Why I hugged Kathy’s ex
One of Kathleen Folbigg’s closest friends has explained why she tearfully hugged Craig Folbigg outside NSW Coroners Court in Sydney this week.
The moment came after Kathy spent three days on the stand explaining her diaries, while Craig sat in the public gallery.
Tracy Chapman said: “Craig looked me in the eye, sad and broken. So I hugged him. I told him that in 16 years Kathy has not said a bad word about him.
“We just want the pain and hurt to stop. She just wants peace because everyone has suffered enough.”
She says they both broke down in tears at that moment, with Craig putting his forehead against hers as they sobbed.
Tracy hadn’t considered the effect the moment would have on the media mob outside the court.
“It wasn’t planned that way at all,” she said. “I could just see his pain and wanted to acknowledge that.”
She is disappointed that some media have reported it as something bizarre or her being manipulative or even that she was turning on Kathy after hearing her testimony.
“I think it says a lot about the world,” she said. “We are openly encouraging hostility, negative emotions based on me turning on her. Why was it not just seen as the purely raw, honest, empathetic gesture of caring/feeling? Kathy isn’t the only one grieving the loss of her four children, so is Craig. And it’s been harrowing for everyone to relive the trauma over the course of the inquiry.”
Craig held his brother John back when he lashed out at Tracy.
John later told the media: “We kept our thoughts regarding her actions, her supporters vitriolic outbursts, our pain our grief at not only the loss of four beautiful babies but of the loss of this part of our family group to ourselves.”
Kathy’s supporters have insisted they made no vitriolic outbursts during the inquiry.
Comments have been made on the Justice for Kathleen Folbigg Facebook page that Kathy must be feeling betrayed by Tracy.
“I think she would be thinking not a good friend but a traitor,” one wrote.
However, Tracy said she has discussed her gesture with Kathy and she is fully supportive of her actions.