Family anger after Molly Martens repeatedly told children that Jason killed their mother
Martens told children mother was murdered
The family of murdered businessman Jason Corbett (39) were horrified to discover his US wife Molly Martens had repeatedly told his two children that their father had killed their mother.
The children, Jack and Sarah, were warned by Ms Martens that their own father was responsible for the death of their mother - and that she was effectively now their sole protector.
Sarah was just six years old when Ms Martens told her that "Daddy killed your Mom".
Their mother, Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick, died after suffering an asthma attack at their home in Limerick in 2006. Mr Corbett had tried desperately to save his adored wife when she suffered the asthma attack - performing CPR on her until paramedics arrived. Tragically, paramedics and doctors at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) were unable to save the young mother.
However, Ms Martens publicly insinuated before her murder trial that Mr Corbett had suffocated his first wife.
She also made the claim in a US TV interview recorded before her conviction.
Swearing the two children to secrecy after making the same allegation to them, she apparently hoped the stories would maintain her control over the youngsters - and assist her campaign to be allowed to adopt and keep them once she divorced Mr Corbett.
A new book by Mr Corbett's sister, Tracey Corbett-Lynch, has revealed his family were shocked to discover in the weeks after his murder that Ms Martens had engaged in a disturbing psychological campaign to isolate Mr Corbett in North Carolina, to undermine his confidence and then destroy his public reputation.
Ms Martens also made outrageous claims in a bid to drive a wedge between the children and their father.
She would discipline the two children if they ever failed to refer to her in public as 'Mommy'.
My Brother Jason is published by Gill Books.
The book revealed that Ms Martens - who has a long history of mental health problems - had been engaged in the 'gas-lighting' of Mr Corbett in a bid to force him to allow her to adopt his two children.
'Gas-lighting' involves a deliberate campaign to undermine a person's confidence and judgment.
Ms Martens and her father, retired FBI agent Tom Martens (67), were convicted in North Carolina last year of the second degree murder of Mr Corbett. They are now serving sentences of 20-25 years in high-security North Carolina prisons.
Mr Corbett, a father of two from Janesboro in Limerick, was brutally beaten to death with a metal baseball bat and heavy concrete brick as he slept in the bedroom of his Panther Creek Court home in the United States on August 2, 2015.
He had also been drugged with a sedative prescribed to his wife just days earlier.
The trial heard that the father and daughter cruelly delayed calling emergency services for the critically injured father of two in an apparent effort to ensure he was dead when the paramedics arrived.
Tracey Corbett-Lynch, who is now raising her brother's children with her husband, Dave, revealed they discovered that Ms Martens would deliberately hide Mr Corbett's possessions such as car keys and wallet to make him doubt his own memory, would ensure he didn't have clothing for family outings such as trips to the beach and would hide recording devices all over their home and even in her husband's car.
Ms Martens would throw emotional tantrums if her husband tried to reason with her over family spending - with the Tennessee-born woman having spent $90,000 (€80,000) on meals, clothing, trips and trinkets for herself in the year before his murder.
She also spread rumours throughout the luxury gated community where they lived that her husband was abusive to her.
Several neighbours acknowledged in the book that they considered Ms Martens to be a compulsive liar - and were so concerned at her claims they considered bringing the allegations to Mr Corbett's notice.
A number of neighbours said they were so concerned by Ms Martens's behaviour they would ensure they were never left alone with her.
After Mr Corbett's murder, she falsely claimed to police he was a member of the IRA, and that he had been a Mixed Martial Arts fighter.
Ms Martens flew to Ireland to work as a nanny for the two children in 2008 - with Mr Corbett totally unaware of the fact that just a few weeks earlier she had been in a Georgia psychiatric clinic.
Mr Corbett was beaten to death just hours before he planned to fly back to Ireland with his children.
His sister revealed he had been increasingly worried about Ms Martens's behaviour, the breakdown in their relationship and the safety of his children.
Just 24 hours before his death, Mr Corbett had been publicly humiliated by his wife after she engaged in a vicious 'fat shaming' campaign against him while they attended a neighbourhood party.
'My Brother Jason' by Tracey Corbett-Lynch with Ralph Riegel published by Gill, available now at €16.99.