The controversial lawyer representing the estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos suggested that the missing mother of five may have orchestrated her own “Gone Girl”-esque disappearance.
Dulos, 50, disappeared on May 24 in New Canaan, an affluent area of Connecticut. Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, 51 and his 44-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have since been charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.
Fotis hired lawyer Norm Pattis to represent him, the same lawyer defending controversial radio show host Alex Jones in his Sandy Hook defamation case.
In a bizarre claim made to the New York Post, Pattis said that Jennifer once wrote a book manuscript with a similar plot to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl.” That novel, which was also turned into a movie, is about a writer who fakes her own death to frame her husband. Pattis admits he never read the supposed 500-page manuscript penned by the missing woman but said “this is a person who has a pretty florid imagination and motives to use it to hurt Mr. Dulos.”
Jennifer and Fotis, both graduates from Brown University, married in 2004. In an apparent bio on a Patch site, Jennifer describes herself as a former writer from New York “doing journalism, essays, plays and screenplays, and is currently finishing a novel.” She has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a masters in writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
An unnamed family source told the New York Post that she read that manuscript nearly two decades ago and it “has nothing in common with 'Gone Girl.' Jennifer’s novel, like most of her writing, has at its core a search for connection and a loving relationship, for being understood and accepted as one’s true self.”
Pattis made even more inflammatory claims, claiming that Jennifer “struggled with heroin her whole life"; that she once “had a relationship with a person who would import heroin from Cambodia”; that she suffered “severe psychiatric problems”; and that she even once disappeared from New York and “lived for years under a false name” after an “intrafamilial dispute about money."
Anne Dranginis, an attorney for Jennifer’s Dulos’ family told the New York Post that the shocking claims are a “classic act of desperation to slander the victim.”
The last time Jennifer was seen was when she dropped off her kids at New Canaan Country School. Two of her friends reported her missing after she failed to show for appointments and wasn't heard from for about 10 hours.
She filed for divorce from her husband in 2017 after 13 years of marriage; they have five children who range in age between 8 and 13. The missing mom reportedly filed an emergency order for full custody the same year she filed for divorce after Fotis began having an affair with Troconis.
Fotis and Troconis were allegedly seen on video disposing of garbage bags, some of which contained bloody clothing, in more than 30 trash receptacles. Police also found blood spatter and evidence of cleanup attempts at Jennifer's New Canaan home, according to the arrest warrants. Pattis disputes that it was 30 bags and said it was more like two. There may have been 30 stops, he said.
“I am afraid of my husband,” reads an affidavit tied to an order of custody filed in June 2017, according to the Stamford Advocate. “I know that filing for divorce and filing this motion will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way.”
As the search for Jennifer reached its grim month-long anniversary, her family released a statement which read in part, “this situation is real, and it is dire. Each passing day intensifies the impact of this tragedy on Jennifer’s children, who have not seen their mother — the guiding presence in their lives,” according to the Stamford Advocate.
The statement called her “ brilliant and creative” and “a deeply genuine person, compassionate and trustworthy.”