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Old 12-30-2017, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Who is this centerfold?

This story appeared on the front page of the Santa Fe New Mexican on December 29, 2017. It is a long read but worth it. Anyway, I will sum up. A former Miss August (“a long time ago, before risqué photographs were readily available on the internet”) was troubled by a stalker who broke into her house one night, beat her, and threatened her with a knife. This was in California. Since then she has suffered attacks of PTSD. She had a flashback recently at her home in Santa Fe. In the middle of the night, she ran out naked to a local hotel where she was given shelter. It seems that a man named McCord has tried to help her but she has had several of these attacks in his presence. He is now in legal trouble in New Mexico and Colorado because she accused him while under the influence of her condition.

So, we know that she was a Miss August before 1982. She is “statuesque.” The article refers to her as a former “centerfold” so the assumption is that the magazine is Playboy (but I have seen other modes identified as a Playboy Playmate who never were).

Here is the full article if you are so inclined:

The woman is statuesque, slender and teary-eyed. She says she has harmed the reputation and jeopardized the freedom of a man who has helped her through a series of ordeals. She once reigned as Miss August in a famous men’s magazine. This was a long time ago, before risqué photographs were readily available on the internet. Back then, being the centerfold in a magazine that sold millions of copies could make a woman a star. Doors could open to more modeling jobs or roles in television and movies. There was a dark side of the business, too.

A stalker pursued Miss August in her hometown of Hollywood, Calif., and eventually broke into her apartment. “He brutally hit me with his fist while I was sleeping,” she said. “He tied me up and cut me with his knife to rape and murder me. I was able to escape and run naked from my home to safety.” She said that nightmare of 35 years ago still figures prominently in her life in Santa Fe.

The woman has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Terrifying flashbacks, she said, have caused her to relive the attack. In the early morning hours of Nov. 13, the woman ran through the streets of downtown Santa Fe dressed only in her panties. Screaming, she banged on the locked door of the Inn of the Anasazi. She was intoxicated, but the hotel’s nighttime employee was kind. She gave the woman a blanket and a free room for the night. The woman begged the employee not to call police. That was a request the hotel worker could not honor.

Police officer Ian Freeman reached the hotel after 2 a.m. He wrote in a report that a hotel worker had told an emergency dispatcher the woman arrived naked and said her boyfriend had beaten her. An affidavit by Freeman seeking an arrest warrant is full of similar statements that he attributes to the woman. He says she identified Santa Fe real estate broker Shawn McCourt as the man who attacked her. The New Mexican typically does not identify victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and I am not publishing her name on that basis. By Freeman’s account, the woman said she was with McCourt in a building where he has a business office and they also kept separate bedrooms. Both the woman and McCourt say they were involved briefly, but their relationship for the last two years has been confined to the real estate business.

Freeman’s affidavit gave this account of his interview with the woman: McCourt called her vile names, grabbed her by her hair and dragged her down three steps leading to his bedroom. He elbowed the woman in the ribs and held her against her will. She finally escaped and ran through the streets to find help. Freeman in his affidavit did not mention that she had been drinking heavily and was panicked. McCourt said he considers this an unforgivable omission. So does the woman. She said she took antidepressants and drank to excess that night. She first had cocktails at the Inn of the Anasazi, then moved to other nightspots, including Geronimo, the upscale eatery on Canyon Road. She provided me with a copy of her bar bill from Geronimo. She had two Grey Goose martinis and three glasses of Pinot noir wine. “I am embarrassed by how much I drank,” the woman said. McCourt stopped by the restaurant to check on her. Concerned about her drinking, he encouraged her to call it a night, then went home. The woman eventually did so. There, she said, she had a flashback that was worsened by her use of alcohol and prescription medication. She ran outside nearly nude and tried to climb over a jagged fence. McCourt helped her down. Later, she ran out again, ending up at the hotel.

In the last two years, the onetime centerfold has been through a divorce, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the foreclosure of a $1.6 million home in Florida and two major surgeries. McCourt, she said, has been a good friend through it all. She gave me her medical records that show a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder linked to abuses during her childhood and the attack on her in Hollywood.

“For a long time, I spoke about the rape as though it was something that happened to someone else,” the woman said. “I was very aware that it had happened to me, but there was just no feeling.“Then I started having flashbacks. I would be terrified.” She likens these episodes to being caught in a riptide.

The woman said she had one of these panic attacks in the fall when McCourt accompanied her to a medical appointment in Durango, Colo. She said she tried to jump out of the moving car that McCourt was driving, attracting the attention of police. McCourt, 50, said he was so shocked he drove away by himself as police went to the distraught woman. He is charged with domestic violence in Colorado, and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 12. The woman is a witness in his defense. She previously told a judge in Colorado that McCourt had not harmed her, leading to the state dropping its order of protection that prohibited McCourt from being near the woman.

Santa Fe police discovered the Colorado case after the woman arrived at the Inn of the Anasazi in a frantic state. They have a warrant for McCourt’s arrest on charges of kidnapping, aggravated battery against a household member and stealing her rental car. The woman maintains McCourt only tried to help when she was in the throes of a flashback. She said McCourt, in his office in the building where each has a bedroom, heard her screams. “Mr. McCourt came to my aid,” she said. “He assisted me off a coyote fence. I had scratches on my foot, hands and head from climbing the fence.”

The woman has told this story to an assistant district attorney and also furnished him with her medical records. Prosecutors say women who have been battered often recant and stick up for the men who abused them. The woman in this case said she knows about those statistics. But she insists that McCourt is blameless, a man in a Kafka nightmare.

As for McCourt, he said police reacted to drunken woman’s statements without investigating. He said he first thought the charges against him would be dismissed as police reviewed the woman’s history and considered her intoxicated state. “The saddest part is I did everything to try to stop something like this from happening,” said McCourt, who for months had encouraged the woman to seek professional trauma therapy.

McCourt has been in contact with a public defender. “I’m not a wealthy man,” he said. But public defenders have hundreds of clients, so McCourt recently has tried to hire a private lawyer. He says he can’t make a living because of publicity the charges against him have generated. He also knows he could be arrested at any time. He has never talked to the police. His association with the woman is finished, though she says McCourt can count on her to vouch for him. “Mr. McCourt did nothing wrong. He never hurt me or violated me in any way,” she said.

Men used to line up by the hundreds to get her autograph. Now, all these years later, she’s under a lonely spotlight, trying to persuade prosecutors that McCourt is innocent. But a rapist from the 1980s still haunts her.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:14 AM   #2
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Victoria Cooke maybe?
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