Do any of you old timers remember Omar
? He used to post loving odes to Jerri Ryan
here for months until he was arrested for stalking her. His name just came
up again in this political article. FOURTH PARAGRAPH FROM THE BOTTOM
Senate rivals urge Ryan to unseal divorce records
March 4, 2004
BY SCOTT FORNEK AND ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporters
The emotionally charged question of sealed divorce records moved into the
Republican primary for U.S. Senate Wednesday as four of the GOP hopefuls called
on front-runner Jack Ryan to make public all the documents from his divorce
from actress Jeri Ryan.
"Jack Ryan is going to have to own up with respect to some of those questions
about sealed court records," said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. John Borling.
"All this will be legitimate [campaign] fodder. ... Better to come out now than
Borling's call came in the Republicans' first major televised debate. Ryan did
not attend, but an hour earlier, he provided reporters with the documents from
his 1999 divorce that were not sealed. The release was designed to head off the
type of media fire storm that plagued Democrat Blair Hull's Senate campaign
before he finally unsealed the files from his stormy 1998 divorce last week.
Ryan's spokeswoman said he only sought to seal portions that dealt with child
custody issues in an effort to protect the couple's son, Alex, now 9. Jack Ryan
said in court papers that information needed to be hidden to protect the boy
from stalkers threatening his ex-wife, who gained famed on "Boston Public" and
a "Star Trek" television series.
Borling and the other three Republicans at the hourlong debate sponsored by
WTTW-TV and the City Club of Chicago argued that Ryan should move quickly to
ensure GOP voters he has nothing to hide.
"There's certainly a concern," said dairy owner Jim Oberweis. "One has to ask
why that court case was sealed, if it's been sealed."
State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger argued that Ryan could bring down the GOP in
"If he wants to represent my party, I think he has to understand that the kind
of scrutiny that Blair Hull underwent will be inflicted on the Republican
nominee who comes out of this primary process," Rauschenberger said.
In Hull's divorce papers, ex-wife Brenda Sexton accused Hull of calling her
vile names and threatening to kill her.
"I would just like to say on Jack Ryan's behalf, because I don't know all the
things being referred to, but I assume in Jack Ryan's case, that there's no
issue," said businessman Andy McKenna Jr. "But the disclosure helps answer that
question for him as well."
The records Ryan released show he and Jeri Ryan, who starred as the "Star Trek"
character Seven Of Nine, separated in November of 1998 over "irreconcilable
differences'' after about 61/2 years of marriage. The couple were divorced in
California the next year. He lives in Wilmette.
A year later, Jack Ryan went back to increase his visitation rights, said his
campaign spokeswoman. Certain aspects of the custody file considered by the
judge to be harmful to the child were sealed at Jack Ryan's request, the
spokeswoman said. Jeri Ryan's attorney objected, saying that Jack Ryan's
motivation included avoiding personal embarrassment and potential damage to his
In 2001, Jack Ryan asked the court to remove parts completely from the file,
arguing the information was not secure and this posed a danger to his son.
Jack Ryan argued that his ex-wife was the target of a stalker. According to Los
Angeles news reports, Marlon Pagtakhan was sentenced in 2001 to five years
probation for sending hundreds of sexually explicit e-mail messages to Jeri
Ryan and threatening violence to her boyfriend, Brannon Braga, executive
director of "Star Trek Voyager.'' Jeri Ryan and the boy lived with Braga.
In court filings, Jack Ryan's lawyer said Jack Ryan was "concerned about the
ability of persons to access the court file.''
A judge agreed with Jack Ryan, citing Jeri Ryan's celebrity status and that
Jack Ryan has status "to some degree as well.'' The judge ruled that sealed
orders in the Los Angeles court system "are not, in every case, properly
enforced'' and that access into sealed records "is not an impossibility.'' Some
40 documents were allowed to be removed and kept at the office of Jack Ryan's
After the debate, Ryan campaign spokeswoman Kelli Phiel said he will not
release those documents. "Jack loves his country but issues dealing with Alex,
that's his son,'' said Phiel.