Amy Senser had a drinking problem, affairs according to stepdaughter Brittani [UPDATE]

Categories: Tragedy
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See also: Amy Senser was drinking the night she killed Phanthavong, prosecutor says
See also: Amy Senser letters of support reveal another side of Amy
See also: Amy Senser received special treatment from justice system, report says

Amy Senser was going through a mid-life crisis when she killed Anousone Phanthavong, drinking too much and cheating on Joe, according to her stepdaughter, Brittani.

Those allegations are buried deep inside a court filing submitted by Senser's attorney, Eric Nelson, late last month. Nelson filed emails he exchanged with the judge and prosecutor, one of which includes an investigative report written by state trooper John Farmakes. That document summarizes an interview with Brittani Senser, who told trooper Farmakes that Amy had issues with alcohol and fidelity.

"She said that Amy used to work at Thompson Funeral Home on Park Avenue in Minneapolis a few years earlier," Farmakes wrote. "She said that her father told her that he had caught Amy making out with another employee there and her father gave her an ultimatum, either she quit the job or he would leave her."

Amy left that job shortly after, Brittani said, and began working at a chiropractor's office. (The funeral home did not return a request for comment; neither did Senser's attorney.)

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Joe Senser, husband of Amy
Farmakes interviewed Brittani late last September as part of the state patrol's investigation into the hit-and-run death of Anousone Phanthavong. Brittani told Farmakes she feels Amy has a "drinking problem" and is "going through a midlife crisis."

When Brittani first heard about the "situation" involving Phanthavong's death, she told the investigator, "she thought Amy must have been out with another guy."

Joe and Amy Senser had been experiencing marital problems for the past "two and a half years," according to Brittani, who said she talked with Joe about "Amy's drinking alcohol and her involvement with other men."

Brittani also told Farmakes that Amy has been "out of control as of late," according to the investigator's report.

Brittani hinted at her disgust with Amy in a text message to Joe earlier that month, before Amy had turned herself in. Brittani urged Joe to "clear" his name.
"Its not ur job to protect someone who prob wouldn't protect u if the shoe's were on the other feet," Brittani texted. "She hasn't given a damn about anything other than herself and Molly and Hannah for years. Including you and ur guy's relationship, me tuz or anyone. U are a man of God."
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Brittani Senser gave up family secrets to the state patrol
Besides speaking with Brittani Senser, trooper Farmakes interviewed one of Amy's closest friends, Sandra Delgehausen. Farmakes asked Delgehausen whether Amy had substance abuse issues.

Delgehausen readily said that Amy has no problems with "illegal or prescribed" drugs but sidestepped a question about Amy's consumption of alcohol.

"Delgehausen paused when asked this question, began to fidget and look around the room," Farmakes noted in his report. "She initially responded by saying that that was something we would have to ask Amy. She then said she was not comfortable answering that question."

In the end, Delgehausen did not answer the question.

The interview with Brittani explains one of the more bizarre moments during Amy Senser's criminal trial this spring, where she was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide.

While testifying, Joe Senser claimed that Amy has never lied to him.

"Not about having affairs with other men?" the prosecutor, Deborah Russell, asked, according to the Star Tribune.

Joe claimed he'd never asked Amy about affairs, and said he'd never caught Amy in "inappropriate relationships" with other men. Russell then dropped the line of questioning, which baffled some observers.

Ever since Amy Senser was revealed as the driver who killed Phanthavong last summer, there's been much speculation about Amy's drinking habits. Farmakes' report sheds new light on the subject.

Update: Senser's attorney, Eric Nelson, got in touch with us this morning to deny Brittani's allegations with the following statement:

Brittani Senser made many untrue and baseless accusations when she originally met with police. Investigators followed up on these allegations, at great expense, all of which proved to be false. 

Amy Senser has remained a faithful wife to Joe for over 20 years. They have raises four daughters and contributed immeasurably to Twin Cities charities.  Nearly every person who submitted a letter of recommendation and knows their characters noted the loving and nurturing relationship between Amy and Joe.
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21 comments
Sara
Sara

How about Phanthavong high on cocaine? Head chef......really? A man with a cocaine addiction is preparing food for patrons while high on cocaine. It sounds like Phanthavong had serious issues and should never have been permitted to work at restaurant.

swmnguy
swmnguy

The anti-Brittani comments don't pass the smell test.  I don't know her, or anyone involved in this sad mess.  But I do know people, and I certainly know families affected by chemical dependency.  If Brittani Senser is lying to get attention, then an awful lot of the family friends who sent in letters during the sentencing process are lying too, or at least hinting at it.   If she's lying, then Joe Senser's actions don't make any sense.  If she's lying then she's not very good at it, and lacks the ability to predict consequences; she had to know she was putting herself in the line of fire. When dysfunctional families unravel it's a messy business and everybody gets hurt.  The person who takes it the hardest early on is the person who stands up first and tells the truth.  That's why people let these messes go on for so long; they're afraid of what will happen to them if and when they stand up and say what everybody already knows anyway.  A person has to feel he or she has nothing to lose to do something like that; things are bad enough that bringing down the crisis won't really be much worse.  Especially if one hasn't led a perfect life or behaved perfectly one's self, that takes guts. People who think they're doing the family a favor by continuing to cover up some pretty outrageous behavior are very much mistaken.  I'm sure the family relationships are a mess, and everyone has some faults to own up to.  That always happens in these situations.  But unless the Senser family is utterly unique in the world, and all the telltale signs of chemical abuse-related dysfunctions are just outlandish coincidences, then Brittani Senser has a lot of guts and integrity, regardless of whatever childishness she may have acted out in her life.  I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the future, Amy Senser makes a public statement of gratitude and reconciliation to her step-daughter.  The kid took a stand her own husband and frieds and relatives wouldn't, and that says a lot.

