Larry Norman's tragic post-mortem

"Larry Norman's tragic post-mortem" Continued...

Issue: "Home again," July 12, 2008

Wallace said it was not her intention to reveal to Styll the reason for her call, although she knew she might have to. Eventually she did: "My thought at the time was, our son's life is worth more than your career."

According to Wallace, when Norman learned she had spoken to Styll, he broke the engagement and accused her of malice-an accusation he never retracted.

"Do you know the reason I've been poor for the last 17 years?" he wrote Daniel, then 16, in an email dated May 17, 2006 (one of many WORLD has seen and verified). "Because your mother called up the most important magazine in Christian music and told them something. . . . So the magazine talked to people all over America and I stopped getting concerts and I became broke." (Wallace estimates Norman's total financial contribution toward Daniel's upbringing at less than $10,000. Norman's own website claims that "[f]or years Larry has supported poor children around the world through different organizations such as Compassion and Christian Children's Fund" and that "[a]t the moment Solid Rock is responsible for 24 children.")

Norman's May 17, 2006, email also contains a tacit admission of guilt. "I fell in love with your mother," he wrote. "I didn't want to have sex with her in the first place. I told her we should wait until we were married but she kept pushing . . . and I finally gave in because I was the weaker person in the relationship." Norman blamed his weakness on the lingering effects of head injuries he had suffered in an airplane accident in 1978. "I had brain damage," he wrote, "and I couldn't find the words to argue with her about it."

In other emails, several signed "Dad," Norman wrote Daniel that he had told "everyone" in his family about his son-his brother Charles included.

Charles denies ever being told about Daniel by Larry. "I've been living in Europe for the last 12 years," he told WORLD, "and didn't talk to Larry much for the last five years or so." He also said that he has not seen any of his brother's emails to Daniel, despite having hired a lawyer to request proof from the Wallaces of their claims. "It would've been nice if Jennifer had sent me some of that stuff when I asked for any sort of credibility," he said. According to Charles, all Wallace has provided is a faxed copy of Daniel's birth certificate containing no father's name.

Charles is also skeptical of Wallace's motives. He believes that the filmmaker David Di Sabatino, who is preparing an unauthorized Norman documentary, is "behind" Wallace's belated public declaration and using it as "some kind of PR campaign, which would seem to serve the purpose of publicity for his movie."

"If indeed [what Wallace is saying] is true," he asked, "why didn't she bring this up when [Larry] was around to defend himself?"

Wallace, who eventually remarried in 2006, said she remained quiet because for years she "want[ed] to . . . hold on to the fact that there was still possibly some future [with Norman]," she said. "I was a little bit slow on the uptake there, I guess."

Daniel grew up expecting to be acknowledged by Norman, who in later years invited him to Salem, Ore., where Norman lived. "I'm so happy that I'm coming to see you," Daniel wrote Norman in a February 2006 email. "In a way it's just an empty gap in my heart that needed to be filled." The visit never took place.

According to Wallace, it was Daniel's reaction to discovering that Norman had broken one last "promise"-to include Daniel in his will-that prompted her to go public. "[I]n the throes of a very dark moment," she wrote in her April 28 open letter, Daniel "spoke of committing suicide."

The matter might have been resolved privately. After learning in March that Wallace had posted the first version of her allegations on a message board set up on Norman's official website for fans to reminisce, Charles and Kristin called her and said they would pay for a DNA test and fly her and Daniel to Salem to attend Norman's memorial service.

When the Normans were slow to follow up, Wallace took matters into her own hands. Besides circulating her April 28 letter, she and her husband hired a lawyer in Salem, who on May 23 sent Charles and Kristin's lawyer a letter requesting a three-way DNA test, a request to which, as of this writing, there has been no response.


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