A wealthy Florida man is standing by the wife who police say faked her own kidnapping, because, the man says, her actions are the result of undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
“Because she’s mentally ill, I have to stick by her,” Reid Gray said of his wife, Quinn Gray, Monday. Speaking with TODAY’s Matt Lauer in New York, Gray acknowledged that evidence presented by police seems to show that his wife became a willing participant in the scheme — but he still believes that she originally was kidnapped.
Tale of the tape
NBC News obtained 37 disks of recorded evidence, including a recording of Quinn Gray and her alleged accomplice, Jasmin Osmanovic, having sex and then discussing how they were going to get a $50,000 ransom from her husband and what they were going to tell police.
After listening to the sex tape, Lauer observed, “It does not sound as if she’s an unwilling participant.”
“I feel that she’s definitely participating,” Reid Gray agreed. “I’m not sure after four days of being with this person what she believes and what she doesn’t believe. I agree with you that there are times I just want to shut it off and be finished with the whole thing.”
Lauer then commented that Quinn Gray sounds guilty on the tape — especially when she suggests that the pair either get the money “or just blow his head off,” referring to Reid Gray.
“As guilty as can be, I certainly don’t deny it,” Gray told Lauer. “When I hear that, I am saddened for her, saddened for my children, saddened for myself. But I know there’s definitely something not right ... that’s not the wife that I know.”
Gray acknowledged that hearing his wife make the offhand suggestion that Osmanovic blow his head off was particularly hard to take.
“It’s probably the most hurtful, devastating words I’ve ever heard,” Gray told Lauer. “I think of my children, I think of myself, I think of how this is going to affect their lives going forward. When I heard that, I was so shocked. I knew something was wrong.”
Eight wonderful weeks
The Grays, who live in a $4 million home in the posh Florida enclave of Ponte Vedra Beach, have two daughters. They acknowledge having a rocky marriage, with both spouses being guilty of infidelity. As a last-gasp chance to save the marriage, Reid Gray said, his wife agreed to undergo treatment in June for alcoholism.
“There were times when she would drink at night just to stop moving the furniture around in the middle of the night because her mind kept racing,” he said.
After she came back from rehab, Gray said the couple were closer than ever.
“That eight weeks before the abduction were some of the best eight weeks we’ve ever had in our life,” Gray said. For that reason, he said, his wife would not have invented the kidnapping story. “I couldn’t imagine for a second that she would have made this up,” he said.
Abduction or extortion?
Prosecutors who have charged Quinn Gray and Osmanovic with extortion say it was during that time that Osmanovic and Quinn began the affair that ended with the kidnapping scheme that played out at the beginning of September. Gray does not believe his wife was having an affair.
Police say they are confident they can prove that this is a case of extortion and not kidnapping. Gray praised their work, even as he said he doesn’t agree with their conclusions.
“Law enforcement did a wonderful job and she’s home alive. I have no complaints there,” Gray told Lauer. “I believe she was abducted, but I believe very, very early on, because of her mental illness, she became a part of this. It’s because she’s mentally ill that I have to stick by her. I can’t abandon that person.”
Standing by her
Lauer suggested that, given the evidence, proving Quinn Gray’s innocence will not be easy.