Calling it a transfer of “forum, not of focus”, Jesse Jackson Jr. agreed to drop his Chicago divorce proceeding, focusing instead on a parallel case against estranged wife Sandi Jackson in Washington D.C.
“Settlement is always preferable to trial,” Jackson’s attorney Brendan Hammer told reporters after a brief Daley Center hearing. “We are rather far off from being able to bring that to any kind of agreed conclusion at this time.”
Even though the Washington proceeding reportedly includes provisions for mediation, the couple’s increasingly acrimonious statements suggest reaching an agreement may still be a challenge.
“Some people will understand that as humans we all fall down and get back up, but others will never understand,” Jackson said after court. “I feel I personally learned the lessons of what power and hubris can bring, but it seems we all come to these places in our own time and perhaps others of us never will.”
Sandi Jackson filed a motion in the Washington court, demanding the name, phone number, and address of all of the former congressman’s sexual partners besides her. The motion also asked for the date and location of each incidence of sexual relations.
“I’ve taken responsibility for all of my shortcomings as a man and all my actions including marital behavior and imperfections, of which I am not proud,” Jackson said.
But he immediately countered with suggestions that his wife had skeletons in her own closet.
“My discoveries of March 21, 2016 while Sandra was in prison, on our home computer, make it impossible for the marriage to continue,” he said. “What is important is not the information in my possession. What is important is the information is no longer in my possession, that was sent to various individuals over the course of this process.”
“This proceeding will continue until all of that information, by agreement, is returned to the Jackson family.”
Asked by a reporter if he was making a threat, Jackson quickly answered, “Not a threat, it’s a promise."
Previously, Jackson had suggested that his wife had committed certain “acts” in the state of Illinois, and his attorney issued subpoenas to numerous individuals, including former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
McCarthy insisted he knew nothing about the case, and the subpoenas were held in abeyance. After court Friday, the former police chief’s lawyer suggested they consider the matter closed.
“Mr. McCarthy will not be responding to the subpoena,” she said. “Mr. Mcarthy has always contended and continues to contend that the people of Chicago have better things to do than listen to the Jackson divorce case.”
“The parties have agreed to attend mediation, Sandi Jackson’s attorney Chandra Walker Holloway told reporters in Washington, as her client nodded beside her. “And then if they’re able to resolve the case that would be wonderful for the parties, and they’ll be able to handle this privately and control the outcome of the case.”
“She’s very pleased now that the issue of jurisdiction has been resolved.”