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Dia, Buona & Amir

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The Not-So-Literary Heiresses (that's us!) are two sisters and their cousin who share a passion for reading. We are nieces of multi-awarded Filipino author Jose F. Lacaba and the late Eman Lacaba, who is considered the only poet warrior of the Philippines (and whose biopic is being released late this year!).

You would think being related to literary geniuses would sprinkle a little bit of writing talent and ambition our way, but one of us is a bank executive, another one is a broadcast tech on a cruise ship, and another one is in business school. The one thing we've all inherited is an undisputed love for books. This blog is our way of sharing our passion. More?

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02 October 2013

Tour Stop: Convicted Character Interviews

Caution: These Character interviews contain spoilers, if you have NOT read Consequences and Truth.

***

A Series of Interviews in response to my 2011 Article about Anthony and Claire Rawlings which appeared in Vanity Fair
By: Anne Robinson
I met with Anthony and Claire Rawlings in their home for a Vanity Fair interview in February of 2011. On that cool February morning, I met with who appeared to be a loving newlywed couple.
Flash forward...now it’s October of 2013, and the world is discovering that all was not as it appeared. My Life As It Didn’t Appear by Meredith Banks, (which was originally scheduled to be released by Parrott Publishing on October 1 but has been delayed again due to legal battles) will eventually hit the market. The release is imminent and the snippet alone has revealed a peek into the depth of misinformation in my original interview!  
My goal with these interviews is to attempt to set the record straight.
This time I’m not working with Mr. Rawlings or Ms. Nichols. Why? Because they are both missing!
Ms. Nichols was last seen September 4, and Mr. Rawlings was reportedly in a plane that made an emergency landing on September 21. He has not been seen or heard from since.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is more involved than a soap opera.  Over the next few days, I will be releasing my “unauthorized” interviews with friends, family, and employees of these two individuals and hopefully setting the record straight.
Please join me in learning the real story...what were these two individuals hiding from me AND from you in 2011?

CATHERINE/ERIC


Today we planned to speak with Catherine London and Eric Hensley. They are both longtime trusted employees of Anthony Rawlings.  As personal employees, they also worked for Claire Nichols, while she and Anthony were married. They would undoubtedly be able to give us insight into the real life of Claire and Anthony.

Unfortunately, our efforts were met with a resounding “no.”  Apparently, all of the people employed by Mr. Rawlings’ estate have signed strict “Do Not Disclose” clauses. The only information we could gather was the confirmation of the last date Mr. Rawlings was on the estate, September 20.

EMILY VANDERSOL

Instead, we proceeded with our interview of Emily Vandersol, sister of Claire Nichols. Mrs. Vandersol was very anxious to speak with us. She has been very busy speaking with each and every news outlet that will listen.

Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Emily Vandersol.

Emily, may I call you that.

Yes, please.
Emily, you are visibly distraught over your sister’s disappearance. Can you please tell us about the last time you saw her.
I saw Claire about a month ago. She came to visit my husband and me in Indiana.
Did she come alone?
She was with a body guard. That was what she said, but my husband and I knew the truth.
Mr. Rawlings didn’t come with her?
No! We aren’t, I mean weren’t exactly on speaking terms with him.
Isn’t it true that someone hurt her in California?
Yes, and that’s why she said she had a body guard. I believe it was because Anthony Rawlings didn’t trust her. The man is incredibly controlling; I’m sure this “body guard” was the only way Claire was allowed to visit us—her own, and only, family!
So, you don’t believe this man was hired for her protection.
I believe he was a spy, reporting every move that Claire made.
Why do you think that?
It was how he treated her when they were married. Well, kind of.
What do you mean, kind of?
When they were married, Claire never would have been allowed to travel to Indiana alone, or with a body guard.
You keep using the world “allow.” Do you believe that Mr. Rawlings truly had that kind of control?
I do!
Emily, have you seen what’s in the book that’s about to be released?
I haven’t seen Meredith Bank’s words, but I know, what’s in the book. I know, because my sister told me. It’s all true.
If it truly contains some of the maltreatment that I’ve heard, why would Claire go back to Anthony Rawlings? Why would she move back in with him?
I don’t know. I can’t explain it. Sometimes I think she isn’t thinking clearly.
Did you ever witness the things Claire told you about?
No. Whenever we were all together they both put on a perfect performance; however, things always seemed odd, like there was more. My husband even tried to question her about it before the wedding. Claire became upset by his questions and asked me to ask him to be nice. For Claire, we were.
Do you believe Mr. Rawlings was involved in your sister’s disappearance?
Without a doubt! I know he was. Before she decided to move back here, she told me specifically that he “took” her, “kidnapped” her, the first time, and she was afraid he may do it again. I promised her that I would have the police knock down his door if she ever disappeared again. I did. As soon as I hung up the phone from Anthony, I called the Iowa City police. They did nothing! Oh, they went to his house and asked a few questions, but you know how it is with people with money—multiply that by a billion! No one would touch him; he owns that whole town, probably the state and country! Now, he’s missing, too. I just know it’s related. I keep praying that she’s safe, but I fear she isn’t. I’m afraid that she finally realized what a mistake it was to go back to him, and he lost it. I have begged for the police to take dogs out to that estate and sniff around. What if my sister is buried out there somewhere? What if we never know?
Mrs. Vandersol ended the interview by asking us to publish the information for the missing person’s hotline. There is also a reward set up by Anthony Rawlings for information leading to Claire’s safe return.  If you have any information please contact the numbers below.

