|Steel manufacturing in China|
Upton, however, was much less talkative when we gave him an opportunity to discuss his divorce from Linda Upton, to whom he had been married for more than 30 years and who played a significant role in getting the family's steel businesses off the ground.
We contacted Bill Upton via telephone and requested an interview, noting that public records indicated Upton v. Upton had been decided based on a number of legal irregularities. Upton immediately became defensive and said, "There's nothing unusual about it at all."
That's a curious statement, given that Upton admitted in court documents to having an extramarital affair with Gincie Walker, a young woman who had left an abusive home in Shelby County and been raised as the Upton's daughter for roughly 10 years. Was Bill Upton saying there is "nothing unusual at all" about a multimillionaire business executive having sex with a young woman who had called him "Daddy" for about a decade? We also wanted to know how Bill Upton had received a highly favorable court ruling, despite egregious marital misconduct that, by law, should have given Linda Upton an upper hand in the division of marital property.
We wanted to know about these issues, but Bill Upton didn't seem anxious to discuss them. Here's how the discussion wound down:
"You had an affair with Gincie Walker, right?"
"Did you have an affair with Gincie Walker . . . is that correct?"
Bill Upton no longer was on the line. I called back and left a voice message, renewing my request for an interview and asking why he apparently had hung up on me. I'm still waiting for Mr. Upton to return that message. Bill Upton and Gincie Walker now are married.
|Gincie Walker Upton|
Small manufacturers say they have increased productivity to compete. . . . But small manufacturers insist labor costs are not relevant when in many cases heavily-subsidized goods from China have been sold in America for below what the local manufacturers pay for raw materials.
"Labor costs have nothing to do with it," said Bill Upton, president of Pelham, Alabama-based Vulcan Threaded Products Inc. Vulcan makes steel bars and rods for everything from air conditioning units to sprinkler systems, is the last American firm of its kind, and won a trade case against Chinese competitors in 2008.
"We have a lean, efficient operation and we can compete against anyone in the world on a level playing field. But there's no way we can compete against finished goods that cost less than the raw materials," Upton said.
Bill Upton becomes a veritable Donald Trump when asked about steel-industry issues. But ask him about a divorce case where he received a judgment, thanks to Private Judge Gary Pate, that clearly was not supported by facts or law . . . and well, the silence becomes deafening.
Want to experience the difference? Please check out the video below of our aborted interview with Bill Upton on issues connected to his divorce. Below that, is an interview with Upton about China and steel dumping. We invite you to check it out and note how it differs from the first video: