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Ewell describes him as an egomaniac who lives his life in a series of ongoing sagas. The drama he creates feeds his ego and shapes the story of his life, she says.
"When you live with someone like that, it's not fun when you challenge them," she said.
"[Bruce McMahan is] basically a very wealthy stalker," Shani Robins tells New Times. Robins had been McMahan's latest target in court and is Linda's new boyfriend. He says McMahan is a bruiser in court "because he has the resources to do it."
In May, Bruce McMahan sued Robins in Superior Court in Connecticut, alleging wrongdoing when Robins accepted some donations Linda made from McMahan's National Cristina Foundation. (That lawsuit was also dropped as part of the September 13 settlement.)
Consistent with his litigious past, McMahan fought his daughter and son-in-law's lawsuits aggressively. But they fought back with what appeared to be solid evidence.
Court records show, for example, that in Sargent Schutt's lawsuit against McMahan, his attorney had a "rabbit" vibrator Schutt found in Linda's luggage tested for DNA. According to the results, skin cells from Linda and sperm cells from her father were found on the device and its black cover. Five other vibrators were also sent to labs for testing.
Through a spokesman, Bruce responded that he believed the evidence was "fabricated" but didn't elaborate.
Also, after spending more than a decade integrating her into the family, Bruce has now questioned in court records whether he is Linda's father.
Ex-wife Melinda Ewell tells New Times that McMahan never had any doubt Linda is his daughter. "There was never a question," she says. "She looks like some of the other kids. He had no qualms."
Some of McMahan's extended family did have their doubts. His eldest daughter, Alison McMahan, says she never trusted Linda. "All I can tell you is that nothing Linda will tell you can be believed," she writes New Times in an e-mail. "She is an unreal person who does not even know herself."
Ewell can't quite believe the man slept with his own daughter.
"How much of this is reality, I don't know," Ewell says. "There is a far greater chance that this is in her head. Way, way back when, I noticed she was very possessive of him. At my son's wedding eight to ten years ago, she really hung around him, and if anyone else was trying to talk to Bruce, she would try and get his attention. She would move in. From what I have observed, money appears to be the motivator."
Bruce makes that allegation in his lawsuit against Linda and Schutt, claiming he was the victim of an extortion scheme. But he apparently never made a formal complaint to law enforcement about the conspiracy against him. One of his attorneys, Angela Agrusa, said a San Diego prosecutor considered the extortion allegations while investigating charges that Schutt had hit Linda during a July 2005 argument over who owned the computers containing the e-mails and photos detailing Linda and McMahan's love affair.
But the case was dropped, Agrusa said, because Linda decided not to testify against Schutt.
Sargent Schutt filed to divorce Linda in July 2005, and the proceedings are pending. She is now dating Robins, also a psychology PhD, and the couple is expecting its first child, a son, in January.
Bruce has reconciled with his fifth wife, Elena.
Three days after New Times called Bruce McMahan for comment on August 28, he hired Sitrick and Company, a public relations firm whose logo states, "If you don't tell your story, someone else will tell it for you." In another public response, Bruce launched www.wspdfm.com, a now-defunct Website asserting that Schutt and Linda had invented their allegations in an effort to extort money from him.
On September 13, after the five court cases were settled, Sitrick and Company e-mailed New Times this statement:
"The parties to this litigation, Dr. Bruce McMahan, Linda Marie Schutt, Sargent Schutt, Major Schutt, and Shani Robins, have resolved the differences among them and agreed to dismiss all pending legal actions. This was a family dispute and, as is the case with many family disputes, charges were made in the heat of the moment with little thought given to the pain they might unfairly or unjustly inflict. All of the parties involved and their counsel sincerely hope that there will be no further media coverage of this family matter and have agreed to make no additional comment about the resolution of their differences."
In other words, Bruce and Linda want their trips to London to be their secret again.