However, that public eye is barely interested. I have found three sources which say substantially the same thing: the Telegraph, the Times, and divorce-online.co.uk, and it's fairly clear that if Thorpe hadn't brought the internet into it, we wouldn't be hearing about it at all.
Allan met Sonya of Texas via the internet and, after a brief romance, she moved to the UK with her first daughter, Caitlin, (leaving another father behind), got pregnant again around April 2001, and they got married in September. Jacklyn was born in January 2002. By 2005, it was all over. The marriage is described as "unhappy" and the separation "very acrimonious with allegations on both sides". That last is a claim which could hide a multitude of sins. Nowhere are we told that Allan or Sonya was actually abusive, so what could this mean?
As I have often pointed out on this blog, all the custodial parent, i.e. the mother, has to do to get what she wants is to create acrimony. The courts react to conflict by isolating the children from it which means automatic reduction or cessation of contact with the noncustodial parent, i.e. the father. It does not matter who generates the acrimony, the father gets dragged along whether he likes it or not and becomes the other player in the logic of "it takes two to tango", no matter that the mother is the lead in this nasty little dance. Dad is frogmarched down a dark and bewildering corridor at the end of which, he gets to hand over his kids to the very person who made him take that walk.
All three sources cite Sonya's claimed "devastation" if she could not go back to Texas. "Devastation".
No comment is made of Allan's state of mind if his daughter is taken from him and moved across the world's second largest ocean. Allan's lawyer says that the court has made no consideration on the effect of the removal on the children, but claims that it is "in their best interest". Indeed, Thorpe codifies the court's logic in one simple sentence: "An unhappy mother often means unhappy children.” The equation is simple, the best interest of the children is defined by whatever makes mom happy. 'Bye dad.
So, Sonya becomes a serial father-destroyer and Allan is condemned to years of minimal contact through whatever means Sonya approves. She proposed contact plans involving the internet and direct contact, but there's nothing to force her to stick to that once she gets back to Texas, and every reason to suppose that they were offered simply to look good in the UK court. After a long and acrimonious battle in the UK, how cooperative do you think she'll be once back on her home turf in Texas?
Allan has until the end of school term to say goodbye to his daughter. After that, he is completely at Sonya's mercy. He and his daughter have been betrayed by his own country and now he's at the mercy of yet another court system which is not likely to take kindly to some foreigner who their own Texan gal says is no good. He has no way to make sure Jacklyn is properly treated, he has no influence on her education, no chance to expose her to his own culture, he is, in every way, completely disenfranchised, and Jacklyn is fatherless.
And all the courts care about are the problems caused by this new fangled internet thing.