Twitter screenshot We hope there's a happy ending.
As the world sits transfixed by the story of how Houston socialite Theresa Roemer's 3,000-square-foot, three-story "closet" full of designer bags and jewelry was burglarized, we thought we'd take a closer look into the weird, sad family saga unfolding in Harris County District Court.
Theresa, 52, sued her stepson, 32-year-old Maximillian Roemer, for defamation of character in July, accusing him of posting nasty comments on a Neiman Marcus blog devoted to what has become the most famous closet in all the land.
The long-simmering acrimony appears to have reached a boil when, according to the suit, Theresa and her husband, Lamar, kicked Maximillian out of a house owned by the elder Roemers. The petition alleges that Maximillian was staying at the home while it was being renovated for sale, and, when renovation was completed by June, he refused to move.
Both Theresa and Maximillian declined to comment.
The suit alleges that this prompted Maximillian to anonymously post comments accusing his stepmom of being, among other things, a woman of questionable virtue. (One comment was posted under the screen name "Teresathecomerag.")
In affidavits, both Theresa and Lamar Roemer outline what they feel are the lad's shortcomings, which, according to Theresa's affidavit, include the anger-fueled hurling of cuddly quadrupeds.
"Maximillian can be a violent person," Theresa's affidavit reads. "On one occasion this year he threw his dogs, Sadie and Malcomb, at me while using foul language and screaming at me to go to hell....In addition, on several occasions, Maximillian has told me that his mental condition was such that he had checked himself into a hospital for treatment. As a result, I am fearful for my personal safety, as well as for the safety of my daughter and grandchildren."
Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan on July 28 granted Theresa's motion for a temporary restraining order barring Maximillian from "posting anything on any social media site that tends to injure" her reputation. The parties are scheduled to appear August 8 for a hearing on Theresa's motion for temporary injunction. (The TRO also notes that Maximillian already agreed to not come within 200 feet of his parents' Woodlands home if he knows or has reason to believe Theresa is present.)
Lamar weighs in as well, describing his son as chronically unemployed. Lamar swears in his affidavit that, despite his and Theresa's attempts to talk with Maximillian about "moving forward with his life and getting a job, Maximillian refused to discuss the issue. Whenever an issue arises with Maximillian over growing up or getting a job and supporting himself, Maximillian always directs his anger at Theresa."
Lamar also alleges that his son "admitted that he had generated many of the blogs."
We know what you're probably thinking right now: Why don't these people have a reality show?!
Emails between Maximillian and an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles suggest that some sort of show was in the works, but that Maximillian backed out. In the emails, Maximillian confusingly accuses Theresa of both forging his signature on a document and of making him sign it under duress.
Maximillian states in a July 20, 2014, email to attorney Elizabeth Bell:
I am extremely upset as no one ever, especially you, explained this contract to me. I was forced into it in the worst way possible. Theresa and Lamar demanded that I signed it repeatedly and harassed me and intimidated me in harsh, deplorable ways. So much so that it caused me to have a nervous breakdown that was so severe I was checked into a mental health treatment center for 14 days. During those 14 days Theresa went to my home Lamar owned and changed my door locks. She did this to create an ultimatum. If I wanted to get the key back and if I wanted to live in that house, I had to sign the contract with Asylum.
In an email the following day, Maximillian accused his stepmother of forging his signature. He also wrote:
To expect that I am to work with Lamar and Theresa is outrageous and unreasonable. I will never work with two people who evicted me from my home and kicked me to the curb without a cent knowing that I have mental health illnesses that require consistent medical treatment and medications that are costly and I also require food and shelter. To be abandoned without a penny by a man who [lets] his wife purchase millions in purses and shoes is unacceptable behavior to me. I will have nothing to do with it. Both of them are reprehensible and deplorable. This project from the beginning has been a matter of self promotion for Theresa. I refuse to take part in that.
This is kinda sad stuff. We hope they work it out.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.