- Tonya is not a vindictive person, and as one who has had a number of conversations and personal visits with her (including one a week ago Sunday), and I definitely believe her when she says she wants to get the issues with Joal and Sarah behind her;
- Tonya also has a real "fairness" gene and she clearly does not want to be engaged in the tit-for-tat actions like what Joal and Sarah did during the criminal trial and the custody hearing. This is a woman who does care about her children, and she is willing to do what it takes to give them as normal an upbringing as possible;
- Joal certainly would be valuable as an "inside" witness to the goings on not only with the defendants in the lawsuit, but also about the roles played by Chris Arnt and Tim Deal. (As far as I can tell, Len "The Man" Gregor was added only to provide comic relief to the prosecutorial proceedings with his "boobs and thongs" outbursts as well as his head-scratching final comments about fishing lures; "judge" brian outhouse was supposed to play the "straight man" role, although he spent most of his time getting instructions from Arnt and ultimately made an utter fool of himself.)
I say that because if the attorneys for the defense (Lamb, etc.) were to claim that Joal and Sarah were lying, then they also would be tacitly admitting that their OWN clients had lied, given that all of them were in this case together. Here is the problem: if the defense were to say that Joal was making up the allegations against Tonya out of whole cloth, then what does that say about their own clients, since they were making the same accusations against Tonya as well?!? As you can see, things would get very, very sticky.
Instead, the defense would have to make the bifurcated claim that Joal and Sarah were lying about Tonya but that their clients were telling the truth. That dog won't hunt, folks. There were too many phone calls and too much contact between Joal, Sarah, and the others bringing the charges for people to claim that Joal was lying independently.
Now, having Joal on one's side can be perilous. After all, he IS a pathological liar and while he claims to have "seen the light" in the current situation, I also know that people like Joal never accept defeat. Instead, they engage in what might be called a "tactical retreat." Furthermore, I can see him on the stand claiming that Tonya really was a child molester, but that since the courts had spoken, he had to do what he had to do.
As for the "Today Show" appearance, Tonya did well, Joal clearly equivocated on Matt Lauer's question about whether or not he believed Tonya was guilty of child molestation, and Lauer never followed up on anything important. Somehow, I was not surprised.
(The news story that was in the segment was typical of the really bad coverage "Today" gave the story last spring. with the reporter still trying to give the "both sides" approach, which was ridiculous, given what we know of the case. And if I have to watch Jerry McDonald's crocodile tears performance one more time, I'm throwing a shoe through my computer screen.)
At least this chapter is done. By the way, having met both of Tonya's children, I can say without any doubt that Tonya's daughter did not show any signs of the trauma one might expect from a child who was brutally molested by her mother. As I see it, the girl was doing what the significant adults in her life were telling her to do, and she obeyed.