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Steven Crowder's Divorce Trial
Sweet potatoes, holes in walls, and confiscating cell phones.
Steven Crowder is a long time political commentator. Well known for his “Change My Mind Series” where he sets up a table and debates with college students and others about politics. Crowder was a pioneer in the format of college campus debates, and also a long-time Texas resident. Crowder, who has a questionably lean voting history, has been relatively MIA in Texas politics, focusing more on national issues, as it’s obviously more popular.
Recently, Steven Crowder’s divorce became very public. After Twitter posts with accounts hinting at his divorce, as well as a very public fight with The Daily Wire, where Crowder published a private phone conversation, Crowder’s ongoing divorce was thrust more and more into the public eye.
Later, Ring Video footage of Steven Crowder and his wife, Hilary, was given to Yashar Ali to publish. In the footage, Crowder is seen arguing with his pregnant wife. You can read Ali’s full article on the video here:
In the video above, Steven states the following:
He’s demanding his wife do “wifely things.”
He says that if she “walks out” he can’t go to the gym, visit his parents, or call his friends(what?), seemingly because they only have one vehicle.
He refuses to let her take their only car, so when his wife says she’ll call a friend for a ride, he demands that she call an Uber instead.
He tells his wife he doesn’t love her.
He tells her that in order to prove she’s “committed” to him, she must walk their dog and put on gloves (to administer their dogs medicine).
Many responded to the video, including Candace Owens, who called Steven Crowder a monster.
We’re firm believers that there’s always two sides to every story. So with Steven’s divorce proceedings happening in such a public manner, we decided to attend the public hearing in Denton County yesterday in order to provide additional transparency. Without our reporting, it would be only Steven Crowder giving his side of his divorce case.
We’ll begin by prefacing this with the fact Steven Crowder himself not only made multiple video broadcasts about his divorce, but also called for the unsealing of all files related to his divorce, including mental health history, depositions, and any motions or sanctions from Texas courts.
Steven Crowder has a large platform which includes friends, staff, and other popular figures speaking on his behalf. We think it’s important to cover this case, as his wife, Hilary, has no platform. Steven also has a known history of allegedly silencing and crushing former employees, or anyone speaking ill of him or standing in his way.
The following will contain our notes from the trial in a relatively rough format. The notes, after a point, are from the best of our ability, as one of Steven Crowder’s four lawyers accused us of audio-recording the court proceedings and the judge had a sheriff confiscate the phone we were using to take notes.
There’s a lot of notes, and we’ve highlighted the portions we deem interesting.
Court proceedings occurred in the Denton County 16th District Court around 2pm on 6/22/23. Steven Crowder is asking for full custody of the children.
Judge begins by noting that numerous motions have been filed by both sides and is “dismayed” by the volume of motions. Notes they only have two-and-a-half hours for court today.
Steven Crowder’s legal team cites discovery issues. Immediately motions for the courtroom to be sealed for the benefit of the children.
Editor’s note: Sealing the courtroom is a motion to remove everyone in the court unrelated to the case, including the public and any media.
Hilary Crowder’s lawyer states they filed a motion for confidentiality. Notes that this divorce is a high-dollar case. Notes that Steven Crowder has four lawyers while Hilary only has one.
Regarding the motion to seal the courtroom, the judge states it is an odd request.
Steven’s legal team cites their reasoning for the request is because the divorce case has gone viral, and the public has unusual interest in the divorce.
Editor’s note: Steven himself is responsible for a large amount of the reason his divorce went viral. On Twitter, Steven asked for medical records, mental health records, etc. to be released publicly.
The judge states that Steven Crowder is a voluntary public figure in regards to the motion to seal the courtroom due to public interest.
Hilary Crowder’s attorney states that Hilary is not a public figure, and has no public social media presence. States that any danger to the children is self-created by Steven Crowder, and Steven is trying to weaponize events. Notes that Steven chose to make the divorce public. Hilary’s lawyer confirms no threats have been made to their children and the worst that has happened was that a sweet potato was mailed to their house. States that Steven has made enemies with his public statements.
Judge rejects the motion to seal the courtroom and states the public has a right to know.
Steven’s legal team begins, and starts with concerns about business documents being made public, noting that many documents have confidentiality agreements in them. Bill Richmond identifies himself as the business lawyer in Steven’s four-man legal team. States that he is present to address confidentiality issues, and a lot of their concern surrounds the social media events that have happened
Judge agrees that she doesn’t want business contracts “out there” in the public and that they have the right to protect their business contracts.
Bill Richmond states many concerns about business contracts being shared with Hilary Crowder and her lawyer, citing concerns regarding the Ring Video previously released to the public.
Hilary Crowder’s lawyer states that Hilary did not disclose any information to the media or public. He says no marital counseling information was given out, and that he needs access to the business documents for his case.
Bill Richmond of Steven’s legal team states he doesn’t have a problem allowing them to view business documents, but just doesn’t want Hilary’s team to possess them.
Hilary Crowder’s lawyer reiterates that Steven is the one that went on social media to talk about the divorce case.
The judge states she wants a gag order put in place for both parties, saying she does not want either party posting anything on social media, including tweets, etc. She says she has no control over outside parties. A gag order is imposed for both Steven and Hilary Crowder.
