Canada

Col. Williams's wife says charges 'devastating'

The wife of former CFB Trenton base commander Col. Russell Williams says she is devastated by the first-degree murder and other charges against her husband.

The wife of former CFB Trenton base commander Col. Russell Williams says she has been devastated by the first-degree murder, sexual assault and raft of other charges against her husband.

Mary-Elizabeth Harriman has not given interviews or spoken publicly since the shocking charges were laid against her husband.

An affidavit filed in a lawsuit in court in Belleville, Ont., provides the first glimpse of how the charges that have rocked the Canadian military have traumatized the colonel's own wife.

"The revelation of these charges has been devastating to me," Harriman says.

"As a result of the charges, my previously anticipated future and financial security had become jeopardized."

Williams is charged with killing two women, sexually assaulting two other women and with 82 break-ins, some of which reportedly involved theft of lingerie.

One of Williams's alleged sex assault victims, identified only as Jane Doe, has launched a $2.45-million lawsuit against Williams and Harriman. The 21-year-old woman claims the "horrific and reprehensible" alleged sexual attack has left her fearful and suicidal.

Doe is also suing Harriman, claiming Williams fraudulently transferred an Ottawa property to his wife in an effort to defeat Jane Doe's claim.

The criminal charges have not yet been tested in court, nor have the civil allegations.

Williams has not yet filed a statement of defence.

In her statement of defence Harriman says Williams did transfer his interest in their home and other assets, but it was a "domestic contract" they executed and there was "nothing untoward or suspicious about the transfer."

"At all times my intent in executing the conveyance was to provide for my financial security as against my husband," Harriman writes.