Kelly Landry and Anthony Bell: Why are we focusing on infidelity when we should be focusing on domestic violence?

Divorce is often not pretty, easy or simple. And we are seeing a nasty one play out in front of the media between Anthony Bell and Kelly Landry.

Whilst I feel so sorry for them that their divorce is so public and the media most likely being used as a weapon in it, I feel sorrier for Erin Molan, who has been dragged into it with accusations of having an ‘odd relationship’ with Mr Bell (which has been denied).

Previously having worked in the area of divorce and being well aware of the issues surrounding an AVO are, after reading yet another article today, I was baffled as to why there is so much focus on this supposed ‘odd relationship’ between Anthony Bell and Erin Molan when there are other important things we could and should be focusing on. What is currently in court now is an AVO hearing to determine if Kelly Landry needs protection from her partner. Not a hearing to judge Anthony Bell’s fidelity to his then wife. So why is an ‘odd relationship’ the focus?

It could be that in the proceeding of the night where a supposed situation of violence took place, a text conversation has appeared between Anthony and Kelly with accusations of something between him and Erin after seeing her run to him after the Sydney to Hobart race.

But when she was asked in court, “Did you suspect your husband of infidelity with that woman?”, Kelly Landry replied, “I suspected something was going on between them but not necessarily infidelity. I thought their relationship was odd.” So, he didn’t have an affair but possibly was flirting with Erin, but does that have anything to do with whether is he a risk to Miss Landry? Does violence and infidelity go hand in hand? As much as it might have been in the context of the night in question, in the public it seems to be so focused on. If he was capable of having an ‘odd relationship’ with Erin Molan, does that mean he was capable of harming his then wife?

Whilst it very might well be the media that is taking this so out of proportion because all involved come under the heading of ‘celebrity’, it also brings up the question of why we are so fascinated and focused on the idea of an affair, which is not even what is being accused here, only an ‘odd relationship’.

Since this is a case playing out in public that involves alleged violence, it would be better use of time and media space to be talking about that. How common is domestic violence against woman and against woman who are from more effluent families. Many people think that DV is something more common to those in lower socio economic areas, but it happens everywhere even amongst the rich and famous and is still so hidden by many due to shame and embarrassment. This is a great catalyst to talk about that. And what if it is being used as a move in an ugly divorce? Something that is also commonly done. Does this take away from the woman who truly need protection? What about the lawyers that tell their clients to seek an AVO to help them with their case? Or the woman who are not believed or who don’t get enough protection? Unfortunately, AVOs fail to adequately protect those who seriously need it and make the innocent scared enough to stay away.

There are so many other important issues that we need to be discussing instead of an ‘odd relationship.’

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