Ruby Franke‘s husband is making some shocking claims about his estranged wife and her business partner!
Ever since police arrested the the mommy influencer on felony aggravated child abuse charges, Kevin Franke has insisted he never knew about the abuse since the pair were separated, lived in different homes, and he “was not around the children” for months. But considering how viewers of Ruby’s now-defunct 8 Passengers YouTube channel have long been concerned about her strict parenting style, not all fans are buying it. Not to mention, one would think that at some point Kevin – as their dad – would have called or asked to see the kids, whether in person or over FaceTime! But we digress..
Regardless, Kevin maintains he had no idea what was going on. In fact, he is now saying he was “manipulated and deceived” by Ruby and her podcast co-host, Jodi Hildebrandt, in the months leading up to their arrest! During an appearance on Law&Crime’s Sidebar podcast Tuesday, Kevin’s attorney, Randy S. Kester, alleged his client found out Ruby and their children moved in with Jodi at her home in Ivins, Utah when his estranged wife reached out to him on the day of her arrest:
“She had heard what was going on and knew they were coming for her and called him and said, ‘This is an emergency,’ even though she hadn’t reached out to him for months and months and months before that. She reached out to him when it was an emergency, knowing she could rely on him to help his kids.”
During their conversation, the 41-year-old social media personality revealed she had been living in Utah for months with Jodi. As for why they were living completely separate lives for so long? Kevin’s attorney explained that the two broke up over a “difference of opinion about their family,” especially when it came to parenting, and “their own personal dynamic.”
When Ruby and Kevin decided to separate, she thought it was a good idea for him to have no contact with their children. She allegedly believed “everything was better off with him not in the home” and things were “blissful” and “so much better without him.” Huh. Wonder if the kids felt the same way…
Instead of fighting her about the matter, Kevin respected her wishes as he hoped doing so would “preserve his marriage.” And THAT’S supposed to be why he was never in touch with their children. Kester added:
“He’s getting raked over the coals for [not reaching out to his kids] but what people don’t understand is he was trying to preserve his marriage, he was taking direction from her and she was the one who asked him to leave the house, indicating that in order for him to get back together with her and be a family, she was requesting he leave the home and he not contact them or the children.”
But like, did this not raise any red flags for Kevin? Did he question whether this was even in the best interest of their kids? The attorney swore – once again – Kevin did not know their children were in trouble, alleging Ruby was emotionally “controlling him because she knew how much he valued their marriage and valued their family and it was his desire to be able to get back with the family and preserve his marriage.” If Kevin suspected any abuse was happening, Kester said the father “would have been down there in two seconds.”
Looking back, the lawyer shared that Kevin only “came to his senses about how he’d been manipulated and deceived” when he talked to Ruby before she was taken into custody. However, he is not placing the blame for the manipulation solely on the YouTuber. Kevin slammed Jodi for ruining his family, as she allegedly has done “to a number of families” before.
Kester explained that “physical abuse had never been part of their family” at first, but “a lot of the dynamics between [Kevin] and his wife changed after Jodi Hildebrandt partnered up with Ruby.” He explained:
“She’s manipulated him, in conjunction with Ruby. That she’s been kind of the spearhead toward essentially destroying his life and destroying his family. I think it was a team effort, but Jody being the spearhead.”
This hasn’t been the first time the couple has faced criticism over their parenting techniques though. Eyebrow-raising videos have resurfaced since Ruby’s arrest, including one where she admitted to making her then 6-year-old daughter “go hungry” as punishment for not bringing her lunch to school. But when asked about the allegations, Kester noted the complaints were investigated and no charges were ever filed afterward:
“There hasn’t ever been an allegation that Kevin Franke has ever physically abused his children. All these parenting complaints, those were investigated. I think it’s a subjective thing, parenting. While there may be come criticism on their parenting being too strict or too demanding, that’s been looked into.”
He continued, pointing out that Kevin had never been accused of abuse:
“Kevin Franke has never been accused of physically abusing anyone, including his children, nor have there ever been any allegations that he was doing that. He doesn’t condone that kind of thing. He’s a good dad. He simply does not condone physical violence or that kind of treatment of children or anyone.”
And moving forward, Kevin wants to distance himself from Ruby and reunite his family. Kester revealed the dad has been “consulting with professionals” and working to get his kids back:
“We’re working in conjunction with the state of Utah, through the juvenile court, to work with them, take direction from them about what they feel would be necessary to heal his family, and try to figure out a way, if possible, to reunify the family. He’s working hard to do what he can to restore his reputation after it’s been destroyed and damaged and he’s getting raked over the coals by all this, when in fact, he himself was to some degree a victim of these psychological and mental manipulations that were perpetuated against him and his family by Jody. He’s just trying to restore some normalcy to his life … and keep this family together and make sure they thrive and recover from this abuse.”
At this time, the kids are reportedly still with the Department of Child and Family Services. We’ll have to see if they’ll end up back in Kevin’s care, but he seems determined to reunite his family amid this legal matter. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know.
If you have sincere cause to suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org.
[Image via Moms of Truth/Instagram]