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

Ain't is most certainly word. You can find it in any dictionary, all second rate grade school teachers aside. It is the contraction for "I am not." But if it makes you feel any better, George should have used "isn't" instead of ain't in that sentence.

Britney Spears Wannabe
Britney Spears Wannabe

Little barbie brittani would do or say anything to get attention or noticed. Have you seen her video, lol, joke, kind of like her musical "talents".

guest
guest

Sure she's a liar Mr. Nelson. Why then did you argue successfully to keep her alcohol history out of the trial. Why did you argue successfully to keep her relationship with Brittani out of the trial. The friends answer to the police tells everyone all they need to know. Why was she ready to plead to guilty provided she got only 10 years probation. Can you honestly say with a straight face your client, Joe, and their teenage daughters weren't lying- the judge does not believe this to be so. Brittani is the only one telling the truth here.

Jason Kay
Jason Kay

Brittney Sensor looks like a typical air-brushed wanna-be Hollywood ho. Just Sayin.   She is talking shit about her stepmother, but when she realizes that she is a no-talent hack, and her CD fails to sell even one copy, you will see her in one of the following: 1. B-grade porn flick with the title: "Brittney's Aspen Anal Ski Vacation" 2. A guest on the Maury Povich show with the episode titled "Transgendered Lesbian Hermaphrodite Cross-dressers and their girlfriends" OR 3. She will run for political office. Let's start making bets right now.  I'm betting $10 on #1. 

Media Whore
Media Whore

I wonder why the hell the Strib chronicled the story. It's a sad indictment of all of us. 

Media Whore
Media Whore

D list? You give her too much credit. 

Media Whore
Media Whore

It's sad that we're all sucked into reading stories about this non-celebrity family.  The stepmother/stepdaughter friction is entertaining, sure, but neither deserves an ounce of attention, although one wants it. I'm sure the elder would give the younger all her infamy, and then some. 

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

 I'd opt for step mother has problems...

swmnguy
swmnguy

This isn't really news, but it does help deepen the overall picture of what happened here.  Not that it should surprise anyone who followed the case.  Amy Senser clearly has a lot of problems.  Not uncommon for someone with a fairly obvious chemical dependency problem.  The stresses such problems put on families is terrible.  Everything young Ms. Britttani Senser has said and done shows such stresses.  She, as the older stepdaughter, has been in a rotten spot.  She's trying to be a rational, decent adult in an irrational, indecent situation.  Whatever she says or does will have been twisted all around, into some sort of "hating the step-mom" or "attention hound" scenario.  Joe Senser's actions show the strain of this disease, which infects everyone it touches.  The younger daughters showed the effects, though they haven't been under the microscope as much.  All the family's friends show the effects.  It's so terribly sad Mrs. Amy Senser didn't just wrap her car around a light pole; then maybe somebody wouldn't have had to have died for her to get closer to rock bottom.  And if she doesn't hit her rock bottom and start getting her head on straight, she's going to be dead, and die alone.  And the longer this goes on, the worse the harm to her kids, her husband, her friends; everyone who comes in contact with her while she's deranged by this poison in her brain.  Never mind the Phanthavong family, who not only lost a son to this woman's disease, but had to listen to him being smeared by her attorney.  Sick, sick stuff. Hopefully Amy Senser can use her time to get her sanity and life back.  Otherwise this is all nothing but a terrible, rotten waste.  It's up to her now, and her alone.

Not White
Not White

You're a moron... What was Brittanni supposed to do, lie to police? Get the fuck out of here... By the way, using the "word" ain't makes you look stupid.

Guest
Guest

What part of "she told police" is unclear? 

Albatross
Albatross

Update: "Brittani Senser made many untrue and baseless accusations when she originally met with police" Yeah, because when I'm interrogated by police regarding the death of a man my first instinct is just make some shit up for laughs.

George
George

Another D-list celebutant attention-whore throwing her family under the bus for the sake of a few column-inches  The story ain't about anyone in the Senser family, it's about *another* family, one that will forever be lessened by a DUI homicide......

Tucker
Tucker

Yet, they tried to smear Phanthavong for being on coke, being irresponsible for having run out of gas.... In other news... Is that a Brittani Senser CD?? Tell me more! I love a good entitled pop star wannabe shit-show!

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

Unless you're the lawyer prosecuting her for running over Anousone Phanthavong, and you're trying to figure out what she was doing in that part of town at that time of night. If it were true that Amy Senser was with her lover that night, it would mean most of her testimony in court was a lie and her credibility ("I did not see that man that I ran over and killed") would have been seriously damaged. If Amy Senser was sober, and if she had called 911 immediately after the accident, she would not be in prison right now regardless of the affair(s). The obvious conclusion is that she was not sober, and that she and her cuckolded husband told a big bunch of lies to avoid the consequences of her private lifestyle.

effor900
effor900

Senser having affairs has nothing to do with this accident.  I wish people would stop digging into peoples lives like this...it's no one's business. 

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

And people wonder why the Star Tribune refused to allow comments on any of their Senser stories....

chavran342
chavran342

@Sara Drugs and chefs mix much more than you would think. The fast paced nature of the industry and long hours almost encourage it once you get started. Hell, even our local celebrity chef, Andrew Zimmern, was addicted to various narcotics at one point in his career.

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