Michael Schiavo is one husband I pity. After publicly battling his in-laws over the fate of his comatose wife Terri — who was in a “persistent vegetative state” for 15 years — he wrote a book to defend himself against his critics.
His new wife, Jodi, who no doubt suffered her share of unwarranted criticism in what should have been a private family matter, joined him for this MSNBC interview with Matt Lauer. Here’s a snippet:
On his marriage to Jodi
Lauer: People have often asked. Michael why didn’t you divorce Terri, you were living with Jodi.
Michael Schiavo: Why do I have to divorce Terri? Terri wasn’t like a football– an inanimate object you pass back and forth. She was my wife. You mean because your wife gets sick, do you give her back?
Jodi Schiavo: I would think so much less of Michael had he walked away from her. That is one of the qualities in him that I so admire. That up against everything…he stuck by her…
During the whole Terri Schiavo debacle, I often heard pundits on TV wonder aloud why Michael wouldn’t give up his wife to her family. It annoyed me because it only demonized him — since it was mostly left unanswered — and suggested it was more admirable for him to walk away from her and ignore her true wishes. It is endearing the loyalty he has shown his late wife despite the public punishment he received.