Actress Pauley Perrette has been embroiled in a decade long, post-divorce court battle with her former husband, Francis “Coyote” Shivers. There are a couple of possible versions of reality regarding this story. Let’s examine them, one at a time, starting with how this might be written if Perrette herself were choosing the script:
A starlet in distress, but justice prevails
Pauley Perrette, a talented and popular actress in the very popular television show, CBS’s NCIS, has all the standard trappings of show business success; fame, fortune; a bitter and very public divorce, the aftereffects of which have lasted for years.
A quick read through of the numerous Google returns on the story paints a horrific, ugly picture. Perrette’s marriage was destroyed by a highly abusive, obsessive ne’er-do-well of a husband, Francis Shivers, a musician who supplemented his income by spinning records in L.A. night clubs. At least that’s what he did when he wasn’t making his wife’s life a living hell. Part of that hell was cutting the letter “C” into Perrette’s back while she was tied to a chair, among assorted other abuses.
Shivers’ bizarre and controlling behavior literally sent Perrette scrambling out of the couple’s marital home with what she could carry in her hands. Unsatisfied with just her departure, Shivers followed that with a campaign of physical and psychological harassment that spanned for years.
Using a savvy manipulation of the family law system to inflict harm on his ex-wife, he was able to stalk and terrorize her while remaining legally protected. His plans failed, though, and resulted in his arrest in 2012 for violating a restraining order. He was convicted of that offense and awaits sentencing on March 27.
Finally, after years of heaping continued abuse, Perrette’s nightmare appears to be over. Coyote Shivers will face justice and may have time to think about his misdeeds behind bars.
Now, that would be very consistent with the picture of her life that Perrette has sold to the media, the courts and the police. A very sad story with a hopeful ending that promises the possibility of long overdue justice.
However, let’s try telling the story again, this time using the evidence available which is already a matter of public record. Let’s pretend for a moment to care about what is really happening more than we care about the quirky-cute TV star, the darling of everyone’s eye, like she is a damsel in distress needing our unquestioning help.
While it might be nice to end the story in a Perrette positive way, as though there were no holes in all her scripted details, as though the elements of her heartrending plot fit together for cause and effect with clarity and credibility, it would not be the truth according to many.
The fantasy begins to unravel
Hollywood is a place that thrives on make-believe. Not so dissimilar are our family courts, which are often tasked with sorting out wildly different accounts of the events that lead to a divorce, and what happens afterward. That is certainly true in the ongoing legal struggles between Perrette and Shivers.
Getting their story right depends on a thorough examination of the evidence and using that examination to make sound judgments. And it appears in this case, the court got it wrong, at least as it applies to convicting Francis Shivers of a crime.
With all the evidence we have been able to gather, we were not able to construct a credible story starring a helpless Pauley Perrette caught in the machinations of an evil ex-husband.
In fact, the evidence we have seen, and bring to you here, paint an entirely different story; one that points to Pauley Perrette being a highly calculated liar and manipulator; one who made a series of false allegations, who charmed her way into public sympathies and police protection, and who routinely perjured herself in family courts in order to obtain restraining orders which she weaponized and used to ruin Francis Shivers’ life.
What we found was a wolf in victim’s clothing.
What’s more, it appears that her plan was scripted, and quite literally.
To begin, the arrest and conviction.
The March 27 sentencing of Francis Shivers is not where this story begins, and clearly won’t be where it ends, but it is a pivotal point in beginning to understand the history and possible future of this case.
Shivers was, without a doubt, convicted of violating a temporary restraining order placed on him by a court at the behest of Pauley Perrette. To be more specific, Shivers and his current wife walked into a sushi restaurant they were known to frequent regularly. They left the restaurant before being seated, after Shivers spotted Perrette’s boyfriend, Thomas Arklie, at a nearby table.
There are conflicting reports about what followed, which will be the focus of a future article, but Shivers was later arrested for violating the terms of the temporary order. It is for that incident, and that incident alone, that Shivers is now facing sentencing on the March 27.
That is one of the more perplexing elements of this protracted drama. Throughout the entire history of this case, which now spans almost a decade, there has been no other proof demonstrated that Francis Shivers ever did anything more wrong than become angry, perhaps even childish, during the process of a high conflict divorce. Well, that and he walked into the wrong restaurant at the wrong time.
The restraining order that Shivers was convicted of violating was one sought by Perrette after one she had issued on him previously from their divorce had expired. That order had been in place for five years without incident. She had been granted the new order temporarily and was awaiting a court hearing on it at the time of the incident in the sushi restaurant.
The two restraining orders, however, have something else in common.
