McMahan Family Values

He wriggles, squirms, and throws money around, but "H" can't make the tale about his seduction of "W" disappear.

After publishing Kelly Cramer's remarkable story "Daddy's Girl" two weeks ago, the most frequent question I've been asked about the tale of a Wall Street millionaire who married his own daughter is: How could Linda Schutt, a grown woman with a PhD in psychology, succumb to the seduction attempts of her father, hedge-fund manager Bruce McMahan, and participate in a years-long incestuous relationship with him?

Setting aside the curious notion that people don't seem nearly as puzzled by a filthy-rich financier sleeping with his own spawn, I have to admit that the question is a good one. Watching Linda in her video deposition, portions of which we made available on our website,, she appears to be telling the truth; she comes off as someone who was genuinely victimized. But we also published her e-mails, and in some of them, she sounds pretty enthusiastic about bedding her own dad.

Let me refresh your memory. Just a few days after their June 2004 "wedding" at Westminster Abbey, Bruce e-mailed: "Miss you W. Think nasty things about you all the time." Linda responded promptly, also using their cute abbreviations for husband and wife: "Mmm yeah, nasty is so good. You must have read my mind. What else can we say, we're H & W — that's the beauty."

Bruce McMahan and daughter/wife Linda McMahan Schutt at Westminster Abbey on June 23, 2004, after exchanging vows.
Bruce McMahan and daughter/wife Linda McMahan Schutt at Westminster Abbey on June 23, 2004, after exchanging vows.
The Abbey's Little Cloister garden is in the background, and the same bars can be seen in all three shots, including the one we published earlier, of their hands and their wedding rings.
The Abbey's Little Cloister garden is in the background, and the same bars can be seen in all three shots, including the one we published earlier, of their hands and their wedding rings.

Yes, eww. And for the lawyers among you, let me point out that those e-mails were entered as exhibits in a court document.

But getting back to our question: What was it about Linda that allowed her to participate in this kind of behavior? Oddly, a possible answer to that question may have come from Linda's half-sister, Heather McMahan, who jumped to the defense of her family's honor in a story in the New York Post last week.

"[Linda] was a very sexual person, like most McMahans tend to be. We have a pretty strong libido — all of us," Heather told the Post in a story in which she went on to describe her beloved half sis as a sexual freak show. At a party, for example, Heather said that Linda turned a goodbye peck into a Girls Gone Wild moment.

"She put her hands on both my cheeks and goes right for my mouth," Heather told the Post. "I pulled back, and she said: 'Wait a minute. If you don't let me kiss you on the lips, how are you going to let me kiss you down there again?'"

Now, keep in mind Heather told these things to the Post because she wanted to convince the American public that Linda and her father would never, ever engage in an incestuous relationship.

Let's break down Heather's reasoning: Heather assures us that Linda would never sleep with Dad — and she knows this how? Because Linda made sexual come-ons to her own half sister.

I guess that's the kind of logic that makes sense only in families who control more money than the gross national product of Uganda.

The Post featured Heather in two follow-up stories to their own splashy rewrite of Cramer's story, which they plugged on page one and slapped across pages 12 and 13 of their September 28 issue. (Although dated September 28, our story actually hit our website on Tuesday, September 26.) In both Post follow-ups, Heather questioned Linda's motives and suggested that Linda was lying when she testified, under oath, about sex with her dad and the wacky wedding at England's big church. (And the Post also mentioned that Heather, 44, is a sculptor, but I don't know how the venerable tabloid resisted mentioning that her short list of film acting credits includes appearances in Class of Nuke 'Em High and The Toxic Avenger IV, in which she played a character named — I shit you not — The Vibrator.)

The Post presented Heather's accusations as news, even though Cramer, in her original story, had already pointed out that family members said they doubted Linda's story. Heather didn't return Cramer's e-mail, but older sister Alison did. Cramer's story quoted not only Alison but also Melinda Ewell, one of McMahan's ex-wives, as doubting Linda's account.

Not that those doubts matter much. Go back and read the opening of Cramer's story in which she makes the point that Linda and Bruce kept their relationship secret from the rest of the family. When the clan gathered for holiday parties, for example, Linda moved the Cartier Trinity ring Daddy had given her to a nonwedding-ring finger, for the sake of appearances.

So it's little wonder that other family members are emerging today, saying they didn't know about Bruce and Linda's naughty nuptials. They weren't invited.

According to an e-mail we received, McMahan family members are telling one another in the wake of our story that Linda made up her testimony about the Westminster Abbey ceremony. As for the photo we printed of Bruce and Linda snuggling with the Eiffel Tower in the background, the e-mailer tells us it was from "a family outing with all of the McMahans in Paris."

But rest assured, Bruce and Linda were at Westminster Abbey, posing in photos with their new wedding rings.

We have an entire series of these shots, which we were able to confirm were taken outside the Little Cloister garden at the Abbey. In our original story, we printed only the most dramatic image: the close-up of Bruce's hand on Linda's, showing off their rings. To aid those McMahans who still doubt the truth, we've reproduced some of the other photos from the happy occasion on this page.

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Why'd you change the wedding ring picture to grainy black and white, from the original sharp color photograph?  Surely it wasn't so that it would match better with the other two photos you've produced, which are inexplicably low quality and black and white?


Is it possible that the two new photos look so bad because they're faked?  They certainly look like it: cutout images pasted onto a background, with color and sharpness changed to hide the editing.  


Are you a willing participant here, or are you just being duped by the accusers?