Skakel lawyers deny rift story
By Peter Moore - Greenwich Post
Attorneys for both Michael and Thomas Skakel have denounced an article which
appeared in Sunday's New York Post, describing the two brothers as being
involved in a bitter feud perpetuated by the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley.
According to the story, the two have barely spoken in years.
"Total garbage," said Emmanuel Margolis, Thomas Skakel's attorney upon being
asked about the story's credibility. "Unfortunately there are people in your
profession [journalists] who will make up a story."
Margolis added that he telephoned Thomas Skakel after the story appeared to
see how the New York Post may have obtained these claims. According to
Margolis, the older brother did not know.
Michael Sherman, Michael Skakel's attorney who drove him to the Greenwich
Police headquarters last week to be booked for the murder, was equally
adamant. "I agree, Tommy and Michael do get along."
Michael Skakel, 15 at the time of the murder, flew north from his home in Hobe
Sound, Fla. last Wednesday to surrender to police and face charges that he
beat Martha to death with a golf club on the night of Oct. 30, 1975. He is
presently free on $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in juvenile court
in Stamford on Feb. 8.
The New York Post article, written by Daniel Jeffreys, states: "Living under a
cloud, Martha Moxley's murder haunted the Skakel brothers for 25 years,
carving a rift between them that occasionally bordered on hatred, friends and
The article continues: "Thomas Skakel -- the suspect for two decades in the
brutal 1975 bludgeoning of the pretty 15-year-old girl in Greenwich -- and
Michael, his troubled youger brother, have barely spoken for some time."
Margolis refuted the story's credibility, "They are on speaking terms; they
are and they have been."
He continued, "It's the kind of thing that's been going on with this case for
20 years. Anytime anybody reports of a new sensation or speculation, I'm never
surprised and I check it out and it proves to be absolutely baseless."
Greenwich Post spoke with Thomas Skakel Monday at his place of work in
Massachusetts, where according to a family friend, Skakel is a public
relations specialist. Skakel agreed to talk to a reporter at 1 p.m. Tuesday,
but then called to cancel the interview the following morning, saying he was
going to be "out of town" for a few days. He did not leave a telephone number.
Repeated calls to the residence of Rushton Skakel, Michael Skakel's father and
neighbor in Florida went unanswered.
Tim Dumas, author of "A Wealth of Evil," a true crime account of the Moxley
case said that sources have told him that the "whole family" gathered in
Florida for a legal briefing before Michael Skakel was arrested.
Margolis said Thomas Skakel was distraught over Michael's arrest.
"He was very sad and disappointed that [Michael's arrest] happened. He really
feels grief about this for his brother and his brother's family."
But Margolis also said that his client finally felt exonerated as a possible
suspect. Until the mid-1990's, Thomas Skakel was the only Skakel considered a
suspect in the murder.
"He and I take this as a clean bill of health," Margolis said. "It's a relief
for him to know that he's not involved."
Sherman added that the Skakel family was coping with Michael's arrest
appropriately, but gave few details.
"They're all looking forward to a final resolution of this."
Rushton Skakel's attorney, Richard Lubin did not return phone calls seeking
comment on the Skakel family status. Lubin lost a battle in court last year to
prevent his client from testifying before the case's grand jury, in light of
alleged mental incompetence.