Two recent alleged domestic abuse cases by people closely connected to Gov. Gavin Newsom rather quietly made the news.
Joshua Schiller, brother-in-law to Gov. Newsom, was arrested on Thursday for alleged domestic violence in Ross, Calif., according to a statement provided to Bloomberg Law by the Ross Police Department. Schiller, son of Boies Schiller co-founder Jonathan Schiller, and a partner in the law firm, was arrested and booked at the Marin County Jail, and the case was referred to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office.
Schiller’s wife is Melissa Siebel Schiller, sister of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and sister-in-law of California Governor Gavin Newsom. The Schillers provided a statement to Bloomberg Law through their lawyer Douglas Horngard:
“This is a private matter between us,” the couple said. “We love and respect each other. We are partners and will move beyond this together.”
The California-based Horngard said he expects the charges against Schiller, first reported by The American Lawyer, to be dropped.
“This was a misunderstanding,” Horngard said. “There was no instance of domestic violence.”
Notably, “The victim had visible injuries that were minor in nature and did not require immediate medical treatment,” the statement said.
In December, while Californians were locked down under stay-at-home orders by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Nathan Ballard, advisor to Newsom, was charged with domestic violence for allegedly attempting to suffocate his four-year-old daughter and for pushing his wife into a glass door at the Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa Valley.
This only piles on to Newsom’s troubles after attending the birthday party for advisor Jason Kinney at the swanky French Laundry restaurant in November, while the state was in lockdown.
Ironically, Ballard wrote a preachy column in 2019 about “what it takes to be a rad dad,” for lifestyle website Better, before being charged with domestic violence for”‘trying to suffocate his daughter with a pillow and pushing his wife into a glass door,” the Daily Mail reported recently. Here’s what else the Daily Mail reported:
- Nathan Ballard, 51, faces two felony domestic violence charges in Napa
- Last month, he allegedly attempted to suffocate his daughter, 4, with a pillow
- He is also alleged to have pushed his wife, Mara, into a glass door
- Mara told officers that Ballard had consumed ‘a large amount of alcohol’
- An attorney for Mr Ballard called the charges ‘unsubstantiated allegations’
- Last year, Nathan Ballard penned an essay about being a ‘role model dad’
Better added this disclaimer to Ballard’s article: On December 3, 2020, a report in Politico revealed that Nathan Ballard — who is mentioned in this article — was arrested on domestic violence charges. We were unaware of the allegations until this date.
The Globe has been told that Gov. Gavin Newsom also has a tempter, and throws things at staff when triggered, particularly ahead of his press conferences.
In Ballard’s column at Better, he wrote about the importance of being a good role model as a father. “[Children] are more likely to mimic your behavior than to blindly follow your rules,” he wrote. “I aim to be more like a trusted advisor to them instead. When they are grappling with a decision, I like to ask Socratic questions to help them reach a conclusion on their own.”
A comment on the Daily Mail article was particularly poignant: “Most abusers think they’re pretty amazing partners and parents. Complete disassociation from reality.”
Some psychologists say men who batter their wives often feel justified in their behavior and that society is unfairly persecuting them for their actions. “In my opinion, they (batterers) are not cold, but more likely seething with distressing emotions and out of control,” said Dr. Ola Barnett, a researcher at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. “They may well have a limited conscience.”