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Jerry Remy on D&C: ‘We always felt that it was a disaster waiting to happen’

03.28.14 at 10:02 am ET
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NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning amid calls for him to leave the booth following accusations that he repeatedly enabled his troubled son, who now sits in jail charged with the murder of his live-in girlfriend, Jennifer Martel. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Remy confirmed Friday that he plans to be in the booth at Opening Day in Baltimore on Monday and going forward.

“I can understand the people that are upset with it. I certainly understand that, and I expected that,” he said. “I knew for a long time that there was a story that was going to come out that was not going to be kind to us by any means. But that all was taken into consideration before I made my decision back in, I guess it was February, that I was going to come back.

“I did come back for spring training, I felt very comfortable doing the games. That was important to me to be able to be in the booth and have some peace and doing the games. There was never any question that I was going to go into the season. People made a big deal about coming home for a week. Well, there were reasons for that, that was prearranged. I’m just ready to go on to Baltimore now and begin the season.

“I don’t know what else could possibly come our way, I have no idea. I don’t see how it could get worse than it’s been this week. But with the support of the Red Sox and NESN, my decision has been made to go on. Hopefully in time, those who don’t like the idea will come around. But if not, I certainly understand how people feel.”

Added Remy: “I understand the other side, I certainly get it. It’s what I expected when I made my decision before. I just feel that I have to go on with my life in some form. And this is what I still enjoy doing.”

A story in Sunday’s Boston Globe detailed Jared Remy‘s long history of run-ins with the law — mainly domestic abuse allegations — which somehow only resulted in one short jail term as the high-priced lawyer hired by the Remys was able to keep him on the streets.

Remy explained that he and his wife, Phoebe, tried in vain to get their son treatment for his mental issues.

“I told you in the past, the last time we talked, yes, of course we did [enable him],” Remy said. “What are we guilty of? We’re guilty of getting him lawyers when he was in trouble. We were well aware of what was going on with Jared. And we tried our best to do everything along the way to get him as much help as we possibly could. And then for a stretch it seemed like he had his life in order. And then of course everything caved in.

“Did we enable him? Yes. We paid for lawyers, we paid for psychiatrists, we paid for the help that we thought he needed. I think a lot of families would have done the same thing. Others would not have, others would have thrown him out on the street. But that just wasn’t our way. Now when you look back on it, what was the right thing to do? I don’t have an answer for that. I really don’t have an answer for that.”

Remy said he never considered cutting off contact with and support for his son.

“No, it was not an option. He was our son. He’s our son, and we tried to do the best that we possibly could for him,” Remy said. “Unless you go through something like this — I guess, like I said, people have different ways of dealing with their own personal families. I was in a position where I felt that we could deal with it in a proper way and get him the proper help, get him the proper — believe me, we tried everything we possibly could. The stuff about buying cars and this and that, yeah, you look back and say maybe should have done things differently. But the fact is he was a kid who couldn’t hold on to a job. He couldn’t do this, he couldn’t do that.

“And one thing you’ve got to keep in mind through all of this is that we wanted the best for our granddaughter, too. He was living with Jennifer and our granddaughter was there. We didn’t want to see her thrown out in the street and begin her life in a horrible way. Obviously it’s horrible now. But that’s just the way we felt. That’s the type of people we are. Some people can accept that and some people can’t accept it.

“Looking back, I don’t know if I would do things differently. I really don’t. I think that we did the best we possibly could. We both are loving parents. We thought we were trying to do what we could to get this kid on the right track. And we failed. We failed. It’s that, plain and simple. There’s no other better way to describe it than we were not successful in that. If people don’t understand that, there’s nothing I can do to make them change their mind. That’s their prerogative. That’s fine.”

Kristina Hill, the next-door neighbor and friend of Martel’s, called WEEI’s Mut & Merloni show early this week and said the Remys discouraged Martel from extending the restraining order against Jared shortly before she was killed.

“Nonsense,” Remy said. “She can call the station and talk for 45 minutes if she wants. But it’s nonsense. We did everything in our power to try to help Jennifer be safe. We encouraged her to leave. We offered her a safe haven. I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of some of these accusations, but I can tell you that Phoebe and I did everything we could to make her safe and to encourage her to leave, to get out, to offer her a place to stay. It just didn’t work out that way.”

The Remys and the Martels came to an agreement on Wednesday regarding custody of Jennifer and Jared’s 5-year-old daughter, Arianna. The Martels have custody, while the Remys are allowed visitations rights. Remy was upset with implications that he would allow Arianna contact with Jared.

