Two years ago, when White Stripes frontman Jack White and model/songwriter Karen Elson divorced, the couple seemed to be on surprisingly good terms with one another, even going to the effort of throwing a party to celebrate their separation. However, that seems to be a thing of the past, as Nashville City Paper reports that Elson has filed a restraining order against her ex-husband. The two have been in a custody battle over their two children, Scarlett and Henry Lee, and Elson is accusing White of harassment.
The restraining order reportedly states, “Wife fears for her and the children’s safety as a result of this harassment,” and that, “This pattern of husband’s bullying wife into submission was a contributing factor in the demise of their marriage.”
Also mentioned in the document is an incident in which White asked Elson to contact their children’s school in order to have them removed from a class also being attended by another musician’s child. White accused the musician in question of “ripping off” his music. In another incident, White berated Elson for attending the wedding of a rival musician, who White also accused of “ripping off” his music.
The restraining order was served on July 22, and the next scheduled hearing in the custody case is set for Aug. 29. According to City Paper, “both sides have been working to settle the dispute privately.”
UPDATE: Per TMZ, the musician “ripping off” White’s music is Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Here’s an excerpt of an email from White, sounding pretty irrational and unhinged:
my concern with auerbach is because i dont want the kids involved in any of that crap. you aren’t thining ahead. that’s a possible twelve fucking years i’mg going to be sitting in kids chairs next to that asshole with other people trying to lump us in together. he gets another freee reign to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.