the excerpt was this one: “The president seemed a bit taken aback that I seemed to know what I was talking about.”

People who knew what they were talking about had to be pretty rare in that White House.

The show doesn’t have to go on. Don’t worry — Mary Jayne the Pie Queen is fine — I think. Actually, I’m not sure. There are mixed signals.

As you may have heard (because why wouldn’t you have heard?), the Pie Queen, aka Mary Jayne Buckingham, last week sued the producers of the “MasterChef” television series for negligence for failing to come to her aid when she had a stroke.

The defendants, according to the suit, denied her requests to sit out the baking competition and “improperly pressured her” to stay in the show for 14 hours before she got to a hospital.

Sounds bad and maybe it was bad. But then there’s this message from the Queen last July on Instagram. She seems to be happily thanking the MasterChef people and blaming herself for putting off taking care of her health.

Law practice tip: always scour your clients’ social media posts. Or don’t if you want to maintain your sanity.

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