Shocker in twins' custody row
By WILLIAM SHERMAN
and BOB PORT
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
A Manhattan Family Court judge ordered yesterday that two 4-year-old identical twin girls born out of an extramarital affair be removed from their mother's home and given to their adulterous dad.
The decision stunned the mother - former actress and Playboy model Bridget Marks - and pleased the father, casino executive John Aylsworth, the millionaire chief operating officer of President Casinos Inc.
But the father's win has a condition.
Aylsworth must move from his seaside Malibu, Calif., estate to within 40 miles of the upper East Side apartment where Marks has raised the twin girls since they were born, the judge ruled.
Acting Supreme Court Judge Arlene Goldberg also ordered that the mother's "visitation and telephone contact with the children be monitored and supervised."
Goldberg's ruling, which is sure to spark heated legal debate, requires that Marks turn over her twins, Amber and Scarlet Aylsworth, at noon on June 1.
Aylsworth can take the children anywhere he wants for a four-week summer vacation, the judge ruled. The twins' mother then has a one-week supervised visit.
Goldberg decided that Marks should lose custody because of "her unbridled anger toward the father" and inability to foster a relationship between daughters and father.
Marks, 38, and the married Aylsworth, 54, struck up a love affair in 1998. But their relationship soured. The exec and his wife pressed Marks to abort her pregnancy, but Marks refused and raised the twins alone, according to court documents.
Marks was in tears yesterday.
"I am devastated," she said. "It's a travesty and a disgusting miscarriage of justice and an abuse of power."
"The girls are my life and my heart," she said. "Mine is the only home that they've ever known."
Aylsworth's attorney, Patricia Grant, said Aylsworth and his wife, Karen, would move to the New York City area.
"I think that the court based the decision on the credible evidence and we're gratified, but we're disappointed that the children can't relocate to California," Grant said.
Supervised visitation will likely mean a court-appointed social worker must be present when Marks is with her children. Attorneys in the case were asked to submit proposals on who should supervise visits and when.
The judge did not find that Marks was unfit as a mother but instead found that it was in the best interest of her children to live with their father.
While Aylsworth "has had extramarital affairs, his failings impact on his ability to be a good husband, not a proper custodial parent," the judge wrote.