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- April 16, 1990
- Vol. 33
- No. 15
Baby Jessica's Parents Declare Their Marriage Past Rescue
Following the rescue, the McClures were caught up in an avalanche of publicity that might have swept away many a more experienced couple. Donations poured into Baby Jessica's trust fund, now reportedly valued at $700,000, but some contributions came addressed simply to the family, and those ended up in Chip and Cissy's personal account. The two plunked down cash for two new cars and a house in the suburbs. Meanwhile, Chip started his own tractor rental business, a lifelong dream. Cissy fulfilled herself by studying cosmetology part-time at the Aladdin Beauty College.
The Midland rumor mill had to hire an extra shift to deal with gossip about the marriage going bad. While some of that may have been sour grapes, the divorce papers provide plenty of real grist. The McClures each ask the court to prevent the other from communicating in a vulgar and obscene manner, placing anonymous and offensive phone calls, and from molesting or kidnapping Jessica.
"I guess they just didn't have a love that was going to last forever," says Chip's older sister, Ceidi Proctor, 40. "They just never had a private life." Jessica, whose custody will be shared by her parents, seems to be handling this new crisis well. "She's doing just fine," says Ceidi. "Kids usually handle these things better than the adults."
Meanwhile, Midland is once again a magnet for the media. Some reporters, jokes one local attorney, "are trying to find out whether Chip told Cissy to put Jessica down the well or whether Cissy told Chip to put Jessica down the well. Think how many copies that would sell!"
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