The Starter Wife: Inside America's Messiest Divorce
Justine Musk had a fairytale life. She had fallen in love with a struggling 20-something entrepreneur who, overnight, developed a net worth of millions as cofounder of PayPal. They shared ambition, intelligence and, after their 2002 marriage, a Bel Air mansion and five sons. But as her husband's success grew, so did his dominant nature. Justine quickly found that, because of the vast economic imbalance, her husband's judgments overruled her own. Justine found herself depressed and alone — her husband obsessed with his work and her imperfections. Following an ultimatum, Justine found herself divorced, with an unfavorable postnup agreement. She also found herself free of the trophy-wife expectations she had been held to for years. Read more at marieclaire.com/starterwife.
Reporter Ralph Blumenthal unearths the rape of teenage Helena Lazaro and the vastness of countless other untested rape kits in the U.S. that go unresolved, and often uninvestigated, for years — if not ever. Since the late '90s, a national database has contained more than seven million offender profiles, but matches have been nearly impossible to make with so many untested kits. In fact, Congress estimates that today, more than 180,000 rape kits remain untested nationwide. Through interviews with Congressmen, professors, rape treatment medical centers, and Human Rights Watch, Marie Claire explores the national disgrace and hopes to shed light on a promising, but at-present lagging, system. Read more at marieclaire.com/rapekits.
To celebrate her 16th birthday, Tala Raassi and about 30 of her male and female friends had a party in a private home until the Iranian religious police arrested all the attendees on the spot. For days, the party-goers sat in rat-infested jail cells awaiting their brutal punishment — 50 lashes for the boys and 40 for the girls. Why? Islamic law restricts civilians from wearing indecent clothing, attending parties with both genders in attendance, and listening to Western music. The partygoers were found guilty of all the above. More than 11 years later, Raassi vividly remembers the excruciating pain of the lashes, and recalls questioning what she had done to deserve them. Read more at marieclaire.com/tala.
Piper Kerman had finally found her footing. She had established a career in producing and found her soul mate. But on an unsuspecting afternoon, Kerman opened the door to reveal not only the Feds, but also the one past mistake that would cost her everything now. In her 20s, Kerman had experimented with a stint in drug trafficking — smuggling drug money from Africa, through Europe and into the United States for a major West African drug lord. But as the demands intensified, Kerman escaped as quickly as she could, turning her back on her adventure-seeking life. Still, only when she finally settled into a happy, normal life, did her criminal past resurface, along with outrageous legal fees, an inevitable prison sentence, and the taxing pressures on her relationships. Read more at marieclaire.com/onemistake.