It all seems to be part of a pattern of abuse that started when Ted and Sherry Rollins got married without a prenuptial agreement. It continued through the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case, which I have called the worst courtroom cheat job that I've encountered. And it continues to this day, with Sherry Rollins struggling to meet expenses each month, leading to frequent threats that her utilities will be cut off.
Did Ted Rollins avoid having a son of his own because he did not want to be tempted to abuse his own flesh and blood? Was this part of the fallout from the documented abuse Ted Rollins heaped upon his stepson, Zac Parrish, who was Sherry Rollins' son from her first marriage?
Based on her statements to Legal Schnauzer, Sherry Rollins apparently believes the answer to those questions is yes. And that is ironic, Ms. Rollins says, because her husband's first marriage, to Monica Bulich, ended largely because she wanted to have children and he did not. From Sherry Rollins' statement to us:
His first wife wanted to have children with him desperately; he left her because of it. But he came and found me with two young sons.
During the second marriage, Ted Rollins became interested in having children of his own--but only under certain conditions. From Sherry Rollins' statement:
Then he said he wanted to have girls; he even went as far as to buy books about conceiving girls. He also talked with doctors on the executive committee of the cancer center at Durham about how to have girls. It was crazy.
Something must have worked because the couple eventually produced two daughters, Sarah and Emma Rollins. But along the way, Ms. Rollins gave birth to a son, who arrived about three months too soon. Both mother and child contracted e coli infections in a case that was so rare that Ms. Rollins' OB/GYN asked for permission to write a research paper on it.
The child's name was Jacob Benjamin Rollins, and he weighed about 1.5 pounds at birth. The little boy lived for about 10 days in the NICU at Wake Forest Medical Center. It's unclear how long he might have lived had Ted Rollins not intervened:
Ted made the doctor take the breathing tube out of his mouth and let him die. [Ted] did not want a son.
Sherry Rollins said the loss of Jacob Benjamin Rollins still haunts her. The child was cremated, and she has kept his ashes.
What's it like to marry into a wealthy family without a prenup? In the case of the Rollins family, it made Sherry Rollins the target of suspicion. That came, she says, mainly from John Rollins Sr. (Ted's father, now deceased); Michele Rollins (Ted's stepmother); Randall Rollins (Ted's billionaire cousin); and Henry Tippie, the family's financial guru who is based in Austin, Texas.
What kind of clout does Henry Tippie have in financial circles? The business school at the University of Iowa is named in his honor. He helps oversee the numbers for Orkin Pest Control, Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, and other Rollins enterprises. Says Sherry Rollins:
I read an article somewhere lately that Henry Tippie and Michele are taking money away from Dover Downs. I remember when it went public in 1993 or so, Ted's brother, Jeff, who was 24 years old, made $68 million on the IPO. Ted made somewhere near that, but Mr. Rollins held onto Ted's money as they did not trust his marriage with me, with no prenup in place. I was the only Rollins woman without a prenup. That made them all very nervous from the beginning and influenced how I was treated. They kept private detectives on our house, and especially me. In these families where money is the only respected thing, the new person walking in without their approval and the prenup is a huge threat to their income flow.
As CEO of Campus Crest Communities, Ted Rollins now manages a company that has attracted more than $400 million of Wall Street support. But the family hierarchy did not trust him to manage his own funds. From Sherry Rollins:
Ted was a very wealthy man when we were married. However, John, Michele, Randall, and Henry Tippie made sure that he did not control his own money because of me. I was viewed as nothing more than an ignorant gold digger. . . . Our lives meant nothing at all to these people, and now my daughters are in that same petri dish, watched as [possible threats] to the family wealth.
Previously in the series:
CEO Ted Rollins Got Married Without a Prenuptial Agreement To Satisfy His Taste For Adolescent Boys (2/7/13)
Ex Wife Of CEO Ted Rollins Might Have Been Warned That She Was About To Marry A Child Predator (2/19/13)
Age Difference Might Explain Much of the Ugliness That Led Rollins Divorce To Be A Colossal Cheat Job (2/26/13)
Why Do Ex Wives Of Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins Tend To Issue Warnings About Possible Child Abuse? (2/28/13)