Last we heard about widow Nikki Araguz, she lost her fight to get her husband’s death benefits because Texas Judge Randy M. Clapp declared her marriage to Thomas Araguz void on account of Nikki’s being born a male. Upon hearing the judge’s ruling, Nikki’s mom Sheri Taylor Bockelman wrote Judge Clapp a letter mentioning the prosecuting attorney’s conflict of interest and Nikki’s “birth defect.” Wha??!
During Nikki’s campaign to become mayor of Wharton, Texas, prosecuting attorney Frank Mann allegedly leaked e-mails revealing Nikki’s sexual operation in an attempt to smear her. Mrs. Bockelman mentions this as well as some other curious dealings in her letter to Judge Clapp. Here are the highlights:
I cannot comprehend how you could conclude that their marriage was “invalid” when CLEARLY Thomas Araguz III knowingly, willingly, and without any reservations or conditions, married Nikki and held out with pride to EVERYONE that she was his wife. His parents had NO questions or issues with Nikki until 1. Frank Mann [the prosecuting attorney] unethically violated their privacy with his venomous emails, 2. Heather in her attempt to squeeze more child support from Thomas (who had NO earned income) viciously shared Nikki’s HIPPA-protected and private information with Thomas’ family and 3. after Thomas’ death, when I SUSPECT attorneys (Frank Mann?) suggested to Heather Delgado and Simona Longoria that they could BENEFIT from HURTING NIKKI and DISHONORING THOMAS with these “frivolous” lawsuits. Apparently, their “idea” worked – they didn’t care about the children, or Thomas! They only wanted MONEY. And you ruled in their favor. I do not understand that…
Our daughter was born with a birth defect. I am her mother. I cannot control what a doctor erroneously “checked” on a birth certificate form in 1975. Her biological father was in the military, and he received orders to go overseas on the day she was born. We moved from California to Texas so I could be near my parents – Nikki was only a few weeks old. Her brother was 2. Her father was a decorated Army Veteran, when he was killed in a car accident at age 21. That very day, I had called Fort Hood to discuss a birth defect that my baby had – Nikki. She was an infant…
The birth defect mentioned here probably refers to Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), when a person “has some or all of the physical characteristics of a woman, despite having the genetic makeup of a man.” It’s unclear how big a role Nikki’s intersex identity played into the court proceedings.
Nikki herself has said:
I am a heterosexual woman, who happened to have born intersex, and yes, I did have a transsexual medical condition, yet that has been treated and corrected. I urgently ask the gay and transgender communities to stop inaccurately identifying me as “transgender” because this falsehood is continuing to make my battle even more difficult. The media has picked up on this mislabeling, and it may lead to the assassination of transsexual and intersex marriage and rights in Texas. The clueless appropriating of my situation is dishonest and hurtful. My birth defect is a medical condition, and has nothing to do with “gender and lifestyles”.
Nikki has worried that the constant mislabeling of her as “transgender” has made it even harder for her to pursue her court case and defend herself in public. But Mrs. Bockelman worries more about the prosecuting attorney’s conflict of interest:
Again, I find it interesting that the plaintiff attorney, FRANK MANN, had represented Nikki and Emilio Mata in their bankruptcy while THEY WERE MARRIED! Mr. Mann took their money for legal fees, never questioned whether Mr. and Mrs. Mata’s MARRIAGE was “valid” – so yet, he represents plaintiff in this lawsuit against our daughter, when she married Thomas, and he died? Besides Mr. Mann’s conflict of interest, and questionable motives, it seems a double-standard on his part to recognize Nikki’s marriage to Emilio Mata, but try to invalidate her marriage to Thomas Araguz. Money… Nikki did not file ANY actions – the plaintiffs brought this devastation on her, and ALL OF US with hurtful allegations and these lawsuits.
It’s unlikely that Mrs. Bockelman’s letter will have any affect now that Judge Clapp has issued his ruling. However, her letter could come into play in Nikki’s appeal and in Nikki’s reality show, if it ever gets made. The fact that Nikki got arrested for felony theft immediately after the judge issued his ruling could put a damper on the show’s taping. On the other hand, it could make the show even more awesome.