Chris Norby, Former Assemblyman, Files for Divorce After Wife Requests Restraining Order
Reporting by R. Scott Moxley
Alleging physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the 36-year-old wife of former state Assemblyman Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) filed for a restraining order against him. The filing in Family Court in Orange is dated March 14, which is six days before 64-year-old Norby filed for divorce from his fourth wife Ziomara, also known as Martha, in the same courthouse.
The domestic violence restraining order points to Norby's most-recent arrest for allegedly roughing up his wife as his most-recent instance of abuse. Ziomara Norby claims with their 2-year-old son Johnny in the home, Chris Norby got upset and started arguing with his wife. She alleges he tried to take their son from her and pushed her with force with the side of his shoulder while they were in the kitchen.
Later, as she was watering the garden while holding the young boy, Chris Norby yelled so loudly that the child shook in fear, states the complaint, which adds the former politician told her children, who include another boy who is 13 and daughters ages 12 and 15, that they would have no where to live and would starve to death if they stayed with their mother.
Ziomara claims the first instance of abuse happened on Sept. 2, 2010, when she was two weeks pregnant with Johnny. She claims Chris Norby argued with her and pressed down on her arms and legs very hard, leaving visible bruises.
The commotion caused a gardener to call Fullerton Police, but former mayor of that city Norby was not arrested after he told responding officers Ziomara was "very emotional," states the complaint.
It goes on to allege Norby later went to the media to dispute the abuse his wife described to cops and then had her recant to the media, which she claims she did out of fear.
"He abuses me every day," she alleges in the complaint. "He insults me every day."
She claims the insults include being called a "fucking bitch," a "fucking whore" and being told she does not speak English well and that she comes from a "poor country" (Honduras) with "stupid people." She claims she is barred from speaking with her family, that her phone calls are screened and that the toxic household has left her children nervous wrecks.
Sexual abuse is alleged to have happened on Dec. 17, 2013, when she claims Chris Norby grabbed her shoulders, threw her to the ground, removed her panties and sexually assaulted her while calling her "a whore" and saying as his wife he can do anything he wants to her and that she deserved the abuse for being "a bitch." She claims she hit him in the face in the alleged attack.
On May 20, 2012, Norby allegedly broke her cell phone and had her sobbing in an argument over his tight control of the household money, reads the complaint.
Norby, a former high school teacher before he entered politics, has recently told his inner circle that he is innocent of his wife's allegations of abuse.
According to court records, a hearing on the restraining order is scheduled next Friday, March 28. No judge has yet been assigned to the divorce case.
Norby, a former Orange County supervisor, lost his seat in the state Assembly in 2012 to Sharon Quirk-Silva, a Democrat who served on the Fullerton City Council.
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: Paul Anderson, veteran courthouse reporter at City News Service, interviewed Norby and the former elected official adamantly denied his wife's accusations.
"My children and I have been subjected to a terrible injustice, but I am confident when the truth comes out it will be made right," Norby said. "I'm looking for that day and I know it will come. It may take awhile, but it will come."
Norby attorney David Borsari told Anderson his client was the only victim of domestic violence.