Husband of Mom Blogger Who Allegedly Tried to Kill Autistic Daughter Speaks Out
Remember last year when that mom blogger allegedly tried to kill herself and her 14-year-old autistic daughter because raising her got just too darn hard? Well Kelli Stapleton is finally up for trial for the attempted murder of her own daughter, and her husband has made his first public comments since the whole ugly ordeal began.
Matt Stapleton told PEOPLE magazine that Isabelle's recovery has been "amazing," and while he "still loves" his estranged wife, he'll "never forgive her." The now-15-year-old, affectionately known as Issy, has made a remarkable recovery since September 3, 2013, when she and her mother were found unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning by two lit charcoal grills in a closed van.
Kelli's trial is scheduled to begin July 16, and she's pleading not guilty. If convicted, the 46-year-old could face life in prison. Matt, 42, said, "It should be black and white -- it should be easy to deal with ... the reality is, it's not."
The couple were outspoken advocates for their disabled daughter's care, and Kelli was even a high-profile blogger on the subject of dealing with autism as a parent. Matt said he believes years of Issy's physical abuse against Kelli and other family members may have led her to snap.
He said, "Who knows when and if she made a decision to do what she did? At whatever point, she felt like that was her only option. And I think there are other parents that fall in that category."
But even so, he acknowledges there is no excuse for what Kelli has been accused of doing. "This is not an okay act," he said. "I still love her, but I'll never forgive her."
Wowza. I can't imagine still loving someone if they tried to kill my kid -- even if they were my child's other parent. But maybe Matt has a unique perspective on the situation, given that he lived the life of parenting Issy alongside Kelli.
Regardless, it is pretty unforgivable, and Matt has filed for divorce after 17 years of marriage. He's been caring for Issy and their two other children by himself, says he couldn't do it without the support he's received from loved ones, and hopes that this tragedy will raise awareness for the need for more research on autism.
"I couldn't have made it through this tragic event without the support of my family, friends, and an incredibly close community," he said. "I hope this traumatic event will prompt a call to action."
Let's hope so. No parent struggling with raising a non-neurotypical child should get to the point where they believe death is the only viable option.
Could you ever forgive Kelli if you were Matt?