Both were issued without a shred of evidence that Francis Shivers presented any kind of physical threat to Pauley Perrette.
The first order was issued based on allegations of abuse made by Perrette, after she was served with divorce papers. Shivers filed for a divorce months after discovering that Perrette was having an affair, according to court documents, with a pizza delivery boy.
It is clear that the marriage was rocky and the breakup conflicted, but even the judge presiding over the case, The Hon. Gretchen Taylor, determined that nothing that rose to the level of a physical threat from Francis Shivers ever happened. The original restraining order did not require Shivers to leave the family home, but rather granted him “exclusive use and possession” of it.
To quote Judge Taylor:
I see no family code section 6321 (A)(2) behavior that says that Mr. Shivers has engaged in an assault, threat of an assault or behavior that rises to the level of such severe emotional harm that he needs to be excluded from his home.
Nonetheless the judge did issue a restraining order, apparently designed to facilitate peace between the mutually combative couple.
I think there is sufficient, well-founded fear on the part of the respondent. [Perrette] And if I properly had a request from the petitioner [Shivers], I might even find well-founded fear on his part. But I don’t.
In other words, Shivers and Perrette fought a lot and were not very nice to each other; the typical American divorce. And let’s face it, a restraining order issued with those kind of exceptions from a judge does not exactly convey imminent threat.
Apparently, though, Perrette desired the continued protection of the court (or the potential for abuse a restraining order affords) and filed for an extension of that order in November of 2011. That request was granted temporarily, ex parte, and the estranged couple was due to appear in court for a ruling on making it permanent.
At this point one might assume that it would have been in Francis Shivers’ best interest to just sign off willingly on whatever kind of protection order that Perrette wanted. After all, the divorce was final. Property was settled. They had no children. Shivers had even moved on to fall in love again and remarry. All he would have to do is just avoid Pauley Perrette and he could move on without his life being complicated by all the drama.
As it turns out, things were not near that simple. According to records obtained by AVFM, Shivers actually had little chance of finding peace in a new life because it was not Pauley Perrette that needed protection. It was Francis Shivers.
As reported recently here by Suzanne McCarley, a media smear effort by Perrette, involving the cooperation of another ex of Shivers, Bebe Buell, and her “journalist” friend Roger Friedman, formerly of Fox Entertainment, was conducted as a part of a much larger campaign of lies designed to ruin Shivers in retaliation for their failed marriage.
Buell’s public support and alliance with Perrette is more than a little suspect, as Perrette is on record herself with the court, previously accusing Buell of stalking and harassing her and Shivers when they were married, and — you guessed it — seeking a restraining order to get her to stop.
It is clear that after the divorce, Perrette was ironically more than willing to join forces with her former stalker in order to go after the reputation of Shivers (who Perrette contended was actually Buell’s victim).
It is a tangled web, indeed, but the idea that Perrette has been lying about Shivers, both to the media and in court, is a matter of unquestionable fact for many who were close to the couple during and after the breakup.
According to a statement by Lisa Lynch, a former friend and roommate of Perrette’s, who was close enough to her that they got matching tattoos, Perrette has told numerous lies to the court.
After reading some of the Declarations filed with this court, I can say confidently that not only does Ms. Perrette make numerous false statements in her Declarations, but that I am certain she has made these false statements knowingly and willfully.
Another friend of the couple, attorney and former private investigator Jason Fishbein, submitted a statement to the court detailing several areas where he believes Perrette offered false testimony. One of his declarations is particularly interesting in light of the other facts of this case.
Ms. Perrette told me about her fondness for restraining orders, and that it was she who insisted that Mr. Shivers get one against Beverlie “Bebe” Buell. Those were Ms. Perrette’s words: that Mr. Shivers was “reluctant” and that eventually she “insisted.” I understand that Ms. Perrette has told an opposite version of events to the court and I state firmly that her story now is the exact opposite of what she told me. 
Jason Fishbein spoke with AVFM recently, offering us some more perspective on the case, and perhaps of Perrette’s affinity for restraining orders.
I’ve seen it from the perspective of a private investigator.” [the restraining order] but I’ve never seen last this long and be this effective, and the most insane part is that she wrote all this in her own hand in 2002.
2002? That was two full years before Perrette and Shivers broke up.
The further we dig into and deconstruct this story of a forlorn actress subjected to the abuse and psychological torture of a depraved and bitter ex-husband, we see that that the groundwork for Perrette’s current, malicious actions were laid out well in advance of her troubles with Francis Shivers.
It appears that Francis Shivers, while clearly a victim of his own bad judgment, is also caught up in Pauley Perrette’s personal psychodrama, one that was perhaps destined to be realized regardless of her life circumstances.
