In 1995, Zac Parrish pressed assault charges against his stepfather, Ted Rollins, for a beating that took place in Franklin County, North Carolina, when Parrish was 16 years old.
In 2012, Zac Parrish denied the beating ever happened.
Why the change in stories, especially when you consider that North Carolina court documents show Ted Rollins was convicted for an assault that occurred on September 9, 1995? To top it off, Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins (Zac Parrish's mother and Ted Rollins' ex wife) described the beating in considerable detail for a videotaped interview we conducted with her--and nothing we've seen in the public record conflicts with her account.
We don't mean to be overly harsh on Zac Parrish because he clearly has been victimized--used literally and figuratively as a punching bag for Ted Rollins. In addition to the 1995 assault, we know that North Carolina social-services officials received a report in 1993 about a possible dysfunctional and damaging relationship between Ted Rollins and Zac Parrish.
But why did Parrish respond with anger and profanity when I contacted him a few months back and requested an interview via telephone? (You can hear the conversation in a video at the end of this post.) After Parrish had refused to be interviewed and hurled insults my way, why did we have the following exchange? (Language alert, both in the following transcript and in the video below.)
LS: Why did Ted Rollins beat you severely when you were 15 years old?
ZP: Ted Rollins never beat me severely, Roger . . . get your fucking facts straight
LS: He didn't beat you?
ZP: No, unh unh, sure didn't.
LS: Really? Well, when you were 15 years old, I've been told, that you were beaten by Ted Rollins.
ZP: You've been told . . .
LS: Is that true?
All of this is an issue here in Alabama only because Ted Rollins filed a divorce lawsuit against Sherry Rollins in our state, even though she already had filed a divorce complaint against him and it had been litigated for three years in South Carolina, where the family had lived. As we have shown in a series of posts, a case cannot lawfully be heard in Alabama once jurisdiction already has been established in South Carolina--or any other state. That Shelby County Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson took the case, and issued a judgment that caused Sherry Rollins and her two daughters to wind up on food stamps, strongly indicates that someone caused Alabama's court system to be used in an abusive fashion.
Zac Parrish, in our conversation, repeatedly asked me why his mother's divorce case is any of my business. I stated that I live in Shelby County, and my taxpayer dollars are used to fund the courts, so it certainly is my business. If I were to answer that question again, I would put it in simpler, more direct, terms: Ted Rollins filed a lawsuit in Alabama, using public facilities and public officials and producing public records. All taxpayers in Alabama, not just me, help fund those public resources. So it should be of concern to all Alabamians how those resources are used.
Come to think of it, maybe I should have turned Zac Parrish's question around in this fashion: "Why is it that I'm concerned about what happened to your mother and half sisters in Shelby County court, but you don't seem concerned about it at all?"
Zac Parrish apparently views the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case, and everything associated with it, as a private family matter; perhaps that is why Parrish chose to deny the assault, which was a key event leading to the divorce. But Ted Rollins ensured that it would not be a private matter when he chose to file a lawsuit in a public forum and then refused to settle the matter, causing it to go all the way to a bench trial.
If I were in Zac Parrish's shoes, perhaps I would be agitated about press coverage of Rollins v. Rollins. If Parrish were in my shoes, perhaps he would understand why I have a special interest in the abusive use of Alabama courts--the very courts where my wife and I have been hideously abused. More importantly, perhaps Parrish would understand why, in my view, all Alabamians have a vested interest in the handling of Rollins v. Rollins and other court cases.
This much is certain from the video below: Zac Parrish is extremely angry about something. On the surface, the anger is directed at me. But all I've done is report accurately on injustices that have been inflicted upon members of his family in court. Assuming that Zac Parrish cares at least a little for his mother and sisters, he has no legitimate reason to be angry with me.
What do you hear in Zac Parrish's voice? I hear an anger that originates with Ted Rollins. But I also hear an attempt at deceit and misdirection, trying to deny an event that public records can prove took place.
Something complex and ugly is going on with Ted Rollins and Zac Parrish. The content and tone of this conversation makes that quite clear.