HARRISON BALDWIN


Thank you for talking with us, Mr. Baldwin
Please, I’m Harry, and I’m happy to do anything to help find Claire.
Harry, please tell us about your relationship with Claire Nichols.
I met Claire when she came to live with my sister. We became friends. I haven’t spoken with her since she moved back to Iowa.
I’d love to clarify a few of your comments...can you define “friends”? I believe I’ve seen more than one picture of the two of you together while she lived in California. I think I even read that the two of you were living together?
Claire lived with my sister Amber. We all live in the same condominium building; however, we never lived together in the same unit.
There was a time when Claire couldn’t walk to the curb without someone taking her picture. Yes, we ate at local restaurants and were often photographed.  She was a fun person to be around, and we enjoyed one another’s company—friends.
And yet, as friends, you haven’t spoken in months?
My number hasn’t changed.
All right—enough said. Let’s discuss her past. Are you familiar with the book that is about to be published.
I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard about it.
Do you believe the information is true?
Since I haven’t seen it, I’m not sure. I know that her first marriage had issues.
“Issues”? Do you believe that Anthony Rawlings was abusive?
I only know what I’ve been told. With that information, I worry about Claire now. I’m concerned for her safety.
Ms. Nichol’s family seems to believe that Mr. Rawlings’ disappearance is connected to Claire’s. Do you agree?
I don’t want to believe that Claire would take off and scare her family after all they’ve been through. So, if she didn’t leave of her own free will, then I believe foul-play could be involved. It does seem suspicious that he too is missing.
How did Claire end up hospitalized before she moved back to Iowa?
She was attacked by a man. Security saved her before she was too badly hurt.
I believe I read that you were the hero who saved her.
I got to her only seconds before security. It was the guard who shot and killed the perpetrator.
Ms. Vandersol mentioned that Claire was pregnant. Do you know if that’s true?
I would assume that if anyone would know the truth about that, it would be Claire’s sister.
So, you’re confirming that she’s pregnant.
I’m confirming that she is missing and we need to do anything possible to assure that she’s safe. If what Emily says is also true, then we should all be more concerned, not just for Claire, but for her child.
Do you truly believe that Mr. Rawlings would harm his child?
I’m not sure what Mr. Rawlings is capable of doing. Thank you for keeping Claire in the spotlight. I must be going.
One last question, Harrison, are you seeing anyone new?
New? No, I’m not.
Thank you. (I almost asked him if he wanted to see anyone, and then I remembered I’m married!)

