Sunday, October 18, 2015



Why I left the sweetest-talking, most successful black lawyer in L.A.
by  Barbara Cochran Berry with Joanne Parrent

(Johnnie's lies extend to telling both his wife Barbara and mistress Patricia tall tales, accusing them to each other of things like physically abusing him, racism, and refusing to give a divorce.)

EXCERPT from PAGES 114 and 115

"When John and Patty went out together, they usually went to the movies or plays, but not to social activities. ...  He told Patty he was "shy" and didn't care for large social events.  All the banquets and parties he had to go to were just meaningless to him, he said, and he went only because I insisted or because I had already committed us to go without consulting him...  Of course, she had no way of knowing that in actuality it was always John who insisted that we go to the "meaningless" gatherings.  And while John didn't include this one additional factor in what he told Patty, most of the events were the kind of occasions where a black wife at his side was quite useful.  Black middle-class people can be fully as conservative as their white counterparts, and walking into one of those staid social functions and introducing his blonde, blue-eyed, mistress to all of the wives in attendance wouldn't have fostered the kind of impression of respectability John felt he needed to foster, and might even cost him business.  And he certainly couldn't have been able to cultivate the image of a bona fide defender of racial justice if word got around that he had abandoned his black wife for a white woman as soon as he found some success.,

As my children were learning about abortion from the TV soaps,  Patty was learning about it more painfully, from her relationship with John. She first discovered she was pregnant in the summer of 1968.  John insisted that she get an abortion because the timing wasn't right for them to have a child, since his divorce wasn't final yet.  According to John, I was still stalling and fighting the divorce, preventing him from obtaining the freedom he needed to marry Patty.  This was before Roe v Wade decision and abortions weren't easy to get, so John arranged for Patty to go to Japan for the procedure.  Of course, he was too busy to go wit her, but he sent along a doctor to look out for Patty....

The next day, as Patty lay on the table waiting for her abortion, John called and told her that she wouldn't ever have to do this again.  They would be married soon. .... John decided that it would be better for them if she sold her house in Eagle Rock and moved to L.A., closer to him.  He found an apartment for Patty only a couple blocks from his office.  He also decided that they should put the money Patty received from the sale of her house into a joint savings account.  He told her he would match the funds in the savings account; it would be their little nest egg when they got married.  Patty told me that he never matched the money in the account.  Instead, he withdrew most of the money and then eventually gave the drained account's passbook to their son, Jonathan.

(John would go from work to the house, spend time with Patty and her daughter by her husband, April, then go home to the house he shared while married with Barbara.  April has fond memories of him as a father figure.)

Page 117
In 1969, Patty found out I was pregnant.  She was at John's office one day, and one of his law partners had an 8 X 10 photo of me at the lavish baby shower for Tiffany.  I looked very pregnant.  The attorney didn't realize that Patty didn't know I was expecting a baby.  ... It must have been a particularly painful moment for Patty, coming so soon after she had been forced to go to Tokyo for an abortion, and she immediately confronted John about it.  Naturally, he came up with an answer, one truly worthy of John.  He told her that he hadn't mentioned that I was pregnant because it wasn't his baby.  He hadn't slept with me.  But I had been sleeping around, and the man who got me pregnant wouldn't marry me.  What was a good man to do?..... He swore on a stack of Bibles that this child was not his.

(John claimed he wasn't even at the hospital for the birth of his second daughter and the child didn't look like him.)

PAGES 129-130

"On a rare day in 1979, John came home early.  I could see he was agitated about something.  He waited impatiently until the children went to bed...  "I have a son.  His mother is Patty." ... I felt angry, then disgusted, then hurt and humiliated. ...  I decided then that I wasn't going to leave him right now, over this...

PAGE 136
"The year after Jonathan's birth, Patty moved to a house in North Hollywood, only a short hop on the freeway from our house on Hobart.  Patty gave John $10,000 of her money to put a down payment on the house, which he them purchased in both of their names.  Soon after Patty moved into the house, John applied for a loan for about $20,000 from the bank that held the mortgage on the house.  This increased the mortgage payment.  But Patty never knew how he used the money - nothing was ever done to improve the house.

John was still telling Patty that I was fighting his divorce.  By now, this fictional divorce battle, if real, might have qualified as the longest in legal history.  Even though he couldn't yet marry Patty, John didn't like the idea of his son having a different last name from his son's mother, so he did the paperwork for Patty to change her name officially to Patricia Cochran, and got his law partner to make the requested court appearance.  I never learned if his office billed her.

(Read the whole book to find out if Johnnie Cochran had even more women he was juggling while with Barbara and Patricia!  and what Barbara thought of the O.J. Simpson trial and outcome!)


A NOTE:  I RECENTLY LEARNED THAT THIS POST WAS ATTACHED TO A SITE ABOUT ABORTION.  I want to go on record here in that I have been, since I was 16 and heard boys joking about using rubbers that they stuck pin holes in to get girls pregnant, been FOR CHOICE, for legal and safe and inexpensive abortion for everyone (make that every woman but we all know that when a woman physically has an abortion, a man is also responsible, with the few exceptions that modern scientific methods of conception allow for) who does not choose to bear, give birth, and afford at that time of decision.  So I am not at all putting Patricia down for having an abortion when her lover does not want a child. Nor am I inferring that mistresses have more abortions than women in other situations that cause conception, such as marriage or rape. However, in the book these episodes are used by the author, to reveal just how in control of Patricia Johnny was and how manipulative.

No comments: