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Local artist, Cormac McCarthy’s ex, denies charge of pointing gun at boyfriend

SANTA FE, N.M. — An attorney for a Santa Fe artist arrested on an aggravated assault charge after what her boyfriend described as an argument over space aliens has vehemently denied the allegations and says he will vigorously defend his client.

Jennifer McCarthy, 48 – the ex-wife of renowned writer Cormac McCarthy – is accused in court documents of pointing a gun at her boyfriend’s head after first using the weapon to perform a sexual act and asking him, “Who is crazy, you or me?”

She was arrested on Saturday and booked on a single count of aggravated assault on a household member after a deputy was sent out on a report of a domestic disturbance on Aventura Road in Santa Fe, court documents state.

“Ms. McCarthy adamantly denies the allegations made by Mark Paleologo,” Santa Fe attorney Mark Donatelli said Tuesday.


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Paleologo is described on various websites as a songwriter, poet, novelist and blues singer from New Jersey and is said to be 53 years old.

He also goes by Marci Payne, according to Donatelli. There are Facebook pages for both personas.

Efforts to reach Paleologo by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Paleologo told the deputy the two were having an argument about space aliens when McCarthy allegedly pulled a silver pistol from her private parts and pointed it at him, according to the deputy’s statement filed in court.

A Smith and Wesson handgun was found in an outdoor trash can where Paleologo told the deputy he put it after he took the gun away from McCarthy.

McCarthy was freed from the Santa Fe County jail on Sunday after posting a $5,000 bond, jail records show.

Attorney Donatelli said he had read the complaint against McCarthy and “absolutely” would vigorously defend the case.

He confirmed various website postings indicating his client is a well-known local artist.

Jennifer McCarthy was married to Cormac McCarthy – author of novels such as “No Country for Old Men” and “The Road” and a fellow at the Santa Fe Institute¬† in 1998. They divorced in 2006.