On January 4 2010, Mary Margaret Farren served her husband J. Michael Farren, a former deputy White House counsel under President George W. Bush, with divorce papers. Two days later, in their New Canaan, Connecticut home, Michael brutally attacked his wife with a flashlight. Their two daughters, a 7-year-old and a baby were just down the hall.
“I felt like my head was just mush inside, and I thought, ‘I’m dying,’” Margaret, now 49, tells Amy Robach on ABC’s 20/20 (February 6, 10pm). Michael Farren is now serving a 15-year sentence in prison for attempted murder, first degree assault and risk of injury to a child. The judge ordered that he never again have contact with his daughters. A jury ordered Michael to pay his ex-wife “$28.6 million after she sued him for assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress.” Mary Margaret is now trying to change her and her daughters’ last name.