Jewish Telegraph TUG-of-love mother Beth Alexander, who is fighting in Austria for custody of her four-year-old twins, now knows the source of the untrue story about her mental health. It was that which led to a court granting her husband custody of Samuel and Benjamin after a flawed psychiatrist’s report concluded that she was incoherent, inarticulate, had disjointed thoughts and was paranoid.
Now Mancunian Beth, 29, who is divorced in Jewish law from her Austrian husband Dr Michael Schlesinger, has confirmed what she had suspected for the past three years — that her former Viennese best friend, herself an Orthodox mother of five, had tricked her into attending Ezra, a Jewish support centre, to discuss weaning her babies on to solids.
Unknown to Beth, the support worker had been briefed that Beth was suffering from post-natal depression, which she was not, and was the reason the appointment had been arranged.
In her friend’s presence, the worker confirmed that Beth was not suffering from depression. But in an emotional telephone conversation this week — their first contact for more than three years — the friend admitted that she had then told four other close friends that Beth did have post-natal depression and needed to support her husband.
The story spread throughout the close-knit Vienna Jewish community and gave Beth’s husband useful ammunition in his eventual custody case.
Her former friend says that not a day has passed that she has not thought of Beth nor regretted what she did. She added that she had no idea why she did it. As we reported last week, Beth is allowed to see her twins for just six hours a week and on alternate Sundays, but Samuel and Benjamin are not permitted to stay overnight with her.[...]