Sean Parnell Shares Father’s Day Post: ‘Vindicated’ by ‘Family Court System’ After Custody Battle and Media Smears

Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell speaks ahead of a campaign ra
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Sean Parnell, a former senatorial and congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, revealed in a Father’s Day update that he has been “vindicated” by the “family court system” after a custody battle with his ex-wife.

Parnell, a combat veteran, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, wrote in a post on X that his “rights” had been “fully restored” and that since November 2023, he has had a “more favorable custody arrangement.”

The update comes after Laurie Snell, Parnell’s ex-wife, was given “primary physical custody and sole legal custody” of their three children in November 2021, according to CNN.

Amid the custody battle with Parnell and his ex-wife, the establishment media and his political opponent at the time, Jeff Bartos, began a smear campaign against Parnell and brought his children into the mix. Bartos was a former intern under former President Bill Clinton and ran as a Republican candidate.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article in September 2021 claiming Bartos believed Parnell was “unelectable” due to Parnell’s ex-wife seeking “protective orders” in 2017 and 2018. Both of the protective orders were “expunged by the court.”

Jonathan Tamari with the Inquirer wrote:

Bartos’ criticism centers on two temporary protection-from-abuse orders issued against Parnell in 2017 and 2018. Neither was extended after a full hearing involving both parties, and both were later expunged. It remains unclear what Parnell’s wife accused him of doing when the temporary orders were issued. Parnell and his wife are in an ongoing divorce and custody battle.

Word of the protective orders has been quietly simmering in political and media circles for months, but Bartos made them public for the first time in an interview Tuesday. He planned to release a memo Wednesday on the matter and why it should steer Republicans away from Parnell.

CNN likewise published an article stating that Parnell had “significant personal baggage that is raising concerns.” The outlet went on to allege that a “rival Republican candidate” had shared “details about Parnell’s ongoing and messy divorce and custody cases.”

After Parnell’s ex-wife was granted legal custody of their children, he revealed that he was “devastated” by the court’s decision and was suspending his senatorial campaign.

“On this Father’s Day, I wanted to share a significant personal update,” Parnell began. “After enduring two challenging years of navigating the hellscape that is our family court system I have been vindicated. Since November of last year, I have had a more favorable custody arrangement than ever before. All my rights have been fully restored. Shared legal and physical custody.”

Parnell added that “shortly” after this, he ended up adopting his wife Melanie’s daughters and that now he is a father “of 5 amazing kids.”

“Each moment spent as their father fills me with immense joy,” Parnell added. “The journey to this point has been arduous, and I never imagined I would have to fight so hard simply to be a father.”

Parnell continued to explain that “life often presents us with unexpected challenges, and as difficult as those can be, we have to face them with resolute spirit and hope.”

Parnell’s ex-wife had been awarded custody of their children despite there being inconsistencies in her allegations that Parnell had abused their two children.

As Breitbart News previously reported, Snell was questioned in court about “text messages she sent” to Parnell in June 2018, praising him for being a good father and asking him if he would watch their children months after alleged incidents of abuse had occurred.

In previous testimony, Snell claimed that “Parnell hit a child on the back and left welts,” while in another incident, she claimed that Parnell had “slammed a door that hit another child’s face and left a bruise.”

“To the fathers navigating the family court system who may be deprived of your children’s company today, I deeply empathize with your pain,” Parnell added. “It is a hell that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. Stay strong. If you can’t afford an attorney, so what. Represent yourself. As a father in family court the deck will always be stacked against you. There will be many unjust moments when you feel like quitting. Don’t. Continue to fight for your children and persevere through the difficulties. The hell will end. Just hang in there.”


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