The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/26/08
Under the professional name "BT," Brian Transeau has produced Sting and Madonna.
He has scored major motion pictures like "Monster," "Stealth" and "The Fast and the Furious." He's written sound tracks for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 and other video games.
And his reputation for blending technology and rhythm have earned his albums a cult-like following.
But for the past few months, Transeau, 37, has gotten more attention for a bitter family feud with a Roswell woman, Karen Durrett, and her daughter, Ashley Duffy. It centers on the break-up of Transeau and Duffy's long relationship and custody and care of their 3-year-old daughter.
Atlanta has become the latest battleground for a struggle that's already wound its way through courts in Maryland and California.
Transeau failed late Tuesday to convince a Fulton County magistrate judge that Durrett should be kept away from his daughter. But Judge Karen Woodson gave lawyers for both sides a week to work out an order keeping the artist and Durrett apart.
"I'm asking everybody here to stop with all the blogs," Woodson said, "to stop all the e-mails, to have no have discussions at all. Nobody goes on 'Montel.' Nothing."
Transeau claimed Tuesday that he feared for his life from Durrett, a Roswell mother of three. He claimed Durrett had threatened him on the phone and posted disturbing messages on the Internet over the past several months.
Transeau and Weinstock said the artist has reason to fear Durrett because of a past that includes years of battering her children, extensive alcohol and drug abuse.
Durrett said her 27-year-old daughter graduated from Roswell High School before meeting Transeau at a concert and eventually moving to Los Angeles.
She testified that she has reformed her life and is now a church-going suburban mother who is no danger to Transeau.
"I did not make any threats to Mr. Transeau," she said, explaining that any blog postings that seemed threatening were just a mother venting anger and not real threats.
Her lawyer, Jason Coffman, argued Transeau was using his client's past as a smear campaign to settle personal scores, not because she's dangerous.
A California court ordered Transeau and Duffy to share custody last year, testimony showed. But in mid-December, Duffy disappeared with the couple's toddler daughter after a custodial visit in Maryland.
Six weeks later, federal authorities, Transeau and private investigators he had hired found Duffy, their little girl and Durrett in a rented apartment in California, according to testimony. Transeau got his daughter back. Duffy was arrested, and said she spent four days in jail before being released without charges.
The couple continue to spar over custody in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Transeau moved the battle to Atlanta because Durrett lives in Roswell.
Earliert his month, Transeau filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court against Durrett, accusing her of defamation and interference with custody.
The suit claims Durrett has damaged Transeau's ability to earn a living by waging a withering online attack on him and helping to arrange for Duffy to take his daughter earlier this year.
He claims some job opportunities have dried up because of postings Durrett placed on various blogs calling Transeau an abuser and someone who emotes "darkness and evil."