The mother-son grudge match of the century — a decades-long spat between the heirs to National Enquirer fortune — is heating up again. This month, Paul Pope, the son of the tabloid's founder, asked a court to amend a 2013 injunction issued by a court after he was arrested for allegedly harassing his mother, Lois. Now, Paul Pope wants his guns back.
The injunction dates back to 2013, when Pope and his mother were involved in a particularly ugly period of acrimony. As documented in a New Times story from the time, Pope had begun making accusations about his mother's handling of the family trust. He planned a tell-all and threatened to rip all the Band-Aids off family secrets. At the same time, according to the New Times piece, Pope learned his mother had taken out kidnapping insurance on his children — which he interpreted as a veiled threat.
As Pope and his mother traded accusations in courtrooms and in the newspaper, Lois Pope filed a report with police, alleging "on-going harassment and emotional distress" from her son. Court records say,. "Ms. Pope alleges in those reports she was threatened and harassed by her son for more than 25 years." (The mother, however, had never before alleged "physical abuse or threats of bodily harm," the son's legal filings claim.)
Nonetheless, in spring 2013, the younger Pope was arrested for stalking. As part of an agreement to drop the criminal charges, a judge ordered Pope to turn over all his firearms to a shooting center in Delray (if you read that New Times story, you'll see he had a lot).
Now, according to Paul Pope's attorney, Michael Pike, the son is asking for an amendment to the injunction ordered by the court —- an amendment that would let him have his guns back.
"The basis of the amendment to the injunction is to afford Paul his Second Amendment constitutional rights to carry and possess a firearm, so he can not only protect himself but protect his family," Pike tells New Times. "Paul is concerned — and this is all he can say about it now — there still exists the possibility of a kidnapping or ransom policy in connection with his children."
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When asked if the injunction was filed because of some specific threat or new information, Pike wouldn't go there. "All I can tell you is that we filed a motion."
If Pope's mother decides to fight the injunction, the matter will go before a judge for a hearing. "We are attempting to get a hearing; everyone who has been affiliated with the case on prior occasion has received notice of our motion," Pike explains. "They have an opportunity to object."
"I have not violated the injunction in any way, and I am legally seeking an amendment to the injunction to protect my Second Amendment rights," Pope says. "It's all in the public forum, and it is legally supported."
He goes on: "We intend to prove the arrest was wrongful and not predicated on anything other than hearsay."