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INNOCENT SPOUSE by Carol Ross Joynt


A Memoir

by Carol Ross Joynt

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-59209-5
Publisher: Crown

Following her loving husband’s unexpected death, TV producer Joynt came face-to-face with her mate’s secret life. The fallout decimated her once comfortable life, flinging her into a decade of financial and emotional misery.

The author fell deeply in love with Howard Joynt in 1977. As the night assignment editor for the NBC News Washington, D.C., Bureau, she had a successful career, and Howard was a rich, charming, sophisticated restaurateur. They soon married, Joynt abandoned her career and the couple retreated to a large estate in the Virginia countryside. Unknown to the author, her husband possessed a dark side that soon emerged. Chronic depression fueled his rages, followed by physical abuse. After much grief, they entered counseling, salvaging their marriage. Ten years into their marriage, they moved back to Washington, restarting their professional lives. Joynt became a producer for Nightwatch; her husband shouldered the day-to-day management of his legendary restaurant, Nathans. For the next decade, their lives were grand. But in 1997, a month after a sailing vacation to the Caribbean, Joynt’s husband died, and the author’s comfortable life disintegrated. Due to her husband’s fraudulent financial dealings, Joynt discovered she now owed the IRS $3 million in back taxes. “The reality he left us was not enchanting and not safe, but dangerous and frightening,” she writes. The author recounts the misery of the next ten years dealing with the messy details of her long battle with the IRS; her valiant attempts to turn Nathans into a moneymaking enterprise; her constant struggle to retain her demanding job as a producer with Larry King Live; and the joy of raising her son.

Excellent recounting of the author’s lost decade, during which she rebuilt her life, became self-sufficient and found peace following her husband’s deceit.