“I read a column yesterday that comes out and says we’re bad parents and we shouldn’t even be allowed to see our granddaughter, because what will we do, have pictures of our son all over the house? We’re not stupid. That kind of thing, it’s that kind of reporting that is disgusting to me. What are we going to do, bring our granddaughter into our house, show her pictures of daddy? Give me a break. We’re going to have her on the phone with him from the can? Give me a break. We’re going to take her for visitations to jail? Give me a break. We’re not stupid, either. It’s those kind of things that upset me a little bit.

“The other stuff is fact. The other stuff is what it is. But when you start saying things like that … You can call us the worst parents in the world, I can accept that. You can call me an enabler, I can accept that. But when you start talking about how we’re going to treat our granddaughter toward her father and say foolish, stupid things like that, that is absurd. That is something we would never, ever expose her to. He has shown no desire — when he calls, he makes sure he calls at times when she’s not visiting. There’s been no contact, there will be no contact.

“Those are the kind of things that get under my skin a little bit. The rest of it is just what it is.”

Following are more highlights from interview.

On if he and his wife felt personally threatened by Jared: “No, we did not. But I’ve got to tell you, we always felt that it was a disaster waiting to happen, something around the corner. And that’s why we always tried to get him as much possible help as you can. I said before, sometimes it takes two to tango, and a lot of times the tango wasn’t there. I just, I really don’t know what more to say about that particular subject. I can’t say if I had to go back and do a certain thing different that I would.

“It’s been awful. It’s been absolutely horrible. It’s horrible for two families. It’s not something that I would wish on anybody that has to go through this with children. Because when you have children — and you guys do — you know how you feel about them. You try to do the right thing, and the right thing doesn’t always turn out right.”

On if he considered cutting off his son and not hiring an attorney: “Here’s the deal with that: If you do that, people say … Supposedly I’ve got a ton of money. You wouldn’t be able to get a public defender, because you’re supposed to be able to afford his defense. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

“So he has representation, he deserves that. Whether it makes it to trial or not, I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. It may not even make it to trial. We don’t know what’s in his head.”

On Jared’s previous girlfriends refusing to testify against him after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting them: “No, I don’t understand [their mindset]. I will say one thing about the [Boston Globe] story: You have to consider some of the sources in the story that came out. With that said, they all had the option of moving forward. There was no holding back from this end of the family on anything to do with anything in his personal life. There was none of that. If any one of them wanted to move forward, as some did, there was no reluctance on our part to have him do that. They had every right in the world to do that.

“It’s exhausting, and I don’t know really what more to say about it, except that it’s been a terrible time, a terrible tragedy. We’ll never get Jen back. Do we reflect on ourselves as parents and what we could have done? Of course we do, and we do it daily. But we somehow have to find a way to move forward. And the way I’m trying to move forward is do what I do. I think it’s important for me to do that to show my grandson and eventually my granddaughter that you’ve got to fight a little bit, you’ve got to continue on. As I said, Red Sox Nation will make the ultimate decision. They will make the decision, believe me. I said I work for smart people. They’ll know. And if they know, they’ll say, ‘See ya.’ ”

On inaccuracies in the Globe story: “I’m not going to get into the whole story and what’s false and what’s not false, but I can tell you that a lot of the statements, a lot of the things that came out in there were not accurate. Consider the sources. I’m not blaming the writer at all, he had a job to do, but there’s a lot more that we know than he knows. So, I would just leave it at that.”

On if he pressured the Red Sox to give back Jared his job after he served time in jail: “Absolutely not. … I have no idea [why the team rehired him]. That’s something you would have to ask whoever he was working for at the time. That’s a part of it I didn’t even hardly remember. You’d have to ask whoever was in charge of hiring and firing at the time. But I can tell you that I didn’t go and request the job back for him.”

On if that was the only job Jared had: “No, he had multiple jobs, multiple jobs, but he just couldn’t hold them.”

On if the judges should have been tougher on Jared instead of repeatedly letting him off without jail time: “I don’t understand the legal system. I understand it a little bit better now, obviously, for the last couple of months than I did before. Could some of them have been tougher? Probably so. He did spend 81 days in jail. And we thought that was a wake-up call for him. And for a while it was.

“But their decisions on how they come to their decisions, I really don’t know about. That’s lawyer-judge stuff. If I’m guilty of anything it was getting him a lawyer. Then going through the process, and we accepted whatever the result was. Should one of them have put him away for a longer period of time? Only they can answer that.”

On if he remains in contact with Jared: “Yeah. We visit, we talk on the phone. He’s obviously very concerned about his daughter, his son. That pretty much takes up a lot of the conversation. But I’d like to leave the rest of it pretty much confidential. But he’s well aware of where he is.”

Read More: Jared Remy, Jerry Remy,
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