More of this becomes apparent when examining the declarations of Blaire Barnette, who was acquainted with both Perrette and Shivers, and who by coincidence is also the individual who served Perrette with Shivers’ divorce petition.
In November 2004 I visited Francis Shivers at his house on Whitley Terrace. There he told me about the extramarital affair his wife “Pauley” had with a boy she would only describe as the “pizza boy.” He said she was terrified of her sex scandal being exposed and made very frightening threats about what she would do if he ever told anybody. He then showed me a script Pauley wrote and explained that Pauley threatened she would do this to him.
The script was entitled “Star Crazy” and a basic outline of the plot almost reads like a plagiarized version of precisely what has happened to Francis Shivers in the aftermath of his divorce from Perrette, with the sole caveat that it was written by Perrette two years before any of this started manifesting in real life.
The storyline of Star Crazy is simple. A young actress, one of “sinister” character who handles rejection with vindictiveness, meets a man, stalks him, then “schmoozes” police, makes herself look great by taking on a charity cause, and lies to get a restraining order on the man when it is actually her that is doing the stalking — then proceeds to ruin the man’s life by manipulating public opinion, the courts and police..
It is an eerily close story to what appears to be actually going on in the life of Francis Shivers, who now faces sentencing because he walked into an establishment that Pauley Perrette knew he regularly patronized.
It is unrealistic to rule out the possibility of a setup in that scenario. And given an examination of the testimony of the people involved, and Perrette’s own hand scrawled vision of “Star Crazy” it is unrealistic not to think that this is the likeliest explanation.
From Barnette’s declaration:
The female TV star [in the script] goes so far as to scratch the guy’s initials into her own car just so she could call the police on him…
In the campaign waged by Perrette, she alleges that Shivers left hundreds of bizarre post-it notes everywhere for her, as a tool to taunt and control her. One of those notes allegedly appeared, like magic, during an interview she did with Roger Friedman, who also happens (quite magically) to be close friends with Perrette’s new friend and former stalker, Bebe Buell.
These are two superficially different events with the same possible underlying theme; create evidence and then make sure it gets “discovered.”
Let us remember the despite the outrageous claims of abuse, year after year of restraining orders and a coordinated plan of character assassination through the media and the courts, there are only three things ever definitively proven about Francis Shivers.
One, he walked into a sushi bar. Two, he has, or at least had, very bad taste in women. And three, he filed for a divorce against Pauley Perrette, a woman with a history of deceitful and retributive actions against those who reject her, after catching her in an affair with the pizza delivery boy.
Also from the declarations of Lisa Lynch:
I have been present when Ms. Perrette broke up with lovers in her past, and I can say she has a history of vindictive actions toward them, when none was warranted. In particular, I recall her stealing the cat of her ex-boyfriend Daniel Rivas, and then when he wanted to take her to court about this, Ms. Perrette filled out the paperwork for a restraining order in retaliation.
There is also more from Blaire Barnette, who recalls what happened in relation to the day that she served Pauley Perrette with the divorce papers, and Perrette’s ensuing allegations:
I later recall reading court papers where Pauley lied to the court and said I stalked her and assaulted her, and that I punched her in the chest and she suffered a sore chest from the attack. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pauley was served and that is all. It was photographed and witnessed. It was at this point I really saw the “Star Crazy” at work, completely lying to a court, falsely accusing me of assault, just to further her vindictive goals.
So what do we have here when all is said and done?
Pauley Perrette maintained a restraining order on her ex-husband for nearly a decade. She participated in seeking a restraining order against Bebe Buell, before joining forces with Buelle, using a media hack to spread disinformation about Shivers that she could use to justify her restraining order and further discredit Shivers. She makes allegations of assault and abuse against multiple individuals, none of it proven, none of it substantiated.
She has been quoted by reputable sources as being obsessed with the use of restraining orders as a weapon, has been accused herself of using them now on multiple occasions, and has written and entertained the idea of pitching a Hollywood script based on a character that is both evil, and stunningly autobiographical.
Seriously, is this “Star Crazy,” or is this star crazy?
The truth is that the answer to that one is as unimportant as it is obvious. The real question here, and the real issue, is Francis Shivers.
Regardless of his judgment in women, he does not deserve to be the one facing time in jail. Unfortunately, in a court system hardwired to overreact to women alleging abuse, that is exactly what is happening. Even worse, the truth won’t save him, or likely put the heat on Perrette, where it belongs.
Only the public can do that. And right now it appears the public loves celebrity more than it loves justice. Perhaps even more than it loves women.
Pauley Perrette is star crazy like a fox.