Steven Crowder’s lawyer states they’re concerned the family will release information to other people who will attack Steven’s reputation and character. She states that Steven must respond because it hurts his reputation. Steven’s lawyer then motions to me and says that she is concerned that I’m media and taking notes on the trial.
Judge notates that if Hilary or Steven release any case info that she’s holding them responsible. Reiterates that she can’t control what the media reports. Notes that the public has the right to know and that a president of the United States is currently in court being tried in a very public fashion. She continued, saying that we are in a free country and the media has the right to report.
Steven Crowder’s legal team states they’re still concerned about Hilary going to media.
Hilary Crowder’s lawyer responds by saying that Steven is the one creating media attention and that Steven is talking out of both sides of his mouth.
Judge states she is putting her foot down on a gag order, asking that a paragraph be added to the gag order that nobody involved in the case may discuss the divorce in any medium or fashion.
It was at this point one of Steven Crowder’s four lawyers got up and stood behind me and began looking over my shoulder at the phone I was using to take notes. I swiped my phone to a different screen to keep my notes private. Steven’s lawyer left, and later a court employee tapped me on the shoulder and told me I was not allowed to record the hearing. I replied that I knew and was taking notes and showed her my notes.
For those unaware, recording audio, video, or taking photos inside a courtroom is illegal in the state of Texas.
Moments later, the judge halted proceedings and called me to the front. The judge asked me to identify myself and asked if I was recording the proceedings. I responded that I was not.
One of Steven’s four lawyers stood up and said he “swore” that he saw me recording and saw “green lines” on my phone screen. The judge immediately motioned for the court bailiff to seize my phone and he began searching through my device.
The “green lines” Steven’s lawyer referenced are the battery life indicators on my devices.
Soon after the judge issued a 10-minute recess and I retrieved a pen and paper to take hand written notes.
The following notes are much shorter, and the best of our recollection as the proceedings moved very quickly. Also, there was so much interrupting and talking over each other from both parties that even the court reporter scolded the parties multiple times saying he was struggling capturing the testimony.
Discussion began regarding the issues with the Ring camera. The judge ruled to forbid Ring camera videos being submitted and Hilary’s team agreed to also keep the children in the Dallas-Forth Worth area as primary residence.
Hilary Crowder is sworn in and gives the following testimony:
Steven Crowder’s lawyer asks what Hilary does for a living. Hilary responds that she was last employed in 2018 and worked for Steven. She’s currently unemployed and a full-time mother.
Steven’s lawyer continues asking questions regarding Hilary’s lack of employment, including asking when she plans on getting a job. Hilary states she will obtain a job after the children are independent.
Hilary confirms that Steven has visitation/custody of the children on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and some Saturdays.
Hilary agreed that video footage of incidents between her and Steven does negatively impact the children.
Hilary states that Steven was never present during her in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, and also states Steven was absent for the birth of his children.
Hilary states that Steven has rage issues and punches holes in walls.
Hilary talks about an incident where two people wearing COVID masks rang the doorbell at their home and left a CVS bag filled with women’s stockings and feminine goods along with a note saying “Steven I’m a very big fan.”
Hilary states that Steven moved out of the home they shared together before the birth of their children.
Hilary states that Steven has both of his parents on his company’s payroll.
Hilary reiterates that Steven is the one who posted their children’s names and birthdates online.
When Hilary expressed safety concerns for both herself and the children, Steven responded that the kids can just stay with him instead.
Hilary confirms Steven sometimes has a personal bodyguard.
Steven Crowder is sworn in and gives the following testimony:
Steven confirms the quantity of paying subscribers for his company is in the six-figures.
Steven confirms that he is asking for sole custody due to Hilary’s erratic behavior.
Steven states that one of the things he views as erratic behavior is that she was responsible for leaving up their private information on Twitter. He states that it took Hilary several months to inform him about their address being posted on Twitter.
Editor’s note: This is interesting as Hilary Crowder has stated she has no Twitter account whereas Steven Crowder and staff have a very large presence on Twitter. It is odd, to us, that Steven would place blame on his wife, and cite this as “erratic behavior” for not informing him about their address posted online.
Steven also cites the leaking of Ring Camera footage to media as a sign of erratic behavior. He then states that it was her family who admitted to leaking the ring footage. He also finds it concerning Hilary has not publicly denounced the footage getting leaked.
Steven is asked if he ever said he “picked wrong” in reference to marrying Hilary. He disputes this initially, he is then read his statement from a video he posted on Twitter and agrees that he said it.
Steven says he had health issues which was the reason for him not being present at the birth of his child. He states that the surgery he underwent during that time was serious and even insurance covered it due to the severity.
Steven then states COVID rules at the time prohibited the number of people in the hospital during the birth of his children.
Steven states that there is a video of him at the birth of his children.
Steven states that he’s never posted photos of his children online.
It was at this point testimony from both sides ended. The judge said she was not inclined to change custody at this time and wouldn’t give a ruling regarding Steven asking for full custody of the children.
Later, the judge called us to the stand where we showed her the handwritten notes on our phone. She then confirmed we did not record any audio or video. We were allowed to have our phone back.
Again, we normally have no interest in discussing private matters of divorce in regards to public figures, we also have a no-children policy in our reporting regarding political figures. We made an exception in this case because we believe that our reporting provides balance in a situation where only Steven Crowder is able to give his side of the story.
We’ll continue to track and report on this case with updates.
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