COURTNEY SIMMONS
Courtney Simmons agreed to a brief telephone interview. She lives in Iowa City, near the Rawlings estate, and is admittedly a good friend of both Claire and Anthony.
Thank you for speaking to us today.
I’m concerned about my friend. If this will help find her, I’m willing to talk.
Why are you concerned?
Because she’s missing.
Do you feel that Anthony Rawlings could be responsible for her disappearance?
I do not. Right after Claire’s disappearance, my husband and I spent a lot of time with Anthony. He was inconsolably distraught. You may have noticed, he’s also promised a large reward to information leading to Claire’s safe return.
Mrs. Simmons, you spent a great deal of time with Claire before, during, and after she was married to Anthony Rawlings, isn’t that true?
I did.
What is your opinion regarding the impending publication of Meredith Bank’s book, My Life As It Didn’t Appear?
I think it is a travesty. I know, from Claire, that she did not want the book published.  She even went directly to the author and asked that publication be stopped.
Why do you believe she wanted publication stopped?
Claire was, I mean is, not comfortable with all of the attention that surrounds Anthony. She didn’t want it or like it. The press has not been kind to her.
I noticed that you didn’t say that she wanted it stopped because the information was false.
I haven’t read the book. I don’t know if it’s false or merely embellished. From the media ruckus that’s going on, you’d think there was no other news occurring. I wish they would spend more time looking for Claire than gossiping about her.  That is why I agreed to this interview.
For the record, Claire Nichols is a beautiful, kind, loving person. She needs to be found and brought home safe. She does not need you, Meredith Banks, or anyone else’s disparaging remarks that are tarnishing her reputation.
Isn’t it true that your husband is employed by Rawlings Industries?
It is.
So, wouldn’t it also be true that if you were to confirm the information in Meredith’s book that your husband’s job may be at risk?
Ms. Robinson, I am speaking to you to help my friend. Do NOT turn it around to mean anything more! Good day.
Thank you.

MEREDITH BANKS
It is a great honor to have the opportunity to speak one on one with Meredith Banks, the author of the soon to be released My Life As It Didn’t Appear –Memoir of Mrs. Anthony Rawlings.
Meredith, this must be a very busy time for you.
It has been wild.
Well, everyone is talking about your book! And I must admit, I feel duped!
I’m sorry?
Your book sounds like it will null-in-void my exclusive article from 2011.
If it makes you feel any better, your article is mentioned in my book.
Hmmm, yes, I guess that does make me feel a little better. Hasn’t your career been primarily in journalism?
Yes.
So, what made you decide to write a book?
Originally, when Claire and I began talking about her story, we planned on an article. Then it was a series of articles. Once I realized the magnitude of her information and the depth of her story, a book made more sense.
I believe I read that you received a handsome advance. Are you at all concerned that the book may be caught in legal battles for so long that no one will care to read it?
I would actually like to return my advance and stop publication.
Why?
Claire entrusted me with her story for one reason—we’re friends. She came to me about a month ago and asked me to bury the book forever. I would like that to happen.
I don’t think the world wants you to do that. People are very excited about what you have to say.
Before we began discussing her past, we made a legally binding agreement. In that agreement, it specifically states that if anything were to happen to Claire or others, whom she listed, the book will go into publication. Since she has disappeared, that clause has been brought to light. Parrott Publishing is ready to release, as soon as the courts put a stop to the Rawlings attorneys’ grandstanding.
Do you believe in the accuracy of your work?
I do.
Could it be possible that Claire Nichols was lying to you? Perhaps to get back at her rich ex-husband who left her penniless?
It could be possible; however, I feel unlikely. Claire was eloquent and brave as she relayed the history of her past relationship with Mr. Rawlings. I don’t believe she could be that good of a liar.
What do you want to accomplish with this kind of a tell-all book?
Like I said, I’d like to stop its publication. That doesn’t seem to be possible; therefore, I hope to accomplish bringing the attention of the world on my friend who’s now missing. I hope that as the world reads about her difficult past, they help to bring her home.
Home?
Do you believe after all that she told you, that she wanted to be back in Iowa with Mr. Rawlings?
I do. When she came to see me last month, Claire was the happiest I’ve ever seen her. Despite their past, they’d reached a new level of togetherness.
I don’t mean to be argumentative, but could it have all been an act? I mean, could this all have been a ruse to trick Mr. Rawlings into allowing her back into his life to then publicly disgrace him—as he’d done to her?
I don’t believe so.
But, it could?
No. I believe every word I wrote and I believe that they had overcome.
And, as long as she is missing, we will never know.
Then, I hope as your readers read this interview, they take the time to say a prayer for Claire’s safe return.
Thank you, Meredith. Good luck with your book.
Ms. Robinson, I’m hoping for no publication. Luck is not what I need.

The Consequences Series






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