Ever since rumors about Molly Shattuck’s sexual misconduct with a 15 year-old boy surfaced in mid-October, families in the North Baltimore community where Shattuck lives have expressed shock and dismay…along with distorted versions of events.
News of the sexual relationship was the worst kept secret in town for the last few weeks. Talk of Shattuck’s arrest (which proved to be premature), of her lock-up in a Delaware jail (false) or of her enrollment in rehab for sex addiction (also false) ran rampant. News organizations, including Baltimore Fishbowl, were privately taken to task — and accused of being “paid off” by the wealthy Shattucks — for not reporting on what many believed to be fact. (We were waiting for official word from Delaware authorities.)
“When is fishbowl going to report the latest on this “iconic” public figure???” wrote Barbara, a commenter on the Baltimore Fishbowl last Saturday. “Shame on you, Molly, for presenting yourself as an ‘advocate’ for children and playing the ‘religion card’ over the past year or so.”
Even before the rape and unlawful sexual conduct counts were brought against her by police yesterday, members of the community, who sat on boards, drove through carpool lines and watched lacrosse games with the bubbly blonde, were weighing in on the jaw-dropping news.
“What was she thinking??” said one woman who knows her from committee work at the Baltimore School for the Arts where Shattuck, 47, was on the board. “This is shocking even for her.”
Shattuck served on committees for the United Way of Central Maryland and the American Diabetes Association, among others. In 2012 she was one of The Daily Record’s Maryland Top 100 Women award-winners. Last May, The Girl Scouts honored her with a Distinguished Women Award. She has resigned from all of her boards and committees, The Baltimore Sun reported last night.
Molly Shattuck has been a high-profile and, at times, controversial Baltimorean ever since she married executive Mayo A. Shattuck 17 years ago. (They officially separated in the summer 2013, their friends say, but only filed recently for divorce, according to public records.) Thought of as a trophy wife by some, she gained a reputation for attention-seeking — a trait that raised eyebrows in the world of corporate wives and civic volunteers she inhabited once she married the former CEO — when she became the oldest cheerleader in the NFL at nearly age 40 and took a spot on reality show “Secret Millionaire.” Meanwhile, Mr. Shattuck, 59, attracted a different kind of negative attention during their marriage as the head of Constellation Energy Group, then the corporate parent company of public utility Baltimore Gas & Electric, keeping her in the public eye.
She endeared herself to a small circle of friends but at a time of crisis, has few sympathizers outside that circle (at least we could find few…if you are a sympathizer please let us know in the comments). Her three kids and the teenage victim? That’s a different story.
In this community of travel lacrosse teams and baseball leagues, many have brushed up against one or the other of the two families involved, and everyone hopes the children can recover.
“I just feel so sorry for the kids,” said one mom. “Can you imagine?”
“Yeesh, what a mess,” emailed another. “Poor kids.”
Indeed, many families whose children are friends with the Shattuck children are ready and willing to protect them. Their father called the parents of the children’s friends when rumors first surfaced to ask for support at this difficult time, said one woman he called.
“She really loved those kids,” she said. “And she was a good mom. That’s why it is so sad.”
As for the victim’s family, they are keeping a low profile and have the law and the community on their side to protect their privacy.
But for the alleged perpetrator, the gossip goes on. Since the story broke, speculation has moved on to whether Molly Shattuck will serve time, go penniless, retain custody of her children and more. Events like this are life changing not just for circumstances, but for relationships, too.
“My husband has forbidden me from speaking to her,” said one former friend. “There is a line you cross, and I am sorry, but there is just no going back.”
When the Delaware police released the booking photo of Mrs. Shattuck, she reflected nothing of the “Vibrant Living” brand she worked so hard to cultivate. Her long white-blonde hair tied in a bun, she wore no make-up, glasses, and a tiny cross dangling from her high-neck collar. Her face bore the signs of a woman half-crazed, wholly distressed. All vestiges of vibrant living were gone.
“She had everything,” said one acquaintance upon seeing her picture. “Why did she